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Suspended USP VC calls on council to clear his name

June 19, 2020 6:40 am
University of the South Pacific suspended Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia. [File Photo]

The University of the South Pacific suspended Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia claims that his suspension was illegal.

In a statement to the USP Council dated on Wednesday Professor Ahluwalia says his suspension was done without due process and without any proper reason.

Ahluwalia says the council has the chance to clear his name, support him in his role and reinstate him as the vice-chancellor and president of USP.

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He has also stressed that he does not fear an independent investigation.

Ahluwalia also highlighted that in March, 26 charges were levelled against him adding that his lawyer advised the deputy pro-chancellor and the council that the charges were out of time and not sustainable.

He claims that the pro-chancellor Winston Thompson’s report confirms that the allegations date from 2019 and that many of the accusations against him last year continue to be repeated even though some have been cleared.

Professor Ahluwalia goes on to say that the executive committee meeting held last Monday apparently considered another 33 charges against him.

He claims that this time the charges were a mix of new and repeated allegations adding that he was not given the opportunity to defend himself and that none of the allegations are sustainable.

The USP special council meeting will proceed as scheduled today.

The meeting will appraise members of events at the Laucala Campus in Suva.

The USP pro-chancellor Winston Thompson confirms one of the items up for discussion is the executive committee’s move to suspend vice chancellor professor Pal Ahluwalia last week.

Nauru president Lionel Aingimea who is also a member of the council earlier highlighted that it should be included in the agenda of the meeting; council members to determine whether the decision of the executive committee to suspend the vice chancellor was made in bad faith and should be overturned.

A number of USP member countries have indicated they do not support the suspension of professor Ahluwalia.

The special USP council meeting will be held today at USP’s Laucala campus from 10am-4pm.

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