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USP Vice Chancellor called out for incorrect statement

October 1, 2020 1:03 pm
University of the South Pacific Vice-chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia.

University of the South Pacific Vice-chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia has been called out for comments during a recent press conference.

At the event, the VC stated that the restructure of USP has been endorsed by the University Grants Committee.

The following is an audio clip of Professor Ahluwalia’s comments.

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“We have something called the University Grants Committee which met in July and said that we strongly endorse what the Vice-Chancellor and his team are doing and we strongly endorse a restructure. They said you cannot wait until 2021, you must do this.”

However the Chair of the Grants Committee, Sunil Sharma has since written to Professor Ahluwalia saying he does not recall the Committee endorsing any restructure.

Sharma adds it is not the responsibility of the Grants Committee to consider restructure as they only look after triennium submissions and deliberate on mid-term reviews.

He also states the Committee had only noted the different financial scenarios because of COVID-19 adding that there is a difference between noted and endorsed.

Sharma goes on to say that the University Grants Committee does not want to give an impression to the University Council that it is endorsing something that it has no mandate to decide.

He adds Ahluwalia as Vice-Chancellor should not make incorrect statements.

The Vice-Chancellor has apologized, saying he made the statement on the basis of support from the New Zealand representative.

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