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No need to recuse myself says USP Pro Chancellor

June 26, 2019 6:26 am

More than 500 staff of the University of the South Pacific presented a Petition to the Council on Monday.

They were calling for the University’s Pro-Chancellor Winston Thompson to step down.

The USP staff both academic and administrative made three demands in their petition, with regards to Thompson, they claim that he should be removed as the Council Chair immediately.

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This comes after allegations of mismanagement and abuse of power by former Vice Chancellor and USP Council President Rajesh Chandra surfaced in a report by the current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pal Ahulwalia earlier this year.

The petitioners claim Thompson’s recent public defense of those implicated in abuse of power allegations is premature and unprofessional and compromises his position as Chair.

Furthermore, they say his recent public statements against the VC in a regional publication are unprofessional, prejudicial and damaging to the University.

Refusing an on-camera interview, FBC News spoke to USP’s Pro-Chancellor Winston Thompson who says he feels no reason to recuse himself while the investigation into abuse of power allegations is on-going.

The petitioners have also called on all regional governments and donor partners especially Australia and New Zealand to ensure that the investigation is fair, thorough and results in remedial action where found necessary.

Meanwhile, in a statement last week, USP’s Council Deputy Chair Aloma Johansson of Tonga noted that four Auckland based accounting firms had been invited to submit bids to undertake the probe.

The investigation is being led by USP’s audit and risk committee which is headed by Mahmood Khan, a Fijian government nominee to the USP Council and chartered accountant who used to work in New Zealand.

The committee is expected to select an investigation firm this week.

 

 

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