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USP denies muzzling academics

July 1, 2014 1:11 am

The University of the South Pacific has denied any attempts to silence Patrick Craddock – the Head of USP’s Journalism Programme.

Craddock has released a statement saying he was called to a meeting with Deputy Vice Chancellor, Dr. Esther Williams and made to sign a document that – according to him – silences him from speaking to the media.

In response to questions from FBC News, the USP says Craddock was asked to sign a copy of the Code of Professional Conduct for Academic Staff.

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This applies to all academic staff and has been in place in its current version since early 2012. The University says he signed this document, indicating that he is aware of it.

Part of the Code states academic staff must distinguish clearly between accepted facts and purely personal opinions and act in their own name and not in that of the University and not purport to represent the views of the University.

The statement also says it’s looking into complaints regarding public statements by Craddock and Dr Matt Thompson.

It won’t comment further as staff matters like these are personal and confidential.

Craddock also alleges he was told by Dr. Williams that the institution is under pressure from the Fijian government.

The University has denied this saying it upholds the principles of Academic Freedom and is not under pressure from any Government to limit it.

However, all academics at all of the University’s campuses must adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct for Academic Staff.

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