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Can USP survive its latest troubles?

Will Fiji emerge victorious in the prolonged leadership dispute at the regional university it co-owns with eleven other Pacific island nations?

This was the question many were asking after the February 16 meeting of the USP Council, which failed to restore the work contract of deported Vice Chancellor, Professor Pal Ahluwalia. That meeting also deferred a decision on action over two key council members, Pro Chancellor Winston Thompson and the chair of the council’s audit and compliance committee, Mahmood Khan.

Rather than deciding on a motion dismiss to the two for alleged breaches of the council’s code of conduct, New Zealand introduced a new motion that called on the executive committee of the council to investigate the charges of insubordination and acting against the interest of the university before reporting back to the full Council.

This motion was carried 14 votes to 12.

Both Thompson and Khan are members of this executive committee but Islands Business understands that since they are the subjects of the committee’s probe, they will be excluded from its deliberations. The committee’s other members are the reps of Australia, and New Zealand, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Fiji’s education minister, Rosy Akbar.

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