USP challenged by sacked manager

A former senior manager of the University of the South Pacific has lodged a complaint against his employer with Fiji’s employment industrial tribunal.

Hasmukh Lal was until recently, CEO of the USP’s Pacific TAFE.

Lal confirmed this when contacted by Islands Business in Suva today.

It is believed the termination is not related to an earlier matter, in which Lal was named along several other senior executives of the USP whose appointments were questioned in a confidential report of the university early last year.

That report was authored by then-incoming Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, for a meeting of the executive committee of the USP Council, but was blocked for discussion and recalled by Council chair and USP Pro Chancellor Winston Thompson of Fiji.

The office of the Vice Chancellor was not talking to the media today,

Islands Business has established nevertheless that Lal’s last day as Pacific TAFE CEO was Friday, 22 May, and that this role is now under the oversight of USP’s acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Education, Professor Jito Vanualailai. In informing staff of the change, VC Pal offered no explanation.

USP’s TAFE – Technical and Further Education is a programme of learning of vocational and para-professional courses in commerce, hospitality, humanities, science and technology.