Claims of ‘issues, concerns and breaches’ emerge at USP

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The University of the South Pacific's Laucala campus in Fiji
The University of the South Pacific's Laucala campus in Fiji . . . renewed controversy. Image: RNZ/USP/FB

By Kelvin Anthony, RNZ Pacific lead digital and social media journalist

A leaked document authored by a recently recruited senior University of the South Pacific academic has again put a spotlight on the affairs of the regional institution.

The “strictly confidential” document, viewed by RNZ Pacific, is written by Professor Janusz Jankowski, the deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president (research and innovation) of USP.

The 13-page report is addressed to the USP Council chair and pro-chancellor — and former Marshall Islands president — Dr Hilda Heine and deputy chair and deputy pro-chancellor, Professor Pat Walsh.

USP's Professor Januscz Jankowsk
USP’s deputy vice-chancellor (research and innovation) Professor Januscz Jankowski . . . appointed November 2022, “sacked” on May 26. Image: USP

It alleges several “issues, concerns and breaches with both USP policies and procedures” under USP’s vice-chancellor and president Pal Ahluwalia’s leadership.

Dr Jankowski — who was appointed to his role in November last year and has been working remotely from the UK — is calling for formal investigations of the vice-chancellor of the regional university.

USP vice-chancellor and president Professor Pal Ahluwalia . . . facing new allegations. Image: USP

RNZ understands that following Dr Jankowski’s report to the USP Council, he has been dismissed from his position.

It is also understood that USP staff unions are unhappy with a range of issues highlighted in the report and the sacking of Dr Jankowski.

RNZ Pacific has contacted Professor Ahluwalia and USP for comment.

In an email response, a USP spokesperson said on Wednesday that Dr Jankowski was no longer working at the university but that was not related to his complaint.

“Contrary to media reports, the vice-chancellor and president of USP does not have the delegated authority to terminate the employment of a deputy vice-chancellor,” the statement said.

“This authority rests with the University Council. In the matter pertaining to Professor Janusz Jankowski’s status with the university, he was until recently engaged as a fixed-term and part-time consultant, and this arrangement has now ended.”

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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