‘Make USP re­port pub­lic’


The Fiji Times - - FRONT PAGE - By NASIK SWAMI

MAKE the Univer­sity of the South Pa­cific BDO re­port pub­lic be­cause se­crecy does not serve any good, says renowned po­lit­i­cal so­ci­ol­o­gist and for­mer USP aca­demic Prof Steven Ratuva.

He said pub­lic in­ter­est de­manded it and USP should do it for the sake of trans­parency.

He said USP should also make pub­lic al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against vice-chan­cel­lor and pres­i­dent Prof Pal Ah­luwalia.

In the mean­time, Fiji Labour Party leader and for­mer prime min­is­ter Ma­hen­dra Chaudhry has also called for a “thor­ough clean-up” of USP and any­one un­cov­ered by an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be taken to task im­me­di­ately.

IN the in­ter­est of trans­parency, the Univer­sity of the South Pa­cific should make pub­lic the con­tents of the univer­sity’s BDO re­port and also the al­le­ga­tions made against vicechan­cel­lor Prof Pal Ah­luwalia.

This is the view of New Zealand­based po­lit­i­cal so­ci­ol­o­gist and for­mer univer­sity aca­demic Prof Steven Ratuva.

“Pub­lic in­ter­est de­mands that the BDO re­port needs to be re­leased and the work by the com­mis­sion ex­pe­dited while the al­le­ga­tions against the vice chan­cel­lor be re­leased also and prop­erly in­ves­ti­gated as well,” he said.

Prof Ratuva said se­crecy “does not serve any­one any good”.

He said USP was a re­gional in­sti­tu­tion and there should be no po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence that would un­der­mine its in­de­pen­dence.

“As we have seen in other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, politi­ci­sa­tion of uni­ver­si­ties has led to their demise as re­spectable in­sti­tu­tions.

“What USP needs is not ven­detta based vengeance and counter-vengeance pol­i­tics which will run the in­sti­tu­tion down, but in­de­pen­dent schol­arly in­no­va­tion to raise the level of high im­pact re­search and teach­ing to be­come a world class in­sti­tu­tion of learn­ing.”

Mean­while, USP Coun­cil chair­man and pro-chan­cel­lor Win­ston Thomp­son said the BDO re­port was “now his­tory” and peo­ple should stop try­ing to res­ur­rect it.

He said al­le­ga­tions of mis­man­age­ment and gov­er­nance is­sues which emerged from the leaked BDO re­port had been “dealt with”.

Mr Thomp­son said the univer­sity’s po­si­tion on the re­port was that its find­ings had al­ready been con­sid­ered by the coun­cil in its spe­cial meet­ing in Au­gust last year.

He also said al­le­ga­tions against him in the BDO re­port were “com­par­a­tively mi­nor”.

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