More than 60 staff of the University of the South Pacific Laucala Campus gathered during their lunch break today to call for a thorough independent investigation into allegations of mismanagement of funds by some current and former staff.
Associate Professor Morgan Tuimalealiifano says they are showing their support for USP Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia who helped uncover this mess.
He says they are also concerned that Pro Chancellor Winston Thompson has apologised on behalf of the university to people allegedly involved in the mismanagement of funds.
Tuimalealiifano says the University does not belong to the Pro Chancellor but the people of the region.
Th USP staff that gathered today also want the people allegedly involved to be suspended pending the investigation.
They are concerned about what they call a serious breach of trust and call on the University Council to address the issue.
On Monday, the USP Pro Chancellor Winston Thompson said they will be conducting an investigation on how some confidential documents containing allegations of mismanagement of funds by some current and former staff was leaked.
He raised serious concern that the confidential document was leaked before any of the staff mentioned had seen the allegations and before any of them had a chance to refute them.
Thompson revealed that the document was first submitted to USP’s Executive Committee in March adding that it was decided that the allegations should be investigated and each of the named individuals should be allowed to respond before the Committee considered the document in detail.
He says that he understood all copies of the document were collected for safe keeping to allow for a thorough, independent and professional investigation, without influence from anyone and a report be submitted to the Executive Committee last month.
Thompson adds that when the Committee met in April, it was instead advised that the matter had been handed to FICAC.