USP’s 24th Chancellor’s official visit to Laucala Campus
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(Seated from L-R): Mrs Queenie Thompson, Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, H.E Major General (Ret'd) Jioji Konusi Konrote, President of Fiji, Mrs Sarote Konrote, First Lady, Professor Rajesh Chandra, USP Vice-Chancellor and President and Mrs Dharma Chandra with members of USP’s Senior Management Team.
The 24th Chancellor of The University of the South Pacific (USP) is the President of Fiji His Excellency Major General (Ret'd) Jioji Konusi Konrote who has been appointed to serve in the role from 1 July 2017 for a term of one year.
H.E Konrote will be formally installed during USP’s Laucala graduation ceremony on 22 September, 2017. The Chancellor is the titular head of USP, who confers the qualifications of the University.
H.E Konrote and first lady, Mrs Sarote Konrote, had their first official visit at the University’s Laucala Campuses on 15 August 2017.
Mr Winston Thompson, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council and Mrs Queenie Thompson and Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President, and Mrs Dharma Chandra welcomed the new Chancellor and his wife to the University.
H.E Konrote met members of USP’s Senior Management Team and was given a tour of the three campuses in Laucala, namely, the upper, Marine and Statham Campuses.
As part of the tour, the delegation visited the state-of-art Japan-Pacific ICT Centre, Oceania Centre of Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies (OCACPS), Institute of Marine Studies and the Graduate School of Business.
At the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre, the delegation, which comprised the Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, and Vice-Chancellor and President and their wives, observed how the USPNet works in connecting the University’s regional campuses in learning and teaching. They also toured the Japan-Pacific ICT Multipurpose Theatre.
They then visited the Oceania Art Gallery and OCACPS where the Pasifika Voices and Oceania Dance Theatre group performed for the delegation. The groups were led by Mr Igelese Ete, head of Performing Arts and Mr Peter Espiritu, Artistic Director.
As part of their visit at the Institute of Marine Studies, Professor Ciro Rico, Head of School showed them the aquaculture and post-harvest lab.
Dr Cresantia Frances Koya talks about the Art Gallery at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture & Pacific Studies.
At the Graduate School of Business located at Statham Campus, the delegation was welcomed by Professor Raghuvar Pathak, Head of School and his team. Professor Pathak informed H.E Konrote about the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme at USP, which is the only MBA programme in Fiji to be accredited by the Association of MBA’s.
Professor Pathak also highlighted that the Graduate School of Business is the ranked among the best 1000 business schools in 154 countries by the Eduniversal Agency.
The tour ended with lunch at Governors Restaurant.
Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council Mr Winston Thompson warmly welcomed the new Chancellor on behalf of the University Council and assured H.E Konrote of the full support from the USP community.
“We would also like to thank H.E Konrote for honouring the University in the lead up to the milestone of the 50th Anniversary in 2018,” Mr Thompson said.
H.E Konrote is a soldier, former civil servant, diplomat and government minister. As a soldier, he rose through the ranks from a private to Major-General and the first Fijian to hold the position of UN Assistant Secretary-General and Force Commander for the UN Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) 1997-1999. Prior to this, he held the position of UNIFIL Deputy Force Commander (1990-1991) and Deputy Commander/Chief-of-Staff Republic of Fiji Military Forces (1991-1997). He also served with the New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS) and the British Army.
As a civil servant, he held the position of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and immigration (2000-2002) and then became Fiji’s High Commissioner to Australia and Ambassador to Singapore based in Canberra (2002-2006).
H.E Konrote was elected as the President of the Republic of Fiji on 12 October, 2015 when Parliament voted for the Head of State under Fiji’s 2013 Constitution. He also took on the additional role of Fiji’s champion in the campaign against Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs) from January, 2016.
He is married to Her Excellency Salote Konrote and they have two sons.
The outgoing Chancellor is the Prime Minister of Cook Islands, Honourable Henry Puna. The Chancellor of the University is appointed from USP’s 12 member countries in alphabetical rotation.
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