The 93rd Council meeting of The University of the South Pacific concluded on Friday 20 May 2022.
The USP Council is the governing authority of the University, and usually meets twice a year to discuss the affairs of the University.
Members of the Council comprise the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, the Vice-Chancellor and President, Deputy Pro-Chancellor and Deputy Chair of Council, representatives of the twelve (12) Member-Country Governments, Australia and New Zealand Government representatives, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Secretary General, USP Senate Representatives, Staff and Student representatives and Co-opted members.
The two-day meeting was chaired by the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Dr. Hilda Heine and it was her first Council meeting as Chair. She expressed her gratitude to the Council in having the confidence in appointing her to the Office.
The Council noted reports from the Pro-Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor and President on activities undertaken since their report at the last Council meeting.
The Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia said the University was delivering its priorities successfully despite the COVID-19 and financial challenges that the University continued to face across its regional campuses.
The Council noted the report on the University’s responses to ensure the continuity of learning and teaching in a COVID-19 environment including an update on academic quality assurance and accreditation of the University.
Concerns were raised by the Council on the financial and operating risks arising out of Fiji’s withheld grant compounded by the COVID-19 economic impacts. Apart from the continued dialogue attempts with the Government of Fiji, the Council was looking at other measures to deliver its core business without compromising the quality of learning and teaching, research and student support. The Council commended the Vice-Chancellor and President and the Senior Management Team for the prudent financial measures undertaken to date despite the uncertain economic outlook and Fiji’s withheld grant.
The Council considered a report from the University Senate and instituted four (4) new programmes:
Diploma of Fisheries Investigation and Prosecution
Certificate IV in Pacific Ocean Finance
Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing and
Postgraduate Certificate in Financial Fraud Investigation
The Council received and noted the Closure Report of the USP Strategic Plan 2019 – 2021 and approved the formulation of the KPIs for the current USP Strategic Plan 2022 – 2024.
Council noted the update on the work undertaken by Management on the implementation of recommendations made in the Commission’s Report.
The Council approved the appointment of eminent persons to Council and its Committees as recommended by the Governance and Nominations Committee.
The Council approved the appointment of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education) and the Secretary to Council and Manager Council and Senate Secretariat. The Council was informed of the appointment of the Executive Director People and Workforce Strategy.
The Council approved the first of two (2) readings on the amendments to the University Statutes on staff representation to Council.
The next USP Council meeting is scheduled to be held in November 2022 in Apia, Samoa.
Council and Senate Secretariat
23 May 2022.