The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) newly re-appointed Vice-Chancellor and President (VC&P), Professor Pal Ahluwalia, looks forward to instilling stability and ensuring that the University adheres to principles of good governance.
He resumed office on Monday, 9 August, 2021 for an initial 3-year term. He is currently based at the Nauru Campus awaiting travel to Samoa. Professor Ahluwalia thanked God, the President of Nauru, the Government of Nauru, the USP Council and staff and students for their unwavering support for him and his wife during the last few months.
Professor Ahluwalia was re-appointed to this position by the USP Council who agreed to offer him a new contract following its meeting on 2 June, 2021.
“It has been a challenging time for the University, but I’m proud to have a team that has been vigorous in managing the University and ensuring that our students and staff interests remain paramount. They’ve done great work during my absence,” Professor Ahluwalia said.
His plans and vision remain unchanged and he will continue to steer the University to become a world-class institution through ‘Shaping Pacific Futures’.
“USP is deeply connected to the Pacific, its communities, alumni, staff, and students, and I look forward to forging stronger relationships with everyone. With everyone’s support and building on the University’s mission and values, we can lift this University to become among the best in the world. Having been based in Nauru for the past six months, I have had first-hand experience of regional campuses and am better positioned than ever to elevate the standards of our regional campuses” Professor Ahluwalia added.
Professor Ahluwalia and his wife, Ms Sandy Price have been in Nauru awaiting confirmation of his employment contract. He relays his appreciation to the Nauru Government and the President of Nauru, His Excellency Honourable Lionel Aingimea.
“Nauru has been wonderful, and I’m thankful for the hospitality rendered to both of us during our stay by the Government, the President of Nauru and our USP staff. We will always be grateful for their support during our time here,” he said.
USP’s Student Council Interim Chair and President, Mr. Lepani Naqarase said the Association and its members are delighted that Professor Ahluwalia has resumed duties as the University’s VC&P.
“Professor Ahluwalia has our full support, and we will continue working with him and his Senior Management Team towards the common and shared future of USP driving the University towards excellence for the betterment of our Pacific people’.
Association of USP Staff President Ms Elizabeth Fong said that the Association is delighted that Professor Ahluwalia has rejoined the University.
“The Association acknowledges the USP Council for standing strong and united in its decision that Professor Ahluwalia was the best from a group of internationally recognised applicants for the position; that he deserves the opportunity to lead and serve our regional institution,” she said.
“The University needs strong leadership that lives and breathes good governance, and we believe that Professor Ahluwalia, with his SMT and the support of staff and students, will take the University through these challenging times.”
USP Samoa Campus Director, Dr Fanaafi Aiono-Le Tagaloa said the Campus is pleased to host Professor Ahluwalia and his wife, Ms. Sandy Price.
“Samoa Campus is ready to serve our wider USP Family and to work with Professor Ahluwalia in any way we can.”
Before joining the University, Professor Ahluwalia held senior leadership positions at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom and the University of South Australia.
He has a PhD in Politics from Flinders University in South Australia and a Master and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.