USP Council reappoints Prof Pal for another term

The 96th USP Council Meeting concluded on Tuesday with Professor Pal Ahluwalia being reappointed for another term as Vice-Chancellor and President. Image: USP MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS


The two-day University of the South Pacific Council’s 96th meeting session ended today with the reappointment of Professor Pal Ahluwalia as Vice-Chancellor and President.

Chaired by the Acting Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council and Government of New Zealand representative, Emeritus Professor Pat Walsh, in place of the Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Honourable Dr Hilda Heine, the Council received updates on the finances of the University and noted the ongoing challenges the institute continued to face.

Professor Pal Ahluwalia was reappointed as Vice-Chancellor and President of USP. Image: USP

Professor Walsh welcomed the reappointment of the Vice-Chancellor and expressed his and Council’s endorsement of Professor Ahluwalia’s performance. Professor Ahluwalia thanked Council for their continued support and looks forward to serving the University and the region.

The Council also heard from staff representatives and urged the unions and management to work collaboratively in the interest of the University.

USP staff during a silent protest outside the Council meeting. Image: Association of the University of the South Pacific Staff

During the meeting the Council adopted the Proposed Annual Plan for 2024 while noting the financial strategies for the coming year and approved the Financial Plan for 2024 and adopted the Audited Financial Statements for the half-year ended 30 June 2023.

The impact and risks associated with the financial challenges being faced by the University, largely because of the decline in student numbers, were also noted by the Council with the management outlining its strategies for mitigating the challenges ahead.

Prof Ahluwalia thanked the Council for their continued support and looks forward to serving the University and the region.

Meanwhile reports from the Pro-Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor and President on activities undertaken since their last report to Council were also noted by the Council.

The Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia said the University was delivering its priorities successfully against the backdrop of declining enrolment numbers and financial constraints.

Council approved a report by the University Senate and instituted new programs in Pacific TAFE. In addition, Council endorsed a proposed a scoping study to establish a Pacific Centre of Excellence for Deep Ocean Science and a report will be presented at the next Council meeting to be held in Vanuatu in 2024.

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