Prof. Ahluwalia reappointed as USP VC, council says declining enrolment numbers and financial constraints at USP
Unions and management urged to work together in the interest of USP

Prof. Ahluwalia reappointed as USP VC, council says declining enrolment numbers and financial constraints at USP

Unions and management urged to work together in the interest of USP

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 28/11/2023
Professor Pal Ahluwalia

The University of the South Pacific Council has reappointed Professor Pal Ahluwalia as Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, and the council says it also heard from staff representatives and urged the unions and management to work collaboratively in the interest of the university.

The meeting was 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, Doctor Hilda Heine, who is away from university business. In a statement released by USP, Professor Walsh welcomed the reappointment of the Vice-Chancellor and expressed his and the Council’s endorsement of Professor Ahluwalia’s performance.

Professor Ahluwalia thanked the Council for their continued support and looks forward to serving the university and the region.

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

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

The council was updated on the finances of the university and noted the ongoing challenges USP continues to face.

The council adopted the Proposed Annual Plan for 2024 and noted the financial strategies for the coming year.

It also approved the Financial Plan for 2024 and adopted the Audited Financial Statements for the half-year ended 30th June 2023.

The council further noted the impact and risks associated with the financial challenges being faced by the university largely due to the decline in student numbers.

The management outlined its strategies for mitigating the challenges ahead.

The council also approved a report by the University Senate and instituted new programmes in Pacific TAFE.

In addition, Council endorsed a proposed 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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