Minister hopes Council can solve “mess at university”

The future of the Deputy Vice Chancellor at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.), Peseta Desmond Lee Hang, is being discussed at the University’s Council meeting this week.

This was confirmed by the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.), Loau Keneti Sio, who said the discussion about Peseta’s future is the result of an internal dispute at the university.

“It was brought to my attention and it is basically their own mess at the university,” Loau told the Samoa Observer.

“They are meeting today (Wednesday) and should come up with a resolution to solve it.”

The Minister said he was told the Vice Chancellor had asked the Deputy Vice Chancellor to resign.

“I don’t know what the grounds are for the decision from the Vice Chancellor but the decision is being contested by the Deputy Vice Chancellor.

“So it started from there and it has been referred to the Council which called a special committee to investigate what is happening.”

The two-day Council meeting started Wednesday. 

Contacted for a comment about his future with the University, Peseta responded: “It will be known after the Council meeting this week.”

He declined to elaborate.

Repeated attempts to get a comment from the Vice Chancellor, Professor Fui Leapai Asofou So’o, were unsuccessful. The Executive Officer to the Vice Chancellor, Anetta Iakopo, told the Samoa Observer the Vice Chancellor was not taking any appointments for the whole week due to his busy scheduled.

Pro-Chancellor and Chairperson of the Council, A’eau Chris Hazelman, said he could not divulge any details until the Council meets. He added that there are a lot of issues on the agenda for the Council meeting.

But according to Minister Loau, the Council has been given the opportunity to solve the issue before Cabinet steps in.

“I hope they come up with a solution to it otherwise if it reaches Cabinet, we will do our own decision regardless,” he said.

Loau said he is hopeful the Council would find a solution so that the situation does not affect the delivery of programmes at the University.

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