Cabinet has suspended the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) Vice Chancellor, Professor Fui Asofou So’o while an internal investigation is underway at the university.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic and Research, Peseta Desmond Lee Hang and Deputy Vice Chancellor for Corporate Services, Maugaoali’i Ufagalilo Fa’amanu Mualia have also been placed on special leave and are to be investigated together with the V.C.
In an interview with the Weekend Observer, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio said Cabinet has endorsed a recommendation from the N.U.S. Council for the trio.
Loau said the decision was made by Cabinet on Wednesday and is effective immediately.
He explained there are allegations against the Vice Chancellor and the Deputy Vice Chancellors which warranted an internal investigation to clear up the air.
“There is a lot of mess and they are all involved,” said the Minister.
“It began from when the results for university came out earlier this year and the dispute started from there.
“There were complaints from the public on some students that should have graduated and those that shouldn’t. So it is internal and I hope the outcome of the investigation will be out soon so we can know exactly what happened.”
Asked about the involvement of the Deputy Vice Chancellors in the matter, Loau said Peseta deals with academic and handled marks of students while Mauga deals with corporate side of things and “re-checked the marks”.
He added the Vice Chancellor is suspended so that the internal investigation is not compromised or influenced in any way.
“There are allegations that on the Vice Chancellor that he did not accept a decision from the sub-committee of the Council that dealt with the internal matter with D.V.C. (Peseta),” he said.
“Yes the Vice Chancellor agreed to settle the dispute but it ended up the room to the D.V.C. was locked so the Council acted upon that and investigated what had happened. So there are a lot of allegations and the V.C. is suspended while the other two are put on special leave.”
The N.U.S. Council met last week before the universities graduation and passed on its recommendation for Cabinet’s final decision.
Attempts to get a comment from the Vice Chancellor were unsuccessful.
The executive officer for V.C. Annette Iakopo said the Vice Chancellor is out of the office.
Asked who was acting for the university she declined to comment.
Peseta was also contacted and did not want to comment on the matter.
It was not possible to get a comment from D.V.C. for Corporate, Maugaoali’i.