Minister says new N.U.S. Vice Chancellor to be named soon

The National University of Samoa will soon appoint a new Vice Chancellor, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio said.

The position, previously occupied by Professor Fui Asofou So’o, was advertised after his resignation in June. 

Minister Loau said a recommendation for a new Vice Chancellor should be made this week and a new Vice Chancellor would be named soon.

“Interviews were done this week and I am expecting the recommendation by this week,” said Loau. 

He added there were more than five applicants for the position, including from current staff members at the university. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic and Research, Peseta Dr. Desmond Lee Hang has returned to work. 

Peseta was placed on special leave with another Vice Chancellor, Maugaoali’I Ufagalilo Mualia, in April pending an investigation ordered  by Cabinet into the affairs of the National University. 

The position of Vice Chancellor for Corporate Services has since been dissolved following the investigation in April. 

According to Loau, the decision to dissolve the position was based on a recommendation from the N.U.S. Council due to duplication of responsibility between the roles. 

The Ombudsman’s Office investigation report titled “Power Struggle at the N.U.S.” revealed how a grade-tampering investigation disguised as an academic research caused conflict at the university. 

According to the Ombudsman's report, conflict began to emerge when Peseta was asked to resign by the former Vice Chancellor, who said he could not trust nor work with his deputy.

Peseta declined to act on the instruction. He instead wrote to the N.U.S. Council, protesting what he described it as an unfair treatment and unlawful dismissal. 

Since then, the Vice Chancellor's job description was reviewed by the N.U.S. Council.

One of the changes made to the powers of Vice Chancellor was limiting his or her powers to hire and fire staff. 

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