By ELIZABETH VUVU
THE acting secretary to the Prime Minister’s Department and National Executive Council Margaret Elias was made PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) first pro-chancellor.
Ms Elias’ appointment is also notable as she is the first woman to hold such a position after Dame Rose Kekedo (deceased) who was the chancellor of UPNG.
The university council made the appointment at its 43rd meeting in Kavieng, New Ireland province, last November and officially announced at the university’s fisheries and marine resources graduation the next day.
The appointment came as a surprise to Ms Elias, who had attended the meeting as an ordinary member of the council.
She said it would be a major challenge as UNRE was in a development phase.
“I am excited with the university’s expansion plans and looked forward to working together as a team with other council members and management to realise the UNRE’s mission is in line with Vision 2050 as the Government’s intention is to strengthen natural resources as the stable sector within our economic progress,” she said.
An area that is a cause of concern for Ms Elias is UNRE’s limited budget.
“Funds allocated to UNRE are insufficient to achieve Vision 2050’s expectations.
“There is a need for us to organise ourselves internally to help ourselves find ways to generate funds internally to assist UNRE,” she said.
She said as the university vested in natural resources harvest and management, it had great potential.
Ms Elias said a matter of great concern for her now was to build a modern library for UNRE to help further professional training for students who would steer Vision 2050 in the future.