NASA backs students

National, Normal


THE National Academic Staff Association (NASA) at the University of Goroka yesterday signed a petition to demand administrators of the University to step aside.
The petition was signed by 42 academic staff in a meeting yesterday when Director General of Higher Education Dr William Tagis was present at the University.
NASA president at UOG Martin Waure and treasurer Yuak Tau said all 37 financial members of NASA signed while others who were non-financial members paid up to be recognised as financial members to give legal effect to their signatures on the petition.
The academic staff members said they held grave concerns about the academic programmes at the university, and want the administrators should step aside to allow investigations to proceed.
Dr Tagis told NASA members during a meeting with them yesterday that Higher Education Minister Michael Ogio and himself had no powers to appoint a university council or sideline administration.
NASA members presented their petition to Vice-Chancellor Dr Gairo Onagi and Pro Vice-Chancellors Dr James Yoko (administration) and Associate Prof Michael Mel (academic).
They warned that they would resign en-masse if their petition was ignored.
The action by the academics come as a boycott of classes by students enter the third week.
The students are protesting over alleged maladministration by an interim university council established several years ago. They want a permanent council established and an investigation launched into the activities of the council.
The UOG administration had successfully applied to the National Court to order them back to classes, but they have refused and are challenging this court order.
With the national staff now joining in, the future of the academic year at this university looks very bleak.
Some lecturers have already indicated their intentions to leave the university.