No vacancy for UPNG chancellor, says Niningi

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By Rebecca Kuku
The University of Papua New Guinea’s interim council is intact and there is no vacancy for the Chancellor’s position, according to Pila Niningi, the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology.
Niningi made this statement following the resignation of Chancellor Jeffrey Kennedy on Monday which he said was disappointing.
He told The National that since appointing Kennedy to the position in January, there had been a lot of changes seen at UPNG.
“He was instrumental in the council’s decision to stop the increase in school fees at the university after hearing the cries of the parents and students,” Niningi said.
“He was also instrumental in the renovations now being done at the Dame Mary Kekedo (DMK) dormitory.
“And he has helped bring to light and expose all the corruption and misappropriation (allegations) within the university.
“His resignation will be a great loss to the university as I for one believe that he was the one who would restore the university to its former glory.”
Niningi is confident the council would carry on the work started by Kennedy.
“We will not stop until we get to the bottom of the allegations of sexual favours and misappropriation.”
He clarified that despite Kennedy’s resignation, the chancellor’s position was not vacant.
“We have 11 council members. So with the resignation of the chancellor, the other 10 members still remain intact,” he said.
“Pro-Chancellor Dr Jerry Wemin will now become the chancellor and a new pro-chancellor will be voted on when the council meets.”
Kennedy handed in his resignation letter on Monday saying he was quitting because of the Government’s lack of confidence in his leadership.
However, Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari told The National that he was not aware of the developments.
“I do not make decisions on who becomes chancellor or vice chancellor. My job is to implement directives,” he said.

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