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Papua New Guinea

New revamped UPNG interim council

THE University of Papua New Guinea council has been revamped in a fresh move to instill accountability and return a culture of integrity.

The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Pila Niningi yesterday announced a 10-member interim council which would serve the premier university for 12 months.

While Mr Niningi failed to announce a new vice-chancellor, he said however, there would be an acting appointment “when announced”.

“In drawing the members together, I have given careful attention to ensuring an appropriate skills mix for sound governance of a major public university,” he said.

“There are lawyers, accountants, auditors, experts in governance, human resources and business, and senior academics.

“Members have been selected based on their expertise and their independence of previous involvement in UPNG governance or management.”

He said that staff members and student representatives of UPNG may attend council meetings by invitation to raise issues over governance and sound management. Such issues would be listened to and investigated.

“I am confident the Interim council will help to set the University of Papua New Guinea in the right direction. It will act to restore accountability and a culture of integrity at the university. This is needed now to improve the university’s reputation as a premier tertiary institution.”

Last month, the PNG Trade Union Congress expressed concerns about the governance process at the university.

PNGTUC president John Paska said reports coming out of the university painted a very disturbing picture which gave cause for alarm over administrative anomalies which were apparently being swept under the carpet because people were either too apprehensive to expose them or too comfortable to care.

UPNG Interim Council Members

1. Mr Jeffrey Dean Kennedy, chancellor. Mr Kennedy is a practicing lawyer with over 10-years’ experience. He is a successful businessman and entrepreneur.

2. Mr Jerry Wemin, pro-chancellor. Mr Wemin, who holds a Master’s degree, is a professional company director. He has extensive business experience, including expertise in human resources management. He has been acting pro-chancellor at UPNG and chaired the university’s audit committee and finance committee.

3. Acting vice-chancellor (ex officio), when appointed

4. Dr John Kuwimb. Dr Kuwimb is a lawyer with extensive senior experience in policy advising, commercial law and public law. He has a PhD in the political economy of law and development.

5. Ms Theresia Bob. Ms Bob is a CPA and a highly experienced financial auditor. She provides external company audit and accounting services to a wide range of companies and organisations in PNG.

6. Ms Rosa Teria. Ms Teria has been assistant governor at Bank of PNG and is currently investment manager at the PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd. She has extensive expertise in governance and finance.

7. Mr Sinton Spence, MBE. Mr Spence is a chartered accountant and owner of a PNG chartered accounting firm providing advice and assistance to foreign and national companies. He is an experienced company secretary.

8. Emeritus Professor Terry Evans. Professor Evans is Emeritus Professor at Deakin University in Australia, with experience in leading projects in Papua New Guinea. He is an acknowledged expert in research higher degree studies and research education.

9. Dr Vernon Crew. Dr Crew is an Australian-based education consultant specialising in tertiary education leadership and management. He has extensive senior experience in higher education internationalisation and English language proficiency. He is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the LH Martin Institute for tertiary education management and leadership at the University of Melbourne.

10. Dr Paul Gadek. Dr Gadek, an economic development and governance consultant, is Adjunct Professor at Central Queensland University in Australia. He was previously professor and chair of the academic board at James Cook University. He has extensive experience in university governance and leadership.

Mr Niningi said that further appointments to the UPNG interim council may be made if required.

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