This was confirmed by UPNG’s National Academic Staff Association today.
Members of NASA have set the record straight following an article claiming that members of the interim council have been sidelined.
The interim council, comprising of acting vice chancellor Dr Kenneth Sumbuk, chancellor Jeffrey Kennedy and pro-chancellor Jerry Wemin, remains in power until the National Executive Council endorses new appointees.
And as per the prime minister's letter to the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Pila Niningi, a new council will have to be appointed by NEC following a submission from his ministry comprising “candidates with relevant experience and appropriate credentials”.
Pending the endorsement of UPNG’s duly-appointed vice chancellor, the staff of UPNG have appealed to the Prime Minister and Minister responsible to ensure that the interim council refrains from causing further instability to staff and the operations of the university.
“To refrain from issuing further notices or threats or intimidation to members of the university community, be it by way of notices, suspension or termination. I would like to appeal that that stops from now on,” said acting NASA president, Mark Kia.
NASA working committee member, Dr Linus Digim’Rina, outlined that yesterday’s meeting with the minister was also a reconciliatory event that involved the giving of gifts, handshakes and embraces.
“So the parties agreed to go forward smoothly, recognising the importance of the institution’s integrity,” said Dr Digim’Rina.
“So any other moves that might be seen to sabotage these commitments, I think that should not happen. Maturity is called for, common sense is called for, and professional approach is called for.”
Yesterday the staff of UPNG surprised the Minister when they presented him a pig, describing it as “the Melanesian Way” of putting their differences aside and working towards the common goal of building a better future for UPNG.
(Acting NASA president, Mark Kia, with Minister Pila Niningi)