The academic staff admitted that they want to see change in UPNG, and thanked the Minister for his intervention.
While the staff welcomed Minister Pila Niningi’s efforts in establishing good governance within the university, they did not applaud his intention to retain the interim chancellor, Jeffrey Kennedy, who is a lawyer by profession.
“He’s a young man, he’s a successful businessman and I believe that he will get the university back on course,” said Niningi. This statement evoked loud expressions of disapproval from around the Drill Hall.
“The council I appointed was three professors from different universities in Australia, one chartered accountant and one businessman.”
NASA says “serious speculations and allegations” are swirling around Kennedy, and his attachment to the university may seriously harm its reputation and standing, both within the country and abroad.
On the other hand, Niningi believes Kennedy, who is a real estate entrepreneur, will drive the much-needed change at UPNG, especially when it comes to staff accommodation.
“Your staff don’t have houses, your staff are not looked after,” stated the Minister.
“One of the things that I as the minister is responsible for, is to take care of staff housing.
“All the other public servants have houses.
“This must start somewhere.”
However, the opportunity has been given to staff to suggest viable candidates for the chancellor’s post.
(Staff gathering at the Drill Hall yesterday)