UNRE Vice Chancellor Saga


By Merilyn Diau-Katam – EMTVNews, Port Moresby

The Department of Higher National News Research, Science and Technology has announced a new Vice Chancellor for the University of Natural Resource and Environment (UNRE).

Professor John Warren will head the university, following the endorsement of appointment by the National Executive Council (NEC).

This follows the termination of Professor Philip Siaguru as Vice Chancellor to allow for investigations into allegations of mismanagement of funds to take place.

The UNRE Council Pro Vice Chancellor, George Bopi, said the referral of the terminated Vice Chancellor is being referred to the fraud squad, which has taken almost a year due to the nature of issues surrounding it.

Bopi said the investigation is a result of allegations made by Rabaul MP, Dr. Allan Marat, at a recent parliament seating.

A total of 10 allegations were made.

“Of the 10 allegations, two have a lot of incriminating evidence of material that is beyond the councils ability to deal with. There was a breach of contract by the former Vice Chancellor, Philip Siaguru,” Bopi said

Higher National News, Research, Science and Technology Minister, Malakai Tabar, said it has come to the stage where the university is handing over all documen’s to the fraud squad.

“I believe the work of the fraud squad will take it on from us and effectively finalise this and put it through the court system,” said Tabar.

Meanwhile, the appointment by the interim council Vice Chancellor Professor John Warren is from Aberystwyth University in Wales, United Kingdom.

The change was made through the Higher National News Provisions Act 2014, where the office of Higher National News has the upper hand to intervene with tertiary levels when there is mismanagement and university concern.

This Act was also put into action back in 2015 when they intervened during the University of Goroka student protest that turned violent.

Professor Warren is a Professor of Botany and has over 30 years of extensive applied research and teaching experience.

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