Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Glynn Galo has stepped down from office following heavy protest by the university students on Monday.
The peaceful protest which nearly turned violent was staged in front of the VC office for nearly five hours with the students armed with their banners demanding him to step down.
During the protest the students raised a number allegations and issues which they claimed the university management under Dr Galo’s leadership failed to address.
After fronting the students and explaining to them the situation affecting the university, around 2pm, Dr Galo humbly stepped down.
The SINU council also held a short meeting to look at the issue on Monday.
In his letter of resignation sighted by the Solomon Star Dr Galo said; “This is to formally inform you that I have decided to step down as the Vice-Chancellor for Solomon Islands National University (SINU). This is effective as of today (yesterday).”
Dr Galo in addressing the students before his resignation said he does not apply to take up the position.
He said because the students wanted him to stand down, he has agreed to follow their wish.
“In fact, they have called me to come and managed the University just for a start seeing that I have experience in managing such institutions.
“However, I will resign from this post today, (yesterday) seeing that you have demanded me to do so,” he said.
The students’ spokesperson James Lalawa said they wanted Dr Galo to step down, based on a a number of issues and allegations;
- Student modules being cut-off from the news system in place;
- Students study area declined;
- Students laboratory need to expand and improve;
- Students common hall need to expand immediately;
- Students study are lacking because of funds;
- SINU anniversary on September 2016 denied due to lack of funds;
- Need more classrooms and space at the campus;
- Need for a clinic at Kukum campus;
- A new boys dormitory to replace the current lab;
- No exams for 2016 and future to be conducted at Maranatha Hall at $7000 per day for ten days, which is a waste of money because the funds should be used for students’ welfare;
- Final exam for all students to be held within their campus classrooms;
- Maintain the students welfare (campus life) as a separate department, no changes will be made to the current department;
- Immediate removal of director-planning (Narendra Prasad) from SINU and be deported to answer allegations against him relating to official corruption with the Fiji National University
- Vice-Chancellor (VC) and Human Resource Manager (HR) must clarify the recruitment of Narendra Prasad; otherwise they have breached SINU policies and labour laws;
- VC and HR to review current PVCA appointment because most of the academic and teaching resources and services outcomes are directly related to the PVCA function; given his background, he seems incapable of performing his core duties
- IT issues also requires review of IT manager appointment; might be proper to recruit a middle age person with sufficient knowledge and skills of the current wave of information technology and innovation;
- Fill the Director Planning post locally given that we have eligible and qualified people for the post in the country;
- Lack of sufficient and relevant resources in the library;
- No transparency and accountability of funds of the University;
- Breaking of SINU contract of employment by the Vice Chancellor as clearly stated in his presentation and employing of Narendra Prasad violation of SINU employment contract;
- Short Semester for SOEHRD of eight weeks only will affect students which might result in their failure;
- No proper consultation with students over the past years on University development and planning;
- No labeling of SINU logo on expatriate lecturers’ vehicle by SINU management.
Mr Lalawa said Dr Galo failed to address these allegation and issues during his tenure since 2013.
Vice-Chancellor Academy Professor Basil Shelton Marasinghe will be the acting VC .
However the students suggested Pro Vice Chancellor (Corporate) Donald Malasa who is away is the right person to fill the position.
Students from the three campuses, Kukum, Ranadi and Panatina campus have teamed up to stage protest.
Following the announcement by Dr Galo the students expressed satisfaction with the decision and shouted “thank you Dr Glynn Galo for your wonderful decision.”
The student rep Mr Lalawa said, they are now happy with the humble decision taken by the Dr Galo to solve their issues.
“We appreciated the decision you have made in order to satisfy our long time cries. Everything is now good and we can now go home peacefully.”
Mr Lalawa told the Solomon Star they have achieved the result yesterday for a long time.
By LESLEY SANGA