You will all by now have received the message from Professor Ian Rouse advising that he is stepping down as the Acting Vice Chancellor, and going on a well-deserved leave before returning to his substantive position as Dean of College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.
The FNU Council met on Friday 23rd October and agreed to the above. The Council also agreed that affairs of the Office of the Vice Chancellor in the interim be managed by the Chancellor with the assistance of the Chairs of the Council Committees. This arrangement is until the new Vice Chancellor takes office.
The FNU Council is grateful to Prof Rouse for acceding to the request of the then Chancellor, Dr Mahendra Reddy, and stepping in as AVC. He has led us well in this role.
The process of appointing the new VC is progressing well. The appointment committee has met twice. The first round of interviews were held last Friday afternoon, and two applicants have been short-listed. They will be invited to speak to the University community, and will be interviewed a second time. We hope to make the appointment by late November/early December, but should not expect the VC to take office until early 2016.
The FNU Council wishes to thank you all for the support you have given to Prof Rouse, and looks forward to your continued support as we work together to steer FNU forward to greater heights.
Chancellor and Chair of Council
Last Friday there was a very important Council meeting for FNU.
For one thing, it was an important opportunity to reflect on where we are as a University and what needs to
be done moving into 2016 and beyond. Despite some strategic changes made this year, there are significant
challenges moving forward. To achieve Fiji’s potential as an education Hub in Fiji and the Region will require
significant forward movement. It will require all of us to assist one other and work towards the vision of making
FNU a world-class University.
As Acting Vice Chancellor, I have made a number of key changes this year – but there is a lot more to be done
if we are to improve the quality and relevance of our Teaching and Learning programs, to develop our nascent
Research and Development activities and to ensure that all students value the qualification and learning
experience at Fiji’s National University.
Another key deliberation for the Council related to the role of VC and AVC. As most of you will know I agreed
to take on the role of Acting Vice Chancellor about 10 months ago to help FNU progress through a difficult period. I didn’t think at the time that this would last for 10 months and that I would also be directly involved in
many other key positions. The AVC position has been very rewarding but extremely tiring as well.
Many people would be aware that I didn’t apply for the position of Vice Chancellor. It was never my intention
to apply for the position. My belief in this institution, the great potential it has and lovely people associated with
this institution prompted me to take up this challenging role when I was approached by the former Chancellor.
As many of you may know my key personal interest for a very long time has been on health and wellbeing
and on research and development. In both of these areas I believe that FNU can show national and regional
leadership. Of course, I also retain a strong interest in supporting and nurturing some quite remarkable students that we have in all Colleges of FNU.
I had discussed my interests with the Chancellor a number of times over the past few months. Prior to the
Council meeting I had indicated my intent to ask for a period of annual leave during November and December
after which I would initially return to my substantive position of Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and
The FNU Council has agreed to my request and I will be going on leave from next Monday, 2nd November.
The Council then had to deliberate on what will be the best way for the role of Vice Chancellor to be managed
until the new appointment has been made and the person takes up the position. I am sure that the Chancellor
will update staff very soon about what has been decided.
Can I summarize by saying that I feel privileged to have been asked to take on the role of AVC and to help FNU
through a difficult period of transition.
I remain fully committed to the Fiji National University and believe that I can make a significant contribution in
a number of senior roles in the future. But perhaps most importantly I believe that for FNU to achieve its great
potential in Fiji and the Region we will all need to work together with commitment and passion and to assist
senior management in what will be a very challenging role. I will certainly be doing my part to help and I hope
that every staff member also supports the management team at FNU.
Thank you for all your valuable support, and I urge all of you to support the new management that the Council
will put in place.