By SHAILENDRA SINGH
Shailendra Singh decided just 2 weeks before semester to apply for 6 months more leave to complete his PhD:
This is incorrect. I applied for an extension on January 16, 2014, a month before classes started on February 17. At the Dean's request, I nominated a competent former local journalist with the requisite qualifications to fill in for me. If, after this ample notice, there was still no suitable appointment made, it is a matter for the Journalism Program and the School to sort out.
There were no anomalies with my study leave extension application, as insinuated. Universities routinely grant such requests. USP HR prioritised the completion of my PhD over short-term teaching commitments that could be filled by relief staff. For USP, regional staff attaining PhDs is crucial for staff development and program sustainability.
Anyone in a leadership position at USP should have the foresight to understand this strategy, which aims to build regional capacity. It is regrettable that Dr Weber, as the head of journalism, did not support this fundamental institutional vision in which USP invests considerable time and money.
By the same token, why, remove all local teaching staff, such as Irene Manueli, at such a crucial time? Is eroding the local base we tried to establish the proper way to 'rebuild' the program?
Dr Weber states that the extension of my study leave was the 'main cause' of his concern. In the same breath, he states: 'I have no issues with that application'. He displays similar insincerity when he prattles on about 'duty of care' to students and 'ethics', even after abandoning his post at the most critical time – at the start of the semester.
Favouritism was prevalent under Shailendra Singh's watch as the programme's head in the granting of waivers.
This is also untrue. As head of journalism, Dr Weber should have read the USP Calendar. Course coordinators have the discretionary authority to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis in accordance with laid down procedures. This includes cross-credits granted to selected industry people undertaking the program.
It's clear from Dr Weber's own account that he lost control of the program. It is not my fault if the journalism program became emasculated during my absence.
Contrary to insinuations, USP Journalism was at one time quite stable, sustainable, and functional. Despite resource constraints, we tackled many contingencies without complaining, blaming others, or bringing the program to its knees. (The recent death of Wansolwara is truly tragic). If USP Journalism has never been in such a bad shape as it is now, then surely some of the problems are self-inflicted?
These are my views, and not necessarily the views of my employer, USP. "
"The main cause of my concern emerged when the former head of the department Shailendra Singh decided just 2 weeks before semester to apply (and be granted) 6 months more leave to complete his PhD. I have no issues with that application, but he had stated that he would return and all planning for the department for the semester was based on that. Without any consultation with the department as to how we would cope with this sudden about face, he was granted leave under the direction of HR." Dr Ian Webber
READ Webber's claims:
STOP PRESS: Dr Weber heads out revolving door at USP Journalism, citing favouritism, lack of consultation, unethical pressure on him - his former predecessor Shailendra Singh in line of fire over study leave!
WEB er LIES: USP ex-Head of Journalism on study leave refutes Weber! Shailendra Singh puts the record straight of his decision to finish PhD
Click below to read David Robie:
23/2/2014 10:28:48 am
Vinaka Victor Lal for putting the record straight via our much liked Shailendra Singh. We look forward to having our "Dr" back in the future. Yes, power to the locals!
Journalism Student Two
23/2/2014 10:34:29 am
The USP Journalism Horror Show
23/2/2014 01:55:46 pm
I have been following the USP journalism horror story on facebook and fijileaks. Big questions: why was money for the broadcasting lecturer taken away from budget? Why was someone unqualified for teaching journalism appointed? Who is responsible? How did USP allow this? Dr Ian Weber is blaming Sudesh Mishra.
23/2/2014 04:34:09 pm
Fiji leaks I have always been a huge fan. Can you do us a favour and look into rumors of Ian Weber sleeping with a student?
Former Journalism Student
23/2/2014 10:25:25 pm
I remember when the Wansolwara was a semesterly paper. Granted, it was not released as often as the more recent monthly, but it was a LOT more fulfilling to read.
25/2/2014 12:01:57 am
"USP Journalism has never been in such a bad shape as it is now." If true, it's very damning on Ian Weber and Sudesh Mishra.
25/2/2014 04:18:51 am
Ian was always there for money. When he couldn't get enough he disappeared. Sudesh is a nobody who has never done any good anywhere. Rumor is he has made mess everywhere he was. He has fought with everyone he was. So the mess he makes at usp is not new. Yet usp keeps him even after numerous cases against him. Wonder what hold he has over the vc that he is never disciplined.
25/2/2014 03:48:40 pm
Its a great thing for USP that Ian Weber has FINALLY left. He - if I don't say so myself was the one person who brought the the entire programme to the ground. Reflecting no professionalism whatsoever and openly passing degrading comments about teaching assistant Irene Manueli (who by the way was the heart of Wansolwara) to students saying such things as "don't ask her for anything she has no qualification" on top of that he put unnecessay stress on students causing the newspaper to FAIL. Think about it- the paper has been running successfully until HE came.
26/2/2014 04:44:37 pm
@ Jn student
26/2/2014 06:45:48 pm
Isn't it obvious.irene is a Pacific Islander so people like I an and Sudesh will never appreciate or acknowledge that.had it been incompetent whites like those in that all white superior school, it would be ok.
27/2/2014 12:52:34 am
27/2/2014 12:20:20 pm
From what I can read from all blogs on this issue, it seems there are but all are disrespected,harassed and bullied by the hos. They have no where else to go so suffer in silence.The same isn't the case for white ones that Sudesh has brought there. The white ones soon leave after making a mess.
27/2/2014 03:20:35 pm
The Sardhar of USP
27/2/2014 07:00:20 pm
Well, Sudesh Mishra has beome legendary in our school and at USP for his largess towards white academics. He is the Sardhar of USP. The good professor has successfully re-colonised the school of literature and language.
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