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Big week for the fraud squad: Now Vudal vice chancellor goes


THE Department of Higher Education has announced a new vice chancellor for the University of Natural Resource and Environment (UNRE) at Vudal near Rabaul.

Professor John Warren will head the university, following the endorsement of appointment by the Papua New Guinean Cabinet.

This follows the termination of Professor Philip Siaguru (pictured) as vice chancellor to enable investigations into allegations of mismanagement of funds.

UNRE pro vice chancellor George Bopi said the terminated vice chancellor has been referred to the fraud squad.

Mr Bopi said the investigation was a result of 10 allegations made by Rabaul MP, Dr Allan Marat, at a recent sitting of parliament.

“Of the 10 allegations, two have a lot of incriminating evidence of material that is beyond the council’s ability to deal with,” Mr Bopi said.

“There was a breach of contract by the former vice chancellor, Philip Siaguru.”

Higher Education Minister Malakai Tabar said the university has handed over all documents to the fraud squad.

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

New vice chancellor Professor John Warren is from Aberystwyth University in Wales, where he was Professor of Botany.

Prof Warren has had over 30 years of extensive applied research and teaching experience.


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Peter Kranz

I can't comment on the good Mr Siaguru's case, as I used to work with his son (who was a friend). But the academic dress he is wearing is worthy of comment.

Uni bilas is a subject of some controversy. Apparently there is a convention that the design should be approved by some international academic dress council in the UK which oversees such standards.

But with new Unis sprouting like anything some ten years ago in PNG it became a free-for-all and some thought they could design their own which caused much tut-tutting in establishment circles.

I attended a few grad ceremonies at UPNG in my time but couldn't find locally a uniform appropriate to my qualifications, so I hired the standard UPNG grad bilas and wore that with pride.

King's would be outraged!

So am I now a graduate of UPNG or am I imposter? I don't know which is the best or funniest.

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