Thursday, 10 April 2008 7:06 AM

Issues Raised Over USP $2m Wages

The University of the South Pacific (USP) paid more than $2m a year in salary for eight staff and this has raised concerns.

According to the Fiji Sun, one of Fiji's daily newspapers, 'the salary packages of the four faculty deans, deputy vice-chancellor and the registrar amounts to $2,128.365.97', a figure that 'prompted a university advisory board member to call on Transparency International to look into this matter'.

The article by the Fiji Sun states that 'USP Advisory Council West member Prue Rouse said that three years ago the salary of the registrar was $90,000' and that the 'current salary scale of the executive staff of USP was not suited for a third world developing country, like Fiji'.

'"When you start getting more then $250,000 in a third world developing country, that just means that something is not right," she said'.

Ms. Rouse said that the failure of USP's management to reply to the issue 'was showing that they were trying to duck and dive through the issue' and she wondered why the international community has not taken a closer look at how the university's funds are used.

'USP Student Association president Ilifeleti Tovo said: "The burden of these extravagant salaries fall on the students. We condemn the entire salary package of all the executive staff at the university."'

The USPSA had earlier threatened a protest if the university's registrar did not resign. One of the issues raised was the recent increase in accommodation fees.
Mr. Tovo said that 'USPSA was condemning the extravagant salary scale of all the executive staff and not only the registrar'.

According to Fiji Sun 'the Pro Vice Chancellor Academic and Research are paid $247,737.55 each, Dean for the Faculty of Business Economic and Dean for the Faculty of Science and Technology are paid $274,770.38 each, Dean of Faculty of Island and Oceania gets $260,937.55 and the Dean of Faculty of Arts and Law is paid $247,737.55.
The highest a professor receives at USP is $115,000'.