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NOUMEA, New Caledonia (April 27, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---The University of New Caledonia, one year after its official establishment, is to elect its first Chancellor on May 10, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reports.

Last June, what was then known as the Université Française du Pacifique with one branch in New Caledonia and another one in French Polynesia became the Université de Nouvelle-Calédonie in New Caledonia and the Université de Polynésie in French Polynesia.

Paul de Dekker was then appointed interim administrator.

De Dekker, a former anthropology professor, who is now one of the two candidates, had at the time to draft a constitution and form a board of directors for the newly-established institution.

The other candidate, Claudet Chauvet, is also a scholar, a biology professor in charge of the university's marine biology lab.

Now that the board has been formed and the constitution adopted, the provisional management arrangement has become obsolete and a chairman/chancellor is required to take the lead, the University said in an announcement.

Both candidates, in statements published in Les Nouvelles, said in spite of its small size the University of New Caledonia, which is still under the authority of the French education ministry, had the potential to provide quality tertiary education.

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