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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 11, 2000 - The National/PINA Nius Online)---The University of Papua New Guinea has a new Vice Chancellor, Chancellor Dame Rose Kekedo announced.

He is Professor Les Eastcott, who is presently Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Newcastle and Director of the university's Central Coast Campus located at Ourimbah, New South Wales, Australia.

The appointment comes more than a year after the departure of former vice chancellor Dr. Rodney Hills.

The University to date has been led in an acting capacity by Dr. Cecelia Nembou (up to December 31 last year) and Dr. John Luluaki, who is serving until Prof. Eastcott takes over.

"Professor Eastcott has informed the Council of his acceptance of the appointment and is taking up the post effective from October 16, 2000," Dame Rose said in a statement.

"The new Vice Chancellor is not a new person to PNG nor new to the education system of the country.

"He is a professional tertiary education administrator and has spent time in the country in the past.

"He used to train teachers for PNG and has spent considerable time in Milne Bay province supervising trainee teachers."

Prof. Eastcott has had substantial experience in the management of change and strategic planning, especially in relation to the restructuring of institutions.

He is also well versed in the development of new campuses and educational programs.

The appointment of Prof. Eastcott in the wake of the sweeping changes wrought by the restructuring of the university paves a way for a new beginning, Dame Rose said.

"I ask all members of the university community - both young and old, academic and non-academic - to support the new Vice Chancellor in running the institution to continue serving the students, people and the government of PNG."

Said Prof. Eastcott of his appointment: "I bring an open mind to this new and exciting venture for me, which represents a very important part of my professional life.

"It is my intention to do my very best for UPNG.

"I am a professional tertiary administrator whose behavior will be governed only by decisions of what is best for the University and the nation.

"And I expect these decisions to be based solely on substantiated fact rather than on opinions and ideologies."

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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