Lawyer salary

USP lawyer clarifies Ahluwalia’s salary

On May 2, a letter was sent from USP’s office by attorney Jon Apted of Munro Leys about the allegations.

The University of the South Pacific has refuted claims that its vice-chancellor, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, was paid 500,000 Australian dollars (Fiji $770.53 million).

Fiji Sun had emailed Professor Ahluwalia, the USP Communications Team, Vice Chancellor Pat Walsh and USP Pro-Chancellor Dr Hilda Heine on April 22, 2022 informing them allegations and seeking their response.

None of the four people who received an email responded to questions.

On May 2, a letter was sent from USP’s office by attorney Jon Apted of Munro Leys about the allegations.

The letter stated that: “USP has not increased the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration, which remains at FJ$534,000 or A$344,389, which was agreed prior to his initial appointment of Professor Ahluwalia in 2018, and which was lower than the salary paid to his predecessor.

“While Professor Ahluwalia was in Nauru, he was paid in the AUD equivalent of his salary as that is the currency of Nauru. Now that he resides in Samoa, he is paid in Samoan Tala equivalent.

“The allegations you published on the cover page and in the article mean and have been understood to mean that USP, while struggling financially and adopting a wider range of other cost-cutting measures, has corruptly, abusively, unjustly and/or irresponsibly increased the remuneration of its Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia.

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