Unless people show more spirit, is this goodbye PNG, hello Africa?
Schram fightback: ‘No presumption of innocence; biased process’

Backlash to Schram dismissal grows as documents emerge

Schram thesis
The verification of Dr Schram's PhD award is on the internet - one allegation against him is that he has not produced his credentials

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The dismissal of Dr Albert Schram from his vice-chancellor’s position at the University of Technology has resulted in a backlash from Papua New Guineans who believe he has been treated unjustly.

And it has also led to the publication of documents that appear to vindicate his argument that the claims against him are exaggerated.

In PNG Attitude on Sunday there were conflicting accounts of the reasons for his termination presented by Dr Schram and the Unitech Council.

A Council meeting last Thursday decided to dismiss the vice-chancellor and gave him just seven days to settle his affairs at the Lae campus.

The controversy has led to a flood of comment to PNG Attitude as readers engage with both sides of the controversy.

Some people have been shocked by the allegations against Dr Schram while others believe he has been subjected to a ‘kangaroo court’ which has distorted the evidence against him.

One of these is notable Papua New Guinean writer and commentator Martyn Namorong, who has published a copy of Dr Schram’s PhD credentials on social media.

The first allegation against the dismissed vice-chancellor was that he had not provided “verified academic credentials”, so the revelation of the transcript of his credentials from an independent source is a serious blow to the allegations against him.

“Despite the defamatory statements made by the Unitech Council against Schram, the evidence supports him,” Mr Namorong said. “All the Unitech Council had to do was Google the evidence.”

The transcript shows that Dr Schram completed a PhD at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, in 1994, where it was examined and passed by five credentialled examiners.

Dr Schram went on to publish his thesis with Cambridge University Press in 2007.

In relation to the financial management allegations levelled at Dr Schram, Mr Namorong pointed out that in 2017 alone, he saved Unitech's budget K2.7 million.

And on his overseas trips, Dr Schram facilitated and signed 23 international partnership agreements for the benefit of Unitech.

“You draw your own conclusions (other than those alleged by Unitech Council) as to why a great administrator such as Schram would be removed,” Mr Namorong concluded.

Comments

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Albert Schram

Indeed it is confusing. The Council bases its case on one big lie about my doctorate, and now has to tell many other little ones to hide its mistake.

Two key facts to focus on:

1 - A good annual performance review a bit more than one year ago. None of today's allegations - which go back to 2014 - were mentioned at that review.

2 - Key evidence - my certified doctorate - disappeared from my personnel file and was ignored by Council when I presented it.

When things do not make sense in PNG, there are other forces at play. This has little to do with my performance as the Vice-Chancellor of Unitech.

Martyn Awayang Namorong

Well the fact that Unitech's first ground (academic credentials) for dismissing Schram holds no water brings into question whether the remainder have any weight.

Philip Fitzpatrick

This is all very confusing.

People everywhere seem to be firing from the hip.

Perhaps an unbiased and independent assessment needs to be made into it all.

But where do you find an independent and unbiased opinion in PNG these days?

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