NOOSA – It was a brief response from Albert Schram that I received last night: “Thank you for your support. This has gone beyond facts, logic or truth.”
Now, as regular readers of PNG Attitude will know, Professor Schram is vice-chancellor of the University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea.
In 2013, as he tried to revitalise an ailing institution, Schram was booted out of the country because he’d discovered a nest of vipers in his own institution and in PNG’s higher education sector.
But sanity eventually prevailed and in 2014, to the delight of Unitech staff and students, he was allowed to return to PNG and to his post.
He received the homecoming of a hero.
And now, as his institution rebuilds and begins to make real progress, it is all happening again.
I must admit I don’t fully understand the background to the most recent moves against Dr Schram. But here, in his own words, is what he says just happened and why.
“The reasons stated in the forum for my dismissal were:
“1 - Failure to present credentials. This is untrue. I presented the proof to the Registrar who destroyed it.
“2 - Travelling six months a year. This is true. Two months leave and four months travel. I’ve done that each year since 2014 to restore the reputation of Unitech. And why was this not an issue at my performance review of 26 August 2016?
“3 - Not acquitting costs. This untrue. I have copy of all expense records since 2014 on Expensify [https://t.co/G31TBStjXh]. How did we get a clean audit report if funds were not acquitted?
“The case against me is weak. It is an insult to people's intelligence to give baseless reasons for dismissal.
“I have not been served the termination letter yet. It is a sad day for the University.”
Now I'm sure there’s a lot more to this story which I feel certain will emerge over coming days.
Meanwhile, it seems like rough justice.
You can learn more about the challenges facing Unitech and how Dr Schram has been addressing them here.
Dr Schram also publishes a blog, although there have been no new posts since November last year.