The Malta Independent 14 October 2019, Monday

Ministry issues, then revokes order to put university promotions on hold until new rector appointed

Neil Camilleri Saturday, 13 February 2016, 10:39 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Education Ministry this week issued instructions to the Council of the University of Malta to put all promotions, appointments and transfers of University academic and non-academic staff on hold until after the new rector is appointed, only to revoke the order a few hours later.

This paper can confirm that the instructions were sent to the 38-member council by email on Thursday but another email, informing them that the order had been revoked, was sent on Friday morning.

The University Council is currently debating the nominations for new university rector. Incumbent Juanito Camilleri’s second five-year term expires in June. The election to fill his shoes will be held on 18 March but the new rector would only take office in July, a few days after Professor Camilleri officially vacates the post.

Chemistry Professor Alfred Vella is considered to be the frontrunner in the race while Sociology Professor Godfrey Baldacchino is seen to be his main contender.

It is understood that the council members were told that all promotions, appointments and transfers would be put on hold as a sign of courtesy towards the new rector, who carries the role of principal academic and administrative officer.

The University of Malta employs more than 600 academic staff plus many others in non-academic positions. Academic promotions are approved, or rejected, during Council meetings. A source said the initial decision by the Ministry to hold off on any promotions was considered by some as being a sign of no confidence in the board, which ironically includes 15 members appointed by the Prime Minister and one member appointed by the Education Minister.

The source said the Ministry had revoked the instructions after consulting with incumbent Rector Juanito Camilleri and a few other unnamed council members.

Questions sent to the Education Ministry remained unanswered by the time of going to print.


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