An Autonomous French University

Placed under the supervision of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the governance of the University of New Caledonia (UNC) relies on strong democratic participation from the university community.
The UNC follows the statutory changes that occur within the national framework. Thus, its statutes stem from Law No. 2013-660 of July 22, 2013 relating to higher education and research (ESR) known as the Fioraso Law. This law encourages the concept of site policy and is aimed at strengthening regional collaborations. The reform also advocates a return to more shared governance, a restructuring of the councils with two deliberative assemblies, a limitation of the majority for the election of members of the board of directors (‘Conseil d’administration’ – CA) and the introduction of parity.
The UNC has a unique constitutional legitimacy stemming from the Noumea Agreement which states that the University of New Caledonia “must meet the training and research needs specific to New Caledonia” (2nd § article 4.1 .1).

Decision-Making Bodies

The university is self-administering through the elected structures with which it is endowed. Led by a President (professor-researcher elected to the Board of Directors for a four-year term renewable once), its governance relies on several boards and commissions, four of which have deliberative powers. The president of the UNC is assisted by vice-presidents and is supported by a Directorate-General, the presidents of commissions, the directors of services and departments (administration) as well as a group of project managers from the different sectors of activity (student life, equality and fight against discrimination, digital teaching methods, etc.).

The main deliberative bodies for the University are the Board of Directors, the Academic Council, the Research Commission and the Commission for Education and University Life. Each of these is made up mostly of elected members from within the university community.

The President of the University

Catherine Ris, qui était jusque-là vice-présidente du conseil d’administration de l’UNC en charge des partenariats, est professeure d’économie à l’Université de la Nouvelle-Calédonie. Après un doctorat à l’Université de Lyon (France), elle a réalisé son post-doctorat au Research Center for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) à l’Université de Maastricht (Pays-Bas). Elle est titulaire d’une HDR – Habilitation à diriger des recherches – de l’Université de Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée.

Elle a été recrutée à l’UNC en 2003, où elle a successivement exercé des fonctions de responsabilité et de direction de formations, de département, de laboratoire de recherche (au Laboratoire de Recherches Juridique et Économique). Elle a réintégré l’UNC en 2014 après un an passé au sein du Centre for Development Studies de l’Université d’Auckland (Nouvelle-Zélande).

From 2000 to 2002, he was also Educational Manager of the AES DEUG course (Economic and Social Administration Degree), before becoming Head of Studies and then Director of the Department of Law, Economics and Management (2003-2006). From 2005 to 2008, Gaël Lagadec was Educational Manager of the L1 of the Economics-Management Degree, then, from 2006 to 2008, Deputy Director of the Law, Economics and Management Department and Chairman of the Finance Committee.

At the same time, he held positions of administrative responsibility within the UNC, being an elected member of the scientific council (2004-2009). He has been co-editor of the UNC defence briefs in contentious procedures since 2007. From 2009 to 2013, Gaël Lagadec was an elected member of the Board of Directors, project manager within the four-year contract and member of the disciplinary section.
His main teaching pertains to microeconomics, public economics and the economics of public decisions.