Dr Michael Partis
Acting Head, Division of Agriculture & Science
March 2 1992
Dear Dr Partis / Mike
Now that the Academic Review of the Department of Archaology has reached its apotheosis in the acceptance of the Panel's report by the Planning and Resources Committee, I take it that the Review Panel formally no longer exists. I am therefore writing to you as a private individual.
Despite the fact that the Vice Chancellor had announced that Professor Bowdler was to stand down for the time being from the Headship of the department of Archaeology, she was present at your last Divisional Heads of Department meeting, I gather at your invitation.
Having met you and enjoyed your company on a number of occasions I regret having to risk prejudicing our acquaintance. However, even after having deliberately taken several days to consider the matter, I feel bound to tell you that your actions in regard to Professor Bowdler seems to me to reflect astonishingly poor judgement on your part.
You knew how sensitive the position was. You knew that the University had to be seen to be taking seriously the allegations that have been made. You knew that your own position, as a close personal friend of Professor Bowdler, required an especially delicate touch in the circumstances in order that you should be seen to be scrupulously impartial. You knew that any hint of a whitewash had to be avoided. And yet you appear to have invited Professor Bowdler to continue to act as Head of Department in all but name.
You surely must have appreciated how cynical this action would appear to anyone viewing the situation from outside. If you did not realise this, then I would be astounded; if you did realise it yet still chose to proceed, then I would be very sad.
Like most of us, I have had more than enough of this business. I have no personal axe to grind. If I never hear of Archaeology again I shall not complain. So it is with a degree of weary resignation that I still feel myself part of a continuing saga. I have to say that I do not see your actions as any encouragement to believe that its end is in sight.
cc:The Vice Chancellor