This exchange of letters was initiated by Dr Partis' suggestion that the Review should not be brought up at a major University governing body. His complaint echos the same ones originally made by Professor Bowdler about the Review (see the comments on this topic made by members of the Review Committee.

This collection of letters to the Vice-Chancellor includes ones from:

6th February 1992

Division of Agriculture and Science
Acting Head:
Dr M.T. Partis

Professor F. Gale,
The University of Western Australia.
Division of Agriculture and Science
Acting Head: Dr M T Parits

Dear Vice-Chancellor,

Review of Archeology

I understand that the review of Archeology is to be discussed by the Planning and Resources Committee on 20th February, and that comment is required from the Head of Division.

I do not wish to challenge any of the recommendations made, but it would be appropriate to observe that some of the proposals made in the review are not fully justified in the report itself. I appreciate the reasons for this and there is no criticism of the review committee intended by these remarks.

It does, however, pose a problem in having the matter properly debated at Planning and Resources since some of the changes which might be made to the Department of Archeology may not have been recommended or even suggested in the tabled documentation.

This is, I fear, likely to be a recurring problem with departmental reviews. Whenever sensitive or confidential matters arise the official review report is likely to be incomplete and, hence, any recommendations made may not be supported. Further, consequential actions may be based on evidence which has never seen the light of day. It is hard to see exactly what role the Planning and Resources Committee can play in such circumstances.

Yours sincerely,


Copies to Professor J. Jory,
Professor S. Bowdler,
Associate Professor N. Bruce,
Professor B. Moulden,
Mr. P. Curtis.

10 February 1992

Division of Arts and Architecture
Nedlands, Perth, Western Australia 6009

Professor Fay Gale
Vice Chancellor

Dear Vice Chancellor

Review of Archeology

I note the content of Dr Partis' letter. As you know, I have expressed similar reservations to you about the operation of the review process. It was for this reason that I suggested that the Review of Architecture not be put before the next Planning and Resources Committee but be deferred for one month. In the course of that month any difficulties concerning confidential material should be resolved.

I cannot accept Dr Partis' implication that the Planning and Resources Committee play no role in the review process. The idea that review panels should be set up, report in secret and be acted upon without their reports being publicly scrutinised smacks of a police state. It would certainly not be accepted by the Academic Board. Nor would I accept it.

Yours sincerely

Professor E J Jory
Head, Division of Arts and Architecture

cc:Dr M Partis, Head, Division of Agriculture and Science
Professor M Hill, Chairman, Academic Board
Professor S Bowdler, Head, Department of Archeology
Associate Professor N Bruce, Department of Anatomy & Human Biology
Professor B Moulden, Department of Psychology
Mr P Curtis, Assistant Registrar (Planning)

Department of Psychology
Nedlands, Penh, Western Australia 6009

11 February 1992

Professor Fay Gale
Vice Chancellor

Dear Vice Chancellor,

I write in response to Professor Jory's recent letter to you replying to Professor Partis's letter of 6th February.

I agree with them both.

I guess it depends what one means by "secret" and "publicly" and when one would choose rather to use the words "confidential" and "discreet". Imagine that (as currently seems not unlikely) I were to become completely unhinged. Imagine that I were to be found awarding marks to my students on the basis of the signs I discovered in the entrails of chickens. Worse, imagine that it turned out that I had been doing it for years, and that many graduates in the community had UWA degrees in Psychosemiotics whose class had been influenced by the size of a parson's nose.

Would we really want this reported in detail to a large University Committee, disseminated thence to the University community, and broadcast further via the Press? Would that really do justice to me, to past graduates, or to the reputation of the University as a whole?

Wouldn't we prefer some procedure that was neither secret, which I understand to mean accessible only to a very few, nor public, which I understand to mean accessible to all, but something in between?

In the British legal system at least (I don't know anything about the Australian one), there is the provision to hear evidence in camera when wider or larger interests are deemed to be protected by a principle higher even than that of open justice. Is this not a model we might consider in the context of the kinds of issue that have prompted this correspondence?

Yours sincerely,

Bernard Moulden
Professor of Psychology

cc: Professor John Jory, Head, Division of Arts & Architecture.
Dr Mike Partis, Head, Division of Agriculture & Science
Associate Professor N Bruce, Department of Anatomy & Human Biology