20 Herdsmans Parade
for Administrative Investigations
GOP Box X 2204
8 January 1996
I request that you investigate my unjust and improper dismissal from
the University of Western Australia. It is my contention that I was
removed from my position, and my good name destroyed by the
University not as a result of poor performance as the University
would claim, but rather because I sought properly to carry out my
duties under University Regulations and State and Federal Acts.
When I was acting as head of the archaeology department, I became
aware of certain practices within that department which I knew were
contrary to the stated aims and objectives of the University as given
in its Mission Statement and Procedures Manual and which required
action upon my part as provided in the University's "Regulations
Governing Heads of Departments." Hence, if I were to discharge my
duties as head of department, and properly observe the University's
Equity Policy and Mission Statement I had to report on these events
to my designated supervisors. As a employee of the State, I was
acting as an Officer of the Crown in taking these actions, and was
duty-bound to do so.
Motivated by the belief that certain practices that I observed were,
and remain, contrary to sound educational principles and accepted
norms of professional behaviour, and that certain activites occurring
regularly in that department went against University Regulations as
well as various Acts of Parliament which govern the University, I met
with appropriate university administrators, gave evidence, and put
written submissions to the appropriate officers, including the Head
of Division, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, the
Vice-Chancellor, and the Equity Officer.
As a result of my complaints, and those of other persons, two
investigations were conducted into the affairs of the archaeology
department. The first report ("The Review of Archaeology" also known as
"The Bruce Report") was made available, in part, to me, but associated
documents were destroyed, apparently at the direction of the University.
Others are claimed to have disappeared. This report strongly confirmed my
complaints and called for strong action to be taken to rectify conditions.
The second report (The "Hotop/Clyde Report") has never been released and
associated documents were again destroyed or have disappeared. Some of
the written complaints, however, have survived and were recently tabled in
the Western Australian Parliament. A schedule [Schedule #1] is attached. I know for a fact that this
second report recognised that no problems existed with myself or my
behaviour, and that it while it had received highly damaging submissions
regarding me, it held such statements were not worthy of consideration.
I believe my dismissal was based, at least in part, in malice, even
though said malice may have been the result of misinformation which
was supplied but never properly investigated. Should such malice
have existed, written university regulations [Professional
Relationships in the University of Western Australia - Workplace
Policy] would demand that the decision be rendered null and void.
Misinformation about me was propagated because it became necessary
for other parties to discredit me as a result of my reports and the
inquiries to which they led. Therefore, a campaign based upon false
and malicious charges was begun against myself (and my students) by
members of the then department of archaeology. All of these charges
originated in the archaeology department. None could stand up to
independent scrutiny. No such charges have ever been brought against
me at any other time. They have been considered and rejected as
without merit by well-informed scholars, including persons who have
known me personally in other academic settings. They were repudiated
by two formal University boards of inquiry and an in editorial
proceedings. All of the evidence known to me is consistent with my
belief that these false charges were used as the true grounds for my
dismissal and, to that end, all official reports and evaluations
which supported my case for tenure were excluded or ignored, often
A decision was made by the University that these various false
allegations were to be kept hidden from me and, therefore, I never
had a chance to reply to them. Various highly damaging documents,
now known to me, were placed by design in a special file which was
then improperly used as the primary resource in denying me tenure.
Other damaging documents are know to have existed, but are said by
the University to no longer exist. Some documents known to have
existed are now said to never have existed. While the allegations
against me were never shown to me for my knowledge or reply, charges
against me were conveyed to many unconcerned parties by members of
In brief, the university contrived reasons of poor academic
performance to act as a cover story for my dismissal. My dismissal
was based upon misinformation and a defamatory campaign, not upon
inadequacies in my performance at the University. Since my sacking
the University has attempted to use its considerable wealth and power
to make itself effectively unaccountable for its improper actions.
The University has continued in its improper behaviour by conveying
misleading, false, and harmful charges abou me to various persons
including members of government and the press.
Given that I believe a strong case may be made that evasion and
misdirection have charactertised University replies to matters
regarding my case, I hope that in your investigations you will be
able to obtain evidence in the form of Statutory Declarations. I am
fully prepared to put all of my testimony, including that presented
here, in that form.
Specifics of my charges against the University regarding the manner in
which I was dismissed follow. I also include a chronology of events
relevant to my employment and eventual sacking by the University of
Western Australia (Attachment #1). This
document, taken in conjuction with the following pages, will help identify
the documents referenced in my summary charges. I apologise in advance
for the length of the chronology, but my case has now dragged on for such
a long time, and is sufficiently complex, that brief treatment is
I Natural Justice and Due Process
"Decisions within the University should be made explicity, openly,
consistently, and on the basis of relevant information." [Mission
The decision to deny tenure was prejudged at an early date. This
decision and the reasons which were believed to justify it were never
made known to me.
The decision to deny me tenure was widely discussed with persons
other than myself well before any action was taken.
- Numerous internal documents from 1992 reference (1) the need to
deny me tenure, (2) procedures which must be followed to achieve this
end, and (3) the data base which was believed to justify the decision
to sack me. All of this was kept hidden from me by design.
- In February 1992 the vice-chancellor and Professor Jory (who also
sat on my review committee the following year) met with the History
Department. Discussions held there indicate that it was already
decided that I would be denied tenure.
The decision to deny tenure was not based upon the appropriate
criterion -- academic performance.
- Even before my tenure review began in 1992, Dr Partis, as head of
division, made clear statements to the meetings of faculty, to
various members of academic staff, and even to my students that I
would be removed on non-academic grounds. He never mentioned any of
this to me, but instead pretended that he would conduct a fair and
objective review of my performance. His comments about denying me
tenure were met with strong written disapproval by persons familiar
with my abilites and the problems in archaeology.
- The vice chancellor also wrote (Dec 1992) that natural justice
would be fully observed in my case. Her letter has disappeared from
The decision was not explicit. No evidence exists in University
files for poor performance, offical concern about poor performance,
or counselling for poor performance. Yet, tenure was denied on that
- Non-academic factors are predominant in all official reports on
my tenurability. This includes both reports written by Dr Partis (in
which academic reasons are never mentioned), the Report of the Wood
Tenure Review Commitee and in associated documents such as those
written by Professor Jory and Professor Woood. Non academic reasons
are given predominance in the letter of dismissal. In brief, false
allegations regarding my non-academic behaviour constituted the only
reason tenure was denied to me.
The process was not an open one. I was given no effective right to
representation, or to know of or defend myself against charges made
- In July 1995, the State Freedom of Information Commissioner ruled
that certain documents had to be released to me on these same
- My Stautory Declaration, as supplied to the Freedom of
Information Commissioner, provides a documented account proving that
I was never counselled for poor performance and that all counselling
I received judged my performance to be satisfactory.
- Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Wood, the chair of my tenure
review committee, wrote (undated, mid-April 1993) that he accepted I
had been done a serious injustice when I was sacked without ever
having been notified of any deficiencies in performance.
- The Vice-Chancellor in her letter to staff (June 1993) admitted
that I had been required to meet unknown and unstated performance
No opportunity was provided for appeal or review.
- I was specifically excluded in writing from personally appearing
to testify or defend myself. I was told that I was not permitted even
to meet members of the Committee established to rule on my tenure.
- The written terms for the creation of the Tenure Review Committee
demanded that myself or my "representatives" were to be excluded from
- Discussions were held, and all decisions were made in camera. It
was written that a representative of my Union would not attend these
discussions because such a presence might "inhibit discussion."
- All of my attempts to be allowed to see and reply to the material
on which I was being judged were repudiated. Despite written
requests, I was not even provided an inventory of evidence considered
Highly relevant institutional factors were not taken into account.
- This arose by design, such an option having been proposed as one
of the ground-rules for the Committee, and occasioned complaints by
- I attempted an appeal to the University Senate (June 1993). It
would not consider my case, but instead merely noted that the
vice-chancellor had the power to make decisions regarding tenure.
This was a failing of Senate in its duties under the University Act.
The decision was not consistent with earlier tenure decisions made by
- It was claimed that the decision was made without considering
exceedingly relevant reports such as the Review of Archaeology or the
- Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Wood, the chair of my tenure
review committee, was unable to reply (undated, mid-April 1993) to my
complaint that their inability, or unwillingness, to judge whether I
was disadvantaged by matters outside of my control makes their
recommendation invalid since it presumes, but does not even attempt
to demonstrate, "guilt" on my part. As I had written: "Natural
justice necessitates that barring convincing evidence that the fault
in fact was mine, then the benefit of the doubt must be given to me."
- The university has since that time falsely claimed on numerous
occasions that the committee had judged me personally responsible
rather than unable to make a judgement.
The decision was inconsistent with, indeed contrary to, universally
accepted standards for deciding upon academic tenure.
- It was admitted in writing by the Review Committee that other
with academic productivity lower than mine (even as described by them) had
been granted tenure.
- It is a fact that persons have been granted tenure around the
same time as myself had far lower rates of publication than myself.
- The decision was inconsistent with all other tenure decisions
made at the university because it was based on non-academic criteria
(themselves judged according to false allegations).
- The decision by the vice-chancellor, who introduced her
"personal" reason for denying me tenure -- the claim that (her
interpretation of) my relationship with Professor Bowdler was somehow
relevant to my continuance at the University, was totally improper.
Such matters are irrelevant, and besides being factually incorrect
would, even if correct, be inconsisent with any and all standards for
tenuring. Her action occassioned strong complaints from my Union.
- The decision was inconsistent, both in terms of procedure and
results, with the advice I had been given when deciding to apply for
the position, with advice to me from the Personnel Office in 1990 and
1991,with the advice given me by my supervisors in 1990, 1991 and
- The decision was inconsisent with the legal advice given the
university on the process followed, the data which must be
considered, and the reasons which may be considered as relevant.
Attempts were made to blackmail me into accepting a pay-out rather
than be denied tenure and the disgrace this would entail.
- Scores of letters by members of the community and internationally
renowned academics have been sent to UWA making this point.
- The gross injustice done to me has been widely commented upon by
the press (including a editorial highly critical of the University in
The Australian newspaper).
- The improper behaviour of the University administration, and the
various injustices to which it has led, have resulted in several
series of Parliamentary Questions. Recently, the entire affair has
been discussed at length in a speech delivered in the West Australian
II University Procedures Manual
- The threats were carried out when I did not accept their offer,
and harmful actions continue to the present.
"Folios may be added to files using the records numbering system but
may not be removed from files" [Proc. Man. 126.96.36.199]
My personal file at the University had material directly relevant
to my tenurability removed from it. Documents bearing sequential
numbers were taken out of the file and the folio numbers were then
reused for other documents.
"No statement about a staff member's unsatisfactory work performance
(actual or alleged) may be placed on the file without the staff
member having sighted and signed the statement and being provided
with a copy of the statement. Where a statement has been placed on
the file under 6.1 above, the staff member may require that their
written reply shall also be placed on file." [Proc. Man. 188.8.131.52-2]
My personal file was treated in such a manner that it was not, as
required, the source of the data to be considered during my tenure
review. Instead a second, hidden, file was created to hold material
harmful to me such that I could neither access, nor respond, to the
(false) allegations made. It was written that this material could,
and must, come into consideration in deciding upon my tenure. The
charges made in these docuements are referred to in all reports
recommending denial of tenure.
"All file transfers must be via the Records Office." [Proc. Man.
My personal file has recently disappeared and it is claimed that
it cannot be found. This has affect my ability to obtain redress,
including preparation of this document.
"Heads of department will provide written comment relating to summary
and the staff member's overall performance. A copy of the summary
with comment added will be provided to the staff member . . . with
any recommendation appropriate to the circumstance. ie. (b) the
report is not satisfactory and (ii) the period of review should be
extended."[Proc Man 184.108.40.206.C.iv]
In 1990 and 1991 this procedure was properly followed. Both of
those reports held my performance to be satisfactory.
- In 1991 a report, not written by my head of department, was
(likely improperly) solicited by the Head of Personnell and entered
into my personal file. It was, properly, not treated as a formal
performance report by my supervisors at that time. Instead, the
claims made in it were repudiated in a summary document on my
performance writeen by my supervisors. It was later, improperly,
given the status of a performance report, but I was neither informed
of its contents, nor did it lead to any notification of
unstasifactory performance, nor was it treated in the appropriate
manner to lead to an extension of the review period.
- My probationary period was extended for non-academic reasons,
unrelated to my performance, and not as part of a normal review
process, as mandated. Both of my formal extensions of review were
given solely for the benefit of the administration and neither
mentioned problems with my performance.
- Neither extension resulted from the process of yearly review (all
formal reviews of my work held my performance satisfactory).
- The extension of a probationary period without evidence of poor
performance was abnormal according to advice provided by the
- The extensions occasioned strong complaints from my Union. The
university itself admitted that the extension was improper and stated
it would not happen again. Their sole reason for following improper
procedures was that the situation was not "usual."
- Following my dismissal, the University has falsely claimed
privately and publicly, on many occasions, that the extensions were
given for my benefit and were evidence of concern with my academic
"Normally, on the expiration of the intital specified period, an
appointment subject ot review is convered to a permanent appointment
not subject to review." [Proc Man 2.4.3 and my Contract]
Normal University procedures and standards were never applied to
my case. Having had two satisfactory assessments, and no
notification of unsatisfactory performance during the third year,
confirmation of tenure at my third anniversary was required. This
point was strongly made in writing to the University by my Union.
"Heads of department will provide written comment relating to summary
and the staff member's overall performance. A copy of the summary
with comment added will be provided to the staff member." [Proc Man
Dr Partis wrote no such document and provided neither counsel nor
written or verbal summary regarding my third year's (1991-1992)
performance report. The earlier summaries provided me indicated
satisfactory performance. He, of course, was not head of my
"Personnel Services will (a) record that the report has been received
together with any other decision taken." [Proc Man 220.127.116.11.vi.a]
No such record exists.
"The University has a duty of care to ensure the health, safety, and
welfare of its employees at work. The University is committed to
providing, maintaining and improving, as far as it practicable, a
safe working enviroment for all employees, which is conducive to
productivity and job satisfaction." [Proc. Man. 18.104.22.168.1-2]
The University created a work environment which was unsafe --
administrative procedures were used to harass and create an
environment leading to psychological stress.
- My forced placement in archaeology, several months before it was
dissolved, returned me to a situation from which I had been removed
one year earlier for protection from ongoing and severe harassment
- I was subjected to victimisation by means of false and malicious
charges made against myself and my students which were improperly
handled by the administration. The false charges included sexual
harassment, promotion of pornography, plagiarism, and behaviour
offensive to aboriginal people.
- The demands made on me for the rewriting of my 1992 yearly report
by Dr Partis and the various reports and rejoinders required of me
afterwards led to medically recognised stress-related illness.
- University administrators, including the vice-chancellor, made
improper and untrue comments about me to third parties. This added to
my stress. This pattern of improper behaviour has continued to the
"At all stages the utmost care will be taken to ensure
confidentiality" [Sexual Harassment Section, Proc. Man. 22.214.171.124]
The vice chancellor, Professor Gale, and the head of division, Dr
Partis, told many unconcerned parties, including students, that I had
"formally" been charged with sexual harassment. This was factually
untrue -- formal charges have a specific meaning under Equity
Proceedings, and no such charges were laid. The charges themselves
were false and malicious, and they were pursued without following the
procedures outlined under the Procedures Manual [Sec. 1.8.3] and the
University Guidelines on Sexual Harassment. My complaint to the vice
chancellor about her action was never replied to, nor followed up,
and has disappeared from university files.
"Complaintants will be advised at all stages of the interanl
procedure to discuss their complaints with as few people as
Two of the three women who made complaints sent letters to the
press regarding me after the process had begun. When this matter was
raised with Dr Partis who was (improperly) conducting the hearing on
the sexual harassment charges, he dismissed the matter as if it were
not worthy of consideration.
III University Mission Statement
"Values of the University include . . . ensuring justice in dealing
with staff and students." [Mission Statement]
I believe the actions of the vice-chancellor and the other high
administrators involved in the handling of my complaints, the
problems discovered in archaeology, and my tenure review represents a
total failure by them properly to carry out their duties.
All of these persons had a responsibility to the university and
the larger community to ensure that they were acting fairly and
justly, and on the basis of proper and correct information. They
had a responsibility to ensure that they were not acting unjustly and
on the basis of false and defamatory evidence. They had a
responsiblity to ensure both that justice was done and was seen to be
done. Such is not the case with the events in archaeology.
"The University is committed to the belief that freedom of
intellectual thought and enquiry is essential to the achievement of
its mission and its value to society. Academic freedom is central to
the University's role and philosphy and it will seek to protect staff
and students from any attempts to remove or reduce this freedom."
My reports as head of department indicated that academic freedom
was under serious threat in the archaeology department. My
observations were later confirmed in at least one official report
which held that conditions in this area were scandalous and
constituted a serious threat to the university's standards. It
called for strong action to rectify these improper conditions.
In documents calling for my sacking, my actions in this regard
are provided as a central reason to deny tenure. Dr Partis wrote
that I had not "accepted" the "authority" of Professor Bowdler. I
believe by these words he means to say that I should not have made my
reports, and that I should have accepted, perhaps even cooperated
with, activities I knew to be improper, unprofessional, and harmful
to students and to the university as an institution.
What Dr Partis claimed I should have done, I could not do without
failing in my obligations, both legal and moral, to myself, my
students, and the community as a whole. I do not believe that my
unwillingness to accept, and cooperate in, unprofessional, improper,
and possibly even illegal activities should be accepted as a proper
reason to deny me the ability to make a living in my profession.
IV The decision-making process was improper
The review process was improper in that it was directed towards
attempting to find a justification for a decision already made rather
than seeking a fair review of my academic performance.
Administrative transfers were used in a improper manner to ensure
that I would be denied tenure.
My personal file was treated improperly and material which should
never have been considered was treated as part of that file.
- The only reason I was removed from the positive and productive
work environment which had been arranged for myself and my students
in geography was to ensure that my final yearly report (1992) would
not be written by Professor Taylor.
- Professor Taylor had already written a very positive performance
report (August 1991), and hence it
would have been known
that he would write a positive final review which would, in turn, have
guaranteed my tenure.
- By February 1992, when this move was forced onto me, plans to
incorporate archaeology into another department were already being
attempted. The dissolution of archaeology occurred about three
months after my move out of geography. I was excluded from the move
on the basis of false and harmful non-academic statments made about
- Unlike my move to geography, these later administrative changes
were neither documented nor formalised, so in the narrowest of
senses, the move was of questionable standing.
The standards for the review process kept changing and administrative
- Relevant and proper data was not placed into my personal file
while false and harmful claims made about me were taken into
consideration without my knowledge and without a chance for me to
Numerous extraordinary and taxing requirements were placed upon me
during the review process.
- My period of review was improperly extended. Rather than being
given for valid reason, the university admitted the extension was to
be "justified" on contrived grounds. The only conceivable reason for
this extension was to give the University more time to come up with
reasons to justify the denial of my tenure. This goal is implicit in
all internal documents discussing the extension and review.
- Agreements between myself and the university regarding procedures
to be followed during the review were never followed, and we were not
informed of that fact. Other aspects of the agreements were later
misrepresented to my detriment.
- The Wood Review Committee specifically excluded matters of
placement from the question of tenurability. After I replied to
their report, showing their academic reasons for denying tenure were
without merit, the Vice-Chancellor raised the matter of my placement
as the primary one having bearing upon my tenurability. It was
agreed I could reply to this issue. My report was refused.
- Since June 1993, the University has added new "reasons" (such as
alleged personality disputes, problems with my teaching and the
quality of my scholarship, and the false claim that other departments
were "unwilling" to take me on) in public statements explaining why I
was dismissed. Hence, the standards by which I have been judged have
even changed retroactively.
Material already provided was lost and had to be resupplied. Out
of date material was sent to outside referees and to the Review
Committee. Only in some cases was this discovered so that correction
of the record could occur.
- Dr Partis' reasons for unacceptablity of my yearly report kept
changing requiring rewriting and amplification of the report.
- The university did not answer letters or provide feedback on the
processes being followed or the decisions made.
The demands of the process of review forced me to concentrate on
providing the University with new evidence they required of me.
This, of necessity, led to interference with my normal work (for
example, I had to cancel research plans and was unable to meet
writing deadlines). The results of this were then used to my
disadvantage as evidence of non-productivity.
In June 1992, at the same time as my review was beginning, I was
defending myself from several false charges which had been made
against myself and my students. At the very same time I was left
without any departmental affiliation when the archaeology department
was dissolved and I was left without normal departmental support
services. These further distracted me from my normal work.
Positive and objective evaluation and testimony was not sought and
when supplied was ignored, often with prejudice.
Incomplete and misleading data were sent to outside referees.
- Professor Oxnard, who had written my earlier performance reports,
was available as an appropriate academic peer to review my
performance in 1992. He wrote a letter pointing this out. Instead,
Dr Partis, who is a mathametician and a close personal friend of
Professor Bowdler was chosen to write my final performance review
(which task he never completed) and recommend on tenure. It must
have been realised that he would write another positive review
guaranteeing tenure, a fact unfavourably commented upon by Dr
Partis. His exculsion, even though he was the best person avaiable
to judge my performance, must have been done to ensure I would be
- The positive 1990 performance review written by Professor
Oxnard was never even cited. The positive 1991 performance review by
Professor Taylor was not mentioned in official recommendations, and
was grossly misrepresented elsewhere. These action went against
legal advice provided the University.
- The 1991 peformance summary written by Professor Oxnard was
misrepresented to my detriment as having been written in positive
terms because of my alleged "mental problems."
- Dozens of letters of support which arrived in 1993 were ignored,
and later misrepresented to my detriment, by the university.
Action was taken to use inappropriate internal assessments.
- The two outside referees were not supplied the final version of
my yearly report. They were led to believe that my previous one
year's production had been my entire work while at UWA. They were
never supplied with a full bibliography of my work despite repeated
written and verbal reminders. They were not provided copies of work
in progress. They were instructed not to consider the well-known
extenuating circumstances in archaeology. Despite all of these
attempts to influence the outcome of their evaluations, both referees
believed a case could be made for tenuring me.
- Dr Partis misrepresented the referees reaction to writing the
reviews in a manner that was harmful to me. Their reports were
improperly treated by the Wood Committee, and were later publicly
misrepresented by the University to leave the impression that they
had called for denial of tenure. These improprieties later led one
referee to write a letter of clarification to the University.
The members of the Tenure Review Committee were not my academic
peers, were totally unfamiliar with my subject area, and had no
academic expertise to judge my work.
- Negative testimony was actively solicited to provide "reasons" to
deny tenure. Internal documents make clear that false and harmful
statements were consulted and that these provided the actual reasons
to deny tenure. Reviews of my performance from clearly biased and
prejudiced sources were considered favourably. Performance reviews
of unproven standing were improperly, and secretly, brought into
consideration. The totally non-academic arguments to deny tenure
advanced by Dr Partis in his two reports were accepted by the Wood
Review Committee. All of these actions were in direct contravention
of universally accepted standards of review, university policy, and
the agreed upon process for review.
Materials specifically requested from me were neither consulted nor
brought into the decision-making process. This fact was freely admitted
and caused the Committee to exclude the majority of my work from
consideration because it was too "technical" for them to understand.
The University did not follow the industrial legal advice provided it
regarding the manner in which the decision had to be made.
V The Data used was misleading, improper or fallacious.
- They did not even attempt to follow legal advice on due process,
natural justice, and fair-play in the decision they were making.
They did not follow advice on the kinds of data which would have to
be obtained or brought into consideration.
Data which could have supported my case for tenure "disappeared" from
This pattern has continued to the present with claims being made
that documents which might serve to support my case are missing.
Performance indicators which could have supported my case for tenure
were excluded or ignored.
Official decisions made by the University, over which I had no
control whatsoever, were used as evidence of my poor performance.
- Among the widely accepted indicators of performance which were
ignored or excluded from consideration are: citation rate and
pattern, external letters of evaluation and support from eminent
scholars, positive performance reviews, very positive teaching
reviews, one of the highest student-retention rates in the
University, and objective comparative statistics on productivity.
- My bibilography was subjected to inappropriate manipuation to
discredit the value of my work or to find means to exclude a given
publication from consideration.
- None of my work in progress was given any consideration
whatsoever. This was done despite independent evaluations of such
work being provided them.
The Vice-Chancellor, in her denial of my tenure, added totally
non-academic and purely personal reasons to the allegedly "academic"
ones advanced by the Tenure Review Committee.
- My classes were cancelled and then my artifically low teaching
load was held against me.
- My removal by Professor Oxnard from
teaching the introductory class was treated as if it were evidence of
problems with my teaching.
- The transfer of myself and my students to
geoghraphy, one which had been initiated and approved by all high
university administrators, was treated as if I had been at fault.
- The fact that the Anatomy department was unable to take me on for
financial reasons was portrayed as if it were an academic judgment.
V. The decision was made on fallacious grounds
Even before the review had begun, the university was making public
comments about how an alleged "personality dispute" was the basis for
the problems discovered in archaeology.
The decision to sack me was based upon the false claim that I was a
"guilty party" and that my removal, therefore, would somehow bring
about a "solution" to the problems discovered in the archaeology
department by an offical review.
- My complaints about such statements from early 1992 were not
answered properly or dealt with. They have been "lost" from
- The university continues to make this claim in public statements.
The decision to deny tenure appears to have been motivated by malice,
even if said malice was based upon misinformation supplied the
Vice-Chancellor and other university administrators. They failed in
their duties by not seeking to discover the true facts of the case.
- Many internal documents make this claim. Both of Dr Partis'
recommendations to deny tenure are based solely on such a claim. The
claim is accepted in the Wood Recommendations, given prominence in
associated documents, and has been conveyed publicly by the
vice-chancellor and other administrators, verbally and in writing.
VI Contract, Award and Industrial Provisions
The contractually established nature of my position (its financially
protected status) was abrogated by executive fiat.
My dismissal was not ratified by Senate as demanded by my contract.
- My Contract reads that the position I accepted is an "established
position," which is to say, permanent funding is attached to it.
- In May 1993, when other departments sought to take me on as a
tenured member of staff, the vice-chancellor said that no continuing
funding for me would be made available.
Specific and detalied Award provisions were ignored.
- Senate "noted" the decision, and did not ratify.
A proper academic environment was not provided following my forced
return to Archaeology (1992). This precipitated written complaints.
- The University agreed in the State Industrial Commission that
Award Procedures governed my treatment by the University.
- Requirements for supervisors [13(c)(d)] were not met. The person
who had supervised me and written performance reports on my work
during 1990 and 1991 was availaibe during 1992 and 1993 and was not
- Review and Assessment  procedures were neither invoked nor
- Clear procedures are mandated by the Award [13(e)(f)(g) and 14]
in cases of alleged poor performance. These were never followed by
- The negative evidence on my performance by Professor Bowdler was
lodged despite clear and concise counsel by her supervisor that her
actions were improper, and despite instructions that, according to
the Academic Award, she must not continue in said manner.
I was removed from any and all proper departmental affiliation when I
was excluded, apparently on the basis of misinformation regarding
myself, from incorporation with other members of the archaeology
department when they were moved into the administrative care of the
Long standing and universally accepted standards for tenuring were
- This action by the University occasioned written complaints from
- It was noted that said move could likely adversely affect
my future at the University through no fault of my own. This was
later proven to be true when issues of placement were advanced as
reasons to deny tenure.
- It was also noted that my exclusion might
reflect unfavourably upon me. This later occurred in the various
written recommendations to deny me tenure.
- It was also noted that my
non-assignment to a department was improper.
The University seeks to maintain that I was not dismissed, but that
my contract was merely "not renewed."
- Created under an act of Parliament, the University has a duty to
maintain proper industrial procedures. The State Industrial Act
recognises that "long standing traditions" of a craft exist as an
implict part of industrial relations legislation.
- There is 'the most ample scope for the continued existance
of customs in the trade or industry...' . . . It is not
inappropriate to look at the history and surrounding
- I had been repeatedly assured by my supervisors (Professors
Taylor and Oxnard) and the Personnel Office (Mr Robin Slater) that
certain procedures must be followed in the tenuring process. They
- Letters written by members of staff at UWA, and by Australian and
overseas scholars point out that universal standards exist in matters
of tenuring and tenure reviews. These standards were never met by
the University, an action which has caused the university's
reputation to become gravely harmed.
VII The decision has treated improperly by the University
- Given the fact that specific action was taken, and was taken on
the grounds of "poor performance," I hold that this constitutes a
dismissal for cause rather than simply the "non-renewal of
contract." If the grounds for the "non-renewal" were improper and
therefore the event should never have occured, then, had proper
actions been taken, I would have been tenured as a matter of course.
Therefore my case, in effect, is no different than any other
dismissal for improper reasons.
- This point was accepted as a valid ground for appeal by the State
- Had it been a the belief of the University that my contract was
merely "not being renewed" they would not have paid out six month's
salary "in lieu of notice." A contract ending on a specific date
would not bring this requirment with it.
Judgments have been described in exceedingly ambiguous terms
apparently designed to evade the real reasons underlying denial.
False and oftentimes damaging statements have been publicly made
about the review process, the reasons for the decision, my
"acceptability" to other departments, my personal behaviour, and my
False and malicious allegations against me were shown to and
discussed with unconcerned parties by members of the Administration.
This was done in total contravention of written regulations.
False and likely defamatory public statements have been made about
me, with the University going so far as to make false negative claims
about the quality of my scholarship and even impuning that I was
involved in improper personal relationships with my students.
Documents are said to have disappeared, and the university has
refused properly to cooperate with the Freedom of Information
Commission, causing complaints to be written about its behaviour in
the Commissioner's Judgment.
Officers of the University have falsely claimed to many parties that
I "resigned" from my position, and hence have no aveune for appeal.
This is a fabrication contradicted by the written record.
The university appears to be willing to indemnify people who are
currently not members of the university in civil action. Given
advice I have received, their decision effectively prevents such
actions because of the huge potential costs I could occur during
litigation, costs I cannot afford.
Advice from academics and members of Parliament, confirmed by Press
Reports, hold that on more than one occasion the vice-chancellor of
another University in Perth sought to intervene with UWA to propose
means for resolving the current situation. I understand that UWA was
unwilling to cooperate towards this end.
My own early (1993) attempts to find a quiet resolution were
The university now publicly pretends that this case is "in the past"
and not worthy of further discussion or consideration.
The University may not be fully carrying out its duties as a
VIII Unnecessary harm has been caused by the decision
- A representative of the Minister for Education has complained to
the University about the advice they provided Parliament. His letter
has disappeared from university files.
- The Minister for Education has spoken unfavourably about the
University's unwillingness to provide information.
- Members of Parliament seek to discover if the University has
The effect of these actions by UWA has been to destroy my career and
my good name, thereby preventing me future employment. For personal
reasons, I must remain in Australia.
I have been unable to gain even honorary appointments at universities
within Australia so that I might continue with the supervision of my
students and apply for grants. This was solely a result of people at
other departments not wishing to "get involved" in matters at UWA.
The effect upon my health and peace of mind has been devastating.
- The University of New England wished earlier to take me on for a
period as a visiting scholar. Since these events they were unwilling
even to pay my expenses to attend a meeting at that univeristy.
- I was held unaccaptable to the Centre for Human Biology at UWA
simply because they feared the "political consequences" of seeking to
appoint me on my merits.
- I applied for but was unacceptable for a junior postion at the ANU.
I did not even make the "short list," which is, quite frankly,
- I applied for a position at UWA to teach agricultural origins and
method and theory, my two primary areas of expertise and topics in
which I have an international reputation. Again, I did not even make
the short list.
- I cannot seek governmental funding without a university position, so
I am unable even to attempt to gain funding to be a "free-lance"
- I continue to apply for positions but hold out little hope for myself
until my name is cleared.
- In late 1995 I was nominated for the Foundation Chair in
Anthropology and Sociology at Edith Cowan and have cooperated with my
nomination by lodging a formal application.
- It is my belief that no matter how well qualified I might be for
this position I shall not be judged on my merits until the various
false and harmfull allegations which have been made about me are
fully retracted by the University of Western Australia.
According to data provided to me, problems of academic freedom in the
archaeology programme at the university continue. The actions of the
university to resolve the underlying problems have failed and
students continue to suffer. The university has failed to meet its
full obligations under the Act of Parliament which brought it into
- I am a dedicated scholar and a teacher. I have had almost five
years of my career taken away from me. This is a cost which is
impossible to bear and for which no compensation will ever be
possible. Appeals, such as this one, continue to be highly diverting
from my normal and proper career.
The effect of these actions upon my students has been profound and
gravely harmful. I cannot speak for them in this appeal, but hope
that their concerns will be heard in some forum so that at least some
of the damage may be undone.
David J Rindos