WESTERN AUSTRALIA THE EVIDENCE ACT, 1906 STATUTORY DECLARATIONI, David John Rindos
1, 2) A copy of the Wood Committee's report was supplied me by courier, and it was delivered to my home on or around 2 March 1993. This was about 3 months before I was sacked.
3) No counselling was given me save the contents of the report. It made no reference to options for my continuance, so cannot represent counselling as normally understood. No counselling was given regarding my 15 April 1993 reply to the Wood Report, and in fact it was not even required of me that I reply to it. No counselling was given me on the earlier negative judgments of me by Dr Partis, and neither advice regarding its contents or opportunity to reply was given.
4) Given the answer to (3), this question does not apply.
5) The only counselling I ever received on my performance was in the context of formal evalutions of satisfactory performance. No counselling was ever received by me regarding any claim of poor academic performance, or of the means by which I might improve my performance. I omit here what I believe were false and malicious charges of a personal nature which were said to have been resolved, about which it was said no formal record was to be kept, and which therefore had no relevance to my tenuring.
I document my claim in detail below showing that rather than counsel being provided me, any and all allegations of poor performance were intentionally hidden from me such that I could neither know of, nor be able to respond to them. It is my belief that these false claims are demonstrably the reason I was denied tenure and that they originated as a response to the fact that I had properly carried out my duties.
Summary of my case:
My first activity report was submitted in June 1990. I received written notification that my performance had been satisfactory. Professor Oxnard, my supervisor and also a scholar working in the same academic field as myself, arranged to discuss matters of mutual interest. During this meeting, as well as subsequent ones, he showed strong support for my research goals, expressing great interest and encouragement. From these discussions, and the counselling they represented, I knew he had formed a strong positive evaluation of my abilities, accomplishments, and potential as an scholar.
In February 1991 I was provided a letter containing negative claims by Professor Bowdler who had recently formally returned to the headship of archaeology. Attempts to discuss her claims were rebuffed by her as were my attempts to invoke university dispute resolution proceedings. I met with Professor Oxnard to discuss this letter. He expressed grave concern about the statements made therein, and within a few weeks, after having finished the necessary procedural steps, he transferred myself and three female students to geography in what was an attempt to protect us from victimisation in the archaeology department.
I now know that Professor Oxnard was of the opinion that Professor Bowdler was trying improperly to get rid of me, and that he believed she was laying a paper trail to that end. I also now know that Professor Oxnard told Professor Bowdler that she had never properly counselled me regarding any of the charges she had brought against me, and that she, herself, was counselled that her actions regarding myself went against university regulations. Her complaints nevertheless continued.
During the spring of 1990 and summer of 1991, concerned about what I believed to be victimisation of students and staff, some of which was related to sexual involvements between the Professor and her female students, I reported, as head of department, and sought the advice of Professor Oxnard. He advised me that he would explore these problems. I now know he did. My report on conditions in the department, requested by Professor Oxnard, has disappeared from university files. Professor Oxnard, however, remembers placing this report into Divisional files. I have a copy.
I also received counselling from Professor Oxnard regarding these problems which were interfering with the academic progess of myself and my students, as well as causing us grave distress. He said he would arrange a temporary solution pending a more permanent one. At one meeting when I expressed self-doubt about my performance, I clearly recall him saying to me that the only problem with my hiring was that, given my abilities, it had been done at the wrong level, by which he meant that I should have been hired at a level above that of Senior Lecturer. I believe it was at this meeting that he said I should have written to Senate, as he had done before accepting his job, and arrived overseas to a new posting with tenure already in place. From this statement I knew he believed I was clearly deserving of tenure.
Given that many documents known to me only now make repeated and sustained negative reference to my involvement in events which followed the archaeology review, background is clearly required on the counselling I received on this topic. This will show that my actions were done properly and with the approval of university administrators.
During late 1990 and early 1991 Professor Oxnard directed me to see the equity officer, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Parfitt, and the Personnel Division, the last for counsel and advice related to the tenuring process. This I did.
In early December 1990 following Professor Oxnard's instructions, I spoke to Mr Robin Slater in Personnel. He counselled me that only academic performance was relevant to tenurability. He said I should not worry about matters of tenure, claiming that tenure had never been denied in recent memory at UWA, and joking that one would "have to rape the Vice-Chancellor's daughter" (or words to that effect), to be denied tenure. He denied discussing this with me during a meeting in 1993 of the Federal Industrial Commission. He claimed that an entry in his diary documented his claim. I now know that his diary does not include the evidence he alleged it to contain.
In February 1991 I spoke with DVC Parfitt whose first words were to thank me for coming forward with my complaints. He said he had been long aware of serious problems in the archaeology department, but lacking a complaint could not act. I now know that he also met with three women from the department and took testimony from them regarding these matters. He counselled me that while it would take time, the problems would be solved. I took from this meeting a strong belief I had acted properly and that my actions were approved of by the university administration. I now know that DVC Professor Parfitt and head of division Professor Oxnard had kept the Vice-Chancellor informed on the general nature of these matters and both claim she was supportive of their actions regarding me at that time.
I also now know that, with the involvement of Professor Parfitt, my complaints led to a formal review of the archaeology department. The review report (December 1991) and associated confidental documents (early 1992) were highly critical of conditions in the department, sustained my original observations, and found further inequities unknown to me. They also commented in positive terms regarding my performance, noting in particular that they judged me to have a particular gift for postgraduate teaching, and pointed out that the poor managment of the department had led to myself and my students being moved to geography. No counselling was given me by them, nor was any required, but I took their comments to represent a totally independent body's confirmation of my abilities and performance, as well as the testimony I had originally given.
Professor Bruce, the chair of the archaeology review committee, was later to come out publicly in support of me, making exceedingly strong statements that recommendations to deny me tenure were improper, unfair, and, if implemented, would constitute a grave miscarriage of justice.
In March I met with the equity officer, Ms Marie Osman, regarding inequities in the department. She expressed shock at the story I related and suggested I advise involved students to approach her in a confidential manner. As I was leaving, however, she warned me about certain undescribed "close ties" between Professor Bowdler and the Vice-Chancellor. I later (May 1991) sought to ensure that my complaints to her were formal and was assured regarding this by the equity officer who said to me she had sufficient evidence to act. According to statements later made by the University, formal charges regarding events in archaeology were never lodged with the equity office. This contradicts both my own knowledge of events as well as the advice and counsel then given to me. I now know that she is upset about how matters of sexual involvments were handled and has said so to third parties.
My second yearly report was submitted in June 1991. Professor Oxnard again provided written notification of satisfactory performance. He told me that my Head of department, Professor Taylor of Geography, had written a report commenting favourably on my performance as a member of his department. Professor Taylor, as I understood matters, did not write the final report because his research qualifications, unlike Professor Oxnard's were not in my academic field.
Again, Professor Oxnard was fully supportive and expressed pleasure that the move to geography had been successful in removing stress arising from our previous departmental assignment. Having now seen his comments in his report of 1991, I can say that all general matters contained in his report were discussed with me during counselling. I now also know that Dr Partis, my supervisor in 1992, claimed in his recommedation to deny me tenure that Professor Oxnard wrote in positive terms because of a supposed concern about my mental health and stability. This false claim was repudiated in the strongest of terms by Professor Oxnard. Dr Partis also wrote that my removal from teaching the introductory course in mid 1991 might have indicated poor performance. In fact, as was again shown, this change in assignment had been done solely to remove continuing problems originating with Professor Bowdler. These included her writing to my student's home addresses making false and misleading claims regarding me.
During the time I was in geography (1991) my students received extraordinary extensions of their scholarships. This was done, as was written by the PhD committee at the university, because non-academic factors completely outside of their control had seriously interfered with their academic productivity while they were in archaeology. I was thanked on more than one occasion by both the head and the secretary of the PhD committee for acting properly on behalf of my students. I believed these actions again confirmed that I had acted correctly in what I had done to date. The head of the PhD committee, Professor Sargent, later told me that in his opinion the university had "made up the rules as the went along," or words to that effect, in denying me tenure.
During discussions with Professor Taylor considerable interest was expressed by him in some of my mathematical models for cultural change. He also conveyed to me various plans regarding the archaeology programme, including increased accommodations and a formal role for it in a Centre then under development. He encourged me to take on the many new postgraduate students who were applying to study in our developing programme. Finally he counselled me regarding his advice as provided Professor Oxnard. I now know, having seen Professor Oxnard's full report of 1991 that the comments attributed to Professor Taylor are similar to his verbal counselling. I was refused Professor Taylor's report. He has since left Australia so, unlike the case of Professor Oxnard's report, I have been unable to get his consent for the release of his review.
From our discussions, I concluded Professor Taylor also strongly approved of my performance and he assumed I would be granted tenure within his department pending regularisation of certain difficult financial matters unrelated to my performance. He informed me that he was working closely with Professor Oxnard regarding future developments.
Professor Taylor frequently counselled me regarding memoranda arriving from Professor Bowdler. He advised me on numerous occasions that inasmuch as Professor Bowdler had no official role in my academic life, comments made by her could have no effect upon my tenurability, and that I should not concern myself with these documents. He also made me aware of the existence of a document she had written as as a person working in the same field as myself. No details regarding her comments were conveyed to me, merely their existence, the fact that he held them to be "silly," and that they were not part of my official record. I now know that Professor Oxnard wrote to Personnel that his satisfactory review of me had taken account of negative comments made by Professor Bowdler, and that he considered my tenuring to be "none of her business."
The university, against the docuentary record and all counsel then given me, now claims this document from Professor Bowdler is an official tenure report. If so, I was never counselled upon its contents in any manner by any person. This would be logical given the belief of Professors Oxnard and Taylor that it had no standing and had been taken into account as not containing valid criticism. Hence, my counselling to ignore this document as having no standing was then correct. I now know of written documents which put this fact into the record.
I now also know of a letter from Professor Oxnard to Professor Bowdler in the October of 1991 which pointed out she had been unable to get along with me and also that I would remain a teacher of archaeology caused Professor Bowdler to send two letters to the Vice-Chancellor. These letters made exceedingly damaging, and totally false, claims against me. Had these claims been true they would have represented very good reasons to deny my tenure. Her claims, as known to me now and as sent to the Vice-Chancellor and copied to the Personnel office, were never raised with me by any person at any time for information or reply.
The university later used claims of alleged problems between myself and Professor Bowdler as grounds to deny me tenure. Setting aside the relevance or factuality of this claim, I was never counselled in any fashion upon any such matter or what actions I should take in the face of it. In fact, I was instructed not to even raise the subject of previous events in archaeology by my supervisor of 1992, Dr Partis, who said he had no interest in such matters. The transfer of myself and my students to geography, however, had represented to me an official action by the university. This had been extensively discussed with me, and had clear bearing upon this matter. The same is true of the rulings that my students had suffered academic disadvantage in the archaeology department, and the counsel to ignore criticism originating from Professor Bowdler. Further suport was given by the fact that, following the archaeology review, Professor Bowdler had to stand down from the headship of archaeology, and was then subjected to the Hotop Clyde review which I now know concerned charges relating solely to her.
I recall that Professor Taylor also told me (although it might have been Professor Oxnard, or probably both, I can't be sure at this point in time) that since I had already received two satisfactory performance evaluations, tenure would have to automatically be granted to me in June 1992, the third anniversary of my arrival at UWA. I clearly remember that after my return to the archaeology department Professor Oxnard counselled me in some detail on the award procedures the university would have to invoke were they to claim poor performance on my part, stressing that formal notification of specific problems on my part would have to be given me for advice, reply, and improvement. This was never done, and the university never followed any of the academic award procedures regarding allegations of poor performance. They later claimed such procedures, ones fundamentally designed to ensure natural justice, do not apply to matters of tenuring. Even if this is true, which I contest, I believe such an argument would be irrevelant to supply under the FoI act.
Some four months before my tenure should have been granted, I was returned to the archaeology department. I now know that just before this change in direction, Professor Oxnard had resigned from the headship of the division for reasons unconnected to my case, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Parfitt left the University. Professor Parfitt has informed me that he left a memorandum which pointed out how well the transfer was working, and stressing that the arrangment should be maintained. This document has disappeared from University files.
This move was totally against my will and the advice of persons most familiar with events which had occurred there. It went against written advice from the deputy vice-chancellor who had been monitoring the situation. I know that several people attempted to prevent it happening. I cooperated on advice of my union that to not do so would be grounds for immediate dismissal.
At a meeting arranged by Dr Partis, the new head of division, and attended by myself and my union, I was given as sole reason for my return to archaeology that he would not permit the archaeology programme in geography to continue. I now know that he falsely claimed, in a review justifying denial of my tenure, that no documents existed which made official my transfer to geography . Many such documents, which had to be known to him, exist. However, I now know that no documents exist making official my return, even though I was told that such had occurred, and believe that such would have had to occur for Dr Partis to write a report as my supervisor.
I also now know that a January 1992 memorandum noted that my final review would be written by the head of my department when this report became due. It is my belief that the need to ensure I did not have a supervisor, Professor Taylor, who would write a favourable report best accounts for my transfer back to archaeology. This is especially true given that I now know that at that time (February 1992) a plan to incorporate archaeology into the history department was already being attempted, and that the offer, as said to have been given by the Vice-Chancellor, assumed that only one member of archaelogy would be involved, Professor Bowdler. It appears that control over other positions in the department, including mine, were being offered as "sweetners."
I now also know that by January 1992 internal documents begin to make reference to alleged, albeit totally undescribed, problems with my performance, and these provided the grounds for an unprecedented ruling that I not be allowed to be sole supervisor for postgraduate students. I now believe this ruling indicates that the decision to get rid of me had already been made and that it represented an attempt to begin to solve the vexing problem of unsupervised students that would be created when I was forced to leave. I also now know that even preceding my return to archaeology, documents were discussing the procedural conditions prerequisite to successfully denying me tenure. None of this was brought up with me in any manner at any time by any person.
I now also know that in early January 1992, Professor Bowdler and Dr Susan O'Connor, a member of archaeology staff and ex-student of Professor Bowdler's with whom she had been romantically involved, visited the Vice-Chancellor to raise charges of plagiarism against me. I now know that upon the direction of the Vice-Chancellor these charges were put into writing and then passed onto Professor Robson who occupied the position of head of division for a very brief period of time. This document as sent to the Vice-Chancellor contained clear charges never shown or discussed with me in any manner by any person at any time.
I was later involved with replying to letters from Dr O'Connor, but the charge of plagiarism was never directly put to me. Her first communication to me spoke only of her wishing to publish what she alleged to be a "joint" paper written by the two of us, noting that she had already sent copies to editors in the East. I note that her actions in doing this totally contravened university policies in such matters. I honestly had no idea to what she referred and made repeated requests to be provided a copy of this paper. I was later to discover that the alleged joint paper was nothing more than notes of a talk we had given in the anthropology department some two years earlier, one which presented some preliminary thoughts regarding a mathematcial model of mine which I had been told Dr O'Connor considered to be "embarassing."
After many months and much trouble it was ruled that no basis whatsoever existed for her charge, one which later was described to me as a demand by her that I cite said "joint paper" in another paper I was writing with one of my students. However, it was later written by the person involved in adjudicating the matter that her charge had, in fact, constituted one of plagiarism. I also later learned she also had circulated this charge verbally at meetings of a professional society. I received neither an apology nor a retraction of the charges from Dr O'Connor.
Approximately six months after I was sacked, Professor Robson, who had claimed in my tenure review report that my academic performance was below that of all persons recently granted tenure, wrote to a newspaper making the claim that my alleged performance inadequacies arose not only from matters of quantity but from quality as well. Given that by all academic criteria this statement must be judged false, I assume his comment represents a reference to these same allegations of plagiarism.
Immediately following the ending of this affair in mid 1992, Dr O'Connor wrote to the Aboriginal Sites department apparently making charges of grossly unprofessional behaviour regarding offences to aboriginal sensitivities on the part of one of my students. Such a charge, I note, would bring with it imputations of unprofessionalism and poor supervision on my part. This letter was the major factor which eventually caused my student to go overseas to finish her degree. All attempts by me to see this letter were rebuffed, with the Acting Director of Sites, Nichols Green, going so far as to tell me that I would have to take them to court to get a copy. It has been claimed that this letter does not exist in university files, and it has been recently refused to me by the Aboriginal Sites department.
I attempted to have my supervisor of the time, Dr Partis, intermediate in this matter, and the Vice-Chancellor was also written. Their only reply was an assurance that the letter would not be used unfavourably to influence evaluation of my student's PhD thesis.
Nobody would speak to myself or my student about charges, so we were unable to know them nor what evidence they were based upon, save that they referred to a paper the student had just published in a prestigeous journal. Clearly, had I been supervising a student who, in fact, had done been involved in what my student was accused of, then I would have been guilty of gross incompetence in my supervision of her. References were later made to my inadeqate teaching performance. Around this same time, I was also told that I had been "black banned" by am aboriginal community. Given that I had never had any contact with this community, nor even been in their part of the State, I was led to conlude a connection existed between the complaint against my student and this "banning."
In the first half of 1992 it was my belief that certain ambiguous public statements made by the university regarding events in archaeology could very easily be read to implicate me as a guilty party in the problems discovered in the archaeology department, problems which led to its abolition. Inasmuch as these statements misrepresented the findings of the independent archaeology review and my own knowledge of the situation, I spoke to the Registrar, Mr Orr who confirmed that he knew full well that I was not a guilty party in these matters. I then wrote to the Vice-Chancellor for clarification and, if need be, retraction. I received neither, but was merely directed to communicate solely with Dr Partis. He refused to discuss these matters of concern to me. All of these communications have disappeared from university files, but copies were retained by me.
Had the University wanted to discuss any views reflecting upon my performance regarding events in archaeology, this offered a clear opportunity to do so. Instead, it seems as if they were attempting to prevent me gaining any knowledge whatsoever of what was happening to me and the grounds on which it was occurring. This was totally in keeping with their hiding of charges from me, and their unwillingness to hold any discussions with me regarding my progress.
The archaeology department was formally dissolved in winter 1992, only a few months after I had returned to it. All other staff were incorporated into the anthropology department. I was excluded from this move, and left without departmental affiliation. Despite repeated requests for an explanation of this event, including a letter from the union indicating that my non-inclusion could be read as a negative judgment of me, no counselling was ever given me regarding the reasons for my exclusion, nor were assurances provided that my exclusion would not be held against me. I was left totally in the dark about the event. I now know that it was written I had been judged guilty of having harmed the archaeology department.
I now know that the members of the archaeology review committee specificially informed the Vice-Chancellor during late 1991 or early 1992 never to even consider merging archaeology with anthropology because they believed that such a move would not end the inequities.
Dr Partis was later to base his recommendations for denial of my tenure fundamentally on the grounds that I had been "unacceptable" to the anthropology department. The university also later used my lack of departmental affiliation as grounds to deny tenure. I was never counselled on why I was excluded from anthropology nor what I could have done to have prevented or reverse it.
Statements were later made that my exclusion was based on the recommendation to "resolve" the problems in archaeology. The fact that I was severely disciplined by denial of tenure and loss of my job also indicates that it was believed I was the cause of these problems. I now know that such claims were put in writing by university administrators including Dr Partis. Nothing was ever said to me regarding this matter by any person at any time, neither at the time at which the event originally occurred, nor when such notions were entered into the record.
I now also know that by 1992 a large number of documents containing false and exceedingly harmful charges against me, some of which are known to me, were being held in university files. I also now know that university memoranda make clear that these documents were placed by design into a "special" file with the expressed aim that I not be able to be aware of either their existence or the charges made against me. This was done with full, expressed, awareness that to so went against university regulations. The many claims of grossly unprofessional activities made about me in these documents, all of which could provide reasons to deny tenure, were never raised with me, nor referred to in any manner, at any time, by any person, which of course was the very aim of their treatement in this manner. One of the letters sent by Professor Bowdler to the Vice-Chancellor in October 1991 refers to this file, so it must have been in existence by that time.
I now have two sworn statements that the Head of the Undergraduate Students' Guild claimed to have been shown a "confidential" file by the Vice-Chancellor shortly before I was sacked, and that his previous support for my retention at the university thereafter ended.
I also now know that the documents which constitute the only negative claims ever made about me originated solely from members of the archaeology department, persons who were implicated in the reported misdealings I reported as ongoing in that department. I believe these charges against me, had they been true, which they are not, would provide very good reasons to deny tenure.
I also now know that it was written that these charges were relevant to my tenuring, and it was said in writing that they had never been seen by me, and that it would not be desirable were I see them or become aware of their existance. I now know that charges originating from the same persons in archaeology constituted the basis for Dr Partis' 1992 recommendation that I be denied tenure. This was on the grounds that I had been unable to get along with the other scholars on campus and that I was responsible for disruption in that department. These claims are not true at all. It is my belief that I was subjected to a campaign of defamation for having properly reported, as was my duty as department head, serious problems in my department, problems the existence of which were later confirmed during the independent university review of the department.
I now know that in January 1992 Professor Bowdler wrote a reply to the, then recently completed, review of her department. In her document she made numerous, exceedingly serious charges against me. In essence, she blamed me for having arranged that a negative review be falsely given of her department for the reason that she had properly sought to improve my academic performance. Both claims are false.
Her document was sent to the Vice-Chancellor and it was copied to Dr Partis, who was to write the first recommendation that I be denied tenure. It was also copied to Professors Jory and Robson, both of whom were to sit on my tenure review committee. Hence, both of the academic members of my tenure review committee had received a document providing damning, albeit false, evidence against me at an early date. Testimony from Professor Robson provided the sole comparative evidence for their ruling that my academic performance was inadequate. I now know his statement is factually untrue. A document written by Professor Jory is contested. Professor Bowdler's letter, I note, was not copied to the members of the committee which had conducted the review of archaeology.
I was never at any time made aware of this document nor of any of the exceedingly serious charges made against me in it. Given that I was accused by Professor Bowdler of not only grossly unprofessional conduct, but also of what I believe constitute criminal offences such as organising and directing a conspiracy falsly to defame and harm herself and her department, I find it totally astonishing that none of her claims were ever raised with me by any person, in any manner, at any time.
In May 1992 my tenure review period was extended for six months. This action went against university regulations because the extension was for reasons other than ones related to my performance. I now know the Vice-Chancellor herself had written some 9 months earlier that extensions to review periods are properly based upon poor performance. I also now know that the head of personnel had written in January 1992 regarding such a proposed extension that, if undertaken, regulations demanded that I prepare another activities report at the end of said extension. This was never requested of me, and hence was never done.
This same letter listed the issues on which the university would be "scrutinised" were tenure to be denied. That I was to become the first person ever to be denied tenure at UWA makes me believe that the very presence of such advice is indicative of a decision having already been made. Later documents, only now known to me, advise the university that full counselling must be given me regarding any and all matters claimed to represent poor performance on my part. This advice was also ignored.
My union lodged many complaints and demands for explanation regarding the irregular extension of my review period. No acceptable reason was ever provided to them. Since my sacking, the university has publicly claimed the extensions of my review were related to my performance. If so, this is contradicted by the written record, and I was never counselled regarding the matter. I now know from university documents that the extension was proposed as a ploy, apparently to permit the university the time needed to develop their case to deny tenure. In the same letter it was written that my tenure would have to be "carefully managed." Another document from around the same time (autumn 1992) written by Dr Partis asks to be provided with the earliest date upon which I could be terminated.
Yet another memorandum of the same time, quoting the university's legal advisor, noted I was carrying an "excessive" teaching load which might "compromise" planned actions. My classes were then listed as "subject to staff availability" and, later, all of my teaching assignments were removed. All of this was done without counselling or even notice being given me. I found out that I would not be teaching from students.
Since my removal the university has claimed that problems existed with my teaching performance. If so, this issue was not raised with me at any time during the review. My teaching was judged "satisfactory, but no better" by my tenure review committee's report of February 1993. Teaching reviews of me, however, suddenly disappeared from university files at the time of ther review, and therefore little evidence existed regarding this subject. I now know on the basis of official university statistics, that on the grounds of the most useful indicator of teaching performance, the student drop-out rate, my performance was among the best at the entire university (a 7% drop-out rate with absolutely no students leaving for reasons connected to my teaching; in contrast when other archaeologists taught the same class, their drop-out rates ranged between 17% and 28%). Student evaluations, which were later to show up in the Vice-Chancellory during an FoI search, as well as the ones then known to me in 1993, all show that student evaluations of my teaching gives grades in the greater than 90% range for all criteria. Detailed data on my teaching relevant to my claim that I would have a place as a teacher in existing departments at UWA was provided in a document refused by the Vice-Chancellor following my meeting with her in May 1993.
In mid 1992, my union, confirming the counsel given me earlier by Professors Oxnard and Taylor, advised the university that since I had two positive reviews and no complaints existed on the record, tenure must be granted to me. Again, no meaningful reply was given, nor was any counsel given me or them to explain this change in university regulations.
My supervisor following my return to archaeology was Dr Michael Partis, a mathematician who freely admitted to know nothing about archaeology. He freely claimed that he was an old friend of Professor Bowdler. He assured me that their friendship would not interfere with his objectivity. His assignment as my supervisor might well have gone against the Academic Award, especially given the fact that the person who had written my two previous reviews was still available for this task. Dr Partis said he would solicit outside reviews on my academic performance. I now know that he wrote the vice-chancellor on 7 May, even before my tenure review period was extended, that I had been given a "clean bill of health" but a review would have to be arranged because "it is essential that this be done if Dr Rindos is to be denied tenure."
I submitted my final yearly activities report in June 1992. Dr Partis kept returning it to me with directions that I provide more data, but making no comments on what had been provided him. I kept supplying more data and as a result the final version, submitted in August, was over 800 pages long (normally activity reports are around 3 pages).
I repeatedly requested that Dr Partis provide me with comment on my report. He would not do so, his sole comment, made very much in passing, was that I must be crazy, or words to that effect, to spend so much time and effort preparing teaching materials for my students. I cannot see how that would negative counsel. No written notification of his judgement on my activities report was ever supplied to me, nor was any counselling of any sort provided by him regarding poor performance following its submission. This happened despite clear university regulations mandating such counselling, and written communication to me from the Vice-Chancellor indicating it would be provided. I also note that my 1992 activity report, the preparation of which stopped my planned field research, was never consulted by the Wood Committee which met in 1993, nor was it referred to save to note that it was "too technical" for the Committee members to understand and was therefor excluded.
I now know that Dr Partis provided incomplete and out of date material to the two outside referees, that he did not provided them with essential documents relating to my performance which he had promised to send, and regarding which he was reminded on several occasions by both myself and my union. I now know, as a result of his omissions at least one of the outside referees was left with the totally false impression that my previous one years' work constituted the total work I had done since my arrival at the university. I also now know that, despite this misrepresentation, he believed granting tenure might be possible.
Dr Partis also did not provide either myself or the union with an inventory of the documents which were held relevant to his decision, or the names of people from whom I now know he solicited comment. In this he broke an understanding that I was to have the right to know what was to be considered in his evaluation and who was to enter testimony. We had agreed that I had the right to exclude evidence from parties I considered prejudiced against me. Hence, I was not permitted to know even the names of the persons who had provided evidence in relation to my tenuring. I now know he actively sought testimony persons from archaeology who had produced documents containing false and exceedingly harmful statements regarding me.
A document written by my union to the Vice-Chancellor requesting an enumeration of documents provided the review committee for its hearings in early 1993 has disappeared from university files. The same is true of the Vice-Chancellor's reply which indicated refusal of our request.
Other comments which might possibly be performance related by Dr Partis included an unpleasant statement shortly after my transfer to archaeology that he believed I was not a "real man." I took this to express a prejudicial view regarding my homosexuality, but did not believe it relevant to matters of tenure, such considerations being explicitly prohibited by university regulations.
Then, a few days before my review was originally to begin, Dr Partis wrote to my union, improperly I believe given that such a communication went against the strict confidentiality with which such charges must be treated, stating that I was to be brought up on for sexual harassment. I then discovered that the charges had been placed by three women associated with the archaeology department. I was able to see their full complaints only recently, and it seems that the charges of sexual harassment appear to have been more or less manufactured and were contained in letters sent Dr Partis regarding newspaper reports having absolutely no connection to myself. All charges referred to events which were alleged to have occurred some two to three years earlier. I now know that in other letters earlier written by two of these women to university administrators regarding events in archaeology, no mention whatsoever of myself or my behaviour was ever made. These charges, arising as they did just as I was about to begin tenure proceedings, indicated to me, and others, that they were malicious attempts to do me harm.
I stress that all allegations made about me in these documents were either false, totally irrelevant to such a charge, or both. Most importantly, no charge constituted sexual harassment as normally understood. Dr Partis did not inform me about the specific, nor ask for my comment upon the truth or relevance of the charges before proceeding to a hearing. It also appears that university procedural regulations regarding the handling of such serious charges were totally ignored.
I now know that both Dr Partis and the Vice-Chancellor informed totally unconcerned parties about the sexual harassment charges being initiated against me. Besides being totally improper under any circumstances, some of these communications occurred before I was made aware that charges against me existed, or that a hearing was to be held. It also became clear to me that at least some persons who were aware that I am homosexual were told of the charges, but not the fact that they were being brought by women. I have also learned that allegations regarding a supposed history of sexual harassment by me were conveyed to highly placed members of the Labor Party and members of the Press. In one case it was said to me that the claim was made by that I had been "thrown out of American universities" because of my "sexual attacks on women." I spoke with Ms Marcia Taylor and she confirmed that the Vice-Chancellor had told her that I was to be formally charged with sexual harassment. This happened some two weeks before I was informed of it. I later requested she provide me with a statement confirming her words. She became exceedingly agitated saying she could not "afford" to be "involved" in this manner, and then changed her story and began to say she had "no clear recollection" of the Vice-Chancellor's words. I have a sworn statement that, in fact, she conveyed the Vice-Chancellor's words to at least one third party.
A second charge was also brought up against me at the same time as the sexual harassment charges. This charge was that I had misused the campus computing network for pornographic purposes. I was provided with no evidence whatsoever regarding the charge, and I now know it was based solely upon verbal testimony provided by a third party, and that no evidence to support this charge ever existed.
Dr Partis nevertheless proceeded to make me answer this charge. The fact of this charge was also circulated to unconcerned parties. It was my belief at the time that he was, in fact, engaging in a "fishing" expedition. Repeated requests regarding the outcome of this matter led only to a statement that the charge would not be further pursued. I was, however, warned during counselling on this charge that it would be reinstituted if evidence ever were to appear.
My union advised me that either of these charges, if proven, would constitute reason for denial of tenure. Following the hearing, all charges were abandoned, but no judgment regarding my innocence was given, nor was any consideration given to the fact that they might have been malicious. We were merely told that the charges were not to be entered into my "official" record. Of course, I now know an "unofficial" record existed in university files regarding myself.
By late May or early June 1992, Dr Partis was circulating his belief that I would be denied tenure, this even before I had begun to submit my final activity report. I know he met with persons, including my students, to discuss his planned denial of my tenure, and that statements before a university Committee caused the Dean of Sciences to query if he had already prejudged the outcome of my review. His comments caused both members of the archaeology review committe to write letters complaining about his plan, and Professor Bruce wrote to the Vice-Chancellor that Partis' plan was unsound, improper, and that it "seems to be the total reversal of what I thought would be the probable outcome of our reveiew." By the end of August 1992 documents indicate that Dr Partis was arranging new supervisors for my students. It was not brought to my attention, despite being discussed by him University committees.
Dr Partis never raised the matter of his plan to deny tenure with me, but to the contrary assured me that he would act properly in all matters. Towards the end of 1992, however, Dr Partis attempted to involve myself and the union in discussion of a "pay out." Despite the fact that this would have provided an ideal time for full and fair counselling, he refused to discuss substantive matters of any kind, so his offer was ignored by myself and the union.
On 8 October, Dr Partis produced a three sentence recommendation regarding my tenurability, but he refused to tell me its nature, no less the grounds on which it had been based. My union forced him to provide me a copy of his recommendation. However, he refused to tell me, or the union, the grounds for his decision. I now know that his recommendation was written about a month before his first report justifying it. I was neither supplied this report or a discussion regarding it, nor was I then aware of its existence (it remains contested now).
I stress that those documents refused me as tenure reports written by Dr Partis and associated documents were never discussed with me at any time or in any manner. Dr Partis' sole comment to me regarding his decision was to "clarify" his recommendation by saying to me words to the effect that he had "not recommended denial of tenure", but instead "had not recommended" on the matter. He said the decision was solely in the hands of the Vice-Chancellor. His less than accurate clarification only served to increase my confusion regarding what was happening to me.
In early November a Committee was to meet to consider Dr Partis' recommendation, but the meeting was cancelled at the last minute. I now know that this occurred on the basis of advice given the university that the proposed grounds for denial of tenure would not stand up. A second report, again then unknown to me, was produced by Dr Partis, and negative evidence was solicited by him, specifically from persons who I believed wished to see me removed from the university for having made proper complaints about the conditions which existed in archaeology. None of this was discussed with me, nor did I have a chance to become aware of, no less reply to, anything in his second report.
I now know that a memorandum written by University's legal advisor in response to Dr Partis's inital recommendation of 2 November provided detailed and specific recommendations regarding the need to provide advice and counsel to me. This was not followed up, nor was a recommendation that I be provided with a letter summarising claims made against me for response. Handwritten annotations on this document indicates that the grounds for my dismissal yet to be finalised and a "redundancy" case was still being considered. Given that it appears the manner in which to be sacked had yet to be decided, it seems logical that I would not have been councelled on it at the time. This memorandum also noted that my non-acceptability to anthropology "should not be seen" as relevant to the denial of my tenure, but admitted how to "achieve" this goal would be "difficult."
A second memorandum produced by the same person, noted again that Dr Partis had been specifically instructed to include in his second report an accounting of any and all counselling given to me and their outcome. This information was conveyed to the Vice-Chancellor on 2 December.
Given that a copy of this second (contested) report by Dr Partis dated 23 November was "leaked" to me in 1993, I am able to state that nothing is mentioned regarding counselling in his second report (this points to the important data which can be contained in the refused documents). Nothing dealing with counselling had been included in his 2 November report either. I conclude that the omission of data regarding counselling, even after he had been specifically instructed on legal advice that such data must be provided, indicates a clear admission on the part of Dr Partis that no counselling regarding poor performance was ever given to me.
Other points were listed as necessary for Dr Partis to address in his second document. First he was told to justify his claim that I was guilty of unacceptable behaviour. No documentation was provided to justify this claim in the second report. He, however, did solicit non-specific, albeit negative statements against me from other members of the department, and he noted that he supported my exclusion from anthropology. He was instructed to provide a discussion accounting for the positive reviews of my performance. This was not done. He was instructed to account for Professor Oxnard's positive evaluation of 1991. I now know that this evaluation made clear reference to my vicitimisation in archaeology, and it was not discussed by him, nor was it apparently included with his report when given to the Wood Committee. Dr Partis, hence, was unable to follow instructions based on legal advice. Given that this advice was provided to deal with problems in his first report, I believe we can also conclude that the university's legal-industrial advisor had already judged that Dr Partis had been unable to support the claims made against me in his document of 2 November.
On 5 December 1992 I wrote to the Vice-Chancellor noting I had never been informed of any deficiency in my work during my probationary period and asked that my tenure be confirmed before the expiry of my extension (31 December). Had the Vice-Chancellor been aware of any counselling it seems to me that should would have contested my claim on this matter. I also formally requested, specifically citing natural justice, that if any allegations of unsatisfactory performance had been made about me then I must be allowed to reply to them. This letter to the Vice-Chancellor has disappeared from university files.
On 10 December 1992 the Vice-Chancellor replied, informing me a new committee was to meet in the near future. She assured me natural justice would be honoured. She did not accede to my requests regarding provision of documents or advice regarding negative judgments made of me. Instead, she extended my review period for an indefinite period of time. Again, no performance related reasons were provided or discussed with me. This document also is missing from university files but, like the one cited above, was earlier supplied by me to your Office.
In January 1993, my supervisor became Professor Williams, a physicist. He refused to speak to me, no less advise or counsel, saying that he did not want to "get involved," or words to that effect.
Also in mid-January 1993, shortly before the Wood Committee first met, I made the same request verbally to Professor Wood that I had made in writing to the Vice-Chancellor. Again, I was refused. He instructed me that I was not to have contact with any of the Committee's members. He also said that documents I considered exceedingly relevant, such as the "Bruce Committee's" review of archaeology, could not be considered because they were "confidential." This struck me as very odd, indeed.
Professor Wood proved himself totally unaware of matters as simple as my separation from my students, or my assignment to an office in the campus radio station. He made no claims regarding my performance, nor did we ever discuss issues relevant to non-procedural aspects of my tenure. To the contrary, he discouraged me from communicating with him at all, and I was never given the opportunity even to meet with him.
None of the members of the Wood Committee were in my academic field of expertise, nor even in a related field. As noted earlier, the academic members of the committee were persons I now know to have been the recipients of documents making false and harmful claims which had been hidden from me. And as mentioned earlier, the exceedingly long activities report which had been demanded of me by Dr Partis was never consulted by the committee which was created to judge my performance.
After the first meeting of the Committee, held in camera with the head of personnel and my union excluded, a series of written questions relating to my academic performance was sent me. I replied to these questions to the best of my abilities. Regarding the meeting, my union representative said that all of the discussion as heard by her before the committee went behind closed doors, led her and the head of personnel to believe that a recommendation for tenure would result. My union representative said both she and the head of personnel had been shocked when the committee returned with a recommendation to deny.
Following a second in-camera meeting the Committee reported that I satisfactorily answered all questions related to academic performance as put of me. Denial of tenure nevertheless was recommended, hence, it must be the case that the reasons for denial must have related to matters other than the academic ones to which I was asked to reply.
This final report recommending denial of tenure makes clear and repeated reference to material written by Dr Partis' allegations about me, but does not make their nature clear. Nevertheless, his vague charges of interpersonal problems are accepted. The clear reference here is to material I had requested but was neither allowed to know nor answer. I later wrote complaining about this to Professor Wood who had chaired the Committee and requesting information on any negative evidence used against me. I also complained that I had not been allowed to discuss my case with him. No reply was received.
I stress the fact I was never allowed to answer questions about my performance, nor to represent myself in any manner at the Committee meetings, nor at any other time. My union representative and the Head of Personnel were invited as "observers," but were excluded from substantive discussions. I now know it was written that both myself and my representatives were to be excluded from the committee meetings since our presence might "inhibit free discussion." Documents possibly relating to these in camera discussions have been refused.
On April 15th, I finished a long reply to the Wood Report which had been sent me on 2 March. My report, already supplied to you, concluded that due process and natural justice had been denied me, important data regarding my performance had suddently disappeard from university files, and that my academic record had been grossly misrepresented. The completion of this report was delayed because fo stress related medical problems, a condition that has continued to the present time.
No communication whatsoever, either in writing or verbally, regarding my reply and the claims I made in it was ever given me. Hence, no advice or counsel could have been provided me regarding whether my answers to the Wood committee's claims had been satisfactory or not, and if not, the reasons why. In this reply I was able to prove that, despite the harassment I had experienced, my performance, using comparative quantitative and qualitative measures, far exceeded the norm for persons Bin my field, both nationally and at UWA itself. I never received any reply of any kind to my reply to the Wood Committee report. A refused document may provide just such and evaluation and reply.
I met with the Vice-Chancellor on 20 May 1993. At this meeting she announced that she would not discuss any subject dealing with the Wood Committee report or my reply to it. The Vice-Chancellor also said would not discuss my academic performance. She claimed, I believe falsely, that I was not needed at the university because I was "unacceptable" to all other departments. We agreed I could speak to this issue. When I attempted to deliver my report, it was refused in writing. This document has also disappeared from university files.
I now know that two departments were forced to decline me as a member of staff because they would have had to find full financial support for me within their existing budget. This impossible financial condition which generated a guaranteed outcome was given by the Vice-Chancellor herself. Besides being ethically questionable, I believe it might also represent a violation of the contract under which I was hired. While the Vice-Chancellor did counsel me that two departments had turned down my assignment to them, she never made me aware of the absurd financial conditions she had placed upon them. A later attempt by myself to get a non-paying association with one department which would have allowed me access to the university library had to be turned down because they feared the political consequences such an appointment might entail.
The only topic the Vice-Chancellor wished to discuss was whether I was willing to accept a "pay-out." I held discussions as a matter of good faith, but felt I could not continue in the face of a statement by the university that if I accepted their pay-out they would announce my leaving in a manner that wouldNOTdo harm to my reputation. Knowing full well that I had done no wrong, I found that condition repulsive. A second offer to negotiate was refused by me after the university said it would not withdraw harmful statements already made regarding my personal life and academic abilities.
Following my sacking, likely in reference to the sexual harassment charges brought against me, the Vice-Chancellor wrote in a public letter to all staff at the university that improper dealings between staff and students were of "serious concern" and must be dealt with, but that such issues had "not been taken into account" in denying me tenure. In this same letter she admitted that I had been required to meet performance criteria which had not been made known to me. I view this as, at least in part, an admission that the university had not counselled me. Reinforcing this belief is the fact that no mention of counselling or advice given me regarding poor performance was made anywhere in her letter, this in a document which was meant to explain and justify the university's decision. The total lack of any mention of issues of natural justice would seem admission through omission. The same is true in university answers put to Parliamentary questions regarding my sacking. It was never said that I had been counselled regarding poor performance, or that natural justice was afforded me, even thought several questions could have been used to speak to this point. The university answers were later judged "not satisfactory" by the Education ministry.
Last year I won a defamation case against an individual who published that he had learned from highly respected anthropologists that I was a paedophile, an academic fraud, and harboured anti-aboriginal attitudes, and these were the true reasons why I was denied tenure at UWA. In that only members of staff at UWA could speak to "hidden" reasons for denial of my tenure, I am led to assume that such rumours began there. The head of anthropology, Dr Gordon, published in reply to an announcment of the denial of my tenure at UWA on allegedely academic grounds that "another side of the story" existed and I now know that he wrote to Profssor Wood that the fact that I had "other shortcoming was not getting through". Other events following my dismissal exist which serve to prove that non-academic issues never discussed with me were the real factors involved in the denial of my tenure.
This statement represents my best recollection of events. I can supply support for most claims by means of evidence in my possession.
And I make this solemn declaration by virtue of section one hundred and six of the Evidence Act, 1906
//ORIGINAL DOCUMENT SIGNED AND WITNESSED 18 APRIL 1995//