MEMORANDUM Centre for Prehistory
6th December 1988

Professor Dave Kepert
Dean of Science

Associate Professor Ted Watt



Upon the decision of A/Professor Hallam to take early retirement, the Centre for Prehistory was permitted to advertise her position as a tenurable Lectureship/Senior Lectureship . The advertisement (copy attached) was phrased so as to highlight teaching expertise, in accord- ance with the recommendation of the Working Party, which recently reviewed the Centre for Prehistory. The advertisement appeared in the Australian, Nature and the Times.

Because of the small size of the department, I convened a Selection Committee which included members from outside the department. It con- sisted of Professor Michael Scriven (Education), who chaired the above-mentioned Working Party and was thus well aware of our needs and aspirations, Dr. Brian de Garis (History), who has been instrumental in setting up the Centre for Prehistory as a former Dean of Arts, and myself.

Sixteen applications were received. I circulated them to A/Professor Hallam and Dr. C W Amsden, the other (third) member of the Centre for Prehistory, for their comments, which they gave me in writing. I convened a meeting of the Selection Committee on 3 November, 1988. I invited Dr. M. Tonkinson to attend this meeting which she did not do (I think she forgot to put it in her diary).

At this meeting, we agreed on a short list of seven candidates. It was further agreed that I should seek referees' reports for these candidates, asking particularly for comment on their teaching experience and ability. This was done, and in addition,in accord with the suggest- ion of the Appointment Office's memo of 10 October, 1988, I wrote to each short-listed candidate asking whether they could suggest any additional referee who could address their teaching capacity and asking them to forward any further documentation of their teaching skills, should they wish to do so.

At this time, Dr. Amsden informed me that he intended to resign, as of February 1989 (at almost the exact time of A/Professor Hallam's retire- ment). I sought the advice of Professor Clyde, who said that there would be no problem in replacing Dr. Amsden with another appointment, as a renewable fixed-term lectureship. I further sought his approval to appoint from within the current field of applicants. I also discussed this informally with Dr. Tonkinson, and with Professor Scriven and Dr. de Garis. All agreed that this would be appropriate, given the timing, and the fact that the wording of the advertisement was sufficiently wide that further advertising would not draw a better field, and of course that teaching ability would still be important.

Having received sufficient referees' reports and additional document- ation, I convened a meeting of the Selection Committee on Friday, 2 December 1989. Our decision was as follows.

1. To offer to Dr. David Rindos the position of tenurable Senior Lecturer, for reasons detailed below.

2. To offer to Dr. Ian Lilley the position of renewable fixed-tenn Lecturer, for an initial three-year term.

It seems highly likely that both candidates will accept these appoint- ments, and be prepared to start in February. I therefore suggest that the other short-listed candidates (described below) be advised that their application was unsuccessful.

1. Dr. David Rindos (application, book reviews, and referees' reports attached).

Dr Rindos was clearly the most senior application academically and in terms of teaching experience.

Teaching: Dr. Rindos has some 5 years full-time tertiary teaching experience. He is very committed to and enthusiastic about teach- ing. His referees confirm this, and the reports from his colleagues at his most recent position particularly highlight his desire to continually seek improvement and succeed in this area. He also submitted examples of his teaching materials (not attached, but available if wished) which I thought showed the great effort he puts into teaching and also creativity.

Research: Dr. Rindos has had four substantial articles published in leading international journals between 1981 and 1986, as well as numerous other papers and several in press. His 1984 book The Origins of Agriculture: an evolutionary perspective has been very favourably, indeed glowingly, reviewed (four reviews attached). All his referees speak highly of his work (reports attached): terms like "brilliant", "stimulating" even "genius" are mentioned, and all stress his energy, dedication, enthusiasm and productivity. He is the only applicant with an international reputation, being well-known in the UK as well as N.America, and Australia.

The only query one might have is that Dr. Rindos is not a mainstream archaeologist, with degrees in Sociology, Botany and Evolutionary Biology, and he has not published in any of the specified fields of Australian prehistory, historical archaeology or Southeast Asian prehistory. He has however been a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, ANU, and I think Dr. Rhys Jones's reference addresses this point (Dr. Jones is one of the very foremost Australian prehistoric archaeologists). Dr. Rindos is very keen to become involved in our ongoing research programs, and the field of palaeobotany is a very important one which is in sore need of development. Given my own skills in mainstream archaeology, and those of the other suggested appointee, the selection committee felt that a proper balance within the department would be achieved. I believe Dr. Rindos's track record qualifies him to be appointed as a Senior Lecturer, at the bottom of the range. I was able to discuss the position with him extens ively during his recent visit to Perth in early October, and he understands this would entail him being acting Head of Department during my absence (as for instance during my projected study leave, July 1989 - July 1990). While he does not have extensive administrative experience, he is willing to take it on and I am confident he will bring the same enthusiasm and dedication to bear on it as he does to everything else.

In short, while Dr. Rindos might be a bit of an unorthodox appoint- ment the Selection Committee thinks we are very lucky to to be able to get him.

[Comments on other candidates removed before release]

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