The University of Western Australia 31 October 1991 Department of Archaeology Nedlands, Perth, Western Australia 6009Professor Fay Gale
RE: Staffing - Department of Archaeology
In 1989, the Annual Staffing Review allocated this Department a new 0.5 lectureship for 1989, recognizing our growth in terms of student numbers. It was suggested that similar growth in 1990 would attract the other 0.5.
In 1990 our growth was such that had the Annual Staffing Review been conducted in the way which had been usual, I am fully confident that we would in fact have been awarded a further full-time lectureship. I speak as a previous member of the Staffing Committee.
Due to the devolution of the University structure, we were denied this opportunity. I argued the case to the Head of Division (see attached memo) but all that resulted was $25,000 of "soft money", which we used to appoint a temporary tutor. Our numbers for 1991 being similar to those for 1990 I argued the case again (memo attached). [two memoranda not included in document as released]
I have just been advised by Professor Oxnard that we have been turned down again. There are two aspects, one involving the Rindos situation, the other not.
Quite apart from the complications of the Rindos position, this Department is the most understaffed in the Division of Agriculture and Science. Yet we are succeeding well at all the things we are supposed to do. We are attracting students, teaching them well (all members of staff except Dr Rindos consistently attract high student evaluations) and also succeeding very well, I might even say brilliantly, at attracting research funds (see enclosed table re 1992 ARC grants). [not included in document as released]
Professor Oxnard seems to be relying entirely on the forthcoming review to solve our staffing problems. On the one hand that will be of little use to us when the 1992 academic year commences. On the other hand what on earth do we have to do short of an annual departmental review, to get proper staffing?
I understand the overall budget problems faced by the Head of Division. All students are funded however, and I can only conclude we are disadvantaged at the expense of other departments. At least the old Staffing Committee was able to carry out a zero-sum exercise to allocate justice to all; why can the Division of Agriculture and Science not do this?
With respect to the complications of the Rindos position, we are in fact very badly off indeed. Dr Rindos is unable to teach courses appropriate or adequate for our students and in any case they vote with their feet and don't elect to enrol in his 2nd/3rd year courses. This means we have an effective staff of 2.5.
I am extremely disturbed by the second paragraph of Professor Oxnard's memo re Staffing. On the one hand, he implies (as I have discussed elsewhere), that Dr Rindos is no longer a member of this Department because I, personally, am unable to work with him. As I have pointed out elsewhere, every other member of this Department has complained about Dr Rindos's academic deficiencies. It is only because I initiated steps to try and improve Dr Rindos's performance that he, apparently successfully, tried to turn this into a matter of personal conflict.
It is very worrying that Professor Oxnard implies that, wherever Dr
Rindos ends up in the University, he will still be held against us in
staffing matters. This appears to be completely at variance with the
verbal understanding he made to me (on several occasion) and also to Dr
Lilley. This had two aspects, firstly under no circumstances would Dr
Rindos return to the Department of Archaeology. Secondly, when Dr
Rindos's probation was concluded the position would return to this
Department in some form; if Dr Rindos's appointment were not
confirmed, we would regain the position as a Senior Lectureship; if his
appointment were continued, we would regain the position as some lower
level. Professor Oxnard's recent memo appears to renege on this
[this paragraph is hand-annotated by Professor Oxnard "NO"] This Department with 2.5 staff has attracted 2.5% of the University's ARC programme grant allocation for 1992. Dr Susan O'Connor hods the 0.5 lectureship. IN 1991 she has attracted some $70,000 of outside funding; already for 1992 she has secured some $35,000. She would be an obvious front runner for a new full-time position. As it is, she has told me that, with no obvious such prospect on the horizon, she will be looking for appointments elsewhere. I think we will all be looking closely at our respective situation in this institution. I repeat, what do we have to do to get recognition around here?
(Professor) Sandra Bowdler
cc: Head; Div. Ag. & Sci.
The second copy, also unstamped, was highlighted to indicate it was sent to the Head of Division and also had annotations in the hand of Charles Oxnard.
The original copy sent to the Vice-Chancellor has apparently disappeared. No copies were recovered which bore the stamps of this office. This is particularly confusing in that the Vice-Chancellor (Archaeology relevant) files, as enumerated to Dr Rindos in late March 1994, contain many scores of documents on all the most mundane of topics, all of which are related to the management of archaeology. These files may, at least in part, represent the ones that were taken from the Division of Agriculture and Science, but again, may come from different sources.
If a clerical error has been made about the first copy, then the signed copy may be the original sent to the Vice-Chancellor.