June 12, 1992

Dr M Partis
Head of Divison of Agriculture and Science

Dear Mike

I was asked to supply a reference for Dr David Rindos in relationship to confirmation of his tenured position at this university. This I am happy to do.

Over that past year I have been able to make a considered judgement of his academic ability and performance at this university. I have been able to do this through 1) talking to graduate and undergraduate students who have undertaken joint courses in Archeology and Anatomy and Human Biology 2) talking to colleagues who are closer to his specific research interests, 3) listening to research presentations and informal talks from his postgraduate students, 4) examining and currently editing one of his research papers and finally 5) through my position as member and convenor of the Archaeology Review Committee which met late last year and which thoroughly examined much of the workings of that department including reports on the teaching and research abilities and performance of each member of academic staff.

From all of the evidence that I was able to obtain, Dr Rindos comes across as a more than competent lecturer who enjoys his teaching role and is able to impart much of the excitement he has in the discipline to his students. He appears to be innovative in his approach, has a good command of his subject material and a general willingness to listen to contrary opinions and use debate as a means of clarifying issues. I was made aware of some negative reports but my considered opinion is that these were a function of gross mismanagement of that department and were clearly in conflict with more objective evidence I was able to obtain from student interviews and independent student questionnaires. In short, I believe that Dr Rindos has already proved himself to be a competent lecturer and, given a reasonable working environment, could be a definite asset to this university.

In terms of his research ability my colleagues, who are closer to his research area than I am, all report most favourably on his ability and his work. He appears to be a clear and original thinker who has made substantive contributions to his discipline in the past. Even at this university, where his working environment has been most unfavourable, he appears to have been surprisingly productive. He is competent and enthusiastic about his own work. But most importantly he also has the breadth to be able to usefully guide and stimulate postgraduate research students in areas not directly related to his specific hayfields of expertise and so promote their independent research careers. In this sense, I believe he has made an important contribution to this university. Form the evidence I have examined, it appears that if it had not been for Dr Rindos, a number of able postgraduate students in the Department of Archaeology would have given up or failed in their studies in part through previous inadequate supervision.

Thus in terms of both teaching and research I believe that Dr Rindos should have his tenure confirmed and I would be happy to amplify any of the above comments if needed.

But there is one further issues that must be raised. As convenor of the Archaeology Review Committee, it is clear to me that Dr Rindos and other have received most unfortunate and unfair treatment at this university. He was asked, soon after arriving at this university, to assume acting headship of his department. Since then, he and others have been subjected to a concerted campaign of denigration that I believe few could have sustained. That he was able to be productive at all is clear testimony of his ability as an academic.

So, from all of the information in my possession, I believe that this university could be guilty of a grave miscarriage of justice if it does not confirm Dr Rindos in his tenured position. I do believe that he has much to offer us.

Yours sincerely,

Neville Bruce
Associate Professor, Anatomy and Human Biology
ex Convenor, Archaeology Review Committee

cc: Professor F Gale