March 11, 1997Chair Person
RE: Status of the Standing Committee
The Archaeology Action Group comprises friends, colleagues and former students of the late Dr David Rindos who was denied tenure by the University of Western Australia under controversial circumstances.
The Action Group appeals to the Standing Committee investigating the denial of tenure to Dr Rindos, to continue this very important inquiry. We urge that all of your Terms of Reference, be rigorously investigated.
A number of very serious concerns regarding the administration of the former Department of Archaeology , and the Centre for Prehistory (consulting wing of the Dept of Archaeology), UWA have been raised several times with the UWA administration to no avail. These concerns include allegations of sexual harassment, academic thuggery, restriction of academic freedom, breaches in occupational health and safety, conflict of interests and inequitable treatment of students and staff.
We believe it imperative that an outside independent body such as the Standing Committee should investigate these complaints, given the repeated failure of the Vice Chancellor and the UWA Senate to investigate. The Action Group calls on the Standing Committee to broaden its Terms of Reference to fully investigate the administration of the former Department of Archaeology, and Centre for Prehistory, UWA.
The most recent UWA Senate Inquiry (Dec 1996) into the so called 'Rindos Affair", states that it decided not to "address the merits of the findings and recommendations of the 1991 Review of the Department of Archaeology or of the decision not to grant Dr Rindos tenure", because a Parliamentary Inquiry was in process and the UWA Senate lacked the powers and resources of the Parliamentary Committee to launch such an investigation. Such an acknowledgment by the University Senate of its inability to address staff and student concerns further highlights the need for the Parliamentary Inquiry to proceed.
We therefore implore that the Parliamentary Committee continue to conduct a most rigorous investigation.
A Yates and J Mattner spokespersons & the undersigned Members of the Archaeology Action Group.