Professor Faye Gale
Vice Chancellor, University of Western Australia
Nedland, W.A. 6009 Australia
Ms. Kerry Evans
Academic Staff Association
University of Western Australia
Dear Professor and Vice Chancellor Gale:
I am writing to you a recommendation for the tenure and continued appointment of Dr. Rindos. Let me begin by introducing myself. I am Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo and also hold the position of research scientist at the National Center for Geographic Information. I serve as one of the U.S. representatives to the United Nations Man and the Biosphere program. I am also on various other international commissions. Presently, I am on leave at Cambridge University, England where I am visiting fellow at Wolfson College and where at various times I have been visiting scholar at the Department of Archaeology and the Cambridge Group for the Study of Population. At Buffalo, I serve on the executive committee of the University Senate which is the responsible body for a university with a budget of $350 million dollars, 30,000 students, and 3000 faculty and staff. I have been one of the 4 members of information technology committee with oversight function over 150 personel lines and 15 million dollar budget. I have some 7 books written or edited, some 60 plus professional papers and over the years several hundred thousands of dollarsin research grants and contracts. I have run field programs in the United States, Mexico and in Scandinavia. When I am in Buffalo, I run an archaeological laboratory, an archaeometry laboratory, and a GIS laboratory. I am also one of several curators for the Marian White Archaeological Museum. I am on the editorial board of various publishing houses and journals of which two might be relevant here--Antiquity (the major international archaeology journal which has had the Disney Professor of Archaeology of Cambridge University as its editor at various times) and the Cambridge Archaeological Journal which is published by the McDonald Institute of Cambridge University and generally has the reputation of being an outstandingly innovative archaeological journal.
I have followed Dr. Rindos's intellectual career with some interest since he was at Cornell. I think I am qualified to judge his writing and research. His book on agriculture, THE ORIGINS OF AGRICULTURE, which I reviewed in print is an exceptionally fine piece of work and many a scholar would be happy to have their life long reputation based on this alone. However, his other studies are as significant and as good- in fact better. His EVOLUTION OF CULTURAL CAPACITY is an important innovation in the theoretical aspects of general archaeology. It was published in Current Anthropology which is a premier interdisciplinary journal within anthropology. His GENETICS OF CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY addresses one of the must fundamental issues in the field "how culture comes to be" and it is published in a the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology which is another very innovative and important journal for scholars who are on the cutting edge of archaeological research. I could go on paper by paper but I will not take up your time. However, let me just comment that I have read his most recent paper on COLONIZATION which has been submitted to Michael Schiffer's Advances in Archaeological Theory and Method another internationally important publication. I wanted to read it because I am presently writing a book on some aspects of demography and I knew that the issue was one of the central issues in archaeology and evolutionary theory today and that Dr. Rindos' ideas would be critical to understanding important new directions in this area.
What is important to realize in the case of Dr. Rindos is that he has published and continues to do research and publish at the highest international level. There are archaeologists who are concerned with local problems; there are archaeologists who study nationally significant problems. However, there only a very few who are capable to study and contribute to the very basic problems which are central to the entire field and which are internationally applicable. Dr. Rindos's research has alway been at this level. I often tell my advanced graduate students (just before they begin to decide upon what their dissertation research will be) that the difference between a good archaeologist and a great one) is the ability to intuit the important problems and work on them. Dr. Rindos has that ability. He has demonstrated it again and again and continues to do so. His research is a credit to any department in the world.
IN SHORT, THIS IS A SCHOLAR WHO IS WORKING WITH THE HARD BASIC PROBLEMS OF HIS FIELD VERY SUCCESSFULLY; WHO HAS A VERY GOOD INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION; AND WHO IS CONTINUING TO DO RESEARCH AND PUBLISH AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL. HE SURELY IS DESERVING OF PERMANENCY.
Thank you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. I may be reached at Wolfson College, Cambridge University or by phone 44-02--------.
Ezra B.W. Zubrow