I write as Professor and Head of the Anthropology Department at The University of Western Australia, which has administrative responsibility for the Centre for Archaeology, the subject of yet another posting by Hugh Jarvis. I wish to respond to this particularly reprehensible communication. The remarks made about Professor Bowdler in that posting were derived from selected documents tabled in the Western Australian parliament. These statements were protected by parliamentary privilege, which means that, according to Australian law, Professor Bowdler cannot respond to them legally or by any other means. As I write, the University's Senior Legal Advisor is testing the posting for possible libel and defamation in the context of the appropriate legal frameworks.
Most of the conclusions drawn from the tabled documents are patently misleading, as is Hugh Jarvis's version of events at this University in relation to the Centre for Archaeology.
The comments by Hugh Jarvis pertaining to missing files are misleading and erroneous. These files contained basic administrative documents relating to such matters as leave and conditions of employment. They contained no documents relevant to the tenure review process or to Dr Rindos's academic performance. These are stored in a separate set of files, and Dr Rindos has already gained access to most of them under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
Our earlier protests to Hugh Jarvis via the anthro-l list, regarding his failure to crosscheck any of his information or to attempt to provide a modicum of balance, went unheeded. Jarvis is a willing participant in what appears to be an orchestrated campaign aimed at destroying both the career of an excellent scholar and the good name of this University.
I appeal to the international archaeological and anthropological scholarly community for a continued exercise of good sense in assessing what appears to this University to be a biased and ill-informed representation of a complex set of issues.