Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 01:48:04 -0400
From: "Hugh W. Jarvis" {hjarvis@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU}
To: Multiple recipients of list ANTHRO-L {ANTHRO-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU}
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.anthro-l
CC: arch-l
Subject: Comments from Dr. Rindos on UWA vs Rindos

Here are the worthy Dr. David Rindos's comments on my recent post to arch-l and anthro-l about his troubles with the University of Western Australia.

Hugh Jarvis


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 08:37:09 +0800 (WST)
From: Dave Rindos {}
To: "Hugh W. Jarvis" {}
Subject: Reply (with additions) (fwd)

Thanks for the advance copy of your post. I believe that you have summarised the developments well, and I really can't think of any significant modifications to suggest. I do believe that you hit the nail on the head when you pointed out the importance of standing up for PROPER academic standards, including (as was stressed by the FoI Commissioner) accountability!

I though you might be interested in a few additions (assuming you have space in an already long posting).

1) The documents which were forced into release by the FoI ruling make what seem to be astonishing admissions.

Professor Robert Wood, who chaired my Tenure Review Committee, wrote a document replying to my complaints about his Recommendation to sack me by means of denying me tenure.

I had written that being suddenly sacked without proven reasons and without "ANY previous warning of inadequate performance, in and of itself, constitutes SERIOUS INJUSTICE.

His reply was "I have no argument with this."

I also wrote "A proper and complete rebuttal of the Committee's findings REQUIRES that we be provided with ALL the relevant evidence raised in, or related to, the Report. I must know the names of my accusers, the nature of their complaints, the evidence indicating that their complaints are valid and not mere defamatory constructions, and the data which has been used in what appears to be a campaign designed to destroy my career and my good name and reputation."

His response was "I interpret this as a threat."

I could give many more quotations from this document, but I think you get the point! [as well as an idea of possible reasons why it was not provided to me :{) ]

{To see the entire Wood Document select here.}

Another document forced into release was written by a member of the Committee who did not attend the second meeting. This person seems to have made clear what the whole business was REALLY about. He said, in enumerating his reasons for denying me tenure, that "most importantly for the University, [he] has been involved in creating an atmosphere in which his colleagues and superiors find it impossible to cooperate with him or he with them." It seems the true reasons for denying me tenure are at least put into writing here, and that the false and harmful complaints about me had their intended effect.

It really is too bad that a decision was made to break WRITTEN University regulations and hide all of those harmful documents so that I could not even be aware of them, no less respond. I could have very easily replied to the false complaints made about me. It was also unfortunate that the University decided to prohibit me from appearing before the Review Committee or even speaking to its members. It is especially sad that they made the decision specifically to exclude ANYBODY who could represent my point of view, and that they chose not to involve the biological anthropologist who had written the two formal Reviews of my performance (both of which were positive, but neither of which were mentioned in the Recommendation to deny tenure). It might have been nice to have at least ONE member of my field on the Committee (as it was, the decision on my tenurability was made by a surgeon, the manager of a State Enterprise, and experts on Business Management, Classical Theatre, and Mediterranean Legumes.)

Another formal performance report, written by the Head of the Department to which I was assigned after being moved from archaeology, and now forced into supply was never mentioned in any of the Recommendations to deny tenure. I now know that it said about me: "He is a very enthusiastic researcher and has become productive in the past few months since the burden of conflict has been removed from his situation. . . . He is a pleasure to have in the Department and wishes to fit in with the staff and functioning of the Department." I can see why they might have believed acknowledging this document might cause them problems!

A document written while I was in Geography by Professor Bowdler, the then Head of Archaeology, and newly released to me, makes reference to events which were to be used (maliciously, in my view) as the basis for charges of sexual harassment one year later. She wrote regarding these events "I should make it clear that I am not insinuating any sort of sexual harassment here." Nevertheless, charges were later brought against me (no doubt coincidently :{( ) at the very same time as my tenure was scheduled to be confirmed. According to sworn statements, the "fact" of said charges were passed around by the Vice-Chancellor and other high UWA administrators, even before I was made aware of them. Hmmm......

2) You may not be aware that I am now in the process of appealing to the University Visitor (which is an ancient jurisdiction, and is essentially equivalent to making an appeal to the Crown itself). This is a very expensive and time-consuming process, but I am hopeful that justice will soon be done. We will have to prove to the Visitor that I was treated in an improper fashion. I believe that the FoI Commissioner's Ruling and the recently released documents will make our job at least a bit easier! :{) Importantly, the Visitor has the right to set aside ANY decision made by the University, and also has the power fully to investigate the larger issues connected to my case.

3) It became publicly known in the last few days that another university in Perth had been holding secret negotiations with UWA in an attempt to find a solution. The hope was that I could be quietly reinstated and then moved to another posting. Sadly, after initially agreeing to negotiate, it is reported that UWA rejected the offer, even though it appears it would have been at little or no cost to them. It also became publicly known that Members of Parliament are now considering an open and full inquiry into events at UWA. I hope it does not have to go this far for fear that harm might be done to the vast majority of UWA Staff who, as I noted in reply to your last post, have shown great support for myself and the students who were disadvantaged during this affair.

4) Last, but far from least, I hope that a fair resolution of my case will permit these same students a chance to clear their own names and allow them to regain their faith in academia as an institution. All three students who originally went with me to Geography have left Australia. As one of these women recently wrote me, she feels like a rape victim who has been told that she was "asking for it." This makes me very sad, indeed, but it also reinforces my resolve to continue fighting. As we used to say "if you ain't part of the solution, then you're part of the problem."

Thank you again for making the current problems known. And as before, you may do with this letter whatever you please. I would very much appreciate, however, if you could let people know the VC's e-mail address

I believe that it might help a great deal if they were to send her a note of support for my case in that hopes that a settlement could be obtained.


Dave Rindos
20 Herdsmans Parade Wembley WA 6014 AUSTRALIA
Ph:+61 9 387 6281 (GMT+8) FAX:+61 9 387 1415 (USEDT+12)
God is not dead. He's just changed His name to Culture and
may be reached through your local anthropology department.