The University of Western Australia
Thursday, December 4,1997
The University of Western Australia today stood by its decision in 1991 to deny tenure to the late Dr David Rindos.
UWA Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fay Gale said a Legislative Council Public Administration Committee report had not established that the University had made its decision to deny tenure on material not disclosed to Dr Rindos. It had also denied the University natural justice and procedural fairness.
"There is nothing contained in the Committee report which materially affects the decision to deny Dr Rindos tenure," Professor Gale said.
"The University will respond to the report once we have had time to do a detailed analysis. We are concerned about the Committee's conclusions because we strongly disagree with them. The report contains errors of fact, and contains findings, which appear to be based on evidence which is not disclosed in the report, and findings which are illogical. It is disappointing that such an expensive process has resulted in a mediocre report."
Professor Gale said the Committee's most damning conclusions, (23.5 and 23.6), were based on an incorrect assumption, because the University did not rely on and did not need to rely on material not disclosed to Dr Rindos to reach its decision that Dr Rindos was unsuitable for tenure.
"It is also of concern that the Committee draws conclusions about the University's record keeping when the Committee has never asked for a complete set of documents despite our willingness to provide it. The Committee has only ever asked for particular documents, which have been provided."
Professor Gale said it was felt that the Committee had not paid due attention to process. It had, at times been heavy handed in its approach, despite the University's willingness to cooperate; there had been a serious breach of privilege from the Committee; and the Committee had misled the University.
"The flaws in process identified by the Committee had already been identified by the University and structures have been put in place to avoid a similar situation," she said.
"The report concludes a wasteful and unnecessary exercise. This matter should never have got to the Parliament. It has cost tax payers thousands of dollars. It has taken so long to get to this point that the report has almost lost its relevance. Naturally, as a responsible institution, we will examine the report to see if any particular aspect could assist in the management of the University.
"We have always held that once the issue reached senior administration it was managed properly. It has always been our contention that the matter was an industrial relations issue and should not have gone to the Parliamentary Committee," Professor Gale said.
Professor Fay Gale 9380-2801
Colin Campbell-Fraser 9380-2889