The University of Western Australia Head Division of Agriclture and Science Dr M.T. Partis Nedlands, Perth, Western Australia 6009 23 November 1992.CONFIDENTIAL AND IN CONFIDENCE
Dr D Rindos - Tenure Review (Supplementary Report)
This supplementary report should be read in conjunction with the earlier report dated 2nd November 1992.
It should be recalled that at the time of the second progress review of Dr Rindos in mid-1991, there was a hostile report from the then Head of Archaeology, Professor S Bowdler. At about the same time the Head of Division, Professor Oxnard, arranged to have Dr Rindos to be relocated to Geography. Some of his postgraduate students were also relocated. It has to be said that there is nothing on the file, either then or now, to indicate that Dr Rindos had been transferred to the Department of Geography. It appears to have been an ad hoc physical relocation, precipitated by the tensions in the Department of Archaeology. This in itself was a source of later confusion. Professor Oxnard wrote a largely supportive report on the activities of Dr Rindos, substantially ignoring the comments made by Professor Bowdler. It should be added, however, that Professor Oxnard was seriously concerned about the possible consequences of an adverse report on Dr Rindos's mental health.
In February 1992 I took over as Head of the Division of Agriculture and Science and also as Executive Head of the Department of Archaeology. I decided that the separation of an already small department into two rival factions was untenable, and insisted on Dr Rindos resuming the status of a staff member in the Department of Archaeology. In my view his departmental affiliation has never been changed, despite repeated claims to the contrary. I arranged for Dr Rindos to move to an office in close proximity to the other Archaeologists and required him to attend staff meetings. This attempt to re-absorb him failed. He was quite unwilling to have any kind of normal relationships with his departmental colleagues.
At the same time I also attempted to re-integrate the six postgraduate students associated with Dr Rindos. This policy had to be abandoned because of the evident hostility between the two separate postgraduate groups, and for the more mundane reason that there was not enough accommodation in the Archaeology Department to house the dissident group.
At the end of June 1992 the Department of Archaeology was suspended and all the members of staff except Dr Rindos were transferred to the Department of Anthropology. Anthropology was given responsibility for teaching the discipline of Archaeology. Dr Rindos was left unattached to any department but reporting to me as his supervisor. For some weeks now he has refused to see me and has insisted that any communication be through his Union representative.
In the last eighteen months Dr Rindos has declined to work with his colleagues in Archaeology, and has not been prepared to accept the authority of, firstly, Professor Bowdler as Head of Department, and more recently, myself as Head of Division.
I have been asked to elaborate on the reasons why Dr Rindos is unacceptable to the Department of Anthropology. In the first place it should be crystal clear that he has been quite unable to work with the other specialist in the field. He has had a major destabilising effect on the discipline of Archaeology, and according to a number of reports, has been prepared personally to denigrate other staff members.
Professor Bowdler, Dr Lilley, Dr O'Connor and Dr Veth have made it absolutely clear that they are not prepared to work with Dr Rindos in any capacity. The departmental secretary, Ms C Munday, has found his presence so unsettling that she is considering early retirement.
It is against this background that the Head of Anthropology, with the full backing of his department, declined to accept Dr Rindos as staff member. In his view there was ample evidence to suggest that Dr Rindos's presence would result in a repeat of the dissension which had produced such major tension in the former Department of Archaeology. In that event the stability of the Department of Anthropology would itself have been threatened. I would have to say I entirely endorse the stand taken by the Head of Anthropology.
The heart of the case for denying tenure is that Dr Rindos has demonstrated no capacity for working with other members of academic staff. A possible home might be found for him in Geography or Anatomy and Human Biology, but these are not departments which teach Archaeology. The Department of Anthropology, which is charged with responsibility for the discipline of Archaeology is not prepared to accept him under any circumstances. Their stand is entirely justified by the behaviour of Dr Rindos and his unwillingness to work with the other Archaeologists. I believe the University has no option but to deny tenure.
/Signed Michael Partis/