The University of Western Australia Head Division of Agriclture and Science Dr M.T. Parits Nedlands, Perth, Western Australia 6009 7th May 1992.STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
Professor F. Gale,
[Almost two pages suppressed here during Freedom of Information release]
Section 3. Dr. Rindos
Dr. Rindos has a tenure-track position. A summary of activities is due from him this month. His staff file is incomplete and it is not clear what action can be taken at lhis stage. I have sought clarirication of the situation from the Personnel office, but this has not yet been forthcoming. He was given a clean bill of health in 1991, despite evidence that there were major problems over his performance. Given the difficulties which have occurred it will be very hard to arrive at an objective assessment of his academic performance now. Nevertheless, it is essential that this be done if Dr. Rindos is to be denied tenure.
There is a difficult management problem here for which I know of no clear precedent. In my judgement there is no prospect of Dr. Rindos establishing a satisfactory working relationship wilh the other members of the Archaeology Deparlment. In such circumstances a possible solution is to locale the staff member concerned in another department. This was half-attempted last year with Dr. Rindos being physically located in Geography and operating under the aegis of Proressor Taylor. This arrangement could not be sustained and Dr. Rindos has now moved back to the Archaeology Department.
Whilst Dr. Rindos was located in Geography he and his research students took steps to introduce what was called an 'Archaeological Programme'. This seemed to me entirely unacceptable and I have taken steps to see that this is discontinued. However, if Dr. Rindos were given tenure and located in a department other than Archaeology we would be giving institutional encouragement to another attempt to establish a rival archaeological programme. In my view this should not be countenanced.
[Compare the January 1992 letter complaining about the establishment of the Archaeology Programme written by Professor Bowdler. Also note the memorandum from the Vice-Chancellor to Professor Oxnard in September 1991.][about 1/3 page suppressed here during FoI release]
Section 5. Postgraduate students
The postgraduate students are divided into two 'camps', with some attached to the Archaeology Department proper and six supervised by Dr. Rindos through the Geography Department. My original intention had been to insist that all students would have to be based in the Archaeology Department. This proved impossible to implement for three reasons: (1) there was insufficient accommodation in the Archaeology Department; (2) the antagonisms between the two groups would have been exacerbated by forcing them together; and (3) it was not clear that the University could compel a student registered through one department to transfer to another.
As you will be aware I imposed a ban on the recruitment of any more postgraduate students in either the Archaeology Department or the 'Archaeological Programme' in Geography. This has to be regarded as an emergency measure and the justification for the ban has already been challenged by two prospective students.
My main worry with the postgraduate students is the potential difficulty of providing appropriate supervision for the six students working with Dr. Rindos if he is denied tenure. Of the six students concerned three are nearing completion Or their Ph.D.'s. However, two are just starting Ph.D.'s and one has just started an M.Sc. In my opinion the M.Sc. student should not have been accepted by the Faculty of Science (he has a degree in Architecture, but has only taken one first-year unit in Archaeology). I might add that he is also the most militant of the dissident group and has already threatened legal action if he is not allowed to proceed with Dr. Rindos as his supervisor.
[Suppressed to end of document]