Hugh Jarvis's posting regarding archaeology at UWA

Bob Tonkinson (tonkinso@UNIWA.UWA.EDU.AU)
Tue, 5 Mar 1996 17:12:11 +0800

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.
Robert Tonkinson
University of Western Australia
Nedlands, W. AUSTRALIA 6907.
Phone: (61) (0) 9 380 2858
Fax: (61) (0) 9 380 1062