Peter Rathjen under scrutiny at Uni Tasmania

The university has appointed an independent investigator

Uni Tas is investigating whether “there are unreported or undetected issues arising from Peter Rathjen’s term as VC.” Dr Rathjen was vice chancellor at Uni Tas 2011-2017.

Melbourne barrister Maree Norton is appointed as “point of contact” for anyone “who is not comfortable talking with the university directly,” Vice Chancellor Rufus Black tells the university community.

Professor Black adds, this includes “people who may have previously reported their experiences and not being satisfied with the university’s response.”

Ms Norton is also briefed to advise Uni Tasmania “on measures it should take in light of any complaints and make recommendations on appropriate actions to prevent any future events.”

This includes where its policies stand with regard to recommendations South Australia’s Independent Commissioner against Corruption made to the University of Adelaide following his investigation into Dr Rathjen’s behaviour while vice chancellor there. Commissioner Bruce Lander found Dr Rathjen committed acts of serious misconduct in his behaviour towards two women on staff. Mr Lander recommended Uni Adelaide review its policies, procedure and guidelines on sexual misconduct, “with a view to introducing a policy or policies that are understandable,” (CMM August 27).

Last week University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Duncan Maskell confirmed his university had cooperated with SA ICAC over its own investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Dr Rathjen. He added Uni Melbourne would also check its sexual assault/harassment policies against the ICAC recommendations.