Uni Melbourne VC: sexual assault and harassment will not be tolerated

Duncan Maskell commits to improving procedures “wherever necessary”

The VC confirmed to staff yesterday that the university had cooperated with a South Australian Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation into an individual he only described as a “former senior leader from this university.”

Last week ICAC released a statement setting out its investigation of former Uni Adelaide vice chancellor Peter Rathjen and the reasons for its serious misconduct finding, under the ICAC Act, against him.

ICAC reports that during its inquiry into his behaviour towards two women at Uni Adelaide, it was advised that Mr Rathjen was also being investigated over “historical claims of sexual harassment or abuse of a female post graduate student,” while he was an academic at Uni Melbourne, between 2006 and 2011.

Professor Maskell stated he would not comment further, “in line with the wishes of the victim, and to ensure her protection and confidentiality.”

He added Uni Melbourne has “strong practices and policies” dealing with sexual assault and harassment. However, he committed the university to examining ICAC recommendations to Uni Adelaide, “to ensure that we make improvements to our procedures wherever necessary.”