Uni chief reassures staff over ‘bullying’
Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven has written to all his staff to assure them allegations of bullying, research misconduct and harassment are being taken seriously after a series of reports.
Professor Craven wrote to employees after an investigation by The Australian uncovered claims of inappropriate behaviour by staff, including at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research.
“A number of the articles have suggested that the university failed to act on claims of research misconduct, bullying and harassment. This is entirely inaccurate,” he writes in the email, obtained by The Weekend Australian.
“All claims received by the university are thoroughly investigated, in line with university processes. These current investigations have included reviews by independent experts and extensive assessments by external lawyers.”
Professor Craven confirmed, however, that a letter that claimed to be from a senior ACU executive was received by Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart and that it had been discussed.
“This is also without substance,” Professor Craven said of the letter.
“In fact, Archbishop Hart was sent an anonymous letter. The sender of this letter merely claimed to have the status of a member of the university’s senior executive. It is patently evident that this was not the case.”
The Australian has spoken to a senior staff member who confirmed they wrote the letter but has asked to remain anonymous.
Professor Craven said reports the ACU was “gaming” the research system to “inflate” its Excellence in Research Australia scores were “entirely inaccurate”.