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Review finds 11 complaints relating to Peter Rathjen’s time at UTAS, university says

The University of Tasmania says an independent judi online review into its management of issues surrounding former vice-chancellor Peter Rathjen’s leadership has received 11 complaints relating to themes of sexual misconduct, discrimination, bullying and failures of the complaints system.

The university has released its response into the review, overseen by barrister Maree Norton, and the recommendations, but not the review itself.

The university says three complaints related directly to Professor Rathjen, while the remaining eight related to workplace culture more broadly and people’s treatment at the university while Professor Rathjen was vice-chancellor.

The university has not explained which of the themes relate to the complaints directly involving Professor Rathjen, who was vice-chancellor at UTAS between 2011 and 2017.

UTAS launched the review after South Australia’s Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) found Professor Rathjen had committed “serious misconduct” by sexually harassing two women while he was vice-chancellor of the University of Adelaide.

After the ICAC investigation, Professor Rathjen apologised to the women but argued the finding of “serious misconduct” was “disproportionate to the conduct found’.

Releasing UTAS’s response to Ms Norton’s review, Chancellor Michael Field said the university had failed in its responsibilities, and had let people down.

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