In late 2019, after 15 years at the University of Adelaide, I was dismissed for violating their employee code of conduct following a sudden onslaught of negative social media posts regarding my management style. I strongly denied the accusations made against me, my HR record was entirely clean, and I had never been given any warning about problems with my behaviour, nor had I received any management training or support. I was also denied access to the University Culture Check report that formed the basis of the dismissal. As a result, in January 2020 I commenced unfair dismissal proceedings against the University, which settled out of court in July 2020.
Prior to my dismissal and throughout the legal process that followed I was instructed not to respond to media enquiries, leaving a very one-sided narrative in the public sphere. I strongly reject the resulting characterisations, and those that have resulted over the course of a two-year scattershot trial by social media, and point out the irony of online bullies complaining about bullying.
My career has been characterised by building groups that perform research at a world-class level. I am well known for pushing myself and others to think and perform at a high level. While many people are not suited to this style of work, I have never intentionally bullied or harassed anyone to do so. I am very sorry to have caused anyone any offence. My focus has always been simply on achieving the best possible science in a casual environment, featuring casual language and as many social and professional activities as possible.
ACAD was an amazing, productive, and exciting research centre for 15 years, the outputs of which I will always be extremely proud.