There’s been interesting developments in our campus campaign.
The good news is we learnt the new CEO of TEQSA, Alistair Maclean, might be the new broom the university regulator needs to clean up its act, given its shameful history of pandering to activists by bullying universities into setting up the regulations to usurp criminal law.
Maclean’s previous job was CEO of Victoria’s anti-corruption commission, IBAC, and he was also once senior adviser to former PM John Howard. This should be a man interested in ensuring regulators do their job properly rather than allowing universities to indulge in ideologically driven policies aimed at punishing men.
We can only speculate that this was a deliberate government decision to provide some proper oversight of this regulatory authority which has so clearly run amok. Dan Tehan must be frustrated that TEQSA chose to ignore his advice at their conference last year telling them to instruct universities to leave sexual assault to the criminal courts.
The Government has also set up an TEQSA integrity unit. No, that’s not a joke! Apparently the idea is to encourage the regulator to rein in the unscrupulous behaviour exhibited by many of our universities, with the kangaroo courts coming in for particular scrutiny.
Last Wednesday our campus justice group sent a long background document to Maclean, outlining the whole history of TEQSA’s shameful role in this quasi-judicial mess.
Lo and behold, the letter ended up featuring in a highly entertaining Senate Estimates session that night, where the brilliant Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker grilled Nick Saunders, Chief Commissioner of TEQSA, about TEQSA’s role in the establishment of these courts.
Regular readers may remember that last year Stoker’s inquisition left Saunders and his colleagues squirming as she waved before them one of the TEQSA documents on adjudicating campus rape cases, pointing out it contained not one word about the rights of the accused.
We’ve put together a video about all this, which starts with an extraordinary confrontation where Saunders emphatically denies that TEQSA’s initial Guidance Note to universities on this matter was intended to push them to adjudicate sexual assault. He claims he’d never heard of such a notion, apart from the letter they had received that very afternoon – which was, of course, the email from our campus justice group. Watch Saunders’ normally flushed tones turn a vivid shade of puce as he mentions the offending email!
Clearly TEQSA is not at all happy that their new CEO is being exposed to the truth about their meddling on this matter.
Anyway, please watch my video and promote it widely.