UPDATE: The academic has now appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court. He is Arthur Marshall Hoyle, a former law lecturer at the university. He pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of committing an act of indecency and two of sexual intercourse without consent and was released on bail.
Police have today laid charges against a former University of Canberra academic for alleged offences committed against students.
The university announced that it had suspended the then staff member without pay on July 21 for alleged serious misconduct following reports from students. It referred the matter to ACT Policing at that time.
The university then undertook an internal investigation and took advice from a Review Committee on the matter. The staff member was dismissed for serious misconduct based on the provisions of UC’s enterprise agreement and “the standard of proof applicable to such proceedings”.
According to a UC media statement, a matter in relation to the dismissal is before the Fair Work Commission.
The UC statement said the welfare and safety of its students was its “first and paramount consideration” and that it was committed to ensuring a safe campus for all students and staff.
“As is demonstrated by our actions to date, we take any allegation of inappropriate behaviour amongst our community very seriously and act promptly to provide support to those affected,” it said.
Affected students have been offered medical support and counselling and access to pastoral and spiritual support.
“If any current or former student of the University has concerns, we encourage them to come forward and contact the University’s Acting Dean of Students, Associate Professor Sally Burford, or contact ACT Policing on 131444,” the statement continued.
“Staff members may consult the Director of Human Resources, Ms Kirsty Dwyer.”
The university said the matter was now between the police and the former staff member.
“There is a presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings and the University will now let justice take its course.”