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Home » List of factual inaccuracies in the article by Miklos Bolza for 9News of 18 April 2024

List of factual inaccuracies in the article by Miklos Bolza for 9News of 18 April 2024

The article fails to make it clear that it is citing allegations that are presented by management in its defence in the absence of evidence. The false claims by management are rejected categorically. They also require a comment as they may otherwise mislead the public.


“who claims to have exposed corruption”, “his complaint of colleagues’ misconduct in March 2021”, “alleged that a professor “attempted to bribe and blackmail another staff member”

The bribery and blackmail claim was made by a colleague who approached me and two other senior professors, who also testified to audit about it, with this information as detailed here. What I did was to take the matter forward in my official role as President of the University of Sydney Association of Professors (USAP) and as I was duty-bound to do so as an employee of the University: I had absolutely no choice but to file a public interest disclosure (PID) about the alleged serious criminal management activity which is totally unacceptable in an academic environment. And, of course, I would do it again.

I am suing because I have been unlawfully dismissed based on fabricated misconduct cases for having made a public interest disclosure: only three days after my PID had been officially recognised I was served with the first fabricated misconduct case. Since the whistleblowing legislation has been repeatedly violated I have asked the current management’s practices to be investigated by the police.

I am also using this platform to inform the general public regarding the state of affairs at our “managerialized” university. The current emphasis on maximising international student revenue is detrimental to higher education and poses a significant threat to democracy. This management strategy disregards essential academic values and principles. Nobody wants to prevent income from business but the societal value of higher education as a common good (not a commodity) needs to be respected. Also see Manifesto for the Reform of Public Universities in Australia

“this complaint was not made following procedures for reporting allegations of corrupt conduct, the tertiary institution said in its defence.”

This is obviously untrue. It was one of three (1, 2, 3) officially recognized public interest disclosures I made. It was internal audit not me who confirmed that the allegations I had reported to Professor Stephen Garton in March 2021 met the threshold of a PID.

“who was president of the university’s association of professors”

This is also incorrect. I am still president.

“unauthorised camera”

Mr Bolza was informed that management submitted more than 50 false claims. That’s one of them. There was no (nil) misconduct on my part. The security camera was installed following a management directive.

It was a motion-triggered security camera, positioned inside my locked office which was switched on when I was not there. The security camera was there to protect world medical heritage material including the original brain samples of the first Alzheimer cases of which I am the custodian. My office was freely accessible from the lifts and the cleaners had frequently left the door unlocked. There was no better way to protect not only the unique material and my own name but also that of our university. Management removed the security camera which was essential for the protection of the historical material against my written advice after it had accidentally recorded management misconduct (a serious breach of trust) as described in my first PID and this privately funded security camera has not been returned by management until this day. There was never another security device as falsely claimed by management.

“improperly asking to dissect a colleague’s late wife’s brain”, “also made an ethics application on behalf of a colleague to dissect their late wife’s brain, which was contrary to university policy”

That is very journalistic. I have a brain banking background. It was not a colleague. Management’s treatment of the student was improper. Please also see below. Here is relevant background information which I believe is of wider interest because it illustrates how non-academic our university has become.

  • My request was in no way improper. The exact opposite is true. My medical speciality of neuropathology does not yet exist in Australia and I am a pioneer brain banker which is acknowledged by colleagues. Accordingly, I was in charge of the diagnostics for two national brain banks (Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis) in the UK where I left however when unethical behaviour of brain bank managers forced me to blow the whistle and to close the precious University Department of Neuropathology at Imperial College London I had founded eight years earlier. I did so to distance myself and my professional discipline because management, under a Rector (sic! aka Vice Chancellor) who had previously run a drug company, failed to rectify the situation.
  • Thus, I have given (had to give) a lot of thought to brain banking and ethics.
  • The custodian of the brain we intend to analyse in Australia is my student but a very senior individual, also academically. They already hold a doctoral degree from a different faculty which assists our work. From speaking to brain donors and their families it is clear to me, and this is based on my specialist knowledge acquired over more than two decades as a professor of neuropathology who has practiced in different countries, that performing this planned brain dissection with the student still being able to make key decisions is the right thing to do because once a brain has been cut up the steps are not reversible. The expert knowledge of the student is also required to optimize the dissection procedure. The lead for the ethics application therefore should be with the “student” in this case and if administrative policies need to be updated this can be done.
  • My access to our Academic Board was blocked, and this is not acceptable under any circumstances. It can be explained by malice, managerialist hybris, and incompetence because management’s argument is not logical but none of that qualifies as an an excuse.
  • However, what truly shocked us was that the termination of the student was premeditated and that there was an apparent attempt to hide the management misconduct on top: the student never withdrew and I can confirm that. The student must be reinstated and the responsible managers need to be held to account.

“He was also accused of sharing confidential information”

Management’s defence is so full of falsehoods that even accusations that do not exist are claimed. Here is the evidence.

“failing to properly perform his teaching duties”

The opposite is true. I had advised management repeatedly that I would not teach the course they had allocated to me without previous consultation since it was outside my field of expertise. A highly qualified retired Professor offered to teach the course instead but management did not allow it. Furthermore, the management direction was not only unreasonable but also unlawful given my research only contract. Some management statements couldn’t be made up.

“and making statements with “no reasonable factual foundation” that could damage the reputation of others”

Such defamatory statements made by management will be followed up separately. There is no doubt in my mind that my treatment by the current management is intended to prevent others from coming forward.

“acting contrary to the best interests of three of his students”

All three students were unfairly terminated by management in the context of my own targeting by management which I consider the nadir of managerialist depravity. No student should experience this. My students were absolutely innocent by-standers (1, 2). I have written to the education minister about their treatment and I will follow up with TEQSA as suggested by his office.