Five University of Melbourne staff members left the organisation in 2021 due to sexual misconduct allegations as part of the university’s new approach to tackling harrassment.
The university’s first Sexual Misconduct Annual Report showed there were nine sexual complaints reports filed against staff, which led to five staff members leaving the university, most of whom were accused of “serious misconduct”.
One resigned, two were sacked without notice, one’s contract was not renewed and another departure came in 2021 because of a complaint lodged in December 2020.
Two staff members accused of wrongdoing who left the university tried to fight the claims at the Fair Work Commission but withdrew the action, according to the annual report.
“It was made clear at conciliation that the University would not settle (either on a monetary or non-monetary basis) and was prepared to invest in defending the matter,” the report states.
Four reports were made against students for alleged wrongdoing and one of the students was immediately expelled, while two were suspended.
In one case there was insufficient evidence against one student, who was directed to take part in a specialist training workshop and told not to contact the complainant, according to the report.
The university launched an independent review of sexual harassment and sex assault policies and identified a number of deficiencies.