Waikato University : the Culture of Dysfunction Some Unpalatable Truth About New Zealand Tertiary Education K R Bolton Preamble

The following is a letter sent to associate ministers of education in an effort to bring Waikato University et al to account for dubious practices in the awarding of a Masterate. I have spent nearly three years (since August 2008) trying to have this matter dealt with: I have made representations to Waikato University Vice Chancellor Roy Crawford; Minister of Education, Anne Tolley; The Office of the Ombudsmen; the Privacy Commission; The Vice Chancellors’ Committee; University Audit Unit; and the Commerce Commission – to no avail. The Education Act states that tertiary institutions must be open to public scrutiny to assure quality education; yet in practise this means nothing. The reader is asked to spread this far and wide, as public exposure of these people and their institution is the only option that seems to be left. P O Box 1627 Paraparaumu Beach 5252 7 May 2011 Hon. Dr Pita Sharples Hon. Steven Joyce Assoc. Ministers of Education Parliament Buildings Wellington 6161 Dear Dr Sharples and Mr Joyce University Dysfunction [1] I’m writing in an attempt to resolve a matter that has taken up much of my time, caused my family and myself much stress, to the point of having a negative impact on my health, has cost me financially, and after nearly three years has still left me running around in circles. I have been lied to, lied about and threatened, and have got precisely nowhere.

[2] I addressed this matter to Anne Tolley nearly three years ago, and was fobbed off with a reply that indicated she had either not read my letter or did not understand what was involved. I would like some straight answers from somewhere… [3] In August 2008 I accidentally found on a database a thesis, Dreamers of the Dark, by Roel van Leeuwen, which had gained him an MA Hons. from Waikato University. I was surprised and perplexed to see that the thesis was largely about myself, and I was therefore from my first-hand knowledge about …. me …. quickly able to see that the thesis was from beginning to end of a fraudulent, dishonest nature, and largely comprised faked and distorted references, and fictional scenarios. In brief, Van Leeuwen cheated… he was dishonest. [4] Apart from this first-hand knowledge, I also have extensive experience at both having academic papers published in scholarly and other media, and in assisting with the reviewing of academic papers. I have for example been published by Moscow State University; Ankara University; and Trinity College, Dublin. I have had papers published by leading academic journals such as World Affairs; India Quarterly; Journal of Social Economics; Antrocom Anthropology Journal; Geopolitika; Journal of Russian Studies; Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, etc. I have been published by the Russian Ministry of Defence, Radio Free Asia, and many others. [5] My papers have been featured or cited by scholars such as: Andreas Umland, Harvard, Hoover Inst., etc.; Prof. Jacques Maitre of the National Center for Scientific Research, France; Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University; John Brown, ex-US diplomat, Georgetown University; Dr. Kiyul Chung, Tsinghua University, Beijing; Vladimir Ovchinskii, Center for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption in Russia, former head of Russian Interpol and Constitutional Court adviser, et al. [6] I am a ‘contributing writer’ for The Foreign Policy Journal, have had three books commercially published in the USA and Britain, and have contributed chapters to three academic books. I have been translated into Vietnamese, Russian, Farsi, Czech, German, Latvian, Ukrainian, Italian, French, and Portuguese. In other words: I know something about scholarly research. [7] In New Zealand, on the other hand, the budding ‘scholar’ Van Leeuwen, states that I ‘never finished secondary school’ (sic). This is typical of the smears and red herrings I have confronted by those responsible for the fraudulent thesis. Even if I had ‘not finished secondary school’, as a member of the public I am entitled under the Education Act to present my concerns and expect

them to be treated in a responsible manner, presumably without having to endure abuse and threats. But this did not transpire. 2008 Pseudo-enquiry [8] In 2008 Roy Crawford, Vice Chancellor of Waikato University, instituted an enquiry into my complaint against Van Leeuwen. The enquiry, under Dr Doug Sutton, was to examine whether processes for the awarding of the thesis had been followed correctly, and if they had, whether the University could nonetheless be sure that the thesis was meritous. On that basis Mr Graeme Wilson of Dunedin and myself separately filed hundreds of documents with the University lawyer, Gillian Spry, proving that the thesis was fraudulently contrived. After nearly a year, Crawford responded with a one-page letter saying that the enquiry was concluded, the procedures were sound and the matter was closed. [9] What had transpired in the meantime was that: (a) Those involved, including one of the two outside examiners (Jim Veitch), department heads, Van Leeuwen, and thesis supervisors Dov Bing and Marg Coldham-Fussell, had gone whining to the Tertiary Education Union, and TEU secretary Sharn Rigg had threatened action unless the matter was dropped. The TEU boasted on their website of their intervention. When I attempted to bring the facts to the TEU membership by submitting a letter to their website, this was not published.

(b) Dov Bing, thesis co-supervisor, threatened me with legal action for $300,000 (with a quip from his lawyer, Steven Williams, not to sell the family home) unless I scuttled my own complaint and published an apology in all the main news media, plus – for some reason – The NZ Jewish Chronicle. The idiotic apology I was expected to publish was to concede that Bing had ‘supervised the thesis in a most professional manner’ (ha!) and that Van Leeuwen was just fine, too. In the process of contriving this half-cocked legal threat, Bing for some queer reason found it necessary to lie to me about the University lawyer, Gillian Spry, and the ‘Assistant to the Vice Chancellor’ (sic) presumably as part of an odd scheme to ‘entrap’ me. My complaint against Bing was met with silence, and after nearly three years Crawford recently wrote to me and mentioned in passing he had ‘reminded’ Bing not to use University internet facilities ‘inappropriately’. Bing’s antics caused my family and myself much stress at the time, and resulted in my paying for legal advice. So it is presumably

acceptable that a member of the public trying to bring a matter of concern to a university as provided for by the Education Act can be threatened, and that in the process even university staff can be lied about and implicated, and nobody is held accountable? [10] You might recall that Bing launched a widely-publicised crusade against Dr Joel Hayward of Massey University about ten years ago, during which Dr Hayward had a nervous breakdown and became unemployable in New Zealand. Dr Hayward now has an excellent academic position in the UK; New Zealand education’s loss, while Bing remains ensconced. Coincidentally, it so happens that not only was Bing Van Leeuwen’s co-supervisor, but that his initial adviser was David Green, another individual who had been prominently involved in the actions against his former friend Dr Joel Hayward. When I mentioned whether this contributed to bias and a sudden and unexplained change of direction of the thesis, Van Leeuwen used it as a red-herring to claim via the news media that I was saying it was all a ‘Zionist conspiracy’ (sic) against me. These are the types of ad hominem attacks that Van Leeuwen et al have used to deflect the real issue. [11] When Crawford issued his one page conclusion regarding the enquiry I complained to the Ombudsman. Ms Wakem took the matter up. My main contention was that Crawford had totally neglected the matter of his own terms of reference for the enquiry; namely that even if procedures were followed, was the thesis nonetheless adequate? He now weirdly denies he made any such terms of reference, yet I of course have it in writing. The Nonsensical Offer [12] The Ombudsman, Ms Wakem, for her part, after about 6 months of delay from Crawford, reached a settlement she thought I should accept: that I submit corrections for what I consider to be ‘errors’ (sic) in the thesis and if Van Leeuwen so chooses he might attach an addendum to the hardcopy of the thesis. In order to accept this ‘settlement’ I would be acknowledging that Van Leeuwen made nothing more than a few ‘errors’ of the type that one would expect in a thesis; that nothing would be done about the thesis online, and that everything would be up to Van Leeuwen. I regard the offer as nonsense. Ms Wakem stated she was willing to undertake an enquiry but when asked some basic questions she, like Crawford, states the matter is now closed, and it is purely an academic concern despite my having shown that Crawford failed to

undertake the type of enquiry he had promised, which she claimed she was going to consider. Another blockage. [13] My contention, and that of Mr Wilson, is that Van Leeuwen lied, faked references, and invented scenarios throughout the entirety of his thesis. It should be explained that Van Leeuwen acknowledges Mr Wilson, whom both Van Leeuwen and myself know on a personal basis, for his help with the thesis, and Crawford calls Mr Wilson a ‘knowledgeable expert’. Yet Mr Wilson was appalled, when I directed him to the finished thesis, that his name had been associated with such a dishonest document. Mr Wilson consequently also presented hundreds of pages of documentation proving the thesis was fraudulent, in the belief that Crawford would honour his undertakings. None of it was read. Likewise, despite being acknowledged as an ‘expert’ on the subject, Mr Wilson has also been fobbed off. Thesis garbage [14] As to the thesis itself, to indicate its nature: I am cited as the author of many references that I had not authored, many of which I had not even heard of until seeing them cited and quoted in the thesis, and some of which I have still not been able to locate to read. Mr Wilson had been given three of the first draft chapters of the thesis by Van Leeuwen for his opinions, before Van Leeuwen discontinued communication with Mr Wilson. What these three chapters show is that Van Leeuwen correctly cited the authorship of documents, which were subsequently falsely ascribed in the final version of the thesis. In other words, Mr Wilson and myself can prove that Van Leeuwen lied about authorship of many key documents. It is also notable that in a letter to Mr Wilson responding to a comment that he had been incorrectly ascribed authorship of a document, Ms Spry, lawyer, mentioned that this is minor in comparison ‘to the much more serious issue of the many misattributions’ listed by me. However, no mention has ever been made of the findings of Ms Spry, which I assume would be damaging to the University. [15] Van Leeuwen invents scenarios by claiming me as author of sundry works on the basis of ‘writing style comparisons’ (sic) which identify me as at least five very different people, and the author of material the writing style of which is widely diverse, from intellectual to poorly educated, as indicated by syntax. He then places me in situations of which I was not a part; situations moreover which are quite silly, but they allow Van Leeuwen to expand – and spice up - his thesis by further pages of rubbish.

[16] Van Leeuwen claims that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints did not allow Maori or Polynesians into the priesthood until ‘after 1978’. This is nonsense. For his reference, Van Leeuwen falsely cites The Encyclopaedia of Mormonism. I provided documentation on the Maori relationship to NZ Mormonism since colonial times, showing that Van Leeuwen is writing nonsense. It took me about ten minutes to repudiate Van Leeuwen’s revisionist history of Mormonism; he had several years to research his bilge. Why I regard this matter of Mormonism as significant is because: (a) Waikato University exists in the heart of NZ Mormonism.

(b)The Van Leeuwen thesis was undertaken as a degree in religion, under the auspices of the department of religious studies. The co-supervisor was religious studies lecturer Marg Coldham-Fussell. The thesis outside examiner, Jim Veitch of Victoria University, is supposed to be a religious studies ‘scholar’. The rubbish about Mormonism in the thesis comprises about two pages. [17] Why was it not questioned at any time by these ‘scholars’ (sic)? It is one of many indications that the thesis was rubber-stamped and no references were checked. Indeed, many of the references are footnoted vaguely as ‘archives’ (sic) with no other identification. This is not acceptable scholarship at any level let alone for a Masterate with Honours. It would not be acceptable referencing for a first year secondary school assignment. But it is ‘sound scholarship’ (Bing) in the NZ tertiary system. [18] A quick phone call to the Mormon Temple would have given Van Leeuwen the correct information, but then that would not have accorded with his aims. Why were Veitch and Coldham-Fussell too stupid or too lazy to question this nonsense about Mormons, even if Bing as a political science lecturer was ignorant of the subject? How can a religious studies tutor live in Hamilton and yet be ignorant about such subjects, even if Veitch is too addled to pick them up? [19] I was in communication with several representatives of the LDS Church in the USA and Australia and they were very concerned about this misrepresentation of their religion, but seemed too intimidated to take up the matter, one stating that it is sometimes best ‘not to put one’s hand into the hive’. Why should such fraud be maintained behind a shield of bullying, threats, lies and smear-mongering? How is that serving scholarship or maintaining the quality of education?

No independent enquiry or reports [20] When Bing went whining about Dr Joel Hayward of Massey University and the Waikato University student Hans Kupka, outside enquiries were initiated and they produced publicly available, bulky reports detailing these enquiries, which included all of the documentation. Nothing of the type was ever undertaken with the complaints of Mr Wilson and myself. After my complaint to the Ombudsman I eventually got a report of several pages from Mr Crawford that vaguely outlined the supposed enquiry into University procedure. It means nothing. It reads like a form letter with no specifics. Nothing is said in the report about Bing’s antics, the threats of Sharn Rigg and the TEU, nor about the findings of Ms Spry who received all the documentation filed by Mr Wilson and myself. Additionally, Dr Sutton, head of the enquiry, reportedly made a comment that the thesis should be ‘downgraded’, and this when he didn’t even read the hundreds of pages of documentation of Mr Wilson and myself. Clearly he saw, even on a superficial level, that something was amiss, yet nothing of the type is indicated in Crawford’s ‘report’. (It should be added, moreover, that even Dr Sutton was ridiculed for just this recommendation of ‘downgrading’). Yet Ms Wakem informs me that Crawford has done all that he needs to from her viewpoint, and not to bother her again. Fraudulence in the guise of ‘academic freedom’ [21] Bing has stated that the thesis is ‘sound scholarship’ (sic) and whines that academic freedom was under assault. This is nonsense. It was the rationalisation for Sharn Rigg of the TEU chiming in, and academe closing ranks to protect its self-interest. This was a complaint about dishonesty and incompetence. In fact, on a website on which Van Leeuwen had posted, he quipped that the subject of the thesis was so obscure that if he runs out of time, he can just ‘bullshit’ (sic) his way through and nobody will know. This is what he did. This material was made available to the enquiry before Van Leeuwen had time to take it down. He also mirthfully commented that Bing didn’t know ‘what the f… he was talking about’ (and I can at least concur with Van Leeuwen on that point) and that Bing had never even read the thesis when it was supposedly being discussed between them; and that Coldham-Fussell was a ‘laid back hippie type’. Education Act inoperative [22] Under the terms of the Education Act universities are supposed to be open to public scrutiny to assure quality. Yet there is not even anything in place to facilitate this, and when I did call these individuals to account, I was lied to, lied about,

threatened, the union threatened action, matters were whitewashed, stonewalled… [23] Anne Tolley states that the Government cannot get involved. Universities are public institutions funded by the taxpayer, and the taxpayer subsidizes the likes of Van Leeuwen. The Education Act states that the Minister is responsible for upholding the provisions of the Act. Unless action is taken at governmental level, these characters will get away with the practices that I feel are detrimental of public education. According to the findings of the enquiry into the complaint of Bing et al against Dr Joel Hayward – which was unjustified in this instance – a university can revoke a degree on the grounds of dishonesty. Van Leeuwen has been dishonest, I believe, and those associated with the degree have in my view shown themselves to be inept at best. Yet there is no public recourse to deal with such matters, despite the rhetoric of the Act. Meanwhile Crawford touts his University to potential students from overseas as being concerned about academic excellence. Humbug. Crawford is, I feel, in breach of the Fair Trading Act, yet the Commerce Commission advises that, although I seem to have justifiable concerns, I should take the matter up as a private legal action, seemingly oblivious to the farreaching implications this matter has on education. Again I struck a dead-end. Finger pointing? [24] When I made enquiries with Victoria University as to Jim Veitch’s competence as a supposedly ‘eminent scholar’ whom I think I can show had blundered in regard to his review of the thesis, I was told that it is up to Waikato University, and specifically to Crawford, to accept or reject the outside examiners’ recommendations. [25] On the other hand, Crawford claims that he is obliged to accept the recommendations of the outside examiners. This is the type of garbage that I have had to deal with for almost three years. [26] I hope that you can be of some assistance, as my avenues have become exhausted. Tertiary education in at least several universities in several departments is operating in a dysfunctional manner to the public detriment. Alternatively, can you please explain to me why this pack should get away with their shenanigans? Sincerely

K R Bolton

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