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University releases Kupka Report

October 2002

The University of Waikato has today released the Report into its handling of the case of Hans Joachim Kupka.

University Vice-Chancellor, Bryan Gould, said that the University was happy to accept the Report in its entirety and would act on author Bill Renwick’s recommendations.

The University is ready to apologise to the Jewish community for any pain and anguish suffered during the Kupka case. A formal apology will be issued by the Chancellor.

Professor Gould said it was pleasing that the Report had found that there had been no conspiracy within the University and welcomed Mr Renwick’s conclusions that University processes had on the whole worked properly and that much of the concern expressed on the issue of cultural safety had been based on misinformation.

"Areas where the University has been at fault, particularly in matters of communication and in dispelling misinformation, will be thoroughly examined and improved. Some steps have already been undertaken and are ongoing," said Professor Gould.

"This has been a difficult issue for the University and the community. We were obliged to strike the right balance between our complete abhorrence of racism and anti-Semitism in all its forms on the one hand and our regard for principles of freedom of expression and academic freedom on the other. With this Report the University now has clear indications of the strengths and deficiencies in our processes".

Professor Gould said that he hopes that the Report will be a platform on which the University and the Jewish community can rebuild their partnership. He expressed the hope that relations would improve rapidly and said that contact had already been made with the Waikato Jewish Association with a view to conversations as to how the relationship could be handled in future.

Professor Gould, who commissioned the Review, said that he was extremely grateful to Mr Renwick for the care and thoroughness he had shown in conducting the Review.

"The result is a Report of considerable length and detail which nevertheless provides an admirably clear and balanced view of the complex issues involved", said Professor Gould.

Copies of the Report are available to all interested parties and the media. The Report was considered today by the University of Waikato Council. The Chancellor, Mrs Caroline Bennett, said that she was pleased to receive the Report and was happy to act on it. She hoped that the Report would provide the basis for better relations with the Jewish community and staff.

For further information contact:
Professor Bryan Gould
Phone: 07 838 4006

 

Communications Office
The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wananga o Waikato
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