Curtin University dean of medicine ‘fired for no reason’ after just seven months in the job

The dean of medicine at Western Australia’s biggest university claims she has been fired without reason, seven months after the school’s vice-chancellor sang her praises while welcoming the “renowned health leader” to the role.

Professor Julie Quinlivan emailed staff at Curtin University’s medical school on Tuesday stating she had been called into the office of the Faculty of Health Sciences pro vice-chancellor with “no warning” on November 28.

Professor Julie Quinlivan was appointed Curtin University’s new Dean of Medicine in April, but was recently fired for “no reason”.Credit:Curtin University

“I was called in … and advised my employment was being terminated. I was provided a paid settlement,” she said in her email.

“You may question why this happened. Unfortunately, I do not know. I was not given any reasons and was told that Curtin University do not need to provide reasons.”

Quinlivan said she had done nothing wrong but suggested her “management style of participatory democracy is not favoured by Curtin”.

“However, I have always believed a manager should present the voices of those they represent,” she said.

“I would like to thank all the staff who I have worked with at Curtin Medical School this year. You are a wonderful group of inspirational teachers and researchers.

“Our students are also an engaging and thoughtful group. I hope to see you again in the future in other happier forums.

“I was working on securing us research space at the QE2 site but trust the future dean can pursue this.”

Health Sciences pro vice-chancellor Helen McCutcheon also emailed Curtin Medical School staff on Tuesday to advise of the change.

“I wish to advise that effective 28 November 2022, Professor Julie Quinlivan is no longer in the employ of Curtin University. An interim dean will be appointed, and we will inform you as soon as possible who that will be,” she wrote.

Quinlivan was hired in April, with an article on the university’s website highlighting her “wealth of experience”.

At the time, Curtin vice-chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said the university was “delighted to welcome Professor Quinlivan … to build on the proven success of the Curtin Medical School and lead it into the future.”

“Professor Quinlivan will play a crucial role in consolidating the outstanding and growing reputation … as well as supporting its burgeoning research agenda that truly focuses on people and their health needs,” she said.

“I am confident she will continue the outstanding legacy left by our previous dean of medicine.”

Curtin University told WAtoday it “does not comment on individual staff or student matters” when contacted for further comment.

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