Top academic sacked and another demoted

The University of WA has sacked a leading academic and demoted another after separate probes into alleged corruption and misconduct at the Crawley campus.

Professor Ian Dadour, who established UWA's Centre for Forensic Science, was told yesterday his employment had been terminated after a four-month investigation into claims he misappropriated nearly $38,500 of the university's funds.

Fellow senior academic and former WA Scientist of the Year Professor Jorg Imberger was told on Thursday about his demotion over allegations of bullying and threatening behaviour towards students at his now-defunct Centre for Water Research.

Both are long-serving UWA staff and internationally recognised as experts in their fields.

They denied any wrongdoing and vowed yesterday to fight to restore their reputations through the courts.

Professor Dadour is a forensic entomologist who has worked with WA Police on major cases.

UWA suspended him in November after the Corruption and Crime Commission ordered an internal inquiry into four payments the academic received but was allegedly not entitled to.

The results of UWA's investigation will now be referred back to the CCC to determine whether further action will be taken.

"I have not done anything wrong," Professor Dadour said.

"This has been a total witch-hunt aimed at getting rid of me and shutting my centre down."

A spokeswoman for Professor Imberger said he was gagged from commenting but had always maintained his innocence.

UWA refused to release further details about the accusations against Professor Imberger, but said it had a zero-tolerance policy towards workplace bullying and inappropriate behaviour.

It said it was the second time in two years such allegations had been made against the professor.

Professor Imberger was demoted from a level E professor to level D. UWA's website shows his pay could fall as much as $40,000.