Professor stalked students - Police
By ANDY PARKS
FORMER deputy vice-chancellor of Southern Cross University, Professor Ardon ‘Harry’ Hyland, has been charged with three counts of stalking female students at James Cook University in Townsville.
Prof Hyland retired from JCU on January 18 citing family and health reasons. He was charged and taken to the police station in Townsville last Thursday where police took a DNA sample and charged him with three counts of stalking. He was%later released on bail.
In the week before the arrest police had taken the 68-year-old professor’s laptop computer from his home, where he lived with his wife Carol, and had spoken to him about the allegations.
The allegations have been made by three women in their late teens and early twenties. They allege Prof Hyland had been stalking them at different locations, including their workplaces and at student functions. They had repeatedly told him to leave them alone.
Prof Hyland had a distinguished academic career and is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading astronomers.
He pioneered an infrared technique for telescopes and was elected an honorary life fellow of the Astronomical Society of Australia. He was also a former chairman of the National Committee for Astronomy and authored or co-authored about 150 publications.
Before joining Southern Cross University he was dean of the science faculty at the University of NSW. He then took up his post as deputy vice-chancellor at JCU and moved to Townsville at the end of 2000.
Professor Hyland was deputy vice-chancellor at SCU in Lismore from 1995 to August 2000, and was made an emeritus professor in 2001.
He was also involved with many community organisations during his time on the Northern Rivers, including the Northern Rivers Regional Development Board.
Former SCU vice-chancellor Barry Conyngham said he was ‘in a state of shock’ after hearing of the allegations.
Professor Hyland will appear in Townsville Magistrates Court next month.