Bullying at the University of Newcastle (Australia)

We are working to highlight and stop academic workplace bullying at the University of Newcastle, Australia. We are a group of staff and students who have been bullied for speaking out about misconduct.

Help make a difference –

*answer our survey,

*contribute to the blog, or

*contact us.

This will help us gather as much information as possible so that we can put an end to this bullying with its’ decades-long history.

“Systemic bullying, hazing and abuse generally are identified with poor, weak or toxic organizational cultures. Cultures that are toxic have stated ethical values that are espoused but not employed, and other non-ethical values which are operational, dominant, but unstated.

Such cultures thrive when good people are silent, silenced, or pushed out; when bad apples are vocal, retained, promoted, and empowered; and when the neutral majority remain silent in order to survive. Those who are most successful in such a toxic culture are those who have adapted to it, or adopted it as their own”. (McKay, Arnold, Fratzl & Thomas, 2008)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The "Alternative 'Your Voice' Survey": the other side of the story given by the first 100 survey responses

22 staff/students at this university (from the first 100 survey respondents) have considered committing suicide.

Because of bullying.

There may be more - the survey has already been completed by over 130 respondents.

Other findings from the first 100 respondents are:-

§  75% report sleep problems
§  75% report depression
§  40% are planning to leave the university or have already left

·       67% have had their views/opinions ignored
·       63% have been treated unfairly compared to others
·       61% have been excluded, ostracised.
·       53% have felt intimidated or threatened at work.

v 1% were satisfied with the outcome of their complaint to the university
v 10% are not permitted by the university to disclose information
v 57% state that no action was taken by their supervisor or by Human Resources.

As well as being bullied themselves,
Ø 62 respondents have witnessed other employees being bullied.
Ø 86 respondents have been told about bullying at the university.

This is a different image of the university to the one presented by the VC in his summary of the "Your Voice Survey".


  1. This is a sickness in the establishment and as such the establishment gets what they deserve. It is very difficult to come to terms with this kinds of ethos but in some ways it goes as high as government. As long as large sums of money are being drawn down by ticking boxes that are supposed to indicate that valuable learning has taken place these bullies will conisder themselves justified. In their mind they can forget they work for an educational establishment. They are much more focussed on working for a business.

  2. I left the University of Newcastle because of bullying and moved to another city. I am the top researcher by publication and a top teacher by student evaluations. The hyper managerialism combined with outrageous performance measures, executed by myopic, self-interested spineless "managers" made it an intolerable place.

  3. What about professional staff? I have been bullied and used as a fall guy for years - I am currently going through a complaint process which feels unwinnable and pointless - they will not stop this culture as people are too scared to stand up.