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
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)
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Many would say "yes" - it is always worth doing. Regardless of the consequences, these people say that they have maintained their self-esteem and have a clear conscience.
Many would say "no" - if they had known how soul-destroying it would be, they would not have done it.
A few months ago, ABC News had a short report on "whistleblowers":-
"In the wake of the story about Canberra whistleblower Debbie Scattergood, Kate Evans reports on the aftermath of whistleblowing. Is it worth it?"
As Andrew Wilkie in this news report said, "Most whistleblowers land up on a heap. Most whistleblowers suffer terrible consequences for just trying to do the right thing."
So, if you knew and spoke about unethical conduct at the University of Newcastle and have been subsequently bullied and harrassed, do you still think it was worth it?
Some of our "Stop the Bullying at the University of Newcastle Committee, would say it was worth it.
Some (including me) would say the fallout from it is too great a price to pay!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Bullying is cowardly and wrong - do you really want to be part of it?
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Should we be smelling a rat?
- Why is this particular person being investigated when there have been many cases of research fund fraud that the University has quashed?
- Is this person being investigated because the Uni wants to get rid of them?
- Have they made a complaint against one of the protected species at UoN?
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I have a wishlist for gifts this year - gifts for other people.
Please can you deliver a gift to the following men and women at the University of Newcastle:-
- those who have bullied and harassed many of us out of our workplaces and jobs and destroyed our physical and psychological health
- those who colluded and supported the bullies by intentionally ignoring what was happening
- those who stood by, watched or knew about the bully and the bullying and who kept quiet to save their selves.
Please deliver a large mirror to each of them - a large self-illuminating mirror would be the best.
They can open their gifts and follow John McKay's advice:-
"I am a big believer in the 'mirror test.'
All that matters is if you can look in the mirror and honestly tell the person you see there, that you've done your best".
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
- researchers using funds for personal use (personal/domestic equipment),
- supervisors using postgrad students' funds for themselves,
- research assistants claiming for additional hours/expenses,
- etc. etc etc.
The report in the Newcastle Herald today comes as no surprise: "Uni academic investigated for fraud".
This is good news - the University is taking steps in this case, even though the committee itself cannot impose "a disciplinary action".
We can give them a few other cases to investigate - or at least remind them of the info on the fraudulent use of research/university money that they already have in our written complaints, protected disclosures, etc.
7th December 2011 - update: See additional information in today's article in The Australian.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
- So…the Banner and Poster Procedure was amended by Acting DVC(S) (a.k.a. Nick Saunders) 7 June 2011.
- So ….a new Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy was introduced, listing types of bullying which were virtually the same as the ones we had highlighted. Approved, Vice-Chancellor (a.k.a. Nick Saunders). 23 June 2011.
- So…in the Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy, examples of harassment have been amended to include the displaying or sending offensive information such as posters, letters, e-mails, faxes, screen savers, websites or books etc. Amendment of wording Approved DVC(A&GR) (a.k.a. Kevin McConkey). 1 November 2011.
- So .. the University engaged legal experts to block the video clip.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
the University of Newcastle Insurer accepted full liability for the injuries that Michelle Adams suffered as a result of the bullying and harassment at the University of Newcastle.
As Michelle always said
Friday, November 18, 2011
Remember that he said the
"campaign goes against everything that the University stands for as outlined in our code of conduct - honesty, fairness, trust, accountability and respect."
Well, just after he sent the email, McConkey added some new examples of actions that are considered to be harassment (Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy 941).(Amendment of wording in Attachment 1, Approved DVC(A&GR) 1 November 2011).
"Behaviour which may constitute harassment may include, but is not limited to: .......................
- displaying or sending offensive or pornographic information such as posters, letters, e-mails, faxes, screen savers, websites or books;
- making offensive telephone, electronic mail, or other electronic communications;
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Of 28 respondents,
- 64% (18) said that they had been bullied for reporting plagiarism or for supporting a plagiarism complaint.
- 7% (2) had possibily been bullied for reporting plagiarism or for supporting a plagiarism complaint
- 28% (8) had not.
Yes, we know that this is only a small sample.
BUT, with the history of plagiarism scandals at this university, even only one person being bullied for reporting plagiarism is wrong?
Is it because some of the plagiarism is by staff??
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Brian Martin, on his Suppression of Dissent website, lists some of the methods used against dissenters/critics:-
- censorship of writing;
- blocking of publications;
- blocking of appointments;
- blocking of promotions;
- blocking or withdrawal of research grants;
- forced job transfers;
- denial of research opportunities;
- legal actions;
- ostracism and harassment;
- spreading of rumours.
Talk about a textbook example of the suppression of dissent!
Oh wait a minute - what about "Self-censorship" - this "occurs because people are worried about risking their jobs, promotion prospects or ability to live without threat in their community, or because they fear direct suppression". We also have confirmation of this.
So the Uni also gets a double bonus for achieving this.
100% plus a double bonus for the University of Newcastle - is it a leader in its field?
Monday, November 14, 2011
"how workplace bullying is being dealt with around Australia and internationally. Furthermore, the group will ensure that Queensland's framework for dealing with workplace bullying is kept up-to-date and effective.
"Brodies law" has already been enacted in Victoria.
Under the Queensland "Work Health and Safety Act 2011, commencing in January 2012, individuals involved in workplace bullying " face a maximum fine of $300,000 and/or 5 years imprisonment for an offence under the Act".
Is it because there are just too many people who will speak out about their bullying?
Sunday, November 13, 2011
“the majority of politicians, ... , are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.”
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
"It will take courage, of course. Here’s why and how to do it.
|From the Workplace Bullying Institute website|
On balance, several people have tried to tell you about Bob before. You didn’t believe them. They brought you news about Bob you couldn’t stand to hear. It hurt you to hear, but they were reporting the emotional abuse Bob foisted on them. You had several fired for daring bring this information to you. Others quit out of desperation. Bob convinced you that they all were faulty and he alone is competent.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
The management of the University of Newcastle in Australia somehow managed to ban this YouTube video clip. According to http://stop-b-uon.blogspot.com/, this clip can't be accessed in Australia! In addition, the Federal Police has been invited to investigate.
There are all kinds of questions to ask, some relatively obvious: What happened to freedom of speech? What scares the management of the University of Newcastle in Australia?
Have a look at the video clip at: http://youtu.be/GFtmRmtvhAQ
Also read: Newcastle uni bully claims: Academic says harassment led to illness,
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Her research into
"workplace bullying aims to show how bullying starts, how it’s experienced and managed by targets and the way it ends.”
Their research into
workplace bullying aimed to gather information on who was bullied, what started it, their experience of it and the effects it had on them, what action they took and the response from the University.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The University is voicing their concern about the distress that these emails and posters are causing. They also indicate that they have engaged "external agencies, including the Australian Federal Police, to help manage the situation".
Our group is stated as being "faceless and nameless" - true, we do not put our names and faces on our blog (many people do not) but we have constantly invited anyone who would like to to have a coffee with us to discuss the situation. This offer could have been taken up by anyone at the University, even the VC or Kevin McConkey. In fact, no-one has been prepared to meet us.
The uni email states that "bullying is not tolerated" at this university and that people should contact the complaints office. Unfortunately, although many staff and students have done this, the outcome has usually been unsatisfactory (see survey results).
We do not know what action the University will take - what we have done has been to collect information so that we could help to stop the bullying. We have felt that it is our right to freedom of speech to alert people to this, just as many campaigns on the University campus have done.
What we can confirm is that over 185 people have described to us their bullying experiences at this University. We hate the thought of anyone else being as destroyed as we have been. All we ask is that the University take note of the information we have and act on it in a positive way.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
If you are in New Zealand, you can watch it!
If you are in the USA, can you watch it?
In Europe, can you watch it?
Friday, October 14, 2011
As I have previously reflected upon on this blog, I was bullied by staff while studying social work at the University of Newcastle. That bullying had almost reached its ugly zenith when in late 1991, I was dragged into this weird and spooky inquistion meeting with two lecturers from the social work department, where I studied. For two, maybe three hours they harangued and hassled me and effectively chewed me to bits, telling me repeatedly that I was dumb, stupid, that I could not write and that I had absolutely no academic potential. In short, they had wanted me to withdraw from the course, since drumming people out who did not fit their prescribed, cod ordinary social work mold, was painstakingly common. I was, for one, the only male to graduate from that first cohort of students.
In my particular case, timing was indeed everything, since as both those lecturers well knew, I was at that moment stuck in the extraordinary bind of having my father diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and the delicate balancing act where we shared care responsibilities for, respectively, our wife and mother, was facing inexorable crisis. My mother had for eight years to that date suffered with early onset dementia and with my father’s death imminent, we were scurrying around to try and find her suitable nursing home care. One might expect that in such dire circumstances, social workers might do what social workers are supposed to do: ‘empathise.’ However, in true pathological form, the greater my distress, the more intensely I got bullied.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
To be considered for this, the University has to have policies and initiatives for
"Recruitment, Selection, and Promotion;
Training and Development;
Work Organisation and Conditions of Service;
Arrangements for Dealing with Sex Based Harassment and
Flexible Working Arrangements, including Arrangements for Dealing with Pregnancy."
We know that 61.6% of the staff and students who have reported details of their bullying to us are WOMEN - that is 114 WOMEN. Other women have contacted us about bullying but are too scared to complete a survey.
So how do you think the University is doing on these aspects?
Monday, October 10, 2011
We hope that you get a great deal of support from the University of Newcastle ALLIES such as Kevin McConkey, Kim Foster, Brid Corrigan, Mike Calford, Belinda Munn, etc.
We are horrified about the extent of bullying at the University of Newcastle - 185 staff and students have told us about their bullying and this includes people who have been bullied because of their sexual orientation.
We would like to support you more openly but we have been prevented from displaying posters about our anti-bullying campaign (see previous posts on posters).
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Germov was no sooner promoted to/rewarded with the position of PVC - Faculty of Education and Arts than he was embroiled in a crisis regarding the Bachelor of Arts degree - staff were apparently not given an opportunity to discuss major curriculum changes despite the review of the program being completed in April. Furthermore, a
"redundancy would be offered to a lecturer in Chinese language studies and the course removed from the arts faculty to the Confucius Institute at the university".
“I’m motivated by ‘making a difference’ to people’s lives".
From our online survey of staff and students who have been bullied, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences had more than its fair share of bullying whilst Germov was Head of School. Germov has certainly made a difference in a number of people's lives, but not the difference they wanted!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
|AND WHERE IS THE OMBUDSMAN?|
Monday, August 29, 2011
Seems like readers quickly realised that he would never have survived the real dangers lurking at the University of Newcastle.
Here are some comments posted to the Newcastle Herald website.
- "Fantastic video, but the real dangers don't lurk outside the doors at the University. Next video I hope Bear ventures into the real danger areas where management is hiding, ready to destroy any ethical and honest people who dare venture out to speak the truth" (Staff member)
- "Yes @ Staff member you are unfortunately spot on." (steve)
- "Well done, law students! So good to have a laugh about the uni. Can you do another one please where "Bear Gryllis" reports staff misconduct/plagiarism and how he uses his survival skills to avoid security, not get gagged, not lose his job, not lose his family and friends. Now that would be the REAL challenge at the University of Newcastle.." (ex-staff member)
- "I found those same mosquitoes as Bear Gryllis did but the ones I found were disguised as senior management. These ones suck you dry if you are an ethical member of staff or a student - they take all you blood, your income, family, friends etc" (sucked dry).
Friday, August 26, 2011
He has taken on the mosquitoes, the lack of parking spaces, the difficulty of finding cheap food and drink. He has also tried to get security to help him.....
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
|Stealing your health, job, family relationships, friends, income..........|
Thursday, August 18, 2011
If you have been bullied at this university, please complete our survey (see right). We want to make sure that everyone who has suffered like this has a chance to have their say.
Please be assured that the survey is completely anonymous, no IP addresses are collected and no identifying comments will be used. If you are unsure about the survey and its origins, please contact us at our email address firstname.lastname@example.org - we are happy to meet for coffee and answer your questions.
We already have over 170 responses from people who have been bullied at this University. We want to put all the results together for our upcoming meetings.
So, if you have been bullied here, have your say today!