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 6, 2011

What did we say

This website, via posts, comments or the survey, has highlighted issues surrounding the misuse of research funds at the University of Newcastle e.g.
  • 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.  
Frequently, people who have notified the university of the misuse of research funding have been bullied into silence.

The report in the Newcastle Herald today comes as no surprise: "Uni academic investigated for fraud".

The University has set up a "committee of inquiry... to investigate allegations that the applicant made fraudulent claims against research grant monies".  Setting up such a committee is considered to be "very unusual" and the allegations were therefore assumed to be "very serious".

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.

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