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 –

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*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, January 10, 2012

"Workplace bullying is bad for business" (Yamada)

According to a recent article by Professor David Yamada, "workplace bullying exacts a heavy price in employee productivity, morale and dignity. Research indicates that at least 60 percent of America’s workers will face such behavior during their working lives and that supervisors are the likely aggressors. Some will experience health impairments such as clinical depression, high blood pressure and even symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder".  (There are many reports on this blog of the significant physical and psychological effects of bullying at this University ).

He recommends three steps to minimize bullying.

"1. Send a message that bullying is unacceptable. The message must come from the top. Specific measures include drafting and implementing policies related to workplace bullying, offering in-house educational programs and presentations, and using effective “360-degree feedback” systems to evaluate supervisors.

2. Empower HR to handle bullying situations fairly and forthrightly. One of the most common remarks from targets of bullying is how the human resources department is “useless” in handling complaints about bullying and, in some cases, turned out to be complicit with the bullies. Effective preventive and responsive measures by HR are key components of any anti-bullying initiative.

3. Remove destructive bullies. Even if an incorrigibly abusive individual happens to be key in attracting business, increased productivity through better morale and less time lost to the gossip mill may make this a sound decision from a purely cost-benefit standpoint."

At the moment it seems that the University is acting contrary to these steps.  Although there are relevant and appropriate anti-bullying policies, HR and the complaints office collude with the bully.  As for "removing destructive bullies", the University of Newcastle awards the bullies with significant promotion and/or funding.

University of Newcastle, are you listening??


  1. academic bullied out of Uni of NewcastleJanuary 10, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Wow!!! so want to support those three statements. As I soon discovered
    1) The University may have anti-bullying policies but they are just words on paper.
    2) HR was not only complicit with the bullies but actually enforced bullying tactics towards me.
    3) All the bullies are still in academia but I was thrown out following lodging a formal complaint

  2. This is very interesting to me. I would like to know what you learn. It could be useful in my doctoral studies. If you care to obtain a dissertation written from a similar situation in a U.S. University (40 professors lost before the abusive dean was fired for misuse of federal grant money) let me know and I can send you the link.

  3. Also, if an administrator reads this and is aware of abrasive chairs or deans (or even provost or HR personnel) and want some direction on how to turn things around, please look into the Boss Whispering Institute (c), a group dedicated to ending suffering in the work place. There are reasonable and non-reactionary ways to deal with this very difficult problem.

  4. bullied out of UoNFebruary 1, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    Jim - thank you for your valuable comments.
    Unfortunately the University administrators have done their utmost to close down this blogsite. Which includes paying external organisations to stop items being shown within Australia and requesting assistance from the Australian Federal Police to close it down.
    But the organisers (staff and students who have been bullied within and from the Uni)are determined to continue their fight against the injustice and expose the suffering caused from a bullying workplace culture.