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.

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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)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stop Press: Latest innovative Human Resources Guildelines

How to employ all your "favourite people" - the University of Newcastle method.
  1. Promise your new employee (in the half lecturing-half admin position) that the next full lectureship position will be theirs.
  2. A new full lectureship position arises.  You "give" this position as promised to the person in the half-half position.
  3. To fill the now-vacant half-half position, you ask your favourite person to apply.
  4. You ensure that you are on the selection panel (despite the conflict of interest, being the first referee etc etc).
  5. You collude with this applicant so that they appear to fiulfill all the essential criteria.
  6. This applicant is then employed in the half-half position.
  7. Time goes by.
  8. Repeat from step 2 (A new full lectureship position arises......ETC ETC ETC)
This excellent Human Resources tip is brought to you by the University of Newcastle, one of the universities of innovation in Australia..


  1. How very true - there must be any number of "useful guidelines" from the University.

    You didn't mention that whilst you are helping your favourites to get the position you must also vilify any other applicants so that they are too destroyed to actually think of applying for the position.

  2. This is how this place has become an inpenetrable fortress for the innocent and unsuspecting outsider who behaves by the rules of the modern world. Unfortunately, it has too often taken having your career destroyed to realise the nature of this beast and it's again too late for too many. Let their in-breeding continue at their own peril.

  3. Next door, Just read your comment. Very good point. Do these people realise that the next victim might be one of their own, their wife, husband, children?

  4. What this doesn't tell you is the process that occurs when the position you are in is wanted for someone else. It doesn't matter how well you do this job, because it is about having people that do the right thing, ie keeping your mouth shut about corrupt and unethical behaviour. So this is how it works -
    Step 1 : High research record - disregard. High scores for teaching - disregard. Excellent personal skills with students both undergraduate and graduate - disregard. Works hard - disregard. Highly motivated - disregard. Ethical and willing to expose inappropriate behaviour - the person must have a severe psychological illness. The person must be unstable.
    Step 2: Get a report to say the person is psychologically unwell. This may take several attempts to get the one most suitable for the purpose. In some cases it is best to use bits and pieces from a number of reports to put together to meet the objective.
    Step 3: Ensure all colleagues are told that the person concerned is "crazy and dangerous". Even better....establish the fear that perhaps the "madness" might be “catchy”. Isolate the person.
    Step 4: Don’t let the person do their job on the grounds they are medically unfit, regardless of the medical assessments that say they are medically fit. Keep threatening disciplinary action if they attempt to do their work at home. After about six months say the person is unfit to return and is not doing their job, email them a notice of termination.
    Step 5: Write a new job description for the position….specifically for the person they want to employ.
    Step 6: Select the interview panel with caution.
    In the end it is always the same….once you speak out against the management you are an enemy to be destroyed. I hope one day all these enemies can come together as an “army” to have a fair and equal battle, rather than what is happening now, where you have the force of the whole University picking off individuals one by one.

  5. former academic bullied out of UoNApril 18, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    I so agree with Michelle Adams - most of the steps she notes also reflects my experience at the University of Newcastle. Why does this keep happening, because no external agency will intervene in the corrupt and brutal treatment of staff and students with a strong sense of integrity that attempt to expose unethical and unprofessional behaviour in the workplace.

  6. God this is so true of my experience at the uon. Disgusting place to work because I was ethically challenged constantly and no one seems to care.