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 4, 2012

What is REALLY happening with the discipline of Chinese?

Today's article in The Australian highlights the continuing confusion in Chinese at the University of Newcastle.

"Students in the Chinese major had criticised the university for giving them a lecturer, Lili Mu, and convenor, Jo May, whose qualifications were not in Chinese studies.
Ms Mu stepped aside last month, according to the university, which blamed "unwarranted media attention" and "the challenge to her academic integrity.
Newcastle had defended both appointments, saying Dr May, a historian of education, represented "leadership" and citing Ms Mu's experience teaching Chinese characters as well as her qualifications in business and English linguistics."
The university has now recruited Janet Liang as the teacher for second- and third-year students.  She has taught Chinese in Australia for two years.
"Appointments have been closely watched since Newcastle decided last year to abandon its Chinese major until it could be rebuilt under the "guidance" of the Confucius Institute. Students mid-stream were promised they could finish."
Jonathan Yi, deputy director of the Confucius Institute has been hired to teach new students in the undergraduate program. He has taught English at Central China Normal University.
Both Dr Yi and Ms Liang have been employed as sessional staff, and the university says their undergraduate courses are subject to the same quality assurance measures as any others.
"A review last year found very few students enrolled in the Chinese major and concluded a language major taught by one academic was not sustainable."


  1. Does the DVC (academic and global relations) ring up the Confucius Institute to get the "guidance" from the Chinese government or does he go there regularly for meetings with authorities from "up high". We are very baffled as to what sort of "guidance" he gets. Maybe he can tell the Newcastle public and the Uni and the whole country. Does he hire and fire according to their instructions? What does he give them in return? Confucius must be turning in his grave with excitement!

  2. Gee, this article is scathingly sarcastic. Does the uni realise? Someone's invented a PhD within less than 3 weeks. That's a genius stroke and HES is buying it?!

  3. The Attorney General might be asked to audit the qualifications of all the staff teaching languages. There's a real suspicion we have as students that some staff either don't have the proficiency or the qualifications or the experience to teach the language they are teaching. That will be a day of reckoning and no one will be able to use the media or an external review to pull wool over the eyes of the public and we may hopefully get turly suitably qualified lecturers.

  4. This article raises more questions than it helped the uni answer. We still don't understand why they removed a highly qualified staff with a PhD with two inexperienced and unqualified foreigners? This is where the downgrading actually happens and the uni should be ashamed of actions.

  5. http://www.smh.com.au/business/chinese-get-tough-on-foreign-projects-20120412-1wwob.html

    Here's a very good article about Chinese investment in Australia. Read the comments and get educated about unkosher deals and the devastating results for both countries. One of course would have never thought this sort of seedy deals would be brought to an institution of higher learning. It sends shivers down your spine. With the media bias, one can never tell facts from fiction. This country will pay dearly while the free loaders laugh all the way to the bank!

  6. This journalist is a slave of the uni and obviously has no guts when he lies in the national paper to cover the tracks for the uni. He obviously has no interest in truth; he just puts out whatever rubbish the uni feeds him without asking any questions.

  7. A monstrous gang of bandits has taken over.