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)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Uni's search for the best and brightest"

Caroline McMillen, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle has unveiled her new draft NeW Directions strategic plan according to the Newcastle Herald.

If the new plan is achieved, it would "improve the university from its place in the top 300 to the top 200 tertiary institutions in the world."

"The research plan includes a 30 per cent growth in research output and a 50 per cent growth in funding for health and energy research. " 

"It wants to create three "flagship" undergraduate degrees for areas of significant demand. 
It also aims to improve students' experience, incorporate more work placements into study and get more students involved in internships, exchange and volunteering in the region."

In an editorial in the Herald, the editor has stated that "The issue of workloads for junior academics has arisen. This must inevitably lead to scrutiny of work conditions for casuals and the broad issue of morale among teaching and teaching support staff. It has been suggested from some quarters for some time that heavy cost-cutting has affected morale and, by extension, quality of teaching in some areas."

McMillen has stated that "If there are better ideas that will help us achieve our objective and visions then we will be delighted to incorporate those into the plan."

We have some good ideas. 
Please deal with the bullying, the cover-ups, unethical behaviour and the misconduct - over 195 people who have reported that they were bullied at the University - others tell us that they are too scared even to talk about it.
Unless the bullying culture is dealt with, it is hard to imagine that the Uni will "attract the brightest intellects in the world and bring in millions of dollars in research and development funding" as McMillen wishes.


  1. Not good at covering up misconductJuly 12, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Dear Professor McMillen
    I am responding to your call for the brightest and the best. I have a PhD from a university that is consistently in the first TEN in the world. I am extremely conscientious and hard working. I am passionate about my area of expertise. I have extensive experience in my field (both out in the wide world and in teaching and research) and am widely published. (Happy to send you proof of this).

    My one failing is that I find it impossible to ignore and cover up staff misconduct and bullying.

    I guess that is why I am no longer and will not be working at your University.

    If you are looking for the brightest and the best at bullying and covering up misconduct, then I am happy that I have been bullied out.

  2. Where the hell is the woman going to get the brightest and the best? They've all been hounded out of town for being ethical and brilliant.

    McMillen's a bit ambitious to make such a huge claim.

    She should have an audit of what's on the ground there and she's going to be in for a nice surprise.

  3. Professor McMillen,

    You are looking for the brightest and the best academics for the Uni you lead? Well, I have to tell you I was the brightest, the best and the most principled in my whole School and Faculty, but I got bullied out because of these very qualities - I was a threat to the master bullies, the special breed of the UoN.

    I have a serious message for you: with the reputation your university has, you won't find the brightest and the best because they will not tolerate bullying and misconduct, let alone having their lives and careers destroyed for being ethical.

  4. Top 200 in the world?

    How does she achieve that when she's got plumbers doing brain surgeon's jobs?

    I suppose you can always call plumbers brain surgeons because the latter get paid a lot more.

  5. How can she have "new directions" when he's recycled so many old bullies in her "teams"?

    I'm not convinced Carol!

  6. Interesting scenario that is!

  7. The stuff in the pot is the same, isn't it?

  8. Professor McMillen, you've got "famous professors" on your staff who either don't have a PhD or a PhD from one of those polies in Britain when some of the most qualified staff have been bullied out for simply for refusing to be part of the unprofessional crowd. How can you claim what you are claiming?