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, September 6, 2012

"Bond University appoints new DVC and Provost"

Bond University has happily announced on their website that

"Emeritus Professor Nicholas Saunders AO has been appointed to the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Bond University, bringing with him a distinguished and outstanding record as both an academic scholar and senior manager."


"Bond University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford said he was delighted that Professor Saunders will join Bond.
“Professor Saunders is highly respected within academic, health and government networks both in Australia and internationally,” he said.
“He has led a remarkable international career in medical education and research and has contributed significantly through his participation on councils, committees and government review boards.
“I personally look forward to working with Professor Saunders, particularly given our backgrounds and skill sets are complementary.”"
Saunders - photo used by Bond University
Saunders - photo used by the University of Newcastle
Does Bond University and Professor Brailsford realise that so far three ex-academics from the University of Newcastle, under the management of Saunders, have had their submissions to the Workplace Bullying Inquiry published on the parliamentary website?  
These ex-academics were all bullied out of the university for reporting staff misconduct to senior management headed by Nicholas Saunders.  Their submissions can be read on the inquiry website - nos. 8, 25 and 53.  
More evidence of the bullying culture at the University of Newcastle under Saunders is still waiting to be authorised for publication on the Inquiry website.

STOP PRESS: "The University of Newcastle congratulates former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Saunders AO, on his appointment to Bond University in Queensland.

Professor Saunders will take up the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost next month."

The Vice-Chancellor, Caroline McMillen has stated that
“Bond University is fortunate to have secured someone of such high calibre and we wish Professor Saunders well in his new role.” (emphasis added).


  1. There's a lot of drama to watch at Bond whose former VC Prof. Raoul Mortley came to Newcastle for a stint as VC in the mid 1990s. Mortley's been the ONLY senior administrator at Newcastle who had the guts to take on the local tzars and bullies. As soon as he came to the job, heads began to roll and several "professors" drawing massive salaries as senior administrators got sent back to their old departments, the Forum was built for international students amid strong opposition from the conservative quarters of the uni. Mortley personally lobbied the government to have the train line extended to Warabrook and the station was opened to the loud cheers of students, etc. etc.

    I remember his inaugural address - it was the last inaugural address in the fine tradition of academia this uni saw. He was most impressive as a classical scholar. He gave the uni and the town a lot of hope for renewal.

    Unfortunately, scholar-administrators like dear Prof. Mortley have long died out. Having done two PhDs (at both Sydney and Strasborg), he actually spoke French like a native speaker and could see through the "emperors in their new clothes" and dealt with them accordingly. But didn't they give him a hard time in the only way the UoN knew!? His departure was the greatest loss to the uni.

    Unlike many power-hungry senior administrators who move from power and money to greater power and money, Prof. Mortley went back to academia, becoming the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bond in 2002 and has been writing books on classical philosophy, the self and its limits in his vintage classic style. He is truly a Renaissance Man who saw the shallowness, the corrupting influence of power and success (and money) without acclaim that characterises our time.


    I'd love to be a fly on the wall for a "scholarly exchange" between the newly appointed DVC Saunders (the man famed for his money-making ventures) and Prof. Mortley, his Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bond (and predecessor at Newcastle). The contrast between the two men is too great for comparison.

    Maybe they could start with a discussion on the simple topic of "what legacy I have left at the University of Newcastle as VC" and one of the two men can find evidence of his legacy in the existence this very blog.

    1. I want an instant transfer to Prof. Mortley's Faculty!

  2. He and his team of deputies have turned the UoN into the Bullyversity with a 28 million dollar surplus!

    I don't think you can call that "achievement" when it comes at the expense of brilliant academics bullied out for doing their jobs ethically.

  3. Saunders and his team of deconstructionists did a clean bulldozing job of academia at the UoN. I'm interested to see how he transfers his "business model" across to Bond.

  4. A money-making killing machine at work!

  5. I see a play here called "The Deconstructionists" about the scourge of money-making ventures that has obsessed Australian universities and it would be an interesting parody on David Williamson's "The Removalists."

  6. McMilen failed to thank Saunders for having left her with a really challenging job: getting rid of the bullies he's promoted and defending the indefensible on many fronts.

  7. Professor Mortley didn't put his 26-year old niece in $100,000 plus job before he left.

  8. We respect Prof. Mortley for being ethical.

  9. It's interesting what is thought of as being "high calibre" by the current VC of Newcastle. She obviously has no desire to be different. So guys, expect the same "style of management".