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)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Bully in the Ivory Tower"

 Bully in the Ivory Tower: How Aggression and Incivility Erode American Higher Education

A recent book, "Bully in the Ivory Tower" by Leah P Hollis has found that 62% of those who work in higher education have experienced bullying - this compares to 45% of the general population.

Hollis explains the reason for this high percentage of bullying.

"What's interesting is at a college or university we are all trained to be experts in our field to go out and do this wonderful research and create excellent knowledge.  It also is an isolating experience so now when you have to manage people or collaborate or have team building you've already been protected by tenure perhaps or at least in a culture that supports being isolated and also supports a pretty big ego.  So that doesn't always make for the best management skills."

She considers that "bullying has to do with power and those with the least amount of power are the ones on the receiving end of bullying."

We know that bullying at the University of Newcastle is prevalent.  However it is not always those with the least amount of power that are bullied.  Whilst we have had numerous reports of casual/sessional employees being bullied, there has and continues to be bullying from those higher up in the University of Newcastle e.g. professors, senior lecturers, etc. 

Three reports of bullying at the University of Newcastle have been published on the website of the parliamentary inquiry into workplace bullying - nos. 8, 25 and 53.  Other submissions from employees/ex-employees were examined by the Inquiry but not authorised for publication.

You can watch Hollis's TV interview here.


  1. there were many complaints in Human Right Commission and Anti-discrimination Board (Administrative Decision Tribunal) about bullying and discrimination in University of Newcastle in last year. It is a culture in this University, where the staffs were proud of their behaviours in this University bullying / langugage abuse / discriminate against other staffs and students (including international students).
    Get on the internet and search the key words of "bullying" "discrimination" and "University of Newcastle".

  2. The Vice Chancellor of the UoN is a bully. She has turned a blind eye to the plight of the victims of bullying (students and staff) at the hands of some of her PVCs and HoSs and she should be investigated by an independent body.

    Fish rots from the head down!

  3. If she does not do what she should do, can we find out what is doing at this position?

    Is she helping or stopping bullies in this University? She tried to stop NUSA to help students as the website from NUSA. What does she want the student's associety or union to do if not represent students?

  4. She hates NUSA because she wants NUSA to be her lap dog and she wants it to go along with the bullying lecturers and the bullying management who cut their contact hours and/or delete their programs with no warning. The NUSA president is too smart for her and her management so she wants her replaced with someone she likes.

  5. The VC turned a blind eye to all of our complaints about a very competent lecturer being replaced overnight by an idiot who has no idea or experience in teaching. Just about everyone in our program left or transferred to other programs. The VC only cares about making money. It's a very stuffy place.

  6. The Newcastle lot appear to have law on to themselves as no one wants to intervene. I suppose they've got away for so long.