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)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Nick Saunders named in ICAC inquiry into mine

Nick Saunders, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle and now Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Bond University, has been named in the ICAC inquiry into the Doyles Creek Mine. 

According to the Newcastle Herald,

"AN offer of $250,000 a year in funding from a state government department to the University of Newcastle was presented by a Doyles Creek mine proponent and close friend of then minister Ian Macdonald, a corruption inquiry has heard.

Senior university staff noted in internal emails concerns of the ‘‘irregular’’ manner by which John Maitland, also a former union boss and influential Labor Party figure, had made the offer on behalf of the Department of Primary Industries to establish a new chair position at the university.

However, the institute went on to write a letter of support for the mine proposal and sign agreements with the Department and Doyles Creek Mining, for $1 million from each over four years, to establish its Institute of Frontier Geoscience.

Other internal university emails, presented to the Independent Commission Against Corruption yesterday, showed staff, including Vice Chancellor Nicholas Saunders, began discussing a public relations strategy in about July 2008 to announce their collaboration with Doyles Creek Mining, on the understanding Mr Macdonald may make a decision or announcement about the company’s mine project by the end of the month."

The Herald further reports that Mr Maitland went on to say

"‘I sense that it is about the credibility and authority that the university can bring to this proposal,’’ he wrote in an email to his boss, Research and Development Pro Vice Chancellor Barney Glover.

In October 2007, Dr Johnson advised Professor Glover via email he had received an ‘‘unusual’’ phone call from Mr Maitland on a Saturday morning that included mention of the department providing funding to the university and the offer of a meeting with Mr Macdonald."

What does this say about the integrity of senior executives at the University of Newcastle?

For more details on the involvement of the University of Newcastle in this inquiry, see Newcastle Herald.

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