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)

Monday, December 16, 2013

How the School of Humanities and Social Sciences selects its staff

The key selection criteria for a lecturing position are listed below.  The details of the person who was given the job are in RED.
  • PhD in XXX or other relevant discipline, or equivalent research outcomes. For Level B, currently enrolled or intending to enrol in PhD in XXX or other relevant discipline, or equivalent research outcomes.  NO PhD - INTENDING TO ENROL MAYBE?
  • Eligibility for practising membership of (professional body) and involvement in relevant professional bodies and networks. YES
  • A track record of research excellence demonstrated through scholarly publications in highly ranked journals. NO JOURNAL OR OTHER PUBLICATIONS AT ALL
  • Demonstrated potential for success in competitive grant acquisition.NO GRANT APPLICATIONS, LET ALONE SUCCESSFUL ONES
  • Proven ability to deliver high quality, innovative teaching and effective course administration. NO TEACHING EXPERIENCE, NO COURSE ADMINISTRATION EXPERIENCE
  • Knowledge of contemporary issues, policies, practices and debates in the discipline. PROBABLY
  • Capacity to successfully supervise research higher degree candidates NO - DOES NOT HAVE A HIGHER DEGREE
  • Capacity to make contributions to administrative leadership at School, Faculty, or University level.  POSSIBLY - AFTER SOME TIME.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative team.  POSSIBLY. 
Brown nosing (Image)

Why did this person get the job? Good question - in with the head of discipline?  brow nosing? ability to ignore misconduct? (ostrich-like)?

Did no one else who actually fulfilled the criteria apply?  Oh Yes!

Another case of favoritism, conflict of interest and "it's who you know, not whether you can actually do the job".


  1. My supervisor had no outside research credentials whatsover. The presentation for her PhD paper contained no references to anyone elses work at all. She had been apparently doing the research for over 2 years.

    The topic was a vague one. A hypothetical example not related to hers would be something like "sound and visual art". Can you see how vague in application that is? Hers was just as vague.

    Her gold card was of course her close (maybe very close) association with the head of school. The head of school also has very few academic credentials yet is being touted as a professor.

    My supervisor just had to use the words "diversity", "innovative" and "new contexts" in the brief and this apparently was sufficient bibliography.

    Why is this allowed to happen? How is this kind of academia supposed to be world class.

    Both of them made my life and others at the faculty a complete misery. Wielding power to destroy is not authority but evil masquerading as good. They both don't lecture or demonstrate on a very frequent basis despite drawing a huge salary.

    She discussed my research at length with the head of school without my consent, disclosing details I was not comfortable with. I knew this because the postgraudate studies coordinator also knew everything about me. So much for confidentiality.

    Hypocrisy is another factor. How does a healthy university deliver such low morale and poor role models? You will not get any answers from the administration.

    In fact they will lie about the veracity of the evidence. Or do nothing. Then they will accuse the public of slander, meanwhile witholding crucial evidence to support this.

  2. Gotta hand it to Professor John Germov for making such a great decision.

    Are we all sure that is his real name? Maybe someone should check.

  3. I applied for this position - I have a PhD, teaching experience, very good publication record, frequent conference presentations, clinical experience, etc - I was not even shortlisted for the position. Comes as no surprise - this is how recruitment regularly happens in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. If you follow the head of discipline like a puppy dog, if you are prepared to avert your eyes to the dodgy things that staff do, if you will do anything for power and promotion, you do NOT have to fulfill the criteria for the position. Do the students know this? Do the students think that they are being taught by competent people? Do the students know that they are spending their money on courses taught by people not fit for the job? Do Australian taxpayers know that they are paying for second-, third-, fourth-rate lecturing staff? What happens when those poorly trained students venture into the wide world? How will that reflect on the University and its precious reputation?

  4. Why are so many people in the management of humanities so incapable of even feigning humanity?

    I expect the people study humans as their profession to work from a position of respect and dignity. True respect and dignity for themselves and their subjects.

    Without this, their science is explotation, a long self-centred attack on the human condition.

    Newcastle is a notorious bully town.

    Schools and health departments up here also have the same huge problem, none more prominent than the University of Newcastle.

    No, it's not good enough to pledge to stop bullying and not act when there is bullying. Some of the things people do wrong are the things they don't do.

    Although the University appears to have done no wrong their inability to act decently makes them guilty. For instance they refuse to sanction an independent enquiry into bullying despite the loss of life and health there.

    What this all means is that the University is no longer a place I trust or recommend. I'm not the only one.

    A house built on sand will sink, a University built on a swamp will sooner or later sink to the same level.

    University of Newcastle, I once believed in you very strongly but no longer do.

    I don't care how much you spend on marketing or crow about how fantastic the university is. It isn't. Like the church you are beyond redemption because of your insistence on sanctioning atrocity.

  5. This is ironic. Appears that the person who posted this and perhaps several other posts on this blog regarding this school is doing a bit of bullying on his/her own.

    1. When the outcast and the rejected finally unite and retaliate, you can call it bullying if you like.

      You are obviously part of the University with an attitude like that.

      Good luck John G.

    2. I am obviously not very bright - how does demonstrating the dubious recruitment practices used at UoN constitute bullying?

    3. If any individual thinks one of the posts here constitutes bullying then please explain yourself.

      Explain which post was causing offense, your reasons and finally what you expect as an outcome.

      I am fair minded, have an opinion and hate injustice. I am waiting to hear any and all complaints.