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.

Help make a difference –

*answer our survey,

*contribute to the blog, or

*contact us.

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)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

University of Newcastle - how would it rate under the "Coalition for clean universities" audit?

The University of Newcastle is obsessed by rankings.  What about a ranking of universities with integrity?

The aim of this coalition was "to develop a university integrity ranking, both to name and shame those failing in their duties, and to celebrate and spread good practice.

The assessment focuses on four categories.

1. Transparency and responsiveness – looks at general information that should be freely available to all including universities’ ethics codes, sources of funding, recruitment procedures and a list of faculty, their CVs and the curriculum they teach.
Well we know that the University of Newcastle prides itself on its vast number of policies and codes of conduct - why do we receive so many reports of ethical breaches (theft, misuse of uni credit cards, soft marking, plagiarism, favouritism and bias in recruitment etc etc) ?  Liz Spencer

2.  Academic integrity, - the rules for reporting fraud, addressing misconduct and dealing with whistleblowers. It is by now well-known that the University of Newcastle states that misconduct must be reported BUT, in reality, anyone who reports any form of misconduct is harassed, victimised and hounded out of the University (contact us for many detailed reports of this).

3. Governance quality, evaluates procedures for recruitment, teaching and decision-making. Are jobs and fellowships properly advertised? Well, sometimes but policies and procedures for recruitment are often "flexible" with favouritism and policy breaches frequent.  Are examinations fair? (not always - but just "adjust the marks"). Is promotion merit-based or nepotistic? (we have many reports that academics at the University of Newcastle who are willing to cover up the misconduct of other academics are rewarded with being fast-tracked to the top).

4. Financial management, looking at the risks of embezzlement or other financial irregularities.The University of Newcastle has had issues regarding the misuse of university credit cards (Newcastle Herald and NSW Auditor General)  and fraud as well as the huge salaries and bonuses paid to the senior managers of the university. For example, in 2011, 
"Vice-chancellor Nick Saunders was paid a salary of $617,859 in 2010, performance pay of $119,394 plus performance pay from 2009 of $55,265. In total it was a pay packet more than twice that of the prime minister." (Newcastle Herald). 
The current VC apparently earns over $800,000 in a time when the median salary in Australia is $55,000. 

So where would the University of Newcastle rank as a "Clean University"?

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