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)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The University of Newcastle could learn a thing or two from the BBC and its treatment of Jeremy Clarkson

A man verbally and physically abuses another member of staff - that is not unusual.  BUT the man concerned is Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear, an internationally renowned TV program. 

Top Gear is extremely lucrative for the BBC.  Despite this, the BBC has gone ahead and refused to renew his contract.  YES - THE BBC HAVE ACTED AGAINST THE BULLY!

At the University of Newcastle, a staff member can abuse another member of staff or a student.
  • What happens to the bully?  Promotion, awards, support of colleagues.
  • What happens to the bullying target? Harassed further by other members of staff up the chain and ends up probably without a job, possibly gagged by the University, in poor mental and physical health and unable to work or continue their studies.  
  • Does it make a difference that Clarkson abused the producer in public?
  • Does it make a difference that physically abused the producer?
At the University of Newcastle, it does not seem to matter if the bully abuses another person in front of staff or students.  It is still the target who is destroyed.
Physical abuse, which does not often happen in the rarefied academic atmosphere of the University of Newcastle, is totally unacceptable.
However, the type of bullying favoured by the University is exclusion, isolation and ostracism - research shows that this has a more negative effect on the target than verbal or physical bullying.

The University of Newcastle LOVES rankings - where would it rank in the NOT-ACTING-AGAINST-BULLYING rankings????


  1. Former Senior Lecturer GeographyMarch 26, 2015 at 12:05 PM

    I so totally agree with the blog's statement that the University of Newcastle punishes the target of bullying.
    I had firmly believed that all problems, if raised, could be resolved. So in 2005 I reported the bullying that I had been subjected to within my discipline. I foolishly requested mediation to resolve the difficulties that I was having with the discipline leader. He refused my request and the University relocated me to the other side of the campus and removed me from all academic duties.
    Interestingly, this concurred with notification that I had been nominated for the VC's Teaching Excellence Award.
    For over three years I was kept in isolation under the threat of being charged with "serious mis-conduct" if I had any interaction with any staff or students in the School of Environmental Life Sciences or entered any lecture theatres.
    Isolation and the inability of continue my academic work (which to me was robbing me of my self-identity) caused considerable psychological distress until I was finally forced to accept a "voluntary redundancy."
    In retrospect I believe that the bullying within my discipline was the lesser of the two evils compared to the bullying I experienced from senior management at University of Newcastle.

  2. I think the current Pro Vice Chancellor should be fired from the University for what he did to Kate Hartig.

    The University under his rule has never been more disreputable. Sack him and things will improve.

  3. I agree it is those who remain silent who are almost as responsible for bullying.

  4. I will never be silenced or turn a blind eye to bullying. What is going on at the University is criminal.

    Bullying is psychological battery.