June 28, 2007

The ritual continues... one more story...

Anonymous said:

I have been bullied since XXXX, have been off sick many months in all and am still being bullied. Many laws and codes of conduct have been violated in the process, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and RAE Code of Practice being only two of them. In the past, bullied employees had to try to prove sex or race discrimination, which is difficult. However, since the cases of William Majrowski and Diana Green in 2006, it should be easier to sue employers under the Prevention of Harassment Act 1997.

Most academic bullying is connected with the distribution of public money. In my case this involves not just internal but also external funding. My ordeal started with the arrival of a new XXXX who became Chair of XXXX and, later, head of XXXX and Director of XXXX. His closest friend was recently made a Fellow of the XXXX XXXX after being named as a super chair for XXXX XXXX, and has been put in charge of all post grads in the university.

In 19XX this person lied to me about a referee for a proposed funding application of mine to the body of which he is now a Fellow when he was (unbeknown to me) himself an applicant for the award about which, as Research Dean, he should have been advising me. His comments dissuaded me from applying. He gained the award in 19XX and was given two years' internal research leave on top of the two he got from the external body. Despite this he has not completed the research (just as he never completed a PhD or similar project). I have repeatedly been intimidated by him and others over his lie. The interests of undergrads and post grads dependent on my teaching and supervision have been put at risk.

This person also manipulated internal research funding to promote his own field while blocking the work that I wished to submit to the RAE (which is a known international desideratum). His friend, the VC, adjudicated on my case. I was also lied to by another Fellow of the XXX XXX about external referees for an internal Chair for which I had applied.

Eventually, I gained a XXXX XXXX, the only one for a single-authored project in my field that year, but I was restricted by my institution to a one-year Fellowship although I could have had two years for the same money. By then I had been off sick with stress twice. The amount of material that I discovered in one year meant that I needed two years. However, there was decided reluctance to see me finish for RAE XXXX. This, and the concomitant intimidation, caused me to be off sick a third time.

When I returned to work, the bullying worsened. I was told that I must not complain and must carry out my teaching. I was even told that it was BECAUSE of the RAE that I was not being given completion time, and that if this caused me stress I would have to retire.

I was also made to wait longer than usual for an internal research term. When I queried this I was accused of harassing the Head of School (the man who got the Chair for which I had applied) and received a letter from HR saying that I should take ill-health retirement (although I was not off sick) or see the Head of School about my fitness to remain in post. The leave that I had queried was being given to the HoS's own research collaborator and the HoS proposed to judge his own claim of harassment against me for querying this.

When he finally summoned me three days before my birthday, he bullied me again over my querying the leave and tried to pressure me into retiring. On XX XXXX he denied that he had done this, and instead sought to push me to complete my research in a short time, despite knowing that I had suffered stress. He said that he was concerned about completion, but has not shown concern about the non-completion of the former Research Dean's project. He also said that I should not have research students or postdocs or apply to the funding body of which the ex-Research Dean is a Fellow. I wonder if he knows that the applications will be blocked. At the end of the meeting he attempted to trick me into agreeing with a proposition restricting my future right to research leave and then asked HR to send me a letter about this. As I would be competing directly with him for research time, this is a third conflict of interests on top of all the previous ones.

When I wrote to the then General Secretary of AUT, XXXX XXXX, in 2000, he did not fulfill his legal duty to help me, but attacked me in writing. At the time I was off sick for the second time and had suicidal ideation. When I was off for the third time in XXXX I wrote to Charles Clarke. He replied that he could do nothing - and appointed the ex-VC of whose unfairness I had complained as Head of a body concerned with student finance, describing this as a 'good appointment'. In XXXX I complained to Lady Blackstone, whereupon the ex-VC, who had destroyed my career was appointed to review careers' services at all UK universities.

Thus the response to my complaints of bullying has been victimisation, accompanied by promotion and rewards for the bullies. This leads me to conclude that not just HE, but the whole shebang is corrupt. As bullying at the top of HE has been rewarded at the top (the ex-VC has been knighted, is Chancellor of a local university, and is in charge of XXXX) it is not surprising that bullies in HE behave badly: they know that it is a sure route to success
They are a law and a state upon themselves... no real accountability so they can make it up as they go... who will hold them responsible? Certainly not the union or Charles Clarke or Alan Johnston or even Boris... and so the ritual continues. Good academics victimised because of the insecurity and incompetence of vain managers with little or no people-skills.


Anonymous said...

Come on you silent witnesses....

....do something about it...

you could be




Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

Do something about the bullying in your institution when you go into work on Monday.

Your actions could save the next target....


Aphra Behn