At 1:33 PM , Anonymous said...
Couldn't agree more about Loughborough. The policies are not worth the pixels it takes to show them on the web page. (They don't give you a hard copy to save trees apparently!)
Management is a shambles, complainants are "exterminated" and serial bullies are allowed off with a counselling session at best.
Staff in some depts live in fear of being the next victim as they see another person go on long term work related stress sick leave and then never come back.
Morale is through the roof and yes most staff wonder how on earth we do so well in these awards. LU is the most shambolic place I have ever worked.
Worse still they keep bleating on about how they want to be a fabulous employer, sending round surveys about stress and bullying etc, setting up working groups running the dreaded PD sessions but missing the all important bit about feeding back the findings to staff and the DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
P.S. If LU win please let the Loughborough Echo know I would love to see that story in print.
I wish nominate Loughborough University under the following categories from your list:
2. Loughborough has a doctrinaire and patronising 3-year probation system that ignores staff's previous work experience and particularly works against those from overseas, women who have had career breaks and people who have entered acadaemia as a second career. It is basically a big stick to hit staff with for the RAE. Probationary staff have to produce 2 RAE outputs for each year of probation. Highly experienced people find themselves having to attend staff development courses aimed at the needs of teaching assistants and new lecturers. Written from a limited disciplinary standpoint (usually engineering), they are rolled out across the whole of the university, whether or not they're relevant.
3. Every word of 3 applies. There are few women in senior positions. Many women compain of institutionalised sexism. The long hours culture discriminates against those with family and caring responsibiities.
4. The fact that Loughborough runs a course on emotional intelligence for managers says it all. It appears to have little impact.
5. Junior staff are over-managed and intimidated, particularly in regard to RAE output. Conversely many long-serving members of staff receive virtually no career development and are given no encouragement to apply for promotion. Needless to say, many of the latter are women. New workload agreements, which have cut teaching contact hours, have produced high levels of stress amongst staff due to having to deliver the same material in less time and consequent falling standards (which are of course blamed on staff) and student complaints.
6. Decisions are made in authoritarian and undemocractic ways, despite a plethora of committees. Staff constantly complain about meddling in their research and a lack of understanding of work that is outside of the dominant disciplines in the university.
7. Staff are extremely demoralised. Long-standing members of staff are routinely threatened with teaching-only contracts. No recognition is given to outstanding teachers. Furthermore, such is the pressure for research that teaching is regarded as a nuisance and increasingly given over to postgraduates, many of them MA students. Undergraduates complain bitterly about reduced contact time (see above). How, Loughborough is no 1 in the student experience chart is a mystery to staff.
8. Management has gone from bad to worse and staff are afraid to speak out.
9. There are huge levels of work-related stress. HR lets cases reach crisis point when early intervention and mediation might have resolved issues. Confidential information about complainants is often disclosed by HR to devastating effect. The return to work policy, although sound in principle, is often not properly implemented.
10. Internal grievance and disciplinary procedures are used to silence staff, often as a pre-emptive strike to discredit them before they can make their own complaint.
11. Every word applies.