May 29, 2010

Bye, bye, baby bye, bye...

Sir Peter Scott is stepping down as vice-chancellor of Kingston University to take up a post at another institution, it was announced... More info at:

Check also:

Legal costs of university in St Andrews v Quigley

Dear Mr Quigley,

I refer to your request dated 3 May, 2010 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 for "How much money did the University of St Andrews spend on legal representation in the case of Dr D Quigley v The University of St Andrews during 2002/3/4/5? I can confirm that the total cost inclusive of VAT was £204,192.36.

Yours sincerely,

June Weir
Freedom of Information Officer
University of St Andrews


For legal costs involving different universities, check:

One hopes that the new government will try to put an end to this waste of public money.

May 21, 2010

Does this constitute a breach of freedom of expression?

Having had to issue a formal complaint against several members of staff at the University of Ulster for bullying and harassment I had accusations of bullying leveled against me for highlight the clear inefficiencies and inadequacies in the delivery of a final year module on my blog.

I have been instructed by the University that if I do not remove the comments then I will be suspended.

Does this constitute a breach of freedom of expression? I think so!

Check out my blog:

May 13, 2010

Stressed staff can't get no satisfaction

People working in higher education are "dissatisfied with their jobs and careers" and are "stressed at work", according to new research.

Academics from The Open University, the University of Portsmouth and the University of Bedfordshire quizzed more than 2,500 people from four universities for the paper, "The work-related quality of life scale for higher education employees", published by the journal Quality in Higher Education.

Staff were asked questions about job satisfaction, well-being, work-life balance, stress at work, control at work and working conditions using a Work-related Quality of Life (WrQoL) scale devised by Darren Van Laar, a Portsmouth psychologist.

"Overall, higher education employees in the sample are dissatisfied with their jobs and careers, are generally dissatisfied with working conditions and control at work, and report that they are stressed at work," the authors write.

The paper says the WrQoL scale has "psychometric properties" that would be useful to institutions "throughout the UK to evaluate employees' quality of working life".

The authors argue that issues such as career satisfaction, stress and work-life balance must be looked at as a whole.

Increasing well-being would "enhance the delivery of education to students and improve working relationships among work colleagues", they write.

Simon Easton, senior lecturer in psychology at Portsmouth and one of the authors, said: "Studies around the world show work-related stress is widespread in higher education.

"University staff in the UK tend to report that demands are increasing, while support and a sense of having control at work have fallen. Many complain about the rushed pace of work, the lack of respect and esteem, having too much administrative work to do, inadequate support and lack of opportunity for promotion. The psychological stress among university employees appears to be much higher than in other professional groups and the general population."