October 14, 2012

It is back: Divestors of People Award - Awarded to Manchester Metropolitan University

Due to what happened to Dr D'Silva and what happened more recently with the suspension of Ian Parker, we decided to bring back the 'Divestors of People Award', and award it to Manchester Metropolitan University which seems to have a significant track record in meeting the criteria below.

 The Criteria 

1. Lack of strategy to improve the under-performance of the institution. This does not exist, is not clearly defined, or is not communicated to staff.

2. There is lack of coherent investment in staff development.

3. Whatever strategies exist to manage staff, these are implemented to promote cronyism, incompetence, favoritism, or inequality, and to disguise management failures.

4. Managers received little or no training to improve their communication, behaviour and people skills.

5. Managers are ineffective in leading, managing, and developing staff. High levels of over-management or under-management.

6. Staff are not encouraged to take ownership and responsibility through involvement in decision-making. There is no accountability and transparency in the decision making process.

7. Staff are demoralised, de-skilled or demoted. The working environment is toxic.

8. Lack of improvements in managing people is chronic.

9. The working environment shows high levels of work-related stress.

10. Internal grievance procedures are used selectively by managers to eliminate  staff. Some managers are untouchable despite their failures, while victims (targets) are not given fair hearings.

11. Staff report high levels of bullying and harassment by managers. Fear prevails among the silent majority.

12. The governing body is detached from the staff and is in the same bed with the management. Governors show no visible interest in the affairs of the staff. They fail to address management abuse.

Institutions qualify for the ‘Divestors of People’© award if they meet at least 50% of the above criteria and this can be verified by at least two different staff members from the same organisation. Nominators can remain anonymous.

Conditions for a university or college to be removed from the Hall of Shame

* Public admission of wrongdoing.

* Public promise to correct wrongdoings by changes in personnel (including getting rid of the bullies and reinstating the targets).

* Public apologies to all targets.

* Payment of compensation to targets of bullies, especially providing guaranteed private medical
coverage for life to all targets affected.

* Setting up a scholarship/bursary fund aimed at deserving undergrad/postgrad students who have shown courage in standing up to larger forces in the name of justice.

* Public recognition of staff who stood up against the bullies and supported the target.

* Removal of Management and Governors who failed to act.


Anonymous said...

Those criteria could easily have been applied to the place I used to teach at. Anyone responsible for those conditions were amply rewarded for their efforts. The only condition was that they be administrators or their allies in the institutional staff.

Unfortunately, I see that my alma mater, a different establishment, is following the same path.

Anonymous said...

Can these criteria not be applied to the University of Ulster where the UCU has openly declared that the actions of the management has "put the University’s future in potential danger"?


Anonymous said...

This is the main email Ian has been suspended for (names blanked out for confidentiality). Can this really be gross misconduct?

XXXXX has just announced the appointment of a new Senior Lecturer in Psychology, XXX who is a XXX, currently at XXX, previously at XXX.
XXX supervised XXX PhD, and they have joint publications. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that prior connection, and I assume that the selection process was scrupulously fair. This is not the issue. My concern is that the process was not transparent to other members of the department, and this raises serious questions about the way the department is now being managed. The practice under the previous head of department was that applications for lectureship posts were available for viewing by all staff in the department and we were invited to give views on the candidates, be involved in short-listing and, of course, to attend presentations. Even the last lecturer post under the current regime (in XXX, for which there was eventually no appointment) was discussed among the relevant staff, we were encouraged to circulate the link advertising the post, and the whole department, even those not involved in teaching XXX, was told by XXX that we should attend the presentations. In contrast, for this current appointment, even though I taught on the XXX undergraduate course (which this appointment is designed to cover) I was not consulted about the post, the department was simply informed that the job had been advertised (there are even rumours in the department, which I find difficult to credit, that there was no newspaper advertisement for this post) and then that a shortlist had been drawn up, and then we were discouraged from attending the presentations, not even notified when and where they were being held (for which, very unusually, the interview panel were the only audience). This is an extraordinary state of affairs, and may give rise to unfortunate (no doubt mistaken) perceptions about how open and fair this process was. I am sorry to say that I have no confidence in the ability of the XXX to address this issue satisfactorily, so I am sending this message to the head of HR and to the Vice-Chancellor. I urge you to review the processes by which appointments and other managerial decisions are made in this department.

Ian Parker
Professor of Psychology

Anonymous said...

Kingston University deserves this award just as much as MMU. For details supporting this claim see www.sirpeterscott.com.

Anonymous said...

I spent 30 years teaching and research at MMU and wholly agree to the above remarks. The management never listen other than to themselves and if you criticise you are targeted as being aggressive.