August 13, 2015

Deakin University senior staff ‘used students to target indigenous academic’

SENIOR academic staff at Deakin University are alleged to have orchestrated a campaign to remove a prominent indigenous academic that involved enlisting students, including one who was left so traumatised by the experience that she required psychiatric help.

The Australian reports that the fallout from the removal of Wendy Brabham, the head of Deakin’s Institute of Koorie Education, created an atmosphere of infighting and dysfunction, characterised in one university-commissioned report as “hostile” and “unsafe”.

Reports, obtained through Freedom of Information requests, list staff grievances about a “hostile/unsafe working environment”, “intimidatory behaviour” and “bullying” at the institute which provides community-based learning for indigenous students.

A significant portion of indigenous staff have since departed the university.

Professor Brabham had led indigenous education at Deakin since 1991. She was suspended in 2013 and later dismissed.

One student, who was also a member of IKE’s staff, alleged that a senior Deakin academic administrator offered her a “Melbourne shopping weekend” in return for signing statements that assisted the university’s case.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am very interested to read this regrettable account from Deakin as unfortunately academia in Australia has acquired a "cut throat" reputation.

I wonder have any of our readers come across Professor Paddy Nixon, a UK academic who spent a decade or so as a senior officer at the University of Tasmania, and certainly knew how to "back stab" ?