Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

RMIT – what's going on?

By Malcolm King - posted Friday, 27 April 2012


Recent reports of staff bullying at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have been overtaken by the university flagging a new bizarre behaviour modification scheme called the ''Behavioural Capability Framework' (BCF).

The BCF wants staff to adopt more positive attitudes and concomitant behaviours and these will be assessed against a yearly work plan.

I ran the writing programs at RMIT for six years and taught there for 12 years as a tutor, lecturer and senior lecturer. My home faculty was Art, Design and Communication (now Media and Communication).

Advertisement

I left in 2004, just before RMIT sacked more than 500 staff. I could see the writing on the wall. The payout was generous and almost every staff member I knew in my age cohort (mid 30s-early 40s) jumped at the chance of a voluntary departure package.

I look back at my time at RMIT with fondness and humour. I got my big break at RMIT in the late 1980s. I had teachers par excellence in Sally White and John Wallace in journalism and Professor Jack Clancy in communication theory.

Dark clouds have been hanging over my alma mater for more than a decade. In 2004 Vice Chancellor Ruth Dunkin resigned creating a 'palace coup' whereby the managerialists in the Faculties of Business and Engineering took over.

Their top down edicts changed the political culture of the organisation, turning it from a relatively stable oligarchy of five faculties (with various degrees of business acumen) to a dictatorship directed by the Chancellery. The factionalism within the restructured mega faculties is tearing the place apart.

As The Age reporter Erica Cervini pointed out in a recent article:

"Is this the same mentality that led the Victorian ombudsman, George Brouwer, to criticise RMIT last year? In October, Brouwer released his report, Investigation into How Universities Deal with International Students."

Advertisement

The report stated that some universities were admitting students with substandard English and passing students who should have failed. RMIT refused to acknowledge there were any problems and stated that Brouwer didn't have jurisdiction to investigate them.

My story may be typical of others at RMIT. I was planning to leave RMIT when a new head of school was appointed from a science department (we were an arts and communications department) in 2002 who enforced his 'vision' on the school much like Hitler enforced his 'mission statement' on Poland.

The new boss was right to sack some staff as they had been woefully underperforming. But like a wolf down from the fold, he got a taste for it.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

3 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Malcolm King works in generational workforce change. He was an associate director at DEEWR Labour Market Strategy in Canberra and the senior communications strategist at Carnegie Mellon University. He also runs a professional writing business called Republic.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Malcolm King

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 3 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy