Sunday, 16 December 2007

An update... and then there was silence

A previous blog featured an open letter to the Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson, asking him for advice on the situation with Griffith University. In particular certain events were mentioned in which the participants received the attention of the judiciary as it went through their affairs in great detail. In other words, these people got their day in court.

What differentiates those cases from my own are not merely the absence of any - even alleged - criminal behaviour on my part, but the positive nature of the substance behind. Not only that, the highly questionable behaviour of certain people at Griffith still did not prompt anyone to take a closer look at the situation (it must be stressed that the dismissive attitude did not eventuate from a study of the case, particularly the points I raised against the examiners' reports; instead, information gathering consisted in referring to the same gang who created the problem in the first place). It does seem as if justice only becomes available to those who are willing to thump the table.

Since that post - silence.

Although the deputy head of the School of Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Peter Bernus, had threatened me with court action for "bullying and defamation" after I publicly called him and another lecturer as well as the Vice Chancellor Ian O'Connor criminals, the threat was neither repeated nor did it materialise after repeating the same and once again notifying the ICT staff at Nathan Campus about it.

A reading of the Queensland Defamation Act 2005 shows that any court action will lead to nowhere if the alleged defamatory statements can be substantiated. Is that the reason for the silence?

Perhaps even more interesting is the distance kept by organisations which, one would have thought, have an interest in the overall running of universities; such as the Queensland and Federal Ombudsman, the Queensland and Federal Education Department, the Vice Chancellors Committee, the Australian Universities Quality Agency, or the Carrick Institute. No-one approached there wants to have anything to do with it. And now the Police Commissioner seems to keep away too.

A reminder letter is being sent to him, and the people at the above mentioned entities are notified about the open letter to the Commissioner (excluding the Ombudsman's offices).

I won't hold my breath, but when the breakthrough does occur every letter, every email will contribute to the affair's history.

There is the notion of autonomy for universities, referred to by some. Although its historical reasons are sound, it sometimes can be overdone.

Let's see how high that barrier really is.

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