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Trial By Error: The Crawley Chronicles, Continued

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Kalliope, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Lilpink

    Lilpink Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    It's 'their' annoying ability to re-appropriate blame or confusion on the innocent requester when they themselves are the ones at fault. It's sleight of hand isn't it? And they do this continually.
     
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  2. Lilpink

    Lilpink Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Lol! She does have a very particular style. Maybe BU teach it as a module which is why it's so pervasive?
     
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  3. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don't think its about companies vs. universities. I think it applies to any organisation where the thing they make their money off is specialised talent or expertise. You don't go firing your chief architect - or one of the founders of your huge film production company - over a spat between two individuals. You only do that when forced to - when doing nothing would actually be worse for the company than taking action.
     
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  4. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Or if there is a new kid in town that's as effective and cheaper?
     
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  5. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yea, but part of the capital they trade on becomes the person's name. So often an unknown person with better expertise just doesn't cut it.
     
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  6. Allele

    Allele Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Imagine how stoked they are to have as their BPS spokesmodel an attractive, young, female 'scientist'. They're not letting go of such a PR bonanza so easily.
     
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  7. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Now I'm really feeling sick
     
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  8. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Pity the #MeToo hashtag is taken, or that we didn't think of it first.
     
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  9. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Can I urge everybody to refrain from responding to that assessment of our favourite child-catcher, no matter how strong the temptation might be? We don't want to make ourselves look bad. I shall lead by example.
     
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  10. Inara

    Inara Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I didn't mean company vs. university.

    I can only speak of my experience in a legal department and what I heard of a legal department of a uni. Those are two completely different worlds. The reason, in my opinion, is quite simple: money. A company has much more to lose. Compliance rules are made so that no employee gets the idea to cast a bad light upon the company, because this could mean a decrease in profit. I have not heard of such rules at a uni and they are not so concerned about profit.

    This might explain Uni Bristol's behavior, too, although I agree a legal department often chooses not to make any hassle. After all, Miss Crawley is not the sun around which everything turns.
     
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  11. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Germany might still have Universities that are genuine public institutions. But in countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand, Universities have to make a decent income or they go under. You can't run a University on what the government gives you (if anything). You find ways to make it.

    Here and in the UK and the US, there is a scramble to claim the asian market. The university spends much money on overseas promotions and setting up recruitment offices in various international outposts. We are constantly aware of the need to bring in money. The other ways we do this is by increasing student numbers and obtaining grants - hence the pressure on academics to get grants. Huge parts of the University are dedicated to marketing, creating a visible "brand", and making sure we look good on international league tables. It is very much a business and our VC is definitely a CEO, and is paid like one.

    Our university also makes investments, so some of our revenue is income from properties we have bought for the purposes.

    Academics are very valuable, so we we have to do something outrageous to be sacked. But my institution is ruthless about general staff - one failure to comply, and they're out.

    One academic did get sacked once - for sleeping with his students. It was astonishing, because he was a very good scientist and a great asset to the University. But they did have the guts to draw the line there.
     
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  12. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Having worked in both academia and commercial organisations, I would say the difference seems to be pace and motivation. Both need to make money, but the academia take on this is also overlaid with a level of reluctance which reduces the cut and thrust.

    In the more commercial world of FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), well run organisations are not reluctant; this is essential and the life blood. You don't carry dead weight and cash is king. Things always seem more immediate. You could lose all your business in 3 months if you don't get it right. Academia seem to be working on longer timeframes and seem to work on more predictable patterns of revenue and profit.

    When it's slower like that you can always have larger numbers of staff that are completely detached from the commercial world making the culture generally less commercial.
     
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  13. Adrian

    Adrian Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Universities may be trying to run like companies but they are very different (at least from US companies). One big think is around lines of management which are clear in companies with people being judged by profit. Its common for senior managers in companies to get sacked/move on when they don't make their numbers. Very few are considered indispensable if any and succession planning is the norm.

    In terms of ethics we have a yearly standards of business course around ethics and what is acceptable and what is not. There is also an ethics officer who people can report issues to. This, perhaps in part, is because of past issues and regulatory fines. But this is in a company who generally tries to do the right thing. They talk about a headline test as in if what you are doing made it to a headline would you and the organization be happy to defend it. Brand is very valuable and is a major asset for many companies. Brand should be very important for universities but they don't seem to have the same brand management practices. Crawley should be considered an embarrassment to Bristol university one that could put students off coming. That may be why they wouldn't take legal action as it could become a big story. QMUL spending 1/4 million trying to suppress trial results should have been a big story and may well still come back to bite them.

    A company I worked for did sack the CEO for sexual harassment and cheating on his expenses but Wall St wasn't impressed. But such actions are very uncommon.
     
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  14. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    No, no, its exactly the same. When you take into account the perceived value of the person to the company. People not meeting their targets in most companies are a drain and are easily replaced. But some employees in some industries are the product themselves and are not replaceable.

    Look at Harvey Weinstein and Bill O'Reilly. Their companies turned a blind eye to the things these people were doing because of their commercial value.

    In O'Reilly's case this had also included shelling out massive amounts in legal fees and payouts to keep things under wraps. Which actually didn't seem to do Fox News much harm when it came out. When things got really bad they did fire O'Reilly, and they lost a bit of audience, but came out of it all really well.

    As I said before, my University is quick to fire non-academics for underperformance. And it does fire academics too, if they don't produce the minimum research outputs for the period (although more warning is given in that case). Its all about a person's market value.
     
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  15. Valerie Eliot Smith

    Valerie Eliot Smith Established Member

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    Thank you, Sasha. Yes, I only check in occasionally with this forum so apologies for not replying earlier. (I monitor quite a lot of different things so can't visit as often as I would like).

    As @Adrian said earlier, I am in contact with David, although we haven't discussed this particular topic in any detail.
     

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