Another Crappy New Year?

How’s life at Kingston? Judging by the many comments to posts on Dissenters Blog over the past year, not so good. It appears the only faculty that does not have major problems is Health, and this might be an illusion. NHS bursaries for Nursing have gone and this has affected student numbers. But discontent rages in all the other faculties.

FASS has had a bad time of it although there was one piece of good news: they got rid of crooked McQuillan, or rather the SMT did when his dishonesty went too far even for the dodgy management. Unfortunately the downside is that McQuillan’s old mucker, Simon Moran Worthless, another example of a supreme incompetent according to many, filled his unprincipled boots. Read more about it here. Then there was the disgraceful affair in Politics. Staff were wheeled into mock interviews in quick succession, especially quick for those who the SMT had already earmarked for the sack. Humiliation on top of loss of livelihood: how low can the SMT sink? In the end, one staff member resigned, three others were sacked. Consequently workloads are at exceptional levels, staff are struggling with little time if any for research. So much for improving the University.

Also punch-drunk are the long suffering staff in SEC. True, the useless Sutcliffe has gone, but the bumbling Vice Dean, Lucyfer Jones, is still there and the stand-in dean, Dave ‘Dirty’ Mackintosh is doing the dirty on Mathematics, where the rumours suggest the department will be closed and half the staff lost. Geography, despite a reasonable recruitment, was hacked about during the previous phase of Plan 20 Ways To Sack Your Mother. Nor have the threats to Engineering gone away. KU staff levels haven’t struck bottom yet.

Business has been quieter of late, yet Tuninga lingers on, gradually undermining the faculty. Staff are slowly getting out when they can. The operations officer has gone, and other administrators elsewhere in the University have been squeezed out, all done very quietly of course — the SMT hates bad publicity.

The renamed Kingston School of Art, in anticipation of a time when Kingston University folds and make an escape in its own pod, is not without its troubles either. Seems that the Acting Dean Anne “Pint of” Boddington is causing ructions already, two academics gone, maybe others to follow. But are things about to get a lot worse? According to a comment back in November, the School may be getting a new dean in the shape of one Colin Rhodes from down under, an Aussie academic with a reputation for cost-cutting and upsetting the students rather than his art. Streuth! Could Boddies be acting elsewhere before long?

So, Kingston crumbles on. The recent workshops to which all staff were invited to give their views on our future were oversubscribed, hence only a relatively small number of us were able to contribute. Yet this is almost certainly for show. The Mismanagement shows no sign of improving conditions for the staff. Some of the deans are borderline psychopathic, the corruption of individuals like McQuillan is hushed up, the despair of the staff is ignored. Apart from a shiny new building in two years’ time, what is there to look forward to? Perhaps not even the building.

One good thing. Dissent is growing. This blog, now getting on four years old, has spawned a Twitter account and another blog on the corrupt events in FASS. Thank you to everyone for reading these posts and your many comments. Please keep them coming, and may we at Dissenters Blog wish you all a Happy New Year.

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11 Responses to Another Crappy New Year?

  1. Jack Dawson says:

    Our disgraced former Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Martin McQuillan, has published a convincing article suggesting that the Guardian league tables for 2019 lack credibility, given the wild fluctuations in individual universities’ positions as against last year, and the change in measurements being used. I guess he’s still angry with Kingston for kicking him out, but in fairness to the scoundrel, he’s probably right in this instance. Nobody can seriously believe that Kingston’s huge jump in the table is a reflection of a huge improvement:
    https://www.researchresearch.com/news/article/?articleId=1375340#.Ww_zMa6nWvc.twitter

    
Some strange quirks in the League table: History’s scores for student satisfaction as regards courses, teaching and feedback are significantly higher than for the university as a whole. Why then is History being singled out for closure ?
    

https://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2018/may/29/university-guide-2019-league-table-for-history

    Politics is still scoring poorly; student satisfaction with Politics teaching has unsurprisingly dropped significantly since the redundancies last year. Yet despite having got rid of over a quarter of their staff, Politics’ staff-student ratio has actually improved ! Either Kingston has found a way to fiddle the figures, or recruitment has tanked:


    https://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2018/may/29/university-guide-2019-league-table-for-politics

    On a side note, our friend McQueezy is not happy with social media, accusing it of being “an aggressive, ugly and unregulated Wild West” and saying that “The darker fringes of social media involve anonymous accounts pouring out confected and often malicious opinion”:


    https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-new-european/20180510/282084867439675

    Anyone would think he had a personal axe to grind !

    Finally, I’d just like to congratulate the Dissenter’s Blog on rattling our horrible management. Congratulations on your fantastic work, and please don’t be put off by the management stooges who turn up in these comments boxes to try to discourage you. A lot of us are really pleased that you’re doing what you’re doing. Please don’t stop.

  2. Sarah says:

    Hello, I thought you might want to have a bit more information about the new Dean of the School of Art, and his departure from the Sydney College of the Arts, as there seems to be a theme of purposeful destruction. Colin Rhodes oversaw an attempt by the University of Sydney to totally destroy the College. If you want to email me I can supply more info but for the time being see:
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/sca-dean-colin-rhodes-steps-down-after-student-lockout/news-story/a67c3591cf2eb503dad3745648a9c4fc
    http://honisoit.com/2016/09/sca-deans-resignation-the-latest-victory-for-let-sca-stay-campaign/
    https://youtu.be/N0CV6DviRjg

  3. Dear Dissenter,

    What an interesting read, but i am afraid to inform you that the Faculty of Health is not without it’s problems. First off, i request for my post to be put in it’s own thread so it is easy to find.

    You may have heard less about the Faculty because of the removed location of the campus’s – Kingston Hill and the St. George’s campus in Tooting. The St. George’s campus is especially like going into the bermuda triangle – there is no eye kept on them and so it is rife for bullying and misconduct.

    One of my colleagues is in particular someone who is of interest with her low research ability, and high manipulation of staff and HR. “Professor” Fiona Jones, has recently been also awarded an MBE. This award has really gone to her head and has fuelled her manipulations of staff in doing work for her which she takes the credit for. Which is typical of Kingston. The abuser gets rewarded.

    In the vein of Dissenter and their followers i have also penned a poem, which i would like to share. I call it “Fiona Jones chews on old bones”.

    Professor Fiona Jones,
    Chews on old bones,
    Of Workers and researchers,
    For all to see,
    In the Joint of Faculty
    Of Health, Social Care & Education,
    (A bermuda triangle of malfunction).

    She says she is mixed methods,
    Behaving like a God,
    But she doesn’t know her arse from her elbow,
    And crikey! Don’t it show!

    • Fiona Jones' colleague down the corridor! says:

      Seconded, the Joint Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education is a minefield of abuse. But what can you expect when the Dean is “Prof” Andy Kent, the master of the bullies. No wonder the plebs in the Faculty behave the way they do!

      I know Fiona Jones. She was left red-faced in the Faculty when one of her research staff stood up to her bullying and left her high and dry. It was hilarious! Jones proceeded to rewrite history in order to gain sympathy from us. It didn’t work. As for her MBE, it is a joke. She would never have got it if her general and research misconduct came to light and she should be stripped of it. You can thank Kingston HR and management for covering up for her.

      Jones also has the largest funding in the Faculty, but she cannot lead the study. She is constantly recruiting early career researchers JUST out of their PhD’s to run the entire project for her. She cannot even do the job of an early career researcher herself. She controls and manipulates them, especially Dr. Stefan Tino Kulnik, who would sell his own grandmother down the river to please Jones. She is grooming the next generation to be as corrupt as she is. She cannot employ a senior researcher because she could not control them, so she always employs people who have only just finished their studies.

      Jones cleverly manoeuvred her way to be a Professor, which can be done in such a low ranking Faculty. It is not just student requirements that are low at Kingston – it is also staff requirements. Honesty is not valued, but deception is.

      Prof. Tom Quinn, does not have a PhD but was promoted in 2016. Education is clearly not valued in the Faculty, and i would urge people never to stop looking for jobs, to be able to move on from the “Bermuda Triangle”. He has used his title to exert power over others when he should not even be there.

      This Faculty is so low in the ranks, they have employed multiple postdocs in order to hijack their thesis papers so it appears their output in the REF has improved. It has not improved, it is an illusion. I would urge postdocs to take their thesis papers to better institutions.

      And yes, the research standard in the Faculty is very low. The best skilled people are actually the postdocs. Shine a light here and you will see how poor it actually is. Another thing, the postdocs they employ come from different disciplines – they do not employ people from their own discipline (non-research trained clinical – physiotherapists, nurses, midwives etc) , except for Stefan Tino Kulnik (physiotherapist), but he sold himself into losing his soul from the moment he stepped foot inside the doors. They employ people from traditional disciplines – Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology. Why? Because these people are proper researchers with proper research training. Hence why people like Fiona Jones cannot do analysis. And for the record she is NOT mixed methods!! That is a joke. She can barely do analysis – enter the postdocs to the rescue. However, HR and management turn a blind eye, the corrupt Andy Kent promotes her, whilst young postdocs bail her out. On top of this let’s not forget her salary. She is paid to do what exactly? Typical of Kingston.

      And she is just one person. Imagine a whole Faculty like that! It’s a joke!

      But i would disagree with the above poem that she chews on the bones of postdocs ; she is also over reliant on fellow permanent staff. Always asking questions because she does not know what to do, always suggesting “collaborations” (which means, she does not know what to do and so can we come up with solutions for her) and always trying to manipulate people so she “looks” good and innocent. So to the OP, yes we all know she is a joke! Hopefully she’ll bugger off soon but i doubt it.

      But really Kingston need to sort out their management and HR – this is where the root problem is. They need to stop turning blind eyes and making dodgy deals.

  4. Thank you for your excellent and insightful blog, which has built upon our earlier disclosures by speaking courageously and forthrightly about the numerous most recent management-induced shortcomings of the University. Carry on!

    • Been here too long, seen too much says:

      @ Joint Faculty staff member & Fiona Jones’ colleague down the corridor: Seconded. Highly manipulative and exploitative. And her post-doc researcher is just perfect for it. He is like the idiot savant every half-baked “professor” needs, to make up for poor research skills and lacking inspiration: an uncompromising research mind, and a work ethic like his life depends on it, but far too honest and trusting to survive manipulation like this. He just won’t play the game, and he won’t stop speaking his mind. He still hasn’t clocked that it’s not about the quality and integrity of the work, but about sucking up to people. Meanwhile, his “professor” is using him for his skills and taking advantage, cleverly isolating him within the faculty and cheerfully steering him away from opportunities. His career is heading for a dead end, and he just doesn’t see any of it. Rather sad, really.

  5. Joe says:

    Do you have a link to the FASS blog? Thanks

  6. Morticia says:

    Hi how do I send an email to this blog’s author?

  7. TSK says:

    Not to mention the service departments, KUSCO have reduced the cleaning and maintenance staff (no wonder the Uni looks filthy), the IT department seems to have a revolving door when it comes to staffing. Rather than the SMT take the easy option of cutting staff to meet a financial short fall, they should stop paying huge sums to so called consultants whose only interest is their own revenue stream (the IT dept is particularly good/bad at this). The BoG needs to be replaced with people who will hold the SMT to account rather than just turning up to meetings and claiming their expenses.
    It will indeed be another difficult year, more financial savings to be made (= more job cuts = more pressure on staff), managment unable/unwilling to make any rational decision.

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