Tuesday, 2 November 2004


The situation is: ("I" in the following quotes are James Farmer)

Last Tuesday I received a memorandum from a manager cc’d by am exec. director instructing me to cease supporting and promoting weblogging, wikis or any other technology not officially supported by the University. The basic reason given being that I have, anecdotally, not used the CMS (this isn’t true, I always use it) and that ‘commentary’ on the issue of CMSs (quoted I think from this blog or another I set up for a course) is unacceptable. A set-up for disciplinary action should I not follow instructions.

and James Farmer's difficulty is:
The difficult decision has been whether to write about it here or not. I’ve done so because you’re my professional community, my support and in many ways my friends & I don’t think I could keep up what I do here without being totally down the line with where I’m coming from.

James is interested in his job and research. He intended to
beg that as part of my academic research agenda and in the best interests of the University I be allowed to continue my work.

At this point, we can only give James our greatest moral support. ;-)

I resigned from my first job at a uni here in Melbourne when I arrived in Australia about 10 years ago. There were several reasons. One of them was one of the conditions of employment whcih I could not agree. As an employee of the university, the university would own all the work I did. I asked explicitly what about the work I might do at my spare time with my own equipment. The answer was that it was very difficult to ensure that any work I did was actually did outside office hours using my own equipment. Hence the clause in the employment contract was to eliminate any ambiquity! Shortly after that, I resigned and I am glad I did.

p.s. I don't know whether the same clause is still there. In today's standard, I think some lawyers may be interested to represent the employees for a class action.

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