Beware Big Brother paranoia 1

May 25, 2007

The tone of your story "Staff see red over online policing"

(May 18) was alarmist and misdirected, as it gave the impression that higher education managers, administrators, personnel and marketing staff have nothing better to do than trawl through e-mails, blogs and discussion groups looking for evidence of dissent.

Anyone would think that we are run by the Staatssicherheitsdienst . On the contrary, these important workers simply do not have the time for that sort of thing, even if they wanted to.

If criticism does come to the attention of the authorities, then it has probably been reported to them by academic colleagues. The motives are not hard to fathom: envy, score-settling, career advancement, or a wish to appear compliant to power. These passions exist in all societies, so why should academe be any different?

Stoking paranoid fantasies of the omnipotent gaze of power simply encourages narcissism. Why not "out" academics who perpetuate it - as a prelude to some warm and fuzzy truth and reconciliation, of course.

Jeremy Valentine
Queen Margaret University

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns