[I know we promised to steer clear of investigative journalism but we couldn’t resist this one. And we might kick on from here. eds]

Here at UWS we are, as you know, avid readers of Rhonda’s policy bulletins. The little ping that issues from the computer when her emails fall gently to the in-tray never fails to bring a smile to our lips. Amidst all the turbulence currently engulfing us – Parliamentary debates about the university’s budget, student protests and other such nonsense – it would have been easy to neglect our duties as good citizens of the Looneyversity. But not us. So this morning we were up bright and early checking through the fresh batch of policy updates. The quaintly named “IT Acceptable Use of Resources and Communication Policy” caught our attention, and is currently open for comment on the university server:

http://policies.uws.edu.au/bbs.comments.php?id=156&did=00124&dvid=4&dvdid=1

Here are some choice extracts:

(6) University IT resources must not be used in any way that…

risks diminishing the brand value and reputation of the University…

uses personal information about staff and/or students for a purpose for which it was not collected, or exposes personal information about staff and/or students to others who are not authorised to see that information; [more about this below]

University IT resources must not be used to access or distribute (including but not limited to, via email, as an attachment or hyperlink, as an SMS, MMS, telephone call, or any other electronic or digital communication method) material that the University deems as unacceptable or could reasonably be considered as offensive.

Quite right too Rhonda. These ungrateful academics are all too fond of undermining brand value and distributing offensive and unacceptable things. In the interests of enforcing these new rules we would implore you to set up a new initiative at UWS “Strategy To Attack Subversive Information” (STASI) and spare no expense in bringing in the best IT minds to eliminate this curse of university life.

And you can start here: Someone. An outside company has hijacked the university server to steal staff information!! Here’s the story. Just yesterday, good employee that I am, I filled out my Compass goals. I wrote of my plan to lodge a grant application, to break new ground in blended learning, to run an international conference. Now I had assumed that my careful words were just for my supervisor’s eyes only. But I was astonished to read what a correspondent just sent through to Dissenter:

UWS  has purchased Compass/ MyCareer as cloud software’ from Cornerstone On Demand (sounds like something out of the Bourne Identity), a California-based HR company, to manage the performance of UWS staff.  When you click through from Staff Online
to enter performance data you leave UWS site for http://www.cornerstoneondemand.com despite the UWS logo remaining at the top of the page (all transactions are hence governed by California law, etc.). The information we provide is apparently data farmed by this company and can be passed onto other clients. We have no privacy rights because all of this happens off shore. They can profit from the data that we supply. They are in the business of aggregating performance data across enterprises and providing management in individual enterprises with dashboard data on aggregate performance, alignment of units with strategic goals, high and low performers, etc.

Jan and Rhonda, surely this can’t be true??? Surely you wouldn’t be guilty of breaching your own draft policy!!! They’re talking about legal action. About breach of trust.

No!!! I’ve always believed. I will continue to believe. I am a citizen.

John D’oh

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