Philosophy Hurts Your Head

The blog of a cranky Philosophy PhD Student from Newcastle, Australia.

Uni of Newcastle history re-written?

Posted by Sam D on August 24, 2007

I recently had been looking at the University of Newcastle page on Wikipedia – after the release of WikiScanner, I though a look at the edit history might be interesting. And sure enough there are 903 edits by anonymous users coming from IP’s on Callaghan campus. I’ve no proof that they are by staff, but how many students want to extol the virtues of the new branding strategy, faculty structure, or the infamous Student Hubs?

It’s all very nice, but I can’t help but feel that it sanitises our history.

Many of the changes to the university structure mentioned above were made in response to significant staff cuts, caused by financial mismanagement and made worse by poor enrollment, itself possibly caused by a plagiarism scandal (similar to UNE’s current mishap but not nearly as bad). None of this is mentioned.

The section on Autonomy Day was deleted for being “trivia, unencyclopedic, and unsourced” by user Radiant! with whom I’ll be corresponding so as to find a way of including interesting and funny events in a way that does not violate this users sense of what should be on the page.

I was struck by a comment from a user that the entry was not an advertisement (implying that it should not be treated like one), but at the moment, due to the actions of staff (someone in Marketing – I’m sure you know who you are) and Radiant!, it may as well be. If we want a reputation for having no personality we are going about it the right way.

This sort of editing, which picks and chooses the truth, might suit marketing. But it seems contrary to the notions of academic rigor and integrity that the senior management are so fond of mentioning.


One Response to “Uni of Newcastle history re-written?”

  1. Sam D said

    Aha, the plagiarism event does rate a mention now.

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