Fuckingly Stupid (Or Megaclever?)

"They are fuckingly stupid."

These were the famous last words I heard from a colleague of mine before he left Bond University. Not that I had reason to doubt his assessment for a second, he had to deal a lot with other middle management and also the upper management echelon (Australians just love this expression).

But for an Australian to say such a thing in a corporstralian environment was remarkable in itself. But maybe he was just trying to be subtle. Who knows.

Now, as part of the agreement to leave the university I had proposed to build a community website for the IT school. Sort of as a goodbye present. I choose a PHP solution (Drupal, go figure) because I felt that in my absence the likelihood to find a carer would be highest.

Most time - of course - was spent in getting the content into shape and the majority of that time itself was spent on the curriculum, so all relevant information about our offered courses. Here I decided to host the descriptions of our courses and the various curricula in XML form and to extract that via web services from an XML backend, just to be XSLT'ed and served by Drupal.

  • It is only due to Helen Kenneth's diligent and informed work that we actually pulled that one off. Data discipline was never Bond's strength.
  • I introduced everyone personally to the system and uploaded substantial intranet information.
  • Lots of people put up papers, project reports, descriptions of research areas, future project ideas. Plenty.

Overall I would estimate 4 man-months worth of time across the school. Iain Morrison, the Head of School was very supportive in this process.

In mid-April we had enough content together to put the site live. Iain seemed reluctant to do so and I was too busy to wonder why. I just nudged him regularily to tell me what he thinks is missing.

Only when the Faculty Website Officer (yes, they really have positions like these) had a look at the school site and meant

"Robert, you have done a lot of work"

my internal warning lights went nuts.

What it means in clear-text? Easy:

The management will never allow it. You can work your ass off all what you want. It does not matter how good this is. We do not want you to do this work, because this is our area. You do your ...... teaching and you let us do our work.

Ahhh, easy enough for you now? And this is how the web site looks
today:

1

Fuckingly stupid or mega-clever. Your choice. I have made mine.

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