A Gentle Touch of North Korea

Ron, the mormon, he is gone. Do not bother, let's move on.

Relax, this is not me trying to be poetic. Not today.

It was 2005 when the news were broken to us. Ron Davison, our excellently and innovatively strategizing dean was not any longer our dean. Yet alone a strategizing, innovative or excellent one.

What normally happens at Bond University when a high-level buerocrat falls in disgrace with the inner core of the university cronies (aka "The Brotherhood") has North Korean flair:

  • the person will be escorted off the campus by security,
  • the person will not be allowed to enter the campus again, ever,
  • all the person's network accounts will be blocked, his email address quarantined,
  • all locks for the rooms the person had access to are changed,
  • the person's name is removed from the web site and other records without any trace;

While the extent of the above varied (I have for instance never heard of any executions behind the shacks), the way this was communicated was somewhat orwellsh: No reasoning, background information or explanation was offered, and implicitly it was expected that no one asks, yet alone questions the validity of the procedure.

But we have been constantly assured that it is "in the interest of the university". No way I would doubt the great leaders.

So over the years a handful of deans and head of schools disappeared. Overnight. I guess I will never learn whether one of them had actually really abused the director of Human Resources. And no, this is not wishful thinking on my part. You obviously have not met him.

Pretty unusual for North Korea, though, Ron was allowed to write a goodbye email. It was handed down to us via the university censor who also made sure that the email did not reach students:

From: moderator@staff.bond.edu.au
To: All Staff <all_staff@staff.bond.edu.au>
Reply-to: rdavison@staff.bond.edu.au
Subject: Fwd: Farewell

From: Ron Davison <rdavison@staff.bond.edu.au>
To: all_staff@staff.bond.edu.au,
    IT Students <all_it_students@student.bond.edu.au>
Reply-to: rdavison@staff.bond.edu.au

I have fought the good fight, to the victors go the
spoils, and now it is time to move on.

No, no further details. But Ron concludes with one of the generic text components you can download from the Internet:

I considered it a great honor to be associated
with Bond University, especially the Faculty of
Information Technology. The achievements of the
Faculty over the last two and a half years have
been inspiring, and the opportunity to lead such a
supporting and committed group of students and
staff during a very difficult period, humbling. I
pay tribute to you. I have learnt much from you
and will always treasure this great privilege.

You can keep it, if you want to.

Posted In

Do you see the consp.....?!

Not sure if one ought to leave a comment on a site that may be monitored by such an Orwellian.

Here is a Question for you... are you sure you will never give out your web server logs, even if they ask nicely?

Knowing that "anonymity" can take on various levels of meaning, on the web...

When you think of it... that type of behaviour you describe, could have been observed by the egle-eyed many times back in the days. I recall lectures, deans, associate deans, head of <department/function> and tutors disappearing silently numerous times... it seemed that the greater collective of drones never questioned the great leaders of "Zee Brotherhood"... it may have been in bonds greater interest.

Maybe this kind of behaviour manifested way back in the days, where "Zee Brotherhood" accepted money from a certain "religious" group and it's associated string of development companies with an impressive list of Gold Coast and Brisbane developments, in order "save" it from UQ?

All things related to these folks had been clouded in a great deal of mystical silence. Basically a taboo for anyone living on campus... wondering why they had to be woken on weekends by chanting people at "un-godly" hours of the morning.

Kal (not verified) | Tue, 12/11/2007 - 17:58

Re: consp....

As a religious, adhering citizen, I always share all my logs with anyone who pretends to be an authority. I even enhance the logs by running a perl -ne over them:

s/^(\d+)\.(\d+)\.(\d+)\.(\d+)/join('.',map {int( rand(256))} (1..4))/e

I have never been asked twice. Not even nicely.

rho | Tue, 12/11/2007 - 19:03