Our colleagues at University of Newcastle need your support

RE: Can you help Stefania (and Mark) protect their jobs at Newcastle? [by Fri 30th April]

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are all well. We are writing to ask a favour: 10 minutes of your time to help me and my husband/colleague Mark Rubin protect our academic jobs.

We recently learned that our positions in the School of Psychology at the University of Newcastle have been proposed to be disestablished (made redundant) as part of our University’s current organisational restructuring. Also no new position will target social psychology as area in future job descriptions.

The rationale is that the School is moving away from social psychology as an area of research interest (in light of the recent changes in Gov’s classification of Fields of Research). This despite the fact that one of the two School’s research priorities is “thriving communities”, that one of the University’s research priorities is “connected communities” and that the University aims to retain its leadership position nationally and internationally around equity and meeting the United nations Sustainable goals for “sustainable and equitable futures”.

I’m writing to ask if you would be kind enough to support us in opposing the disestablishment of our positions by submitting a “personalised” message to relevant UON authorities as part of the change process (in fact you can efficiently draw from the template text below).

We hope that receiving many converging voices of international and national scholars in the area of social psychology, social cohesion, equity and diversity, will help our managers understand the importance of social psychology in addressing most complex challenges of our society, see the close relevance of the work we specifically do to their chosen research priorities and appreciate the risks of reputational damage of these planned decisions for our School of Psychology and UON’s standing in international university rankings.

For an overview of our research /profile:

Stefania: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=xwUnA5IAAAAJ&hl=en  https://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/stefania-paolini

Mark: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=5pSnsUEAAAAJ&hl=en  https://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/mark-rubin

A few tips about what is expected if you are willing to help:

·        Any individual submission should be no longer that 250 words. (Longer text can be parcelled in multiple submissions or act as an appendix to an executive summary of 250 word max).

·        Below I compiled a template submission that you can decide to cut and paste or reword in “your own voice”. You can of course write your own 250 words too.

If you are willing to help us, then your message supporting our case would need to be submitted no later than AUS EASTERN 5.00pm on Friday 30th April.

[template text that you can use/adapt etc. for your ‘personalised’ submission]

Re: Disestablishment of two Level Ds in social psychology within the School of Psychology/CESE

I am [DEFINE YOUR ROLE/AFFILIATION?]. I write because I have learnt that the positions of A/Prof Paolini and A/Prof Rubin are identified for disestablishment on the grounds that social psychology no longer fits their school’s research priorities. Paolini and Rubin have a strong national and international research profile on equity and social cohesion. I know them/their research from… [HOW YOU KNOW ME/US?]. Losing Paolini and Rubin would be a major loss to (a) the School of Psychology’s research and teaching in areas of applied social psychology and applied cognition, (b) the University’s “connected communities” research priority , which aims to “create a stronger, more inclusive society (…) to build social connectedness, and sense of belonging” and UON’s efforts along the United nations sustainability goals for equitable futures and (c) cause significant reputational damage to the School of Psychology and UON’s standing in international university rankings. Therefore I write for UON to revoke their plans for disestablishment. I look forward to your response. Regards [YOUR NAME]

[this template is: 165 words; 250 words is the maximum]

Please email your submission directly to:

·        Head of School of UON’s School of Psychology at: 

·        UON VC at  and to

·        PVC of the CESE College at: .

Please forward your submission also

·        to an independent casual academic (Stephanie) in my school at 

so that she can submit your message “on your behalf” through the submission portal that is available exclusively to UON staff (the University is not required to consult outside their staff, so this channel is to ensure they hear also other relevant views!!).

·        let Steph know whether you prefer to be named on the portal submission portal or prefer just to be described impersonally (e.g., international researcher).

I asked a third party to handle this so you do not need to worry about me/us actually knowing about your submission. No pressure either way.

Thank you for any help you might be able/willing to provide. Please feel free to share this message with colleagues who might be willing to help. Needless to say, these have been very stressful times for us. We still have a little hope that we can reverse this horrible course of events.


Stefania (Paolini) and Mark (Rubin)

Stefania Paolini

PhD, Associate Professor in Social and Intercultural Psychology

Faculty of Science | School of Psychology