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Worker wins compensation despite misusing funds

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HC Online | 28 Feb 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
A university professor who used research grants to pay for personal items, including cosmetics, massages and wine, has won compensation after Fair Work ruled his dismissal was severe.
  • David | 28 Feb 2013, 04:32 PM Agree 0
    This is another example of the outrageously pro-employee finding by the commission.
    If an employer cannot expect that an employee will not defraud their business - a public service business at that – then what is to stop any employee from committing similar actions without fear of recrimination. Did Smith require Jin to repay the university for the stolen money?
    As for the comment that “it would be a tragedy” if the research did not continue, so researchers should have a free reign to do what they want?
  • clayton | 28 Feb 2013, 08:34 PM Agree 0
    without knowing the full details it is always hard to comment, however from the information given in this article, I find this an extremely ridiculous decision. He was given the grant to research. Cosmetics and Noodle Makers ? this is where common sense and law are at conflict.
    Obviously the policies of the Uni or Research body are very weak and you would have to wonder how long and how common this sort of behaviour is.
    He has gotten away with theft and they have to give his job back - awesome!
  • Jim | 01 Mar 2013, 07:59 AM Agree 0
    It's appalling that any credence was given to Jin's assertion that "intellectual freedom gives him licence to use his research funds unhindered" -- what utter nonesense! To suggest that spending money granted for research could justify spending it on "air fares, wine, massage and reflexology, cosmetics, clothes, shoes, a camera, a noodle maker, speaker systems, groceries, bedding and tourist attraction tickets" beggars belief. It would be fair to assume that Professor Jin received an income from the University aside from the Grant, and that income is for personal expenses. Time to join the real world, Professor, like the taxpayers who paid for the fund!
  • Catherine | 01 Mar 2013, 02:20 PM Agree 0
    It is a sad world when our decision makers are unable to recognise theft when they see it. I strongly doubt Jin genuinely believed he was allowed to spend the money on cosmetics etc...even a child knows the difference between stealing and not stealing. Perhaps, the Uni should have laid a charge with the police for theft on the day they dismissed Jin...this may have stopped the case progressing.
  • Harley | 01 Mar 2013, 02:40 PM Agree 0
    I'm surpised that "many of the expenses were consistent with grant guidelines". How does one write in a noddle maker into the grant?

    I agree with Clayton, the guidlines governing the research/uni must be rubbish.
  • Kate Martin | 05 Mar 2013, 05:06 PM Agree 0
    Again going on the content of the article alone it feels like the world has gone mad resulting in enterprise and individualism being stifled by over governance, protective policies, pigeon holing employees to prevent this type of thing and always , it seems, HR should have the answer to the problem. I can only imagine the effort going into rewriting the guidelines and tightening policies when common sense dictates that (based on the article) that as a serious breach of ethics and morse so misuse of funding has occured the employer should be able to dismiss. I have to also ask why it was nipped in the bud; poor supervision and reporting may the employer's fault!
  • Peter | 05 Mar 2013, 05:35 PM Agree 0
    One would have thought that the Professor would know better. The fact that everything has to be spelt out in minute detail is an indictment of where we are. Anyone with some common sense would know that research funds are for research - not noodle makers or amusement ride tickets. What on earth was the Commission Deputy President thinking when he handed down his judgement? Do these people understand anything about life and do they understand at all what they unleash with these crazy judgments. I hope there is a review process as on the face of it this is a ridiculous decision
  • Nifo | 06 Mar 2013, 04:51 PM Agree 0
    No respectable academic would find this acceptable. The ARC needs to review this. This kind of conduct used to be widespread in universities 30 years ago, but things have tightened up. Well, they had before the Fair Work Commission got involved. As for the risible comments of Shi Xue Dou, I can't laugh, only cry. I spent 40 years as an academic to see this sort of behaviour condoned? Good grief!
  • Peter | 12 Mar 2013, 04:03 PM Agree 0
    The ruling is laughable and undermines the validity of the commission.
    I can only hope this is a one off and not common practice at Newcastle or other universities. This sort of behaviour is just the ammunition that politicians use to reduce funding to universities.
    As for the comments from Shi Xue Dou, does high quality academic research override all forms of criminal behaviour or only fraud?
  • Ben | 07 Sep 2013, 07:27 AM Agree 0
    It all comes down to WHY ARC did not specify the usage of fund clearly. The confusing part probably comes when the research fund can be used to pay a salary to a researcher, which could well be the professor himself. So, directly or indirectly ARC is paying for the noodle maker anyway.
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