The Overwhelm of Academic Bullies

A colleague who wishes to remain anonymous wrote the following:

Here’s what I would change so I could be more peacefully productive:

  • I would like for there to be mutual respect among academic colleagues. It saddens me to hear when one colleague criticizes another “he/she only got that published because of her co-author” “she/he does terrible work” “she/he cannot write” These kinds of statements bother me because if people are willing to say this about their co-workers you know that they will say negative things about you too.
  • I also would like for there to be a more cooperative work place rather than a competitive workplace. Colleagues try to make others look bad so that they can look better. “I get higher teaching evaluations” “I teach more than he/she does” “He/she gets a better teaching evaluations because she/he is an easy grader”
  • Workplace bullies are also a major problem and I think that all institutions of higher learning need to have better policies in place to deal with people who are plain mean and say hurtful things.

What has been your experience with academic bullies or other toxic behavior – and do you have some suggestions for what to do?

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