Friday, June 12, 2009

Have you been the victim of "academic mobbing?"

Here's the definition of "academic mobbing" from the Chronicle of Higher Ed:  it's a "form of bullying in which members of a department gang up to isolate or humiliate a colleague" which can result in destroying that person's career.

Sound far-fetched?  Hardly. Read on: 

Ms. Friedenberg and the paper’s co-authors, Mark Schneider, an associate professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and Kenneth Westhues, a professor of sociology at the University of Waterloo, presented their research at today’s session. Mr. Westhues, who discussed his studies of academic mobbing with The Chronicle in 2006, also offered a handout that included a list of 16 indicators of mobbing. Among them: If rumors are circulating about the target’s supposed misdeeds, if the target is excluded from meetings or not named to committees, or if people are saying the target needs to be punished formally “to be taught a lesson,” it’s likely that mobbing is under way.

But victims should not assume that notifying an administrator will help. Evidence suggests that administrators may find it easier to become part of a mob than to try to stop one, Mr. Schneider said. That’s because administrators are likely to think it’s better to have one person upset with them than a group. And faculty associations, he said, can’t really “confront and expose mobbing unless they are very strong.”

Read the full article here.

I am the scholarship dude.


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