Pick on a way to beat the bullies 3

September 23, 2005

There are two reasons why bullying may be more prevalent in universities than in other large organisations.

First, it is harder for an academic than for a schoolteacher or journalist, for example, to escape by moving to a new job. Second, compared with middle managers outside academia, departmental heads have too much power and are subject to too little supervision from above. Deans and vice-chancellors are generally reluctant to intervene in departmental disputes.

A head of department who doesn't like you can ruin your career and make your life a misery. Grievance procedures are loaded against complainants, but victims of bullying have a collegial responsibility to complain.

Andrew M. Colman
Leicester University

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