Breaking News – Hunter College Ombudsman Reports Increase in Academic Mobbing at the Hunter Campus – Part 1

The Ombuds Officer receives complaints and may undertake independent investigation if the usual procedures have proven inadequate or have been exhausted, and may recommend action to any officer, committee, or organization of the College.

Ombuds Office Report, October 15, 2017, by Professor Bill Williams

The Hunter College Ombuds Officer announced his 2017 report to the Hunter College Senate October 25, and he stated that “mobbing” is on the rise at Hunter. I won’t go into the campus politics here. But even as he stated that it has been increasing for years, he doesn’t seem to take it seriously, that the pernicious effects of bullying and mobbing can create serious health risks for those targeted for harassment as well as risks to careers and livelihood. Here is the penultimate paragraphs of this 2017 Report:

“In particular, the number of faculty cases of “mobbing” increased again this year. You will recall that “mobbing” is simply group bullying. It seems that faculty are very good at it. The specific reasons seem to be big egos, an individualistic ethic, and a tolerance for behaviors not accepted elsewhere. This behavior should be of concern for all of us.”

His “simply bullying” indicates that he doesn’t know or doesn’t respect the dynamics of mobbing and bullying. It doesn’t sound like he has reviewed any of the mounting research about mobbing and bullying. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health concluded, “Workplace bullying may be a precursor to suicidal ideation, whereas suicidal ideation seems to have no impact on subsequent risk of being bullied. Regulations against bullying should be integrated into work-related legislation and public health policies.” But I luv that he says “that faculty are very good at it” and his “tolerance for behaviors not accepted elsewhere.” Sounds like he’s saying that mobbing is institutionalized at the Hunter campus. Just goes to show how sick the Hunter campus can be? Academic bullying and mobbing infect and effect students.

Infect: Teaches students that bullying and mobbing are good workplace methods and that students should learn to join in if they don’t want to be targeted. I have lots of anecdotes.

Effect: That means good teachers can’t do their jobs and their classes and students are negatively affected.

Will #metoo help fuel support for the New York Healthy Workplace come 2018. You betcha! 

Wonder what my colleagues think about the Ombuds Officer’s report?

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