May 05, 2007

Press Release - Please Read & Disseminate

An academic has been dismissed from the School of Computing and IT at the University of Wolverhampton on the grounds of Gross Misconduct following the use of email and an online blog devoted to bullying in academia to express criticisms and complaints towards management and policies within the University.

References to bullying, harassment and discrimination were publicised via both internal University of Wolverhampton email and more recently via the website and accompanying forum (the message can be seen at

The Senior Lecturer in Computing, who has been disabled from work due to stress and depression for over six months, was unable to participate at the disciplinary hearing because of his illness and the decision to dismiss was taken in his absence. He remains unfit for work after a long standing dispute and a string of unresolved grievances regarding relations in the School and working conditions.

The Health and Safety Executive has been called in since October 2006 to investigate the management of workplace stress and return to work procedures at the University of Wolverhampton.

The "Bullied Academics" blog and forum have become virtual meeting points for academics from the UK and worldwide to share similar experiences and constructive discussion about bullying in academia.


Melody J. Boyce
The above (received: Sat May 5, 2007 4:14 pm) relates to a recent post: Bullying of Academics in Higher Education: Questions for Caroline - Wolverhampton, UK.

Also, extract from 'Talking is not working' - what the target/victim posted on an anti-bullying online group:

'...I would also like to explore the connections between bullying and leadership/management styles which I believe give the possibility to bullies (managers and non-managers) to thrive and the university policies that hide the bullying and the bullies behind managerial procedures.

... From my side I am trying to build a blog with all the happenings of management-union collusion, probation flaws, breach of contract, favouritism, lack of interviews for promotions all backed by bullying at Wolverhamtpon in the School of Computing and IT and will publish it soon with name and surnames and evidence (of course)...'
Brian Martin has ellaborated upon the 'five Rs'. In brief:

The keys to backfire
• Reveal: expose the injustice, challenge cover-up
• Redeem: validate the target, challenge devaluation
• Reframe: emphasise the injustice, counter reinterpretation
• Redirect: mobilise support, be wary of official channels
• Resist: stand up to intimidation and bribery

When and how does an individual case - like Rosa Parks - become a catalyst for major change? It helps when an injustice to one is perceived as an injustice to all. This is a call to arms...


Anonymous said...

This is a response to the May 5 posting about the academic who was dismised for academic misconduct for using email and a blog to express criticisms toward managment and policies within their University. The posting reveals clearly why I am reticent to post details of names and persons associated with my own mobbing experience at my university on a blog. It is apparent that the mobbers and bullies peruse the Web, blogs, and discussion groups and use these postings to "get" their targets on some violation of university policy. Where can we, the targets of bullies and mobbers, speak out against mobbing and bullying in ways that make our stories real, so we can heal, and attain some sense of justice without being targeted and attacked once more? Is that possible? Has anyone out there tried publishing their stories about mobbing in higher education in an academic journal, and been successful? I would like to know! This blog on academic bullying and mobbing is a haven for me. It is where I can go and have my expereinces validated, feel support from people all over the world, and share. For when I share stories about being mobbed with colleagues within my own profession, they looked stunned, and appear to care, only later to treat me like I have a rare disease. Even at my union meeting, when I brought up an anti-mobbing resolution (that finally passed because there were union delegates opposed to it!), and shared my story about mobbing on my campus, I was "shunned" at lunch. Mobbed higher education faculty worldwide need solidarity, justice, and relief. Is there a organization or conference where our stories can be told? How can we unite in a critical mass that transcends discipline, cultural and geographical borders?

Anonymous said...

I propose that we set up a political organization (or join with an existing one) whose mission is onefold - to stop bullying through direct and decisive action, making use of the range of talents of members.

This might include:
lobbying our representatives, carrying audio/video recording devices with us at all times in the workplace, visiting each others workplaces (through regional groups) as a group to meet unannounced with officials to demand that they stop bullying individual members of the organization, engaging in legal fundraising events for members in need of legal services.

Confrontation, direct and honest communication, exposure through a website, hiring private investigators, harnessing the talents for PR, making art, music, theatre, etc. to expose bullies are all valid ways to fight back. Bullies only understand one thing -- hitting back with overwhelming force (not necessarily physical)

Look to someone like Ian Perkin as an example, whose website, is chock full of words of truth about his former employers.