July 30, 2016

Bullying in Academia Up Close and Personal: My Story

This paper is a personal account of being mobbed and bullied over the past four and half years. This whole experience began on October 26th 2009, with what the literature describes as the Critical Incident. Despite the fact that the assessment instrument had not been published, and accompanying medical documentation provided a context for what had occurred, people decided to ignore this information and utilized this incident to demonstrate that what the author had done was unethical and required swift retribution by the University. However, following an administrative review, it was determined that the author had not committed this alleged offence. Certain individuals were appalled and refused to abide by this decision. The outcome was that over the next four and half years the author was subjected to many of the experiences that Leymann, Davenport, Schwartz and Elliot, Friedenberg, Khoo, and Westhues describe in typologies of bullying and mobbing. The most serious consequence was that on July 23rd 2012 the author suffered an Ischemic stroke. Not only was the author’s medical health compromised during this experience; this experience had a devastating impact on his emotional well-being, career and professional development. Within the School of Social Work, I was unable to receive peer support, administrative acknowledgement or empathy regarding the impact that this illness had regarding my well-being. What was even more troubling was the University’s unwillingness to confront the bullying and mobbing. Instead, with no resolution the school leadership continues to hold onto earlier accusations and through communications and interactions blame the victim.

Key words: mobbing, bullying, mental health consequences, physical health repercussions, personal and professional ramifications, critical incident method

Full paper 

July 19, 2016

1,577 Turkish university deans told to leave...

ISTANBUL (AP) -- The Latest on the attempted military coup in Turkey (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

State-run Anadolu news agency reports that Turkey's Board of Higher Education has requested the resignations of 1,577 university deans, effectively dismissing them.

Tuesday's announcement comes right on the heels of an announcement by the Ministry of National Education that it has dismissed 15,200 personnel over their alleged involvement with a group the government claims is responsible for Friday's failed coup.

Of the deans dismissed, 1,176 worked in public universities and 401 in private institutions.
Sweeping purges in the aftermath of the thwarted coup has seen the dismissal of thousands from the judiciary, police force, military and bureaucracy.

5 p.m.

The state-run Anadolu news agency reports that Turkey's ministry of education has sacked 15,200 personnel for alleged involvement with a group the government claims is responsible for Friday's failed coup.

The National Education Ministry said Tuesday that the staff are in both urban and rural establishments, and that an investigation has been launched against them.

The government accuses U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen of plotting the coup and wants him extradited.

Sweeping purges in the aftermath of the coup have seen the dismissal of thousands from the judiciary, police force, military, administrative and religious affairs departments.


July 04, 2016

Breach of contractual disciplinary procedure may lead to significant loss of earnings claims

“…This case will be most relevant to those employers who currently have disciplinary procedures which are incorporated into their employees’ contracts of employment. Up until now, an employer who fails to follow the disciplinary procedure correctly would face claims for wrongful dismissal (i.e. breach of notice period), failure to follow disciplinary procedure (loss of salary over the period in which the disciplinary procedure should have been followed) and unfair dismissal (subject to the statutory cap). This case opens the door to possible claims for damages going far beyond the loss of earnings damages, which can currently be claimed for breach of contract on termination of employment. It should of course be remembered that Mr Edwards was not awarded damages to cover his losses in salary to retirement, but merely that the Court indicated that this may be a possibility, depending on the evidence provided. An employee in this position would of course be subject to the duty to mitigate his loss by finding suitable alternative employment, but for employees who are employed in an industry or occupation where there is in effect only one employer, such as the NHS, and where it may be impossible to obtain employment elsewhere once reputation has been damaged, this case should certainly be ringing alarm bells…”

In the meanwhile, we would argue that academia is indeed one of those professions where it is hard to find suitable alternative employment for once a case has become public the academic is more than likely never to be employed again in this profession.