Updated: Feb 6, 2019
Recently (September 14,2018) I read an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about our role as a bystander in the higher education setting.Certainly when we are hired we know that we have an obligation to help our students succeed and to perform department and college functions, which advance our discipline and our college. But what do we do when we have colleagues who exhibit intimidating behavior, or behavior that bullies others? If we remain silent, that sounds like we are complicit in this unethical and disrespectful behavior--and perhaps this behavior can continue by the bully if we do nothing. But if you speak up, you may damage relationships in your department-or such action on your part, may even affect your career goals, if the bully is an administrator high on the organizational chart,or a full professor, if the bully is ready to retaliate.
Maybe we need some lessons in being an Upstander, by using certain strategies that intervene and shift the dynamics of the situation, by saying let's continue with this meeting, if someone makes a derogatory remark during a meeting, or by asking the target to expand on what was being suggested.If someone is being bullied in front of us, are we prepared to say something to the point to diffuse the situation, so that your position is not affected?
Is this possible? What do you think?
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