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  • Clara Wajngurt

Faculty Voice Blog Challenged: Reminder of Workplace Bullying

Recently the Chronicle of Higher Education (January 18, 2019) described an article regarding the settlement of Chicago State University's lawsuit over a faculty blog. It was a four-year legal battle between Chicago State University's administration and two professors. The faculty members felt they had First Amendment Rights to publish a blog criticizing administrators. Essentially the professors accused the administration of seeking to restrict faculty members' speech on the independent Chicago State University Faculty Voice Blog.

The blog was started in 2009 and was generally critical of university leadership and accountability. The university administration requested that the managers of the blog, disable the blog immediately. Also at stake was the fact that the administration insisted that 'decorum  policies for faculty members' were violated on the site.

Certainly this reminds us of workplace bullying when our supervisors want to suppress discussion/critique amongst the team about a certain project - want to penalize those who speak up---and then insist on ostracizing those who spoke.

The lawsuit was settled in favor of the faculty for $650,000.

Don't you think the university could have saved itself that large sum of money-- had there been a working university anti-bullying policy?


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