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  • Writer's pictureClara Wajngurt

When Abuse Occurs at the University

What happens when there is abuse of faculty in a university environment?

Let's consider the following four situations (chronicle of Higher Education, November 2017):

Abuse is normalized-when one says that's how things are done at this university-- in reaction to someone claiming they are being abused-and the person says if you can't take it-then just leave.

Abuse destabilizes the targets-it takes a long time to realize that your department chair who appears generous and supportive is really isolating you and controlling you.

Abuse thrives in the university setting because co-workers enable it-department chairs stay in power because it maintains the status quo. Silence and inaction are then forms of enabling.

It is easier to blame the victim than change the system - means that the ostracized/isolated/untrusted person tends to blame themselves  for anything that is wrong in the sysytem--when it is really the one in power that causes such incongruities.

Looking at abuse in the university environment can help one to understand why workplace bullying can thrive.


In today’s workplace, it is critical that employers create a work culture that rejects bullying, promotes reporting and promptly resolves any incidents of bullying.”

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