Why Universities Must Act on the Rise of a New Kind of Bullying: Incivility

by Lynn Borsetti and Troy Hefferman Incivility is on the rise in university culture. If you are an academic you’ve likely seen or experienced instances of bullying, incivility or mobbing in department meetings, in hallways and in seminars. For our research on the emotional labor of leadership in higher education we interviewed 20 faculty deans from eight universities. What they called “smart bullies” routinely targeted 80 percent of them, they reported. Of course, academics have been socialized to be contentious, to ask critical questions and engage in intellectual sparring. But sometimes these exchanges can become an intellectual battlefield characterized by vitriolic attacks, sarcastic innuendo and intellectual one-upmanship. […]
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