dodging bullies

Not that I post often, but I haven’t been posting at all lately. Not that I need to offer an account, but I am about to do just that: I’m being bullied.

I thought that there was something wrong with me if I could be bullied by colleagues and students, but it turns out that I’m not alone. In fact, 424 comments and counting later, it is increasingly obvious that there’s an issue here and while there are a few academics on those 424, I’m looking for more who will share their stories.

I’ll start.

I’m planning a meeting here on campus next week with a few paper panels and discussants for each. The discussants are senior professors and the panelists and I are not, so I anticipated some status issues, but I had no idea that I would be dealing with fall-out when one of my senior colleagues threatened to not discuss one of the papers because it would be sent to him only 25 days before the meeting instead of the full month he requested.

I have a (grad) student who is out of control and it is my fault because I haven’t had the cojones to do anything about it. She walks in late to class almost every session. She ignores what I recommend she do (like assignments, additional things to read, where to go for data, etc.), yet continues to come to me for advice on where to go to find this or learn that, including things she missed because of absences or tardiness. Not only does she question my authority and integrity in front of others, she polls the class on whether what I say is right or if they disagree.

Are there other bullies in academia out there? Or, if these incidents are all about me and not about them, has being untenured made anyone else as wimpy as it’s made me?

4 thoughts on “dodging bullies”

  1. “Not only does she question my authority and integrity in front of others, she polls the class on whether what I say is right or if they disagree”

    Really? That’s gotta stop. It’s her loss if she’s late, but that’s disrespecting the teacher. Simply cut her off if she does that again. It’s simply unprofessional.


  2. I’m a grad student myself, but I agree that your student is completely out of control and should be stopped. One of my professors recently told a student that if she came to class late again he wouldn’t let her in the classroom. (Of course, you have to be willing to back that up.)

    Also, I’ve noticed that I tend to get more flack than my male colleagues. For instance, I gave a test that most of the class flunked and they complained to the Dept Head and I got in trouble. Two of my friends (male) had similar results when they started teaching, but no one complained about them.


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