Posts Tagged ‘UMass’
Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
Bullying of Faculty Alleged at UMass
By Laura Krantz, Boston Globe, Oct. 18, 2015
Power struggle roils chemical engineering department
It began as minor personality clashes among professors, the type that can be common at any university. But what evolved at the University of Massachusetts Amherst chemical engineering department has proved far nastier.
Over three years, the dispute has turned into an ugly power struggle over an aggressive — one report said “bullying” — attempt by four members of the department to recruit others in a coup to oust their department head.
Documents and e-mails provided to the Globe paint a picture of the extended battle. Some involved in it describe screaming at faculty meetings, a rigged department election, vindictive annual reviews, and an attempt to block a professor from securing a full-time position.
Facts about who is ultimately to blame are harder to find. What is clear is that for the prestigious department in the state’s flagship public university, with its renowned faculty, millions in funding, and promising research, the imbroglio created a poisonous atmosphere that has disrupted the scientists’ work.
Beyond the department, it pulled in the faculty union and Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, who called the situation “quite serious.”
On one side, professors accuse four colleagues of trying to bully other faculty into supporting a bid to undermine then-department head T.J. Mountziaris, who served for nine years.
On the other side, professors said Mountziaris, who lost his chairmanship last year and is on sabbatical, made life difficult for some faculty, going so far as to block one person’s attempt to shift to become a full-time professor.
Tags: abusive conduct, bullying in the academe, Gary Namie, professors, UMass, workplace bullying, Workplace Bullying Institute
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Friday, June 7th, 2013
Amherst Bulletin Editorial
June 5, 2013
Bullying has become a major issue over the past few years, and rightfully so. The focus has been mainly on children and teens and the sometimes tragic results of the emotional battering that is still far too commonplace. But at least public schools in this state have taken a strong no-tolerance stand and imposed measures to educate children and swiftly deal with incidents. That does have an impact.
But bullying is not reserved for the young. Though it is not so openly discussed, adults are mistreated this way, too, and the workplace is an area where victims are particularly vulnerable, as their livelihoods are at stake. Therefore, we applaud University of Massachusetts Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and other campus officials for publicly recognizing this and taking steps to improve the work environment for campus staff.
Troubled by statistics and comments gathered in an online survey last fall, Subbaswamy sent a memo to faculty and staff recently saying that although the UMass results line up with data gathered at other workplaces across the country, the university finds this unacceptable and is working on ways to eliminate bullying from campus offices.