Academic bullies

A recent “anonymous academic” column in the Guardian opens with the sentence “Bullying is rife in academia – and it is tolerated to an extent that wouldn’t be acceptable in other areas.” Many at Kingston University will recognise this and be able to pinpoint certain culpable individuals, a couple of whom have been mentioned in this blog. Those unfortunate enough to have a manager of this ilk at Kingston will have had their lives made hell. But as the article suggests, HR seem ineffectual at dealing with such problems. This is perhaps no surprise when one considers the hectoring approach of the VC to managing staff at the University. Quite how a bully expects to get the best from people is a question that is probably not worth asking: bullies are not interested in the best for anyone but themselves.

Kingston does badly in most league tables at the moment, but the one it excels in is UCU’s bullying register ­­̶ Kingston was second in the last published list. You won’t hear that one boasted about. And the University is unlikely to fall too far in the next one. Ratty’s newest recruit to the oafish management cause, Dean Da Doo Ron Ron in Business & Law, has lost no time in establishing his bullying credentials with his points scoring system for staff. Hopefully even the mad management at Kingston will realise how counterproductive this would be and withdraw the idea before Ron can add up his own score. Who knows, Kingston may even slip down the bullies league table.




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