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Bullying Wilts Ivy On Ivory Tower

Bullying erodes higher education.

Did you know that 62% of respondents in a recent survey stated they had been bullied or witnessed bullying in American higher education?  This is 58% higher than the rate of bullying reported by Namie and Namie in their 2007 study of the general workforce.  Who knew that higher education is a tougher sector than most to find a civil place to work and full filling career?

Higher education is a career path that many have considered a great option for the work life balance.  Seeking tenure can lead a scholar to the coveted “job for life.” College administrators and faculty typically enjoy great benefits packages and extended winter breaks.  Vacation and sick leave tend to be generous allowing staff to enjoy a solid career and family life.

However, is the ivy wilting on the Ivory Tower?  Dr. Leah Hollis, a 20 + year veteran of higher education has served in many administrative and faculty posts in higher education. After the release of her first book, Unequal Opportunity, Fired without cause, Filing with the EEOC, a number of colleagues approached her about harassment that wasn’t prohibited by the civil rights laws.

Over the past year, Hollis, president of Patricia Berkly, LLC a training group out of greater Philadelphia, conducted a study of over 175 four year colleges and universities to ask in-depth questions about workplace bullying in American higher education administration.  Other studies reviewed the general population, Europe, or the K-12 student population.    In addition to revealing the extended experiences of workplace bullying in higher education, Hollis’ study also confirmed that 16% of higher education professionals had left a job because of a bully.  When the cost to replace a staff member is 150% of his or her salary (i.e. a 50,000 year job costs 75,000 to replace) the cost in turnover alone is staggering to higher education.

To learn more about her upcoming book, the costs of higher education and the solutions and recommendations to higher education leadership also revealed through this study, visit Dr. Leah Hollis and Patricia Berkly, LLC at www.diversitytrainingconsultants.com   Bully in the Ivory Tower is slated for release in the fall 2012.

Leah Hollis, Ed.D. is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.