‘Bullying in the academy: understanding the student bully and the targeted ‘stupid, fat, mother fucker’ professor’, by Amy May and Kelly E. Tenzek
DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2017.1379482 (Free to view until 30th August 2018)
Bullying is an issue at the forefront of public debate, with several recent high profile cases where individuals in the public eye have been accused of victimising, abusing and harassing those with less power. In the context of universities, the welcome focus on student wellbeing and mental health has brought a positive level of discussion to the issue of the bullying of students by staff.
However it is less common to see discussion of the – also widespread – bullying of staff by students. This is commoner than many may think – in this paper Amy May and Kelly E Tenzek remind us that ‘contrapower harassment’ in universities is so common it has its own acronym (ACPH – academic contrapower harassment).
Their paper is a welcome piece of research and discussion of a neglected issue, using narrative methods to surface how ‘professor bullying’ comes about, its forms, indicators, its impact on the lives of individuals and how universities might respond.