June 14, 2013

University of South Carolina Faculty Approve Workplace Bullying Policy

At its regular monthly meeting this week, the USC Faculty Senate unanimously approved a resolution endorsing a workplace bullying policy. The new policy was promoted by a study that concluded that workplace bullying is a serious issue that affects faculty members. The bullying policy, which is being forwarded to the administration for action, relies on the University Ombudsman as an integral part of the campus response.

The policy states, for example: 
II.A. Complaints of bullying can be addressed through informal or formal processes. [...] Faculty are strongly encouraged to seek informal resolution of their concerns through the University Ombudsman before filing a formal complaint.
II.C. Unit heads and Deans must refer all complaints of bullying to the Ombudsman for informal resolution or the Faculty Civility Advocate for formal resolution.
II.D.1. Any faculty member who feels that they are a victim of workplace bullying is encouraged to speak with the University Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can help the faculty member to understand what constitutes bullying and provide options for resolution or, if necessary, direct them to the option of filing a formal complaint. Meetings with the University Ombudsman are confidential and no records are kept from these meetings. Informal procedures are aimed at stopping the bullying behavior as rapidly as possible.
Jim Augustine is the University Ombudsman at USC.  (USC Faculty Senate Policy.)

Related posts: Journal of IOA Highlights Bullying IssuesUniversity of South Carolina Ombuds Reviews First Five Years;  Faculty Ombuds Cases Surge at University of South Carolina.

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