Research shows impact of cyberbullying on faculty

September 15, 2014

Faculty, as well as students, are subject to victimization by cyberbullies, a new article in Maclean’s reports. The article notes examples in which students have posted derogatory comments on faculty rating sites. While occasionally site administrators will agree to remove offensive posts, some professors have said that it is difficult to get responses to such requests. Site guidelines advise contributors to “be honest and objective,” but avoid personal attacks. Research by Lida Blizard, a nursing instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, found that faculty who admitted to being bullied online in such a fashion frequently reported that it affected their productivity as well as their mood. Some respondents to her survey reported experiencing more than 3 effects simultaneously, which, the article says, fits the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. A larger study from Simon Fraser University of 330 faculty members found that roughly 25% said that they had experienced cyberbullying from a student; some said they had even contemplated suicide as a result. Maclean’s