Joint Councils Urge Employees to Take Bullying Survey

Joint Councils Urge Employees to Take Bullying Survey

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A survey on workplace bullying has been sent to more than 4,300 UNH employees who are being asked to take the poll to help determine the extent that bullying exists on campus.

Representatives from the OS, PAT, EE and lecturers councils formed a task force and have been working on a bullying policy for many months. They developed and dispersed the survey as another step in the process. Employees are asked to take the survey to provide baseline data on bullying at UNH.

“This is a very important study for the climate and culture of UNH," said Malcolm Smith, the study's principal investigator and co-chair of the task force on workplace bullying. "Our hope is that literally everyone will fill out the survey so that we can get an accurate read on the extent of bullying and peer victimization at UNH."   

The survey describes various scenarios that could be construed as bullying, including but not limited to humiliating remarks, unwarranted or unprofessional criticism, verbal or written harassment, racist or sexist comments or jokes, and physical violence. It then asks participants if they believe they have been bullied at UNH during the last five years, when the behavior occurred, and the severity. 

Participants are asked to indicate their reactions to the bullying they experienced and rate its intensity. There also are questions regarding the reporting of the incident and the response to that reporting. 

Smith, who was one of the co-constructors of New Hampshire's current bullying law for public schools, has been involved in research on civility and school climate issues for nearly 30 years.  The task force came into being after Smith, a Cooperative Extension professor in the department of education, presented an overview of current research on bullying in academia to council representatives at their annual retreat last spring. 

If you did not receive the survey, you can access it here. Questions can be directed to Smith at Malcolm.smith@unh.edu, 2-7008.