5. Definition of Bullying
Bullying can occur when one individual or a group of individuals exhibits bullying behavior toward one or more individuals. Bullying is defined by the University as repeated mistreatment of an individual(s) by verbal abuse, threatening, intimidating, humiliating conduct or sabotage that creates or promotes an adverse and counterproductive environment, so as to interfere with or undermine legitimate University learning, teaching, and/or operations. Bullying is not about occasional differences of opinion, conflicts and problems in workplace relationships as these may be part of working life. Bullying can adversely affect dignity, health, and productivity and may be grounds for corrective disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. The University Counseling, Assistance, and Referral Services (CARS) Department and the University Ombuds/Dispute Resolution Services for Faculty and Staff can provide guidance for determining whether behavior meets the definition of bullying. Examples of behaviors that meet the definition of bullying above include, but are not limited to:
5.1. Physical Bullying
Physical bullying is pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, and/or tripping; assault or threat of physical assault; damage to a person’s work area or property; damage to or destruction of a person’s work product.
5.2. Verbal Bullying
Verbal bullying is repeated slandering, ridiculing, or maligning of a person or persons, addressing abusive and offensive remarks to a person or persons in a sustained or repeated manner; or shouting at others in public and/or in private where such conduct is so severe or pervasive as to cause or create a hostile or offensive educational or working environment or unreasonably interfere with the person’s work or school performance or participation.
5.3. Nonverbal Bullying
Nonverbal bullying can consist of directing threatening gestures toward a person or persons or invading personal space after being asked to move or step away.
5.4. Anonymous Bullying
Anonymous bullying can consist of withholding or disguising identity while treating a person in a malicious manner, sending insulting or threatening anonymous messages, placing objectionable objects among a person’s belongings, leaving degrading written or pictorial material about a person where others can see.