Open Letter: Bullying at the University of Sheffield

A few months ago Organise members received a survey about bullying in universities. From the shocking results it became clear that people weren’t alone, and that bullying was worryingly frequent.

As a result, an academic at the University of Sheffield wrote an open letter to their Vice Chancellor asking him to take concrete steps to change the culture of bullying in universities. Below is the email sent by the academic to colleagues asking them to get behind the open letter.

Note: If you want to confidentially start an open letter to change something at your workplace, you can have a go here, there’s a guide waiting for you: https://platform.organise.org.uk/surveys/letters-to-my-boss

Dear colleagues, 

Bullying is a serious problem at the University of Sheffield. I have experienced it and, sadly, odds are good that you have, too. Bullying hurts us as individuals, and it collectively weakens our academic community. 

That's why I have written an open letter to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Koen Lamberts, that proposes sensible solutions that the University can take to tackle the bullying problem. Unless we all speak out about it, things will carry on as they are. 

Will you add your name to the letter? Your name will remain confidential until the open letter reaches 100 signatures:

Sign the open letter


For too long, bullying has not been taken seriously. Perhaps lip service is paid to reasonable policies, but actual consequences have been lacking. 

We are asking for the implementation of policies that have worked elsewhere, such as an anonymous reporting system, a University-wide code of conduct, and anti-bullying clauses in contracts. 

If you have experienced bullying directly, or if you think that such behaviour has no place at our University, sign the letter and show your support.

Sign the open letter


Your name will remain confidential until the open letter reaches 100 signatures

Yours sincerely, 

A colleague at the University of Sheffield