Cases of Mobbing




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The following list of 32 cases of mobbing were taken from the more detailed descriptions compiled by Kenneth Westhues on his website Workplace
Mobbing in Academe. To view the list in its original form, please visit


University of South Florida

Sami Al-Arian
For information regarding Sami Al-Arian's problems with the University of South Florida and the United States Government:

  • Click here for the website Academic Free Speech
  • Click here for information on the family ordeal
  • Click here for John Sugg's analysis of the conclusions of the 2006 case.


Southern Illinois University (Carbondale)

Jonathan Bean
Respected historian who successfully resisted lateral, horizontal, or collegial mobbing.

  • Click here for discussion of Bean in John Gravois's article "Mob Rule" in The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Click here for supplemental article "Story Behind the Story" by Kenneth Westhues

Southern Illinois University (Carbondale)

Jerry Becker and Elisabeth Reichert
Senior Professors who, alongside Mark Schneider and Joan Friedenberg, made an effective presentation about mobbing during a meeting of the Board of Trustees in March 2005.

  • Click here for discussion of Becker and Reichert in John Gravois's article "Mob Rule" in The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Click here for more information in "Story Behind the Story" by Kenneth Westhues

University of Saskatchewan

Stephen Berman
Esteemed mathematician who was dismissed for posting false evaluations on the website Later examination of the tribunal documents by Professor Kenneth Westhues revealed that Berman's dismissal was, in truth, a clear case of academic scapegoating.

  • Click here for report by the Candian Press (February 2006).
  • Click here for an analysis of the Berman dismissal by Kenneth Westhues

Sheffield University

Aubrey Blumsohn
Pathologist, specialist in osteoporosis, and former Senior Lecturer at the UK's Sheffield University who spoke up about scientific misconduct involving Proctor & Gamble and Sheffield University. His valid complaints triggered a case of administrative mobbing.


Virginia Polytechnic and State University

Seung-Hui Cho

The tragic shooting spree at Virginia Tech State University in spring of 2007 left a number of unanswered questions. For a contextual exploration of the massacre click here.



University of Colorado Boulder

Ward Churchill

The campaign to eliminate the leftist Professor and Chair of Ethics Studies at the University of Colorado was both extensive and controversial.

  • Click here for an opinion piece by Kenneth Westhues on the Ward Churchill case and academic freedom.

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

David Clark

David Clark was the target of an unusually thorough mobbing at Southern Illinois University. He published an essay entitled "Leaving Luzerville" in Winning, Losing, Moving On by Kenneth Westhues. After the years of suffering he took his own life in November of 2005.


Virginia State University

Jean Cobbs

Esteemed professor of sociology and social work, Jean Cobbs was subject to severe harassment which culminated in a her dismissal by VSU president Eddie N. Moore. An account of the events at VSU were published by Carey E. Stronach in the essay "The Campus CEO, State Politics, and the Mobbing of Exceptionally Competent Professors" in Workplace Mobbing in Academe. In January of 2007, Cobbs sued VSU for wrongful dismisal and settled for $600 000.



Missouri State University

George Cron

Actor, director and instructor George Cron became the target of a mob determined to eliminate him from Missouri State Univeristy. The mob's success led Cron to sue the University for wrongful dismissal and defamation. The suit was thrown out in September 2007 due to the US law that an individual cannot sue the state. The University, in this case, was considered part of the state.

  • Click here for a documentation of the events at Missouri State University (The Turner Report)

St. Francis Xavier Univeristy

Shiraz Dossa

Political scientist Shiraz Dossa's attendance at a conference on the Holocaust in Iran in December 2006 sparked strong reaction from his colleagues. The newly formed mob petitioned to have Dossa dismissed from his position at St. Francis Xavier. President Sean Riley, however, saw reason and put a stop to the mobbing.

  • Click here for an article in The Globe and Mail by columnist John Ibbitson calling for Dossa's dismissal.
  • Click here for Shiraz Dossa's own analyis of the events (Literary Review of Canada).
  • Click here for editor Browyn Drainie's comments to Maclean's.

Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

Christopher Dussold

Assistant professor of finance at Southern Illinois University Christopher Dussold was caught in a whirlwind of false accusations and harassment. Click here for Thomas Bartlett's account of the events (The Chronicle of Higher Education). Dussold went on to sue his dean and half a dozen colleagues. The administration failed to acknowledge the abuse Dussold had endured and instead held fast to their demonized view of him.

In the aftermath, Dussold's supporters exposed multiple instances of plagarism commited by the SIU administration. Among the cases included Dean Giamartino and president of the SIU system Glen Ploshard.



University of Waterloo

Mohammed Elmasry

Engineering professor and President of the Canadian Islamic Congress Mohammed Elmasry sparked controversy in the fall of 2004 when he appeared on a TV talk show aimed at defining terrorism. In light of the reactions, Elmasry later apologized to anyone offended by his words.

The University of Waterloo President David Johnston set into motion an investigation. Soon afterwards, any continuation of mobbing was stopped when Elmasry's apology was accepted.

  • Click here for an analysis of the case by Len Guelke (PDF, pp.4f).
  • Click here for an article about the case published in The Record by Kenneth Westues.




DePaul University

Norman Finkelstein

Controversial academic scholar Norman Finkelstein faced a passionate mob led by Alan Dershowitz in the spring of 2007. The main campaign was to keep the Political Science professor from receiving tenure at DePaul University. The mob succeeded in twisting the arm of the administration and the governing board. In the end, the governing board left Finkelstein with a small consolation acknowledging him as "a prolific scholar and an outstanding teacher."


Kingston University

Howard Fredrics

Howard Fredrics, a senior lecturer in music at Kingston University (UK), was dismissed from his position in 2006. He has published a website containing a well documented account of his dismissal and his efforts for redress.





Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Joan E. Friedenberg

Joan Friedenberg bravely fought for, and eventually won, redress following a painful mobbing at Southern Illinois University. Currently at Florida Atlantic University, Friedenberg continues to be a powerful voice in the fight against workplace mobbing. Her own analysis of the experience is published in the chapter "Political Psychology at Southern Illinois University: The Use of an Outside Consultant for Mobbing a Professor" of Kenneth Westhues's book Workplace Mobbing in Academe.s

Click here for video clips of her recent lectureThe Anatomy of an Academic Mobbing.



Univeristy of Southern Mississippi

Frank Glamser and Gary Stringer

Despite opposition, University of Southern Mississippi president Shelby Thames led an administrative mobbing that eventually eliminated Professor Frank Glamser and Professor Gary Stringerin.

  • Click here for a news article reporting the case in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Case Western Reserve University

Biswantha Halder

Indian-born adult student Biswantha Halder was the target of a vicious cybermobbing in the year 2000. His aggressors not only left him hateful online messages, they also created a website ( and hacked into his computer, destroying important files.

Halder's dealing with the university administration did nothing to change the situation. Similarily, his attempts to sue in public court was thrown out in April 2003.

In May 2003 Biswantha Halder snapped and went on a murderous spree, killing a fellow student and himself. For more information see "The Man Behind the Crime," a MSNBC report.



Simon Fraser University

Hector Hammerly

Hector Hammerly, late Professor of Linguistics at Simon Fraser University, bravely fought against the abuse of administrative mobbing until his death on March 4, 2006. In his essay "Mob, v t, to kill by pack" Hammerly intelligently outlined his own experience and suggested methods for surviving a mobbing.

For more detailed information please visit The Hector Hammerly Memorial website.


Brandeis University

Donald Hindley

After allegedly using the word wetback in his Latin American politics class, Donald Hindley became the target of an attack led by Provost Marty Krauss, Steven Burg, and officials in the Human Resources Department at Brandeis University. Found guilty of violating the anti-discrimination policy, Hindley's classes were monitored and he was required to attend sensitivity training.

Public support rallied behind Hindley and in January of 2008, Krauss declared the matter closed.

  • Click here for an account from Inside Higher Education
  • Click here for an account from FIRE: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
  • Click here for an article in The Brandeis Hoot
  • Click here for a follow-up article from Inside Higher Education

Queensland University of Technology

John Hookham and Gary MacLennan

John Hookham and Gary MacLennan were accused of disrespecting and abusing a student after they published an article objecting to the student's approved doctoral project - a documentary entitled "Laughing at the Disabled". The two faculty members were suspended for six months without pay.

The disciplinary action sparked a great deal of protest. Part of the conflict was captured on video. Click here for For Hookham and MacLennan's take. Click here for the opinions of the student Michael Noonan.

Hookham and MacLennan eventually resigned from the university and accepted buyouts. Click here for an e-mail by Gary MacLennan.


Dalhousie University

Gabrielle Horne

As a successful cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Dalhousie, Gabrielle Horne sparked professional jealously among colleagues. This jealously led to an extensive mobbing which has dragged on for years due to a bureaucratic standstill.

  • Click here for the CAUT file detailing the case.
  • Click here for an article in the The Daily News examining the causes for the conflict.
  • Click here for a letter to Premier Rodney MacDonald asking for governmental intervention.



Brooklyn College

K C Johnson

Historian K C Johnson became the target of an classic case of academic mobbing when he was up for tenure at Brooklyn College. Click here an article in The Chronicle for Higher Education exploring the horrific campaing. Click here for a detailed full documentation of the case.

Johnson survived and went on to use his experience in a positive way; he was able identify similar madness in case against three Duke University lacross players accused of rape in March of 2006.

Click here for Johnson's blog about the case, titled Durham-in-Wonderland. He specifically applied the term mobbing to the case in his entry dated August 13, 2006.

K C Johnson and Stuart Taylor also published a book about the case, titled Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacross Rape Case.


University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio

Robert J. Klebe

Robert Klebe, a tenured biology professor at the medical school in San Antonio, filed the following statement of claim against the University of Texas in 2007. His account reveals the abuse he endured at the hand of administration.

Klebe's case was publicized by the UTMB Galveston Chapter of the Texas Faculty Association.


Cape Breton University

David Mullen

David Mullen, a historian at Cape Breton University, was targeted by the university's anti-harassment bureaucracy for his opposition to politically correct nostrums in 2006. Mullen published full documentation of his case on his website. In the summer of 2006, Mullen was suspended without pay and required to remove the document.


University of Toronto

Nancy Olivieri

Nancy Olivieri, a Canadian medical researcher, made waves at the University of Toronto when she resisted the influence of a corporate sponsor on academic research. For details of her case, please see the detailed documents on CAUT's website.

Olivieri was well respected by critics of corporate influence in academic research for taking the stand she did. She has received honourary degrees from Simon Fraser University and the University of Winnipeg. At Univeristy of Toronto, however, Olivieri is still seen as an menace. For more information, please see Miriam Shuchman's book The Drug Trial. Click here for a review of Shuchman's book written by David Healy of Cardiff University.


University of Lethbridge

Tom Robinson

Religious studies professor Tom Robinson published on his website the growth of a small administrative incident in fall 2005 into a dean's recommendation that Robinson be suspended for two months without pay. After resisting the overly bureaucratic handling of the situation, the administration proceeded to target Robinson.

  • Click here to visit Tom Robinson's website One Banana Short of a Republic
  • Click here to view the dean's letter to Robinson dated September 21, 2007.


Harvard University

Lawrence Summers

Harvard President Lawrence Summers became the target of an impassioned mob after delivering "Remarks at the NBER Conference" on January 14, 2005. His argument, that there may be innate biological differences to account for the underrepresentation of females in the sciences, caused an uproar. An article in The Boston Globe appeared the next day reflecting the incident and the strong reactions.

Despite public apologies, Summers was removed from his position after a faculty-wide vote of no-confidence.

In the summer of 2007, long after the incident, Summers was still demonized in the public eye. At the University of California Board of Regents 300 professors signed a petition, cancelling a speech Summers was scheduled to deliver.

  • Click here for "Mob Rule at Harvard" by Barbara Kay (National Post, 2005).
  • Click here for "Hysteria Trumps Academic Freedom" by Doreen Kimura (Vancouver Sun, 2004)
  • Click here for "Who Stole Harvard?" by Christina Hoff Summers (American Enterprise Institute, 2005).
  • Click here for "Punishing for Academics for Speaking Out Harms Us All," by Kenneth Westhues (The Record, 2005).

Medaille College

Therese Warden and Uhuru Watson

Medaille President John Donahue dismissed tenured professors Therese Warden on February 8, 2002 and Uhuru Watson on April 26, 2002 under identical reasons of turpitude. Neither professor had done anything more serious than putting minutes of a meeting in a colleague's mailbox.

Publication of a report on the dismissals by the American Association of University Professors in Spring 2004 and the threat of formal censure pushed new Medaille president Joseph Bascuas to reach settlements with Warden and Watson.

For an analysis of the mobbings see the paper "The Mobbings at Medaille College," by Kenneth Westhues. The paper was later published in the book Workplace Mobbing in Academe(2004). For a more detailed analysis, see The Remedy and Prevention of Mobbing in Higher Education (2006) also by Kenneth Westhues.


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

James D. Watson

James D. Watson, scientist and joint winner of the Nobel prize in physiology/medicine in 1962, was mobbed out of the research postion on Long Island he had held since 1968.

The events unfolded after an article in the Sunday Times ran in which Watson said of Africans that "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all testing says not really." Watson was quickly denounced in the media. Despite his apology Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory announced Watson's retirement as chancellor.

Click here for an assessment of the situation written by Steve Sailer.


Memorial University of Newfounland

Wanda Young

Wanda Young's case of administrative aggression was brought before Canada's highest court on January 28, 2006. In a monumental ruling, the student target was awarded $800, 000 for having been falsely reported to provincial authorities in 1994 on unfounded suspicion of child abuse.

  • For background information, see the archives of The Muse (student newspaper) and The Gazette (official newspaper) at memorial University.
  • Click here for the Decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, Young v. Bella et al., 2006.
  • Click here for an informative file from the website injusticebusters, a website dedicated to publicizing cases of those wrongly accused and/or convicted of crimes.