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Stand Together Against Academic Bullying

Academic bullying occurs across university campuses. This resource is designed for UNLV's scholarly community to understand academic bullying, identify its signs, and learn how to stand together against it.

What is Academic Bullying?

Academic bullying involves individuals – often with more power or authority – intimidating, demeaning, or undermining others in educational settings. Academic bullying is a form of aggressive or harmful behavior that occurs within educational, academic, or research settings. It involves one or more individuals targeting another person (typically a student, colleague, or faculty member) with the intention of causing emotional distress, undermining their work or reputation, or creating a toxic environment.

Examples of academic bullying include:

  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Verbal abuse, including frequent negative remarks or criticism with no constructive feedback
  • Sabotage
  • Continuous threats of dismissal
  • Attempts to destroy or harm an individual’s self-esteem
  • Consistent work overloading
  • Assignment of meaningless, contradictory, or unclear tasks
  • Systemic isolation or exclusion of an individual
  • Spreading false information
  • Withholding (or threatening to withhold) recommendations or endorsements
  • Attempts to humiliate, publicly or privately
  • Cyberbullying, including through email or social media

Academic bullying often has severe negative consequences for the mental and physical health of targeted individuals. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and stress-related illnesses, and may even drive some people to leave their academic or research careers altogether.


Graduate and professional students have shared that they don’t often know where to go to find alternate avenues for conflict resolution and report that they feel uncomfortable sharing their concerns in their home unit.

The Graduate College and the Ombuds Office have partnered to be a resource for members of UNLV’s scholarly community experiencing academic bullying. The collaboration between the Graduate College and the Ombuds Office provides a safe space to share concerns and seek mediation or strategies to help improve the situation.

Members of our scholarly community who have academic bullying concerns and would like to speak confidentially with the Graduate College or the Ombuds Office can start by completing this form, visiting the contact page, or scheduling an appointment using Google calendar.

The Graduate College and the Ombuds Office offer the following:

  • Confidential individual and group consultation
  • Individual and group coaching and training
  • Collection of information on systemic issues
  • Mediation


  • Build capacity (increase awareness and bolster conflict resolution skills) of both graduate students and faculty
  • Encourage constructive management and resolution of situations in the home unit
  • Foster an environment where academic bullying is not acceptable
  • Contribute to shifting the academic culture to one that is supportive and productive