False or frivolous human rights complaints against instructors, by students unsatisfied with their grades, have become a growing problem in some universities. These complaints and associated lengthy investigations are a form of mobbing that is harmful to instructors’ health and wellbeing.
This in turn is harmful to instructors’ families, professional relationships, the pedagogical environment and the instructors’ careers. This paper reports on a brainstorming exercise used to identify possible ideas for preventing such false claims of human rights violations. This work operates under the assumption that the institution is unwilling or unable to improve their complaint management process. The authors identified 12 viable ideas that might help reduce the probability of a student making false accusations when unsatisfied with their grades. These ideas could be clustered as “Acquiesce”, “Shift Blame”, “Interaction Monitoring”, and “Separation”. All ideas had problem associated with them. Some ideas, like separation, were consistent with current pedagogical trends in distance and asynchronous education. In the face of a lack of institutional engagement in the current problem, the only idea identified that could secure instructor safety and wellbeing was to leave the profession. Further investigation is needed.
Neumann, W. P., & Salustri, F. A. (2019). Strategies for instructor protection from false and frivolous human rights complaints. In Proceedings 2019 Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA-ACEG19) Conference (pp. 1-5). Ottawa, Ontario: University of Ottawa.