Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Pamela L Eddy

Committee Member

Virginia Ambler

Committee Member

Jeffrey Papa


The intent of this narrative dissertation was to uncover how staff members in divisions of student affairs experience bullying, how it has affected their trust for the profession and their colleagues and supervisors, and how the power dynamic within workplace bullying has an effect on the experience for professionals. It is important to recognize bullying does exist in student affairs, an area focused on positive development and growth for students, and to understand more about the effect of bullying in student affairs on staff. Bullying experiences can result in good student affairs professionals leaving the profession. The frameworks used in this study are guided by social identity and organizational culture as these frameworks are well suited for workplace bullying in Student affairs. Data collection included individual interviews with different participants within Mid-Atlantic universities. Social media and institutional contacts were used to solicit participants. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all interviews were conducted virtually. Three findings emerged from the data collected: 1. Significant emotions and fear result from workplace bullying. 2. A power dynamic between the supervisor and supervisee exists. 3. Relationships and trust become damaged as a result of workplace bullying. This study concluded the following: 1. Bullying exists in student affairs. 2. There is a gap in the literature for workplace bullying in student affairs. 3. More training needs to be done with HR and administrators.




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