The July 30 suicide of Virginia Quarterly Review editor Kevin Morrissey (earlier post here), reportedly due to workplace bullying, has become the subject of growing media attention.
Especially for those who are studying linkages between bullying and suicidal behavior, as well as instances of bullying in academe, this developing story merits your continued interest. In addition to Robin Wilson’s Aug. 12 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education and accompanying online comments, here are two more recent and extensive news accounts. You’ll find my interview remarks in both:
The Hook, Charlottesville, Virginia
The most comprehensive account comes from Dave McNair of The Hook, a weekly newspaper in Charlottesville. This investigative piece is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand this tragedy:
[On] Friday, July 30, the managing editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, 52-year-old Kevin Morrissey, took his own life. Since then, UVA has shrouded VQR behind a wall of silence, changing the office locks, launching an audit, and even routing all incoming telephone calls to the University’s public relations office.
A Hook investigation reveals that behind the staid, Thomas Jefferson-designed exterior of VQR’s headquarters swirl allegations of financial recklessness, conflicts of interest, and a bizarre pattern of management-by-email that drove a staffer to quit. Some say there was also a pattern of bullying that may have pushed a fragile man into tragic oblivion.
Ray Sanchez of ABCNews.com also has weighed in with a detailed news story:
In the days before Kevin Morrissey committed suicide near the University of Virginia campus, at least two co-workers said they warned university officials about his growing despair over alleged workplace bullying at the award-winning Virginia Quarterly Review.
…On July 30, Morrissey, the review’s 52-year-old managing editor, walked to the old coal tower near campus and shot himself in the head. Morrissey’s death underscored the turmoil at the high-profile journal, according to co-workers.
Also, Robin Wilson reports today in the Chronicle of Higher Education that the University of Virginia announced it will investigate the workplace bullying allegations in connection with Kevin Morrissey’s death.
Aug. 23 followup — NBC’s Today Show did a segment on the Kevin Morrissey suicide. Link here.
Free article — Readers seeking an overview of workplace bullying and organizations may find helpful my 2008 article, “Workplace Bullying and Ethical Leadership,” available without charge here.