Workplace Bullying University, “All Star” edition

Workplace Bullying University (link here) is an intensive, interactive, three-day, graduate-level educational and training seminar offered periodically by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) and facilitated by Dr. Gary Namie, one of the world’s foremost experts in workplace bullying. I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to become involved in addressing workplace abuse as part of their professional or avocational work. It captures so much of the work that Gary and Ruth Namie have been doing through their Workplace Bullying Institute, now spanning back over 20 years, and the collective research and expertise of the workplace anti-bullying movement.

Most Workplace Bullying University programs are done in a small group fashion, with perhaps 6-8 registrants and Gary as facilitator. During the just-concluded extended weekend, however, WBI hosted a unique “All-Star” edition of University in San Francisco, featuring roughly double the normal number of registrants and a roster of guest participants who are subject-matter experts about workplace bullying and mobbing. Along with the shared expertise of WBI co-founders Gary and Ruth Namie, registrants were joined by a veteran group of activists, advocates, practitioners, and scholars who have been involved in workplace anti-bullying and anti-mobbing work for years. In addition to yours truly, the invited guests included:

  • Carol Arao, M.A., California Healthy Workplace Bill Advocate & WBI Columnist
  • Jane E. Bethel, Employee Advocate
  • Jessi Eden Brown, M.S., LMHC, LPC, NCC, Licensed Psychotherapist in private practice, Professional Coach for WBI
  • Carrie Clark, M.A., Educator, Co-founder of California Healthy Workplace Advocates, 2004
  • Ellen Pinkos Cobb, Attorney & Author of New Developments in International Law, Workplace Bullying & Harassment
  • Linda Crockett, MSW, RSW, SEP, Advocate, Activists, Author, Speaker, Trainer, Trauma Therapist and Change Maker
  • Teresa A. Daniel, J.D., Ph.D., Dean & Professor-Human Resource Leadership Programs, Sullivan University, co-author, Stop Bullying At Work (SHRM book)
  • I. David Daniels, M.H.R.M., CSD, VPS, CFO, Public Sector Workplace Safety Professional
  • Maureen Duffy, Ph.D., Workplace consultant on matters involving bullying and mobbing, family therapist & author Overcoming Mobbing and Mobbing
  • Lisa Farwell, Ph.D., Social Psychologist, Professor Santa Monica College, contributor to Adult Bullying
  • Carol Fehner, B.A., Early (pre WBI) Anti-Bully Union Activist and Trainer
  • Allan Halse, Director, CultureSafe New Zealand & Lay Representative for Bullied Workers
  • Denise Halverson, Utah State Coordinator – WBI Legislative Campaign
  • Denise López Haugen, Psy.D., Health and Trauma Psychologist
  • Gary S. Metcalf, Ph.D.., Professor, Organizational Systems and Leadership co-author, Stop Bullying At Work
  • Beth Plachetka, Ed.D., LCSW, MAEL, M.S.W., Educator, Therapist, Researcher on Workplace Bullying Issues
  • Christina Purpora, Ph.D., RN, Nurse, Educator, and Researcher
  • Deborah Singleton RN, B.SpExSc, PGDipHSc, Researcher
  • Michelle Smith, M.A.Ed., Co-founder of California Healthy Workplace Advocates, 2004
  • Tom Witt, New York State Coordinator – Healthy Workplace Bill

It was a lively, intense, and engaging experience. Workplace Bullying University is a “soup-to-nuts,” immersive introduction to what we know about the dynamics of workplace bullying, its effects on individuals and organizations, and work being done to prevent and respond to it. The All-Star edition ramped it all up, with insightful contributions coming from newbies and veterans alike.

Moreover, as often occurs in smaller conferences, workshops, and seminars with a manageable number of people, the conversations during break times and meals added immensely to the experience. This was a really wonderful group of people, an observation I make about most folks who are doing this work. The program enabled the renewal of old connections and the creation of new connections. For those of us who are long-term veterans of this movement, it was a reunion of sorts and a welcomed opportunity to meet a cadre of talented new folks.

In terms of broader shared purpose, this sends several dozen people back out into the world, equipped with additional knowledge, understanding, and wisdom about how to bring more dignity and humanity into our workplaces. I’d say that’s a very good use of three days of our time.


Upcoming Workplace Bullying University programs are scheduled for July 12-14 in San Francisco and November 12-14 in the Miami area. You may go here for more details. A special Boston session for union activists is in the works for October as well.

(For those who might be wondering, I derive no financial benefit from endorsing or participating in this program. It’s just that I believe this is the best available education and training program on this subject matter.)

Related post

Conferences as community builders (2015)

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