Theodore McDonald, Sandina Begic and Eric Landrum publish chapter on ‘passive evil’ in academic mobbing

Three Boise State faculty – psychological science professor Theodore McDonald, Sandina Begic, an assistant research professor in the Center for Health Policy and professor and chair of psychological science Eric Landrum – have published a chapter in the book, “Confronting academic mobbing in higher education: Personal accounts and administrative action.”

The abstract for their chapter, The Role of Passive Evil in Perpetuating Downward Academic Mobbing, states:

Downward academic mobbing occurs when unethical administrators initiate a pattern of bullying, intimidation, and the commission of personal and career damage on undeserving faculty members (most often principled, tenured professors who question their decisions or call attention to unethical behavior such as policy violations and lack of academic due process). Once these unethical administrators succeed in framing a faculty victim as a target (often through innuendo, factual distortions, or outright lies), the victim’s colleagues—many of whom have known and benefited from the victim for years—either fail to support the victim (a problem known as passive evil) or begin actively participating in the persecution themselves (often in pursuit of personal gain). The purpose of this chapter is to focus on the first instance (i.e., passive evil), and to discuss how passive evildoers’ failure to stand up for victims of downward academic mobbing effectively encourages future acts of persecution—including against the passive evildoers themselves.