“…academe is often plagued by inexcusably rude and uncollegial behavior…
"One serious consequence of incivility is that you can permanently damage your reputation in an institution after only a few incidents of hotheadedness....
“I am not suggesting that we refrain from speaking out strongly, defending a position, or opposing a policy when necessary. Adversaries need to be opposed, bullies put in their place, abhorrent policies overturned, new policies championed. That is part of the daily work of academe.
“And, yes, malevolent people do exist, as do conspiracies. But assuming the worst of people independent of corroborating evidence is, at best, counterproductive and, at worst, part of the problem.
“Maybe you don't believe that academe should serve as a model of civility for the larger society. So consider it an issue of self-interest -- civility and collegiality are key to helping you get your way in academe.”
--Gary A. Olson, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Illinois State University
The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 4, 2007
It's well worth the time to read the entire column.