"What can start out as an interpersonal conflict can sometimes spiral and firmly held professional opinions can lead to strong disagreements. "
If the Vice-Chancellor/university media had conducted even a brief search of the research into bullying, she would have found that terms such as "Interpersonal conflict" or "personality clash" are standard rhetoric used used to deny or dismiss bullying.
Here are a few examples:-
- Calling bullying a personality clash "is an infringement on target's human rights and a denial of his/her dignity."
- "A personality clash is where two people of equal rank or status or value or power don't see eye to eye. Bullying consists of a pattern of persistent, daily, trivial, nitpicking criticism, isolation, exclusion, undermining, discrediting, setting up to fail, etc on a target who the bully has disempowered and disenfranchised. HR departments frequently write off bullying as a "personality clash", much to the delight of the bully who is always trying to heap all the blame onto their target."
- "Personality clash is used to deny or discount the experiences of those being bullied or used as an excuse to avoid getting involved."