With 22 years of experience in higher education, Susan Bon, J.D., Ph.D., is taking on a new challenge as the University of South Carolina’s Faculty Civility Advocate.
Vice Provost Cheryl Addy says, “The University of South Carolina is committed to a
civil, respectful environment in which members of the university community are open
to individual differences. We therefore must address allegations of faculty incivility
that reduce both our productivity and morale. The role of Faculty Civility Advocate
is uniquely positioned to support this, and we are delighted to have an individual
with Susan’s qualifications and experience in the position.”
I'm very fortunate person that my training, my passion, my teaching, my research and my service all have been consistently focused on these key ideas of disability law and ethical leadership.
Dr. Susan Bon
newly appointed faculty civility advocate
Bon is a professor and coordinator of the higher education program in the College of Education and has been with UofSC more than four years. She teaches policy and law classes to masters and doctoral students and her research focuses on disability law and ethical leadership. She has also been active with Army initiatives that focus on training ROTC officers prior to their campus assignments at higher education institutions across the United States. At the UofSC, she serves as faculty representative on the Veterans Student Services Advisory Council (VSSAC).
She sees her work in the role of Faculty Civility Advocate as a continuation of her extensive experience and research expertise in higher education law. “I’m a very fortunate person that my training, my passion, my teaching, my research and my service all have been consistently focused on these key ideas of disability law and ethical leadership,” says Bon.
The creation of the faculty civility advocate position was a collaborative effort of the Faculty Welfare Committee, the Office of General Counsel, and the Office of the Provost, in 2013, resulting in the university’s Workplace Bullying policy.
In her role as faculty civility advocate, Bon says her ultimate goal would be to help colleagues realize the ideal version of themselves. “I want to validate people’s humanity, and recognize their individual worth. It’s ok to feel upset about treatment that you believe is bullying. Determining how to move forward might involve taking time to understand what is going on with the person who may be the aggressor or perceived aggressor. In other words, can we find a way to put that frustration into a different channel so that it is not also now causing harm to a colleague?”
Janice Breuer Bass was the first person to serve as the faculty civility advocate. She resigned in the summer of 2018 after being appointed the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs in the Darla Moore School of Business.