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Intended Audience: 
Benjamin Anderson, Caroline Chen, Craig Davis, George Whaley

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Interpersonal Conflicts in Academia

Raymond Patrick, an untenured tenure-track faculty member at Bay State University (BSU), felt that his relationship with Frank Burns, the School of Management’s Assistant Director, had reached the breaking point. Burns had a reputation for stoking open conflict in the department by making incendiary comments to his colleagues on a variety of issues. Patrick felt comfortable in the BSU environment and believed his solid career record would lead to promotion and tenure, despite not holding a Ph.D. Yet, Patrick felt vulnerable due to what he perceived as Burn’s negative behavior targeting him and other untenured faculty member without a Ph.D. Patrick’s growing anxiety and stress led him to struggle with the next steps in his career. Students are asked to analyze personal and interpersonal in the scenario and recommend what steps Patrick should take to help resolve this conflict and maximize his probability for career success.