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Author Topic: Never work for the corrupted academic environment in Dubai,  (Read 33250 times)
ammona22
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« on: September 24, 2010, 7:38:14 AM »

If you a planning to join a university in Dubai, you have to read this especially if you are a female and alone, regardless of your nationality. If you decide to go after that, do it on your responsibility

I am a senior female assistant professor graduated from USA with rich research and teaching profile.

I was discriminated against, and fired, politely forced to resign, from two universities in Dubai following the rules for trying to apply my academic standards in imposing the required level of integrity of teaching, assignments, and testing, and even was prevented from practicing academic freedom and threatened by phone to leave the country or be a sex slave for them.

Here are some details.

I worked in Hamdan Ben Mohamed University at 2010 after a phone interview done with the selection committee when I were in Egypt two weeks before hiring me. I was tempted with the high salary. I was always asked to modify students grades with high pressure from the dean and administration in the first place, and even when i rejected, they forced me to accept 2 students in the exam even though they did not attend the course at all and do not meet minimum attendance requirements imposed by the school rules. I was sexually harassed, yelled at, provoked, and intimated even by the HRM employee, I have evidence to support my situation.

I joined University of Dubai because they are the only with American AACSB accreditation which is a sign for quality but I was fired in two weeks for trying to discuss with the Dean of the school of Business, Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim, and the president the possibility to be granted freedom of designing assignment, which is my responsibility as a faculty member.  I also asked for a key to the female bathroom in the school, and it is the only one, that some male members insist on using it even though the male one is empty and a step away from the female one. Could you believe that, here are the details of the previous two weeks in Dubai university.

1. My hiring process is not up to the academic criteria, There was no selection committee, competition procedures, or interviews with faculty members. Just the chair and Dean, and when I joined the dean was a different person and I did know people. Hiring, and also firing, is not based on fair academic rules that should be there for faculty members, it is a decision of the chair with no reasons. just like any third world dictatorship.
2. turnover rate is so high, they lost almost 9 highly qualified faculty members who resigned or fired for reasons related to the president mood, if they discus they are out, if a student points a finger on a faculty member he/she is immediately out with no investigation or justification, the president try to twist the faculty member opinion to make things easier for the students and let them pass with no assignments or he/she is out. No presence for a promotion committee, no voting what soever. So the percentage of faculty/students is absolutely not accurate because the school is almost empty of USA graduates Ph.D's who are qualified and in the legal work age.

3. selection of chairs is up to the president decision, not based on academic rules. The chair of the management department is an assistant professor who hold a degree in IT not in management and is not qualified to be a chair, his name is Dr. Habib Ullah Khan. the same is true for the degree of the accounting chair who got it from Egypt. Departments have two to three members, which is not a legal number to establish a department. Recent faculty members and not productive in research and not up to the AACSB criteria. The only required qualification is to please students by granting them high grades. There were some members who were up to promotion by the university, president made, criteria, but they were fired for not pleasing students. Check numbers of faculty members who were promoted lately and reasons form promoting them, and you will discover more interesting facts.

4. From the first moment it was clear that students rule the place as their own territory. They came to me ordering me to change absence to make them present or not late, Even though absence is recorded through a finger print swiping machine, the faculty member can adjust it manually to make whatever student present. Students assured that their faculty members are kind and understanding and they adjust their attendance to make them get the legal percentage to pass the exams. Students are so rude, bossing, and treat faculty members as servants or slaves, they were fed this culture by the administration style to please them and Indian faculty members who treat students, specially emiratees as if they were Gods. Students negotiate, and dictate everything starting from assignments, deadlines, number of chapters to be studied, and grades and they can adjust everything according to what they want, if the faculty member rejects, a call from someone important in the country forces what the student wants. There is no actual study and grades out of this university do not worth the ink on the certificate, such like many universities here, everything is manipulated. Teachers follow the traditional methods or do the work for students, and sometimes are forced to toter them at homes. So the teacher reads directly from the books and translates in the classroom. I was insulted in the classroom with no reaction from the administration, just told me to be quiet about it and forget it. I was already quite but it is hard to forget that it is okay for the administration to allow students to be rude and insulting for faculty members and disciplines faculty members hardly for trying to make student stick to ethics and fire them for that reason.

5. Faculty members are forced to work 40 hours in the school with 30 minutes lunch break and they have to swipe finger-prints if they go out or in from the building, that should represent a campus. Security persons monitor everything you do, with cameras and personal very apparent checks for every minute, and treat you arrogantly because they report directly for the president, who controls and monitor everything even your lectures before giving them. Salaries of faculty members are less than those of an employee, and not competitive to the industry according to AACSB accreditation. All courses are afternoon and night courses, with no morning courses, even though the statistics on the AACSB lectures are 3HRs each from 3:30 - 10 PM. So, at the end of the day we are required to stay up to 12 hours in school with no pay for extra working hours over the weekly 40.

6. What made me resign is that they wanted to have my assignments revised and approved by someone who holds an MBA degree and controls teaching of my course, I am WSU graduate with specialization in business negotiations, and high expert in teaching and training it, still an MBA has to approve my assignments, off-course to make them easier for students and limit them to five MCQ's instead of interactive exercises per quizzes.
 

7- The undergraduate program is in Almasoud Tower, which is a residence building not designed for college level. No parking, equipped multi-media classrooms, or decent offices and bathrooms for faculty members or students. Places are so small and tight. The graduate building is maybe equipped but it is not open for undergraduate school usage that much and it is far from this building.
Everything is faked in this school


I was not given enough time to spend in the school and I was exposed to sever discrimination for trying to discuss the possibility to get some academic freedom in my teaching as being expert, but the president kicked me out in the same day and he has the power to do so with no justification, because this is the case for working as a faculty member in Dubai, which is a synonymous for a student/president slave/b*tch/sex-toy whatever.
I joined this university to protect myself from shameful practice, but still it is another third world dictatorship.
i always thought academic freedom and high standards are the blue ink in AACSB blue stamp, unfortunately you It was 100% unreliable

I were fooled in the UD with AACSB accreditation, which is another mane to dis quality and manipulation of Omar Hefni who fired me because I asked to have the freedom of assigning tasks to students, and claiming a key to the female bathroom which is continually used by makes faculty members against all rules and regulations for HRM after two weeks of joining the school and working with no medical insurance, or any other assistance. They knew I live alone and it is so tough to depend on yourself in this environment, but still no assistance, or ethics. Omar promised me every possible assistance, but he was trying to scare me and abuse the fact that I am a female living alone and thought I would feel vulnerable to his threats and accept whatever he dictates me to do. I asked for a day off to be able to move to an apartment close to the school but I were informed that no allowed breaks, and hours would be deducted from my forty weekly hours as if I were a slave, even though these rules are not applied equally to other faculty members.


I lost two weeks of my time and money I cannot forget that they tried to make me a slave/b*tch/sex-toy for students, chair/s and some male workmates. This is the only accepted behavior of a woman to be successful in these places, you have to at the least flirt with males and chairs who are culturally programed to look at women as subjects regardless. The situation is not different than what I faced in Egypt, plus pressure to be corrupted enough to accept declared corrupted practices or faculty members, and join the ruling party or the government body and prof-accept the widely spread corruption in Egypt.


There are no human rights, work fair acts, or any protection for faculty members working in Dubai and Egypt.

 
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temba
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2010, 4:32:18 AM »

Try working at YASAR University in Izmir Turkey, you will look back on your last experience as a slice of paradise.
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raleighthree
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 1:48:17 AM »

What are they teaching at "WSU"?  I am not saying that your story is not true (how the hell would I know?).  What I am saying is that there are so many grammatical errors in your writing (not typos, which I could understand---but incorrect word choice); I wonder how you got a PhD…which logically makes me question what you write.

Am I the only one who thought this while reading it?
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voxprincipalis
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011, 1:54:49 AM »

What I am saying is that there are so many grammatical errors in your writing (not typos, which I could understand---but incorrect word choice); I wonder how you got a PhD…which logically makes me question what you write.

Am I the only one who thought this while reading it?

It seems evident that OP is not a native English speaker. It certainly does happen that non-native speakers of English earn PhDs without achieving fluency in English, particuarly in math/science fields.

VP
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conuconu
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 5:11:41 AM »

Dear ammona,
I have applied to university od dubai, and i REALLy appreciate you feed back about this experience because I really want to have information before i decide, as i am also a female and I will move alone to dubai.First of all I have many questions,
1- whihc position did they offer you, and for how many years?
2- what is the package that they offered you for a position of an assistant professor
3- did they offer you a houisng, and where is the housing, u cannot choose ur housing, did they offer you a ticket plane?
4- how many credit hours, u had to teach, how many courses,
5- is it a private or public university?
6- how many students per class?
7- which profile of student was it?

I will appreciate a lot ur answers,
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eddean
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 11:48:05 AM »

Avoid all HCT campuses regardless of the city.
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gcaye
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2011, 10:23:45 PM »

What about foreign based universities in the UAE, are all academics like this or just this one university?
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fillyjonk
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 3:42:16 AM »

I worked for one of the British universities in Dubai and the battle between the local partner and the home university over standards and ethics was spectacular. A large number of academics became collateral damage in that fight, although I believe that now things have settled down. It was brutal, though.

On the other hand, it was a great experience for me, a junior academic, and it helped my career considerably.
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bentleybrookes
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2012, 8:47:36 PM »

When you join these institutions you go for the money - expect the worse thereafter. This will get you through
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conuconu
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2012, 4:53:59 AM »

any one can help with information about the american University of the Middle east in Kuwait?
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profprof
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2012, 5:34:28 AM »

american University of the middle east in kuwait, AUM,  is a crap of university, although the idea of the owner and his vision is very interesting but I think he made a big mistake to trust a gang of unexperienced and unskilled lebanese gang who are teaching there making it as a mafia, so if you are not a lebanese instructor and especially if you are a very good instructor  , you will be fired after a short time by this gang because they will feel the threat and they will be scared from you, and of course they are there to keep things hided and to show that only them who can teach these kuwaiti students ,who by the way pay a lot to study there but these students receive a low quality of service in exchange from these instructors.

As an example, they gave the position of a dean of Business School in the AUM to a lebanese called Mohamed Tarabay, who never worked or had an experience in academic management, just got his PhD online and now he is acting as a dean, he used to be a tutor of the students of AUM of introduction to Calculus, and 2 years ago he used to tutor them in exchange of money, and of course he gives them the exams just to keep the students happy and he can still keep his position as a Dean.

so if you come to this corrupted atmosphere done by these lebanese instrcutors, who by the way protect each other, and always make a victim every year to be fired, this victim has to be YOU, they inform you the same day without noticing you, they are able to fire you just before the exams, they change the exam as Mohamed Tarabay wants it, he is also able to give it to his students to tutor them before the exam.
Mohamed Tarabay, who is supposed to be the Dean, even without any experience as an assistant professor before, he jumped from been a tutor to a Dean!! his task is to come to your classes even he never studied these subjects in business in his life, just to control you and then gives to the administration a report changing of course the version that fits well his intentions to make you be fired, and protect his lebanese colleagues, he is just a double-faced man, who wants to show how he is nice to everyone but sneaky at your back.

in this university they make u stay at the office from 8am to 5pm  even you finish your teaching hours and your office hours. No holidays are  given as all the  Kuwaiti academic institutions do. No research is encouraged. Contracts are made with the option to fire you at any time they want.

hope that it will help!!!
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deller
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 8:17:51 AM »

My experience is limited to Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman. Although there were things a bit similar to what you describe, with administration essentially having a noose around your neck, when I was there I liked it quite a lot. Omani students were overall really great, I mean quite polite and appreciative. The administrators could be real jerks at times, communicating that they always had that rope on you, and people were sometimes fired with little justification [this was rare, though]. But overall, it was ok for me. It was true that you couldn't openly criticize [improve?] anything, but the faculty who did well just looked for ways to enjoy teaching and their own work. The Omani students were nothing like what was described here - I actually miss them very much. My American students have been a kind of disaster [I just returned to the States this year].

I have friends in Kuwait, and the UAE, and those places sound much more like what you describe. I've heard some bad things - but not all bad. I have friends who have stayed in the Gulf for some years and done well. Things, and people vary, I guess.
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bauouin66
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2012, 3:24:55 PM »

Quite shocking the stories, well quite shocking
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academia123
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2012, 6:48:42 AM »

I currently work at AUM and I think I cn add to this blog. As for what ProfProf said, most of it is true but it could have been said in a professional way. However, it is really bad to work for AUM and I am looking for another job. They sighned us on a contract that prohibit us to work any where else in Kuwait so, it is taking me longer to get out of this missy place. I'm having hard time to find a job coz I do not have any research published since I got my Ph.D. 2 years ago and AUM does not support any research. they refused to pay for my research. they lied in the begining and told me they will but now they refused to do so.

To analyse the situation and give the reader a professional and accurate view of what is happening at AUM, lets divide this subject into the following. I will ONLY PRESENT FACTS... not my opinion...:

AUM Top Management: I mean here Mr. Othman and his crew (Ketbi, Michelle, Amira) those are the top management who decide what happens and what does not happen. None of them hold a Ph.D. or academic experience. they all come from the corporate world, the black one. They are very closed minded and not open for new ideas or improving the environment. They want to run the university as if it is a copmany... and a very bad company. What is in their mind is what must happen. Mr. Othman, the owner, gets his nose in every thing. It is agreed in Kuwait that, he is a sick man who thinks he is God. He even challenged world politicians for debates. One true story that happened on campus and I witnessed a year and a half ago, a student asked Mr. Othman to improve students parking. Othman was very pissed because that student asked for improvement and he was screeming and yelling at him. An argument happened between the two then Othman went to the dean (Tarabay) and asked him to terminate the student. The student was terminated and discharged from the university. great deal was raised because the student's uncle was a friend with the Minister of Education in Kuwait. Press conferences and articles were published in Kuwaiti newspapers about the occation. Many students striked in the university campus complaining about the act and the bad management of the university. more than 250 students refused to attend classes. What was the reaction of the univeristy you think??? to stop the strike and scare students, some female university employees files a claim that, the leaders of the strike from the students have sexually harrased them and the police came to campus and arrested those students. in court studnets were not found guilty and released. all students won in course and were restated in the university. They are now struggling to complete their degrees. Top management makes all the decisions and the deans have no power or authority to even sign a sick leave.

As for the Deans (To include Dr. Tarabay): it is true that Dr. Tarabay got his Ph.D. on-line and from a french university. I have great believe that, Miss123 who refused ProfProf post is most likely Dr. Tarabay. Any way, The dean of Business got his Ph.D. online and has no publications or researched at all. He got his Ph.D. while working as instructor in AUM with his Master degree. once he completed his Ph.D. was promoted to dean; that simple. Out of my experience with him, he is not qualified to be the dean or even to manage a small company. He can not make any decision at all and if you ask him for any thing he will say, I will ask HR and get back to you. I sent him many emails asking for his decision on work related matters... he never reads his emails. I tried talking to him in person but he asked me to email him... but he does not read his emails. I found my self hanging in the air many times and do not know what to do in work related matters.
Dearns at AUM are managers not deans. They gave them the title of deans because t is required by law. If you put your self in any of their places, they just got a Ph.D. online and offered a dean position... of course they will accept it. I dont blame Dr. Tarabay at all. I hope that explains the deans. They have no uthority to sign a sick leave.

Last, AUM environment: all students must be graded well. my grades as a professor are not the final grades because after we post the final grades students can go to Students Affair and change their grades from there without going back to the professors. Professors have no access to Banner (Grading system) after they post their grades so that they do not knw what changes have been done by Students Affair. The main aim of the university is to have satisfied customers (students) who will refer their friends to AUM as a place where ever one gets an A. Professors have to power to control attendance. If you forget to take attendance a day you will recieve nasty emails and calls from deans, students affair, and secretaries... yes secritaries of non-academic managers. Once you are hired, you will be evaluated by Nino (an HR officer who holds diploma). Nino will decide your performance as a professor... do you believe that??? You must work from 8am to 5pm no matter if you have classes or not. Believe me, some times we sit in our offices and we dont know what to do waiting for 5pm to come. Many days we worked with no air conditioning and the outside temprature is at more than 105 (44 deree). we complined and asked to fix the AC but no one cares and it normally takes more that 2 weeks to be fixed... to break down again in less than a month. As for the MLebanese mafia, it is true 100%. if you are not lebanese you need to kiss soooo many a**es to secure your job. They truely fire professors at the last minute. they use employees to the maximum. most of what was posted by ProfProf is true.

There are many other things I can not stop writing. If you are considering AUM to work for, please think twice. Please do not make my mistake and let money trap you. If you have any question please ask and I promise to answer them truely and professionally.

Gd luck to all
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cuistofred
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2012, 6:31:47 AM »

Just to correct a fact in one answer:
s for the Deans (To include Dr. Tarabay): it is true that Dr. Tarabay got his Ph.D. on-line and from a french university.
As a professor in a french university I can testify that there is no possibiity to get a PhD on line. Just an urban rumor!!!
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