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Author Topic: Nazarbayev University pt. 2  (Read 145218 times)
scotto703
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« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2012, 1:11:14 PM »

Hey, I resent that.  I received my PhD from the University of South Turdistan - a fine institution.
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sibnadian
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« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2012, 5:27:30 PM »

Good day all,

Does Nazarbaeyv University assist with school tuition for the children of its foreign employees? And what percentage do they pay?

Thank you.
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bendere400
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« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2012, 5:55:03 AM »

Cronyism is alive and well at Nazarbayev University’s School of Science and Technology.
The dean has hired a buddy for the second most powerful position in the school – no  international search, no consultation with faculty, just hire your buddy.
The COO position is a colossal waste of Kazakh taxpaper money, with a salary of more than $200,000. It was unfilled last semester, and nobody noticed.
The way it was filled – hiring a buddy, with no discussion -- is another example of the top down, military style leadership in the school that has upset many faculty.
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bendere400
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« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2012, 6:07:30 AM »

I just read cs_prof's post on how good an "assembly line approach" is to teaching. My God, have you gone mad? That's all academe needs -- trying to turn out bright, innovative graduates like television sets. Thank God I'm not at any school you're helping to start up.
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cs_prof
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« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2012, 6:57:29 PM »

I just read cs_prof's post on how good an "assembly line approach" is to teaching. My God, have you gone mad? That's all academe needs -- trying to turn out bright, innovative graduates like television sets. Thank God I'm not at any school you're helping to start up.

bendere400,
 
I appreciate your response. My recipe depends on how long you are going to stay in Astana, the second coldest world capital. (Not the best place to be, anyway.) I you plan to quit in just three years or even sooner, by standing in the shoes of the NU administrators, I would go ahead with the assembly line model as the least risky for their business. If you are a native Kazakh or just a person who fell in love with Kazakhstan and who is willing to stay at NU until retirement, this recommendation might be void, though.
 
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johnnyozoz
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« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2012, 9:03:17 AM »

Must be cronyism epidemic at NU. New dean of School of Humanities & Social Sciences also selected without international search or faculty consultation.
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ugubayfal
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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2012, 9:48:28 PM »

Given that we are all supposedly academics who live and die on truthful data, the absence of it, the errors in it, the self-serving distortions of it, and the outright fabrication of it in this forum is disconcerting.  First-semester student evaluations of courses and faculty have been compiled, distributed to faculty and academic administrators, and hopefully will be published soon.  Why don't you wait until you can examine and analyse real data for yourself instead of flaming based on noise, chaff, and intentional disinformation?

Also be aware that academics in the social sciences and humanities seek out faculty positions in Kazakhstan because their research specializations are in Central Asia: they have good personal and professional reasons to be there.  In contrast there is no particular reason for a natural scientist, especially a physical scientist, to want to be there.  In fact there are many inconveniences, personal and professional, that make it less than desirable for them to be there.  Consequently faculties in the natural sciences are substantially more than US-average populated by individuals with personal problems and personality disorders: many have good reasons to not be in the US, many are not happy campers, and for many their strongest skill is creatively blaming everybody but themselves for their own shortcomings and failures.
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topsyturvy
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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2012, 11:54:40 PM »

It turns out that the dean of the School of Science and Technology has been a longtime buddy of another faculty member already in the department, a physics professor. Could it be that that is the reason that the physics professor is making more than $150,000 a year even though he has no PhD? Couild it also be the reason that the physics professor -- who has no PhD -- is screening applicants for physics jobs, and that no other physics faculty member -- all of whom have PhDs -- is allowed a role in the hiring of potential colleagues?
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scotto703
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« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2012, 3:56:52 AM »

> Why don't you wait until you can examine and analyse real data for yourself instead
> of flaming based on noise, chaff, and intentional disinformation?

Good advice!

> In contrast there is no particular reason for a natural scientist, especially a physical
> scientist, to want to be there.  In fact there are many inconveniences, personal
> and professional, that make it less than desirable for them to be there.
> Consequently faculties in the natural sciences are substantially more than US-average
> populated by individuals with personal problems and personality disorders: many have
> good reasons to not be in the US, many are not happy campers, and for many their
> strongest skill is creatively blaming everybody but themselves for their own
> shortcomings and failures.

Oops, there goes that data of which you speak - right down the dumper.  Could you post your survey results from which this data is derived?  These blatant unsubstantiated assertions do not serve science very well.

There are many reasons to come to NU and Kazakhstan, besides being interested in East Asia research.  Here are a few:

1) Very good students
2) Research funding (small, but available, with more likely)
3) Reasonable teaching load
4) Nice people in KZ (as long as one is willing to temporarily pull one's head into a position from which there is a view of other than large intestine just long enough to meet some of them).
5) Good money (by any standards)
6) Nice apartments (by most standards)
7) Opportunity (both entrepreneurial and academic)
8) Two trips home per year (or wherever in the world you want to go)

Certainly, it's not for everybody, but coming here is unlikely to be the worst career move an academic in the physical or natural sciences will likely make over the course of a lifetime.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 3:59:07 AM by scotto703 » Logged
mrmason1971
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« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2012, 11:12:24 AM »

Sitting in the HR files at Nazarbayev University is the CV of a physics professor who has no doctorate, but whose CV says he DOES have a doctorate. This same professor posted a bio of himself on the university's School of Science & Tech Web site early last semester that referred to him as "Dr." and that also indicated he had a doctorate. It was six weeks before the bio was revised to remove the "Dr." reference and the doctorate reference. Falsifying a CV, especially on a key point such as whether an academic has a doctorate, is a fireable offense in most of the world. Nazarbayev University needs to act accordingly.
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rudyrota
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« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2012, 1:14:42 AM »

Nazarbayev University also should fire those complicit in the professor without a doctorate bilking Kazakhstani taxpayers out of tens of thousands of dollars he didn't deserve. The dean knew this "academic" was making $150,000 a year while holding the rank of assistant professor without a doctorate. The dean also knew that a typical associate professor with a doctorate at NU makes about $100,000, or 50 percent less than the professor who had no doctorate. Yet because this professor was a long-time friend, the dean failed to alert top NU administrators about either the professor's lack of a doctorate or his way out of line pay package. This constitutes gross professional misconduct, or worse, and should be met with dismissal.
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pedanterast
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« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2012, 4:41:33 PM »

Ummm ... $100,000 is 33-1/3% less than $150,000, not 50% less.  Math much?
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scotto703
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« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2012, 1:25:23 AM »

My father used to be fond of saying: "You never can tell the depth of the well by the handle on the pump."  I believe your logic about why people take expat assignments is faulty, and generalizing about expat faculty rationale is a rather useless exercise.  People take jobs for a variety of reasons, both expat and at home.  There are those in the expat community who have been overseas for years, and like it that way.

All that said: I am curious as to why the results of teaching evaluations would be made public.  This would certainly be an atypical use of teaching evaluations, especially to a group of alleged outsiders of an institution (must be outsiders, since "normally socialized" insiders wouldn't be talking this way in a public forum).  If students want to make this a public issue, there are many sites (including ratemyprofessor.com) on which they can make a public statement.  Otherwise, teaching evaluations are between the faculty member and his or her administration.  Of course, if you want to hire someone to teach, and request copies of recent teaching evaluations from the candidate, then that's a different story.  Perhaps you are trying to hire one of us?
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doncorleone1971
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« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2012, 2:43:05 AM »

Sitting in the HR files at Nazarbayev University is the CV of a physics professor who has no doctorate, but whose CV says he DOES have a doctorate. This same professor posted a bio of himself on the university's School of Science & Tech Web site early last semester that referred to him as "Dr." and that also indicated he had a doctorate. It was six weeks before the bio was revised to remove the "Dr." reference and the doctorate reference. Falsifying a CV, especially on a key point such as whether an academic has a doctorate, is a fireable offense in most of the world. Nazarbayev University needs to act accordingly.

I can say with 100% certainty that the CV used by this physics professor to get this job does not say he has a doctorate. It, in fact, very clearly stated that he did not have a doctorate. I cannot speak to the website situation. I am at NU, and I believe that no matter what we think of any particular individual, the truth needs to be very clear in these types of situations. I have been looking to internal resources to try to clarify these rumors and perhaps work toward a solution to many, if not all, of these ongoing concerns. I really think that it is important that everyone involved take a deep breath and let things cool down for a few days. The administration is well aware of this public conversation, and I think it might be wise to allow everyone the time to think clearly and make the right decisions going forward. I've worked awfully hard since I've arrived to make this university a better place and I implore you to allow the time for an appropriate course of action to take place.

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bendere400
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« Reply #44 on: February 24, 2012, 11:01:33 PM »

Top administrators of Nazarbayev University should be commended for taking two recent steps to deal with injustices.
One step is the substantial slashing of the salary of an assistant professor of physics who had no doctorate but was making far more money than associate professors.
The other step was the lifting of a nasty form of harassment against another physics professor who has been harassed and targeted for firing since September, simply for voicing dissent about physics matters.
The nasty harassment involved the dean of the School of Science & Technology assigning nine professors to monitor the physics professor's classes this semester -- one monitor almost every class. Faculty have been outraged about this obvious attempt to break this professor, a vicious tactic that would have quickly led to a lawsuit in the United States.
Although this monitoring has finally been lifted, the dean and an even higher administrator are still intent on firing this professor, who has done nothing wrong.
Faculty are united as never before in support of the professor, for two reasons. First, there's a principle involved -- no professor should be subject to harassment and wrongful firing for voicing dissent. Second, if the dean can fire this professor for no reason, he can fire anyone, and a reign of terror will ensue.
Those who are trying to railroad this professor need to know that if he is fired, the reaction will be swift, forceful and wideranging.
His tormenters need to finally do the right thing. Back off him, leave him alone and let him teach and do his research and other duties in peace.
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