Friday, 22 October 2010

The Ogre of Ebbw Dhabi Men's College (ADMC)

I was recently reminded of HCT's Spring appearance in 'The National' concerning their shameless reneging on their own imposed 'merit pay' system, which appeared with such triumphalist fanfare several years ago. As a result I was moved to revisit some of the comments about the issue that appeared around the time on Dave’s ESL CafĂ©. And I am so glad that I did, as what I dug up will serve as a very suitable "hors d'oeuvre" to the forthcoming posting on Dr Osimon bin Jones and his ridiculous 'Taffyban' system of college management at ADMC!
1. Reports emanating from ADMC suggest that the Director there (commonly known as 'SiJo') is none too happy about his kind words to the staff being mentioned in The National. Front-line staff can expect an e-mail from him soon, instructing all faculty members to only address the press upon approval of the relevant Supervisor. Yes, of course.....

The unfortunate truth is that the Director there is Gordon Brown-like in his grasp of reality. He struts about mentioning to all and sundry that ADMC is "a happy ship", when he has NO idea of the depth of feeling about this issue (merit pay) and several others. Presumably his underlings, the Deans and Supervisors, just tell him what he wants to hear; because he has no other way of knowing what people think about him, or his lack of social and communication skills (refer to the e-mail for that!).

And how would he? He never comes to sit in the teachers' room for 10 or 15 minutes, he always takes lunch in the cafeteria with his management cronies, and the only time he bothers to speak to the mere teachers is when he holds his 'focus group' meetings once a year.

Incidentally, at one of these meetings a few weeks back he dropped the bombshell that class sizes will increase to 25 next year. Again, no reason or warning, no apology, was given for this - it just sort of 'fell out', and the humble faculty members sat there in silence, wondering if they were listening to the words of an insensitive prat or a complete goon. Or perhaps even an accomplished shyster-man?

I leave it up to the rest of my colleagues to try and divine which it is.....
2. The 'gagging order' has been issued! Just yesterday all ADMC staff and faculty received a message from their respective supervisors reminding them of the need to consider the college's "Code of Ethics", which is one of their conditions of employment in the UAE.

In short, the pompous windbag of a director has sent instructions that staff and faculty at ADMC "should only speak to representatives of the Media in the presence of HCT/ADMC Media and Marketing Department staff ... in order to ensure that any comments made to the Media are approved by our organization." What a surprise, eh?!

It really disappoints me when an institute of learning tries to monitor and control what its own faculty and staff think and say. The fact that teachers are not allowed to express their opinions, that the college's 'Thought Police' believe that they have the right to veto every staff member's private feelings, is not the right attitude for an educational institute to take, but was clearly predictable in the circumstances.

In fact, the mere idea that 'approved comments' should only be released into the public domain after vetting is one that would be familiar to those HCT employees who had the misfortune to be born in authoritarian and totalitarian states. Is that what we have here now in the UAE? Or is just the inevitable result of a discredited Director trying hard to prevent further examples of his incredible 'lack of social and communication skills' reaching a wider audience?!
3. Of course, HCT will still be able to find the money to fund the coming 'Festival of Stinkers' shindig, flying in academic has-beens on first class tickets and putting them up at the best hotels (Emirates Palace, of course) for a week. But they can't find the necessary money to pay their staff properly or comply with their own pay agreements.

Stinkers indeed!


Anonymous said...

The vast majority of ADMC's staff are looking forward to the current Director's departure at the end of this academic year.

Many of us are wondering quite what such a talented and intelligent man is doing in a dump like ADMC anyway!

Ahmed Talebbara said...

Amazing! The link to Osimon has registered more than 500 extra 'hits' just today!!

Try some more, please . . .


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately we can't expect much from these ppl....we work with goons who believe management's claim that all teachers are fifth columnists and readily agree upon promotion to be 'the eyes and ears' of the camel and all who bow before him! Failure in the classroom is the most important criteria used in selecting management goons, that and room temperature IQ! Double-barrel your name, snitch, snoop, be a 'private dancer' in Australia...then you'll surely be promoted to the Higher ranks of the HCT!!

Anonymous said...

Just yesterday I received notice of an interview with HCT. Then I did a google search and found this blog. I think I'll have to turn them down now, of course, but my question is ... are things really this bad?

Anonymous said...

Depends on your supervisor and location. You have no control on those.

Khalifa Exile said...

The ones to definitely aviod are the HCT outposts in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Fujairah. The others could be OK, as I've heard nothing too bad about them.

However, things can change very rapidly - it only takes one goon to poison the whole college environment, and then things quickly turn very sour. So it's best to just give HCT a very wide berth, and choose somewhere else. Anywhere else, in fact!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to visit King Tubby here:

Has to be worth a whack or two!

Anonymous said...

Dr Simon Jones continues his trumpet-blowing here:

Very good for a great laugh!

Anonymous said...

^'Strategy is usually straightforward; it's excellence in delivery that makes the difference'

One can of course only speculate about where Osimon sticks that trumpet, though he does seem to find the bass notes easiest to reach.

Anonymous said...

Clearly we are looking for a very special set of people, they are in high demand, often extremely wilful individuals, inevitably challenging all decisions and approaches and hence occasionally taxing to manage. However, finding these people and enticing them to your location with salary, working conditions and locale is still not enough without the right sort of projects to work on and the right processes to manage it, experience shows it still won’t deliver innovation in a sustainable manner.

- Jesus, what a nob.

Republocrat said...

Jeez, such a laugh!

"extremely wilful individuals, inevitably challenging all decisions and approaches and hence occasionally taxing to manage"

Clearly he's not able to cope with a good number of them, which is why he sacked four of them at the end of last semester for, amongst other things, wearing the 'wrong' clothes and speaking to the 'wrong' people.

Does he actually believe all this management crap he spouts? Or is it just for the benefit of ... who knows who/what?!

And what right does he have to make great claims about management - he's a bloody engineer!

Be glad to see the back of the man - a total prick - sooner rather than later.

Republocrat said...

Ha - there's another awful cliche one here:

If you have thoughtful, listening and student-centred leadership, not much will go wrong.

Well, SiJo seems to have left the staff out of the equation, or perhaps they don't matter.

I could provide the minutes from the meetings where the management meet with the ADMC Staff representatives and show you just how 'thoughtful' and prepared to listen the college management is, but I guess it would be quite superfluous.

Anonymous said...

There's enough material on that site to fill 'pseuds corner' for a decade, eh?

Suede Oasis said...

The big question is (I suppose) ... what is the purpose of SiJo's site? Did he set it up out of pure vanity (quite possible), or is it a means of fishing for more work, or ... finding a new job?!

If it's the second, then he is in breach of HCT's very own guidelines about working for third parties and compromising the college's integrity (as if it ever had any). If it's the third option, we should all give a shout of relief!

Suede Oasis said...

BTW, I see that King Kamali's punchbag has notched up more than 6000 hits in a matter of days!

That's one hell of a popular camel ... erm, I mean Vice Chancellor!!

Anonymous said...

Entertaining blog. Having fallen for a simple trick they will have all your IP addresses now. Hope you used a VPN.

Suede.Oasis said...

Yes, I know the trick you're referring to - the email from a certain Indian lady?

Spotted it immediately, and was happy to string them along.


EnglishTeacher365 said...

Yes, it's an interesting blog indeed. As the person responsible for giving SiJO his dousing when he fired me (for 'inappropriate e-mail usage'!), I can only corroborate the content of this blog posting and a large number of the comments above.

When he caught the free blast of water square on the chest he jumped back off his seat and gave such a shout he could have been heard the other side of campus. Then he bawled 'Get him out of here!' - too remote even to do his own evicting!

Keep it up, Mr Suede - I'm really loving it!

Anonymous said...

I've heard that O'Simon has been instrumental in the recent sacking of an ACS dean, who dared to challenge him, when he refused to meet some invited dignitaries from one of the newer UK universities, because O'Simon didn't consider them the right sort for the likes of HCT.

Pompous wanker!

Suede Oasis said...

Ah, I guess this was the Dean who once refused to meet the mighty Osimon. Apparently, Osimon turned up at the Academic Services offices and expressed a wish to see the Dean, but the reply came back -"'the Dean does NOT wish to see you"!

So once again we have firm evidence of Osimon's sociopathic character - his inability to get along and interact in a normal fashion with the rest of humankind.

God save HCT from the Welsh Wunderkind!

Anonymous said...

What's the Dean's name?

We want names, Dammit, NAMES!!!

Raja Karma said...

Just give a call to ADMC's prestigious 'President and CEO', as he now styles himself. I'm sure he'd be very happy to let you know the name of his former adversary!

Suede Oasis said...

I see that Osimon's 'hit rating' on has almost doubled to more than 9000 overnight!

Clearly he's been giving his staff the benefit of his superior management skills again!

Give him another wallop here:

Anonymous said...

OMG, the Welsh Wanker is now number 2 on - WTF has he been up to?

Anonymous said...

Fuck me, now he's numero uno - with almost 18000 'hits'!

Well done, boyo!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is generally known or not. But, O'Simon is quite well off and owes a good part of his wealth to his wife's online porn business.
So, add pornographer to pompous, arrogant wanker.

Anonymous said...

Errr I think she's a Greek-language blogger really. Google Translate didn't work too well, but it doesn't look bad.

Khalifa Exile said...

Dr 'Taffyban' Jones is still riding high at, where he has notched up an impressive 44,000 hits in such a short period of time!

Curenely he sits in the number 2 spot, just ahead of ... Dr Evil from Sharjah!!

Anonymous said...

Having recently left ADMC (voluntarily, I should add!), I now feel it's safe to add my comments about the awful and imcompetent barbarian known as SiJo.

His management skills were close to zero, and he knew it - that's why he always avoided any contact with the teaching staff, whom he regarded as some sort of necessary (but disposable) evil.

The only times I ever saw him in the Faculty areas was when he was accompanied by one of his cronies and had to perform some sort of ceremony, such as one of those painful end-of-term 'parties', or some such nonsense.

I can compare this useless lump of a pompous twat to the immensely popular (and effective) Director of ADWC, under whom I had worked before. That guy knew every teacher's name and would occasionally come into the Faculty lounge and chat. He was admired and respected by the teachers, something that SiJo will never achieve.

The following story about him (SiJo) is absolutely true, and serves to illustrate his lack of social and interpersonal skills perfectly.

One day he was called into the ADMC examinations hall, where a student had apparently collapsed. When he arrived, the student was being cared for by a female teacher, a substitute proctor, who was doing a very good job of looking after the poor boy.

SiJo's first reaction on entering the room was to SEND THE WOMAN HOME, as she was 'improperly dressed' - wearing sandals!! He never thought for a moment to thank her for having left her desk to come to the aid of the unfortunate student - she was, after all, a mere teacher!

Two weeks later, and SiJo was awkwardly presiding over the end-of-term award ceremonies (in the college lobby - can you believe that?!). When it came for the turn of this very same woman to receive her 'gong' for several years of dedicated work at ADMC, SiJo was actually GENUINELY SURPRISED that when he read out her name, she wasn't there!

"Where's Molly?" he burbled, looking around himself in expectation. Amazingly, SiJo SERIOUSLY EXPECTED HER TO BE THERE AFTER SHE HAD BEEN HUMILIATED (TWICE!) BY HIM!

Oh, and what was the 'gong' that dear Molly had passed over? A framed copy of the HCT emblem!

Anonymous said...

My God, what a monster this man is, he corrects staff in 2010 and then (presumably) several weeks/months later doesn't remember this at a public farewell event. How dreadful, can there be any worse a human being?

How can anyone with dignity and integrity (apparently this means ESL staff) survive there?

The Horror! The Horror!

Anonymous said...

Not a monster; just awful and incompetent ... unpopular and best avoided ... a pompous prat too!

Raja Karma said...

And he's OFF!! (at last...)

Recently Dr. Simon, Jones, Director of Abu Dhabi Men’s College has indicated his intention to leave HCT for a new assignment in Central Europe.

University College London, National University of Singapore and Carnegie-Mellon have founded a University in Astana, Kazakhstan named after the President - Nazarbayev University. Dr. Jones will serve in the post of Provost, taking over from Anne Lonsdale who returns to be Pro-Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University in the UK.

HCT is grateful for the years of service provided by Dr. Jones, and I hope that you will join me in wishing him the best in his new endeavors.

Mark Drummond

Provost, HCT

Anonymous said...

'Sijo' had to leave, as he was gonna get pushed anyway. His contract was up for renewal, or rather non-renewal in his case.

Smart move, Sijo - from one basket-case country to another!

Anonymous said...

No mention of the June 2012 cull at ADMC though.

Suede Oasis said...

Please supply the details (if you have them) of the 2012 'killing fields' of ADMC!