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 Café. 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.