Monday, 20 April 2015

KHALIFA BIN ZAYED AIR COLLEGE and Valerie McGrath

Alas, another interesting chapter in this notorious, trouble-ridden institution has been revealed; and a year or so down the line, the picture has progressed from bizarre to downright diabolical.

HCT sends in their “best” supervisor to clean up the mess left by her disgraced predecessor. Or could it be, drops her at KBZ, the dumping place for no longer wanted HCT employees, having left the company in a somewhat “strange” manner? Mrs. Hyde is clearly in the business of protecting her own position, and also wishes to escape the fate of her predecessor. She swiftly moves to get on the good side of her faculty, by doing the following:

·         Relieving teachers from teaching to perform administrative duties: Being denied the resources of the main campus, she opts to utilize teachers to perform duties that would otherwise be performed by administrative staff at HCT. In return, these teachers are given LOW or NO work hours, vastly in contrast to the 20-hour work week the contract between HCT and the military entails.

·         Assigning incompetent, weak ones to team leader duties: These are often “system rejects” who luckily got picked up in the HCT system, and will no doubt rush to her defense.

·         The weekly schedule sports huge discrepancies in hours, regardless of HCT’s clearly stipulated 20-hour weekly workload.  Mini-bosses sprout like weeds, and every brainwave is entertained, to the chagrin of the teachers who are stuck with the high teaching loads. They are now randomly summoned to meetings, workshops, and even more meetings, by these power-hungry minions, at the cost of their lesson preparation time.  

·         Incompetent and lazy teachersMore than half of the teaching faculty has not been hired by her; therefore the quality of instruction is questionable. Some, being non-renewed teachers from other campuses (i.e., dead weight picked up in the system), have reputations for trouble making to match. Her strategy to appease them, and protect her own position, is to put these half-wits in charge of the competent teachers (who are actually teaching), and a failure-proof recipe for disaster and job dissatisfaction ensues.

·         Failing to get the lack of proper dress code under control: some of the female staff is an embarrassment to the profession.  Properly dressed faculty is frequently admonished along with the culprits in polite, but clearly ineffective, emails.

·         With the looming threat of Emiratization, the new supervisor is in the precarious position of being disposable, and very likely to be replaced, as has happened recently to other hot-shots within the HCT. Absolute power corrupts, and without the watchful eye of an immediate superior, she is in the business of protecting her position. She plays the popularity card, doesn’t address serious issues as she has to keep the favor of her teachers, especially those with “trouble-making” potential. She buckles under the pressure of teachers who feel their 20-hour weekly teaching load is negotiable, relieves them, and loads their hours onto the desperate others, who would not dare to complain as they are either on probation, or awaiting contract renewal. Dishing out positions to any faculty members who might pose a problem to her, she cuts a sad and pathetic figure of desperation.

·         Allowing teachers to earn “overtime” at HCT Proper, although they had worked less than 20 hours weekly at KBZAC. Faculty load tracking sheets should reflect this clearly, although they might be “adjusted”.

·         Flagrant favoritism: Supports those who never speak up about her shortcomings, or the numerous shortcomings in her management style. Those who do speak up have their jobs sabotaged and get blocked in the system. The Iron Lady does not hesitate to use her contacts within the system to block and sabotage current jobs, or those aspiring to work at HCT. Rumor has it that applications will go as far as an actual contract being issued, until she is contacted.


It all gets too bizarre to contemplate. As is with any situation of unadulterated unfairness and unethical behaviour, the rest of the teaching faculty is disgruntled but has no forum to address their concerns. They go through the motions, but are deeply unhappy and disillusioned with their new quick fix boss. Time alone will tell how this will play out.


UPDATE: Some alarming allegations have been made against the ‘meek and friendly’ Valerie McGrath. Her cronies are certainly not rushing to her defense, in spite of her so-called high popularity.  But then again, in the Middle East you shut up if you want to hold on to your job, and don’t underestimate the power of that ill-earned overtime dough, a.k.a. ‘hush money’. 

Several reliable sources have informed us that the supervisor’s reaction to the bogus overtime claims was as follows: “the schedule is not posted on the HCT portal, so HCT has no way to check the schedules and find out the true hours.” 

Therefore, by approving bogus overtime claims, she is draining the resources of a company rumored to be millions in the red. If she is also indeed blocking applications in the system, this means that the corruption is wider, as her contacts in HR are playing along. She has ruined the livelihood of many a good teacher, and managed to hold on to the non-threatening weaker ones. This implies that the fiber of teaching faculty in the company is taking a blow.

However, she is not the only supervisor who has been known to use personal vendettas to block applications in the system; the likes of Jon Orthmann, Adam Bogg, even Maria Mcguire, (since sent packing, Alhamdillilah), have all been trigger-happy before. Clearly this woman is unscrupulous, unethical, dishonest, and abuses her power as supervisor. She may be getting away with her ill practices for now, but karma is a bitch when you are, and as the old adage goes, what goes around, surely comes around.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Suede! I am like Pavlov's dog here, salivating at the prospect of a new post! Bring it on baby, bring it on!

Anonymous said...

Oh yea well ..meanwhile back in Hotel California (T) ... come back Tubby all is forgiven .... what about the new VC's trail of destruction this past few weeks .... security guards checking class schedules against teachers in and out of their rooms.... screw online independent learning ... give them a fricking pencil and paper ... thumb scans ... warnings from HR ... WTF ... get me the fuck outta here ...

Anonymous said...

Wow is that system-wide or just on some lucky campuses?

I wonder what they are so afraid of. There is more security there than outside of the Paris Charlie Hebdo offices!

yogesh kumawat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am quite certain both the male and female students at the HCT have very large "brown eyes".

Anonymous said...

Oh, for fucks sake, get on with it or retire!

Suede Oasis said...

Happy now?!

Still more to come, though!

Anonymous said...

That place sounds like the Dubai HCTs. ... how about a post about them?

Suede Oasis said...

Well, if you (or anybody else) would like to send me some details about the place, I'll be happy to make a posting.

Tayeb Kamali said...

How does Trace Manuel, the Short-Shit Nit-Wit currently exiled out at the Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum Naval "College" fit into all of this?

He's just the vicious little bitch who would find this kind of teacher abuse all to familiar and attractive!

Anonymous said...

Tayeb! So nice to see you!

How is it possible that the "cream" of vicious people continues to "rise to the top" within the HCT?

I would love to understand this phenomenon better.

Suede Oasis said...

Well, there's only one real way to find out - join HCT!

Anonymous said...

The changes at the HCT are something that had been in the works since the fall of 2013. Under the then new HCT management (Sam Shaw and Senthil) minutes of meetings were never shared nor discussed. Topics of discussion were very hush hush. The biggest of them was to install e-gate systems at all of the campuses. This was at the same time as the implementation of the new work hours.

As messed up as the old system was, things were documented in meeting minutes in far greater detail than what they would be now. The system in place now is beyond a joke, and most likely the only westerners that are staying are staying because they are in such debt they would be jailed trying to leave the country. Most people I know that are left are trying to get out. Unfortunately they were the ones partying on the deck of the Titanic wondering why those few of us were rowing as fast away as possible when all seemed to be calm.

The truth is the writing was on the wall when Howard Reed tried to dismiss 20 DMC students for cheating. That's when the iceburg was hit...

Anonymous said...

Yeah I also experienced the trouble that arises when one brings a plagiarism charge against a student. Even with the evidence as obvious as could be, it was still a major inquisition! Against me!

Tayeb Kamali said...

Students at HCT don't cheat! They "help" each other out due to inadequate "teachers" who constantly fail them. THOSE "teachers" should show their gratitude of the patience demonstrated by our youth who, feeling sorry for "teachers" unemployable in their own countries, don't report the "teachers" for their obvious inadequacies rather than trying to frame a few students.

My advice: Tomorrow, when you show up to the largess that we have given you (your jobs), you should thank the students for their ability to tolerate your unprofessional behavior!

Anonymous said...

Now those are some wise words, Tayeb! I think following this guidance could in fact lead to both success, and even promotion, at the HCT!

Largesse! Snicker....

Delma said...

Only a complete fool or a desperate loser would consider working for HCT now. I'm lucky that I got out more than a year ago, before things got REALLY bad!

Anonymous said...

Delma, I think we were on the same boat paddling away. HCT has no reputation internationally other than a low life one which is a last resort type of place to work.

Anonymous said...

I thought the HCT was ranked in the top 10,000 esteemed and auspicious universities in the world! Right after the Bangladesh School of Industrial Safety and before the Chad Institute of Polar Studies!

And isn't it ACBSP accredited?

Anonymous said...

The job has been advertised, interestingly for candidates within the UAE only(snicker!). Cute is the assumption that anybody would want to leave the home fire to clean up this royal travesty. My money would be on her, scheming and conniving witch she is, to have abandoned ship rather than risking a formal probe into her atrocities of many years. Better yet, low lives like this, usually land positions in the upper echelons of other companies, and make sure her sidekicks have first dibs.There will be many within her own ranks salivating at the prospect as we speak! Whichever way this has come about, she has cooked her own goose, and has rightfully been repaid in kind. Woe to her, may she continue to be screwed by her own bad karma" whatgoesaroundcomesaround

Anonymous said...

The karma train missed her stop a long time ago- known to give "phoney" glowing recommendations, only to contradict that when she gets THE call or email. Unsuspecting hopeful souls have their hopes dashed, and WHY would she do that? Because she COULD. Almost twenty years in a position of power can make a particularly weak person trip. She will have much to contemplate in the days to come, hopefully teaching grandkids some of her most previous lifehack gems. Ma'a' salami , golden girl of the Higher College of Technology!

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Anonymous said...

You should look at the place now we the new VC "the principle fron high school" he has no clue about anything and he is bring the house down. He put finger print in higher learning institution the first of it kind in the world and became like factory and should be called higher Factory of dates. He wanted people to clock in and clock out and he does not understand performance, he only understands bodies. All his experiences were in the UAE university with Egyptian and he never worked with westerners and he claims that he graduated from USA with 35 publication that you can't find anywhere in Google. He is making a lot of changes if you are thinking of joining HCT Think again and do more research or you will make a big mistake and carrier suiside.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you the moral in the place is down with the new kid in the block. He also introduced 3 semesters a year instead of 2. He thin the that the professors are slaves like the unskilled workers in his country.

Anonymous said...

I am glad a lot of people are writing about this to let people see what happening in HCT. But I have question do they respect their contract or not.

Anonymous said...

Hct has not paid it's bills systemwide printers all broken.. landscaping dead... is this the way of saving money?

Yahya Hamed said...

Anonymous, you have a problem that you need to see a shrink for help. The VC is a graduate from one of the top universities in the world. Can you tell us from where you graduated,!!!

Anonymous said...

Many 'top' managers in HCT have very dubious qualifications. Many universities are happy to take the cash. The director at a northern campus received considerable 'help' to achieve his Masters and Doctorate.

Anonymous said...

Does the HCT respect contracts?

Well, this year in June, 99 faculty departed the HCT.

Only one received their gratuity and final payments.

No others have been paid to date.

This information is straight from a faculty that left the HCT in June, 2015. Departure was the worst nightmare they have ever experienced.

Yahya Hamed said...

I personally, know two faculty in my department who have retired, both of them received their full gratuity
Add to this three others in different departments that I also personally know. They received their full gratuity.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah Yahya?

So when did they get this exactly? Pre-departure?

And tell me how exactly you:

-cash the final check after your visa is cancelled and ID card is taken back, and your account is closed?
-wire the money abroad once you have the check cashed, if you are so lucky to actually have the check? Of course a wire requires a visa and ID.

It all sounded extremely surreal to me, hearing the story of my friend.

All HR is now done centrally in AD by Emiratis, and as we know they do nothing at all during a normal day, and this year departure was during Ramadan. They were actually doing less than nothing during this period, and paying gratuities is not on the priority list.

The HCT is an absolute disgrace and a shithole, so hopefully you aren't denying that?

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Yahya Hamed said...

Things are changing to the better. Why don't you give the new leadership space before attacking. You know, now it us mandatory for all faculty to authenticate their degrees. Many have chosen to leaveleave. I wonder why!!

Yahya Hamed said...

Yes, they got it before departure, and in full. If not for privacy, I can give you there email to check with them. Please if you have some bad experience in the past, leave it behind and try to see the cup half full

Yahya Hamed said...

Things are changing to the better. Why don't you give the new leadership space before attacking. You know, now it us mandatory for all faculty to authenticate their degrees. Many have chosen to leaveleave. I wonder why!!

Tayeb Kamali said...

Yes! Nothing good has happened since I was forced out! My Farsi heart, as black as it is, weeps for the Emirati children I used to manipulate...er...control...er...support.

Anonymous said...

Yahya, you are full of shit.

And thanks for the recommendation to "leave it behind", but I think it might be better to keep the evilness of the HCT in full view. No need to sweep anything under the rug!

Anonymous said...

It strikes me as a supreme irony that all faculty at HCT are required to 'authenticate' their degrees, as every 'degree' certificate issued by HCT is the most worthless and bogus document in the world of education. And just how many Emirati senior managers have a worthy degree that they actually earned, rather than bought? About 25 percent?

Anonymous said...

mmm that reminds me, I better get some pencils for my exams next week. ... not from the stationary guy either since he got fired ... and we haven't paid his bills anyway ... I cannot have them online since its a security risk? no ... since becuz we ain't paid that bill as well ... despite the word technology in HCT ... aw so we don't have any paper for the xerox machine ?? didn't pay them either .... well shame about that eh. ... maybe if can go across to the men's campus and borrow some of their paper ... if only Tubby were here ... he'd know how to fix it all ... more fireworks ....

Anonymous said...

Amusing comment yet at the same time sad ... what a fall from grace for HCT. I wonder if the Emiratis ever regret the ridiculous salaries they paid to the idiots documented on this blog? Drummond, Jones, Moulton, Ohan et al.

Anonymous said...

Various staff and faculty in Abu Dhabi were not going to get paid this month due to errors in the finger swipe system. HRs 1st response: "they'll get paid next month!". After threats of legal action by unpaid staff, now they are promising to get it resolved by Oct 31.

Tayeb Kamali said...

Listen! I instituted the money...er...finger swipe system and it's working just as it was described to me. If the peons...er...teachers...er...desperate people who can't find a job in their own countries (I mean, why else would losers suffer this kind of abuse?) don't like it, blame Allah!

NOTHING happens without his express approval!

Anonymous said...

Another vendetta-prone administrator is the the chair of the Western Region -- Peter Stanfield. We all saw how he ripped apart an excellent HCT teacher and trapped him out in the Western Region by denying him transfers for three semesters so Peter could keep him out there and torcher him until he finally resigned. We couldn't say anything or complain upwards because we didn't want the same thing to happen to us. And we all know what happens when you complain to upper management -- NOTHING. Watching that was enough for me I left HCT a year later and I was not the only one. There are not many teachers in general ed to begin with. I know of about at least seven teachers who left within a year of that. We were all happy to get out.

Don said...

Hey, this Valerie chick looks a bit of a goer. Does anybody have her email details, or even her cell phone?