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AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF THE MIDDLE EAST (Kuwait)
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usa_in_gulf



Joined: 10 Aug 2009
Posts: 133
Location: Gulf

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you are teaching, you are clearly available, but otherwise you can research wherever you like without being questioned.


Generally, a person who is hired to work in the Gulf, in a foundation program, is not being hired for their research or research potential. They are being hired to teach English. Even in the US, a research component is not a “normal” required qualification for an ESL instructor.

Believe it or not, international teaching attracts more than its fair share of nut jobs. We can all add to an endless list of the unprofessionalism that we have witnessed; cancelling classes, showing up drunk, not showing up, delivering piss poor lessons, etc etc etc.

Bottom, it’s their playground—therefore, their rules. If they require that teachers are on campus 6, 7, or 8 hours, that is their choice and their requirement. You can accept it or not—up to you. Teachers around the world work in common, semi-private, or private offices and they get work done. To think that a person cannot plan lessons, grade papers, etc on campus is silly. If you don’t like your office, find another place on campus to do your work.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15857
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

usa_in_gulf wrote:
Bottom, it’s their playground—therefore, their rules. If they require that teachers are on campus 6, 7, or 8 hours, that is their choice and their requirement. You can accept it or not—up to you. Teachers around the world work in common, semi-private, or private offices and they get work done. To think that a person cannot plan lessons, grade papers, etc on campus is silly. If you don’t like your office, find another place on campus to do your work.

One finds this rule all over the Gulf (but nowhere in the West that I have heard of) and it is reflective of the employers' opinion that we are only a little higher in status than the sweepers. I personally found it impossible to work in the constant cacophony of the faculty offices provided in the Gulf. (HCT in the UAE being the worst of the lot) For those of us who truly cared about giving their students feedback on assignments - as I normally taught writing - it meant hours of work each evening which was the only time that one could actually think and accomplish anything.

Yup they get to make the rules... but it is also one of those little details that cause unnecessary turnover in faculty... as it helps to quickly fill that other bucket. It is reflective of the poor education management policies that stretch from one end of the Gulf to the other.

VS
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mashkif



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NinaGeo wrote:
mashkif, we have normal 8 working hour days as it is excepted internationally, in universities among them. I've seen in the UK too (not to mention about Kuwait) that the professors stay normal working hours, why is it so surprising? In general, in GCC countries there are a lot of universities that have same standards.






All I'll say to that is: Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
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NinaGeo



Joined: 07 May 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="mashkif
All I'll say to that is: Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked[/quote]


Dear Mashkif,

I would be grateful if you could post the link or any study to justify your shock. Please provide all of us with the official information from any university(ies) in the US or UK stating that the academic staff usually have less working hours than others.

Thanks in advance!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15857
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He doesn't need a study to prove this. In the US, university professors normally have 5-7 contact hours, while in small colleges, they may go up to 10. Few ESL teachers can manage to get more than 15 hours unless they teach at more than one university/college. Then they have 2-3 office hours and the occasional departmental meeting. The rest of the day is their own and they may come and go as they please - and if working on research, are free to do the work at whatever location they wish. So it has always been. Those that work in their office are those that actually HAVE an office... not a mosh pit of chaos, talk and ringing phones.

The fact that you are ignorant of this fact tells us a great deal.

VS
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12296
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear NinaGeo,


"Postsecondary teachers who work full time usually have flexible schedules. They must be present for classes, usually 12 to 16 hours per week, and for faculty and committee meetings. Most establish regular office hours for student consultations, usually 3 to 6 hours per week. Otherwise, teachers are free to decide when and where they will work, and how much time to devote to course preparation, grading, study, research, graduate student supervision, and other activities."

http://science.education.nih.gov/lifeworks.nsf/alphabetical+list/Teacher,+Postsecondary+Nursing,+and+Instructors?OpenDocument&ShowTab=2&

And here's a sample teaching/office hours schedule from the University of Vermont:

http://www.uvm.edu/history/?Page=officehours.html

Regards,
John
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NinaGeo



Joined: 07 May 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John,

Thank you so much for the shared information and links. Flexibility in modern world is very important indeed.

Since we are talking about the flexible work arrangements in the US, I think as per law "there is no central ministry of education, universities exercise considerable autonomy in determining their academic procedures and policies."

http://www.fordham.edu/academics/office_of_the_provos/office_of_internatio/office_for_internati/resources/academic_information_74666.asp

Does practice say the same?

And here's also the example of one of the university policies:

http://www.provost.duke.edu/pdfs/fhb/fhb_chap_4.pdf

Please see page 4-5 for "Flexible Work Arrangment Policy for Regular Rank Faculty Members".

Once again thanks for sharing yoru experience and information.

best,
NinaGeo
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12296
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear NinaGeo,

Maybe I somehow missed the relevant info in the links you provided. I didn't see any mention of specific teaching/office hours (as was provided in my post.)

I'm sorry if I overlooked the data - could you please direct me to it?

Regards,
John
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mashkif



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 129

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NinaGeo wrote:
Hi John,

Thank you so much for the shared information and links. Flexibility in modern world is very important indeed.

Since we are talking about the flexible work arrangements in the US, I think as per law "there is no central ministry of education, universities exercise considerable autonomy in determining their academic procedures and policies."

http://www.fordham.edu/academics/office_of_the_provos/office_of_internatio/office_for_internati/resources/academic_information_74666.asp

Does practice say the same?

And here's also the example of one of the university policies:

http://www.provost.duke.edu/pdfs/fhb/fhb_chap_4.pdf

Please see page 4-5 for "Flexible Work Arrangment Policy for Regular Rank Faculty Members".

Once again thanks for sharing yoru experience and information.

best,
NinaGeo






Sorry to break it to you, Nina, but you're very much mistaken here. Faculty members of a higher education institution are not regular service-sector (or below) workers whose productivity and value are measured by the amount of time they sojourn at a desk or behind a counter. Other than interfacing with their students (formally in the class or in individual conferences during office hours) and attending departmental/institutional engagements, there is absolutely no reason for faculty to sit behind their desks for a specified period of time. Period.

By insisting on mandatory working hours, you are basically making faculty justify their salaries. But you are also creating a workforce that is resentful and disloyal. Right now I have no problem grading, writing syllabi, or performing work-related tasks at 11 P.M. But let me tell ya: If the management forced me to be on campus from X to Y, there's no way I'd lift a finger for anything work-related after Y o'clock. What gets done between X and Y gets done; the rest waits until tomorrow. Oh, and I start looking for another job. Is that what you want?

Face it, sista: Mandatory working hours are NOT the norm in higher education. Not in the West, not in the East. (Or the North or the South, for that matter.) And the reason they're not the standard is that every half-decent institution recognizes that it would be counterproductive to make them such. By forcing such a ridiculous practice on faculty, you end up with people who despise you and your institution, and who are unhappy with their jobs. You don't need to have an M.B.A. in Human Resource Management to know that won't a successful establishment make.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15857
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mashkif wrote:
Face it, sista: Mandatory working hours are NOT the norm in higher education. Not in the West, not in the East. (Or the North or the South, for that matter.) And the reason they're not the standard is that every half-decent institution recognizes that it would be counterproductive to make them such. By forcing such a ridiculous practice on faculty, you end up with people who despise you and your institution, and who are unhappy with their jobs. You don't need to have an M.B.A. in Human Resource Management to know that won't a successful establishment make.

BINGO!! We have a winner.

They not only despise you, but consider you incompetent, ignorant of the standards and practices of your own field, and petty. So, now you know what is behind the smiles.

VS
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12091
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Flexibility in modern world is very important ". Just one ofmany that remind us that competence in written Engliosh is also importnat - especially if you are an academic !

Last edited by scot47 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15857
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
Just one ofmany that remind us that competence in written Engliosh is also importnat - especially if you are an academic !

Laughing Laughing Yes, but Scot... what about spelling?

VS
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12091
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sleppign is nto imprantnat
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12296
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear scot47,

On the contrary, I think that getting enough sleep is VERY important for one's good health.

Regards,
John
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Ashlee Peppercorn Monday



Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 11
Location: Abu Dhabi

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This place has a bad reputation but I decided to go interview as they were insistent on vetting me. The school paid for a trans-atlantic flight out to Kuwait and put me up at the Ibis Hotel in Salmiya. Having been in Kuwait before, I felt bad that a newbie would get the impression that Salmiya is indicative of all of Kuwait City. It is not. The school is far, far away in Egalia/Fintas in the middle of nowhere. Small campus but apparently they are constructing some facilities in the surrounds. Big sign on the buildings that label the place as a College not a University..are they mis-representing themselves online?? The interview consisted of delivering a presentation and being assessed by a panel of two women. Very short process, maybe 20 mins. They keep you waiting around for another hour as they hunt down someone from HR to re-interview you. Then you fly back home. 1 month later have not heard anything from them, wouldn't accept any offer either. What a waste of resources on their part..it's obviously not very well run, the person who screened me pre-interview didn't even take part in this process..Sketchy place! Shocked
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