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Teaching job at QU
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Jayhawk71



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:59 am    Post subject: Teaching job at QU Reply with quote

Hello everybody,

I'm thinking about getting a job at QU as English instructor. The proposed salary is 14000. Does this seem like a good salary? How are the teaching conditions in Doha? I'm currently working in a US university as a lecturer. I have a degree in educational technology but could not find any job in my field anywhere in the gulf area. Does anyone know any university where there are openings in my area of expertise?
Thank you so much for your time!
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toughcookie



Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jayhawk, there have been loads of postings about QU in this forum. It would be a good idea to take a look before making your decision.

To give you an idea, there were lots of problems last year (housing, management style in particular). Things have improved in the sense that the housing complex is starting to look like a place someone may actually want to live in, and thanks to the hefty salary increase.

QR14,000 is a good salary and is very competitive for the region. However, do your homework on Doha itself. It is a vast construction site, with piles of rubble scattered throughout; traffic is not only horrendous, it is plain life-endangering and will cramp your lifestyle if you like to go out and about. The only pretty area is the 5 minutes of corniche along the sea.

Also beware of the health insurance coverage. It really is not an insurance policy. It is a government health card which covers treatment in the only goverment hospital, and it is a scary place (see postings in this forum.)

My experience with the students has been positive. They are -- for the most part -- better (behaved) than most others in this region. The teaching is okay

Bottom line: if you don't mind living in rubble and a dangerous commute, Doha is the place for you!

Good luck!
TC
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Jayhawk71



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:18 am    Post subject: OU job Reply with quote

Thank you so much toughcookie for the info. I did read some threads and I saw that while many people are unhappy about the housing and work condition others seem to like their job. I will discuss the insurance package in due time. Meanwhile, I would like to know which universities have educational technology programs. I would love to teach edtech.
Are you teaching in the English department?
Cheers
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toughcookie



Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I teach English. Can't really help you with the Ed tech programs... Maybe you could try visiting the websites of the various institutions of higher learning in Doha? Try a search in the Education Faculty, or Curriculum and Instruction. Perhaps others in the forum will be able to provide more specific help on this. This is an ESL forum, though, sooo...

Best of luck!
TC
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millie18



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm afraid I would have to agree with toughcookie on the traffic/construction being horrendous - but only relatively. Having lived and worked and visited around Dubai/Sharjah/Ajman - Doha is a cakewalk in terms of traffic and construction, mainly because Doha is smaller (Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman basically being one large extended urban sprawl). Drivers in Doha are slightly more lax about lane discipline than UAE (and that's saying something) but speed and (in) ability are about equal.

Pretty? As TC says the corniche is the only real green space that is accessible to all - some say there's charm in the "natural" Qatar, but unless I'm looking really hard thru my rose colored specs, it's hard to spot most of the time.
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grab-bag



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good things and bad things about the place. Heard a lot of moving and shaking going on, especially this time of year. Good things are salary, housing, Mr. Fixit person. Bad thing is people are not encouraged to speak their minds and must watch their backs. heard about Mr Fixit - he's doing A-OK trying to get things in order and seems to care about people but what about the others in charge? People who couldn't care less about people and their private lives - makes you wonder whether they care about you as a teacher or colleague.

Remember, this is the place with the annual cleanup, fire to hire policy.
Last year over 10% were given the old heave-ho, this year it looks like another 15-20% will be shunted. No other place in the region has a similar policy. Let them explain it. But facts remain facts. Having worked there a long time ago, I remember when people were accorded dignity and respect - nobody in time every got fired for no good reason.
Things are different. Remember, to check about your contract and the non-renewal policy. At least at places like the Gulag you know the score from the beginning. Make sure you are given a straight answer if you ask this question. People who have commented about this problem area are exxed Doha may be dull but it has its charms. QU in my day was a great place and people down there still have good things to say about it but certain policies in place leave a bad taste in the mouth. Could be better, could be worse. But the fire to hire policy is just not nice.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grab-bag wrote:
Remember, this is the place with the annual cleanup, fire to hire policy. But the fire to hire policy is just not nice.

From what I have heard from people there, this seems to be a fantasy that people who were axed for good reason would like to believe is true.

Every university loses people every year... they resign for many personal reasons. And they also get rid of some of what they perceive as dead wood or problem causers. I have found that it is rare for people who are fired for cause to admit that they deserved it. We have all worked with that colleague that never showed up for his early classes because he was too hung over... and when he arrived, he reeked of alcohol. Or the slightly barmy woman who would shriek insults at the students and couldn't understand why they complained. And, sometimes a bit of wheat goes out the chaff just because of a personality clash with management.

But it is really time for those few of you using it (or is it one person with many screen names?) to retire this silly 'hire to fire' line. It just makes those using it look clueless. Rolling Eyes

VS
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grab-bag



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clueless? I wonder who is. As a regional project manager, I am in and out of Qatar every few months and still know what's going on. Facts are facts - if people are not given a justifiable reason for their axing as you put it, then it leaves you wondering what happened. I deal with a lot of the institutions in the region, and am in regular contact with their management - a few places really need some upper level changes others are doing fine. When I am called in to evaluate progams and find unhappy people, I start asking questions - like any projects manager would.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry... I stand by everything I said.

You can claim to be whatever, but... 'hire to fire?' Rolling Eyes

VS
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toughcookie



Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I recall, the original phrase was "fire to hire", which perhaps makes more sense.

It is true that many long time faculty members were given the axe last year. They were all pretty shocked and left quite bitter. The ones I talked to were not alcoholics, nor were they verbal abusers. They were people who did their job, better than some in most cases.

QU is seeking accreditation of its foundation English program and it seems that, in the process, heads are rolling for lack of "approved" credentials; meanwhile, others with "approved" credentials (usually meaning Master's from Western university) were hired to replace them.

Just thought I'd set the record straight here, before this thread -- like many others in the Qatar forum -- gets pulled because of personal vendettas...

TC
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redsoxman



Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now working at HCT - not as bad as they say - some nutters like everywhere else but so far have not encountered any real weirdo types. So far so good.

Had been seriously considering QU at one point. Last spring I was interviewed at the TESOL conference in Seattle by the crew from QU. The job seemed like a pretty good deal. Lots of bonuses, overtime, etc. sounded great. But .... I asked why so many were being recruited - expansion and culling were the explanations. Not too clear about what that meant. .... I kinda wondered about that - heard a lot of people had been let go but was not clear about the reasons apart from the things mentioned on the forum. Anyhoo, I ended up at HCT and like I said not so bad - hope things stay this way.


One of my buddies accepted the job at QU and told me the place is not too bad but the work hardgoing.My buddy says the welcoming committee and arrival was great but now they have to worry about evaluations and assessments.

He is also disturbed about the contract deal. Says some people are really worried and freaking out about their contracts. Apparently it's the so called 'fire to hire' time again and people are really worked up. (you got the wrong end of the stick VS) Rumor has it that 20% or more may not get renewed. That sure is a lot!!


Out of curiosity, why is QU getting ready to get rid so many of its staff again? Culling??? It seems really strange. Just so they can recruit new people? At least here at HCT the situ is clear from the beginning. No one panicking so far.
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moralleader1



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 69
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:31 am    Post subject: Here u go! Reply with quote

Redsoxman,

1) I guess the golden answer to your question (Hire to fire) is simply simple:Most of the EFL teachers that QU hires are really qualified, and if not overqualified, thus they represent an academic threat to the incompetent management/ leaders Evil or Very Mad . For them, let them go by any mean is the ONLY way for them to keep their jobs and the reasons are easy to justify.

2)I guess the only golden solution Very Happy to your question (Hire to fire) is to completely remove those 2 or 3 misleaders (instead of leaders) Twisted Evil and get them out of the system by simply doing a one- continuous evaluation for at least one semester and observed them at least 2 or 3 times a week. The same thing happened last year at CNA-Qatar and the top management realized how the leaders were bad, incompetent and not worth it.

Time is on their side at the moment, but the rope is tightening!
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Jayhawk71



Joined: 15 Oct 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:31 am    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thank you so much guys for taking the time to provide me with all this info. A friend who visited Doha told me that it is a very boring city. I'm just curious how much interaction do you have with the locals? Are there any clubs for people to join? How is life in Doha?
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redsoxman



Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know much about fun and games in Doha. My buddy who works there says it's pretty quiet, not much action. The UAE is great for action - can't believe how much there is to do here. Really amazing. Never a dull moment .... Emirati students are great too - so far. Jayhawk 71 have you considered coming to the UAE?

Was wondering about the contract renewal system up there at QU as the vaugeness about it was the deciding factor in me turning down my offer. Don't know if I have regrets yet - time will tell. (not that much overtime round here) Just found out that the contract renewal system at HCT is pretty aboveboard and transparent.(good news for me as my buddy got me worried about the policy here but so far, it seems reasonable to me.)


HCT system [/quote][In the December before your contract expires, you will be asked to sign a letter as to whether you are interested in having your contract renewed or if you will be finished at the end of June.

Supposedly, if you indicate interest in a new contract, you will be advised (sometimes you have an "interview" - which at some colleges means the director will dangle the possibility of a new contract before you without actually making a commitment as to whether you are actually wanted) sometime between the December submission of your letter (usually around the 20th of Dec) and advising you of renewal or nonrenewal before you leave for break in January. [quote]

This seems fair enough. At least people are asked about their intent. From what I hear there is no such system at QU - is this maybe why the non-renewals come as such a shock??? Just curious. Seems to me having a system like this in place might help people relax about their contracts.
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battleshipb_b



Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my institution in the Kingdom we send out Letters of Intent to all instructors around the end of November. We ask them to let us know whether they want to renew or non renew their current contract. Teachers are given two weeks to reply. If they are unsure about staying with us, they must indicate this in the Letter of Intent. They are then given until the end of April to give us their final decision. This helps us determine staffing needs. Teachers who don't want to stay on say so.

If there are teachers whose contract may not be renewed, we call them in for a personal interview and discuss the situation. We discuss problem areas and how they can be solved. This system is very effective; we have not had to let anyone go in the past seven years. We do not fire experienced teachers, native or nonnative if they are doing their job properly.

QU has a very different system as I learned from interviewing several ex QU teachers. The policy there is no Letter of Intent and no discussion.with teachers whose contracts may not be renewed. Instead
teachers receive their renewal or nonrenewal letter in their mail box.
Very impersonal, unprofessional and autocratic. It is no wonder that teachers 'freak' out around contract renewal time. Our staff would too if we used such a system.

Teachers should have an oppportunity to pull up their socks and be advised if their socks are falling down. Open and transparent. It works for us. In my experience, problem areas can be fixed, we offer full teacher support to teachers who are wearing loose socks. By offering them support, they support us back. A workable and ethical system.
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