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AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF THE MIDDLE EAST (Kuwait)
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17641
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: AUM Reply with quote

dia123 wrote:
I haven't accepted nor applied yet to this institution. I am still in info gathering stage and wanted to hear people's feedback before diving in.

Check out the link posted above ... that appears to be pretty current (July 2014) and suggests that all the negatives posted on the previous pages haven't changed. If there was anyone with current info monitoring the board now, they would have responded. Many of the places in the Gulf like this don't have members here. The obvious reason is that there are few native speakers of English in the faculty - even in the Foundations program. And/or current faculty are afraid of ramifications from management. Teachers have been fired and/or had offers withdrawn for posts here or comments on blogs,

"Facts" on a place like this are rare and slippery. Even if someone showed up this afternoon and posted that there had been a complete turnaround and everything was good there, would you believe them? (I wouldn't... most of us would immediately be suspicious that they were a ringer...)

VS
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dia123



Joined: 04 Aug 2014
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: AUM Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:


"Facts" on a place like this are rare and slippery. Even if someone showed up this afternoon and posted that there had been a complete turnaround and everything was good there, would you believe them? (I wouldn't... most of us would immediately be suspicious that they were a ringer...)

VS



Yeah..... I totally see your point. It's very unfortunate to feel like you are digging to get something that makes sense ! Universities should have their names speak for them. No need for all this hassle.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11453
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dia123 wrote:
Are you telling me to be careful of AUM and the reviews that are sending red flags about it ? or are you encouraging me to apply ?

Yes and no. Consider the red flags, but there's no harm in applying for the position. If you receive an interview, be ready with your questions about the work environment and whatever else has been tugging at you. If you're satisfied with the interviewer's (positive) responses, then go for it. But if there's even just a hint of suspicion or doubt in your gut, then you can always say no if offered the position. If anything, you got to practice your interviewing skills.
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dia123



Joined: 04 Aug 2014
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
dia123 wrote:
Are you telling me to be careful of AUM and the reviews that are sending red flags about it ? or are you encouraging me to apply ?

Yes and no. Consider the red flags, but there's no harm in applying for the position. If you receive an interview, be ready with your questions about the work environment and whatever else has been tugging at you. If you're satisfied with the interviewer's (positive) responses, then go for it. But if there's even just a hint of suspicion or doubt in your gut, then you can always say no if offered the position. If anything, you got to practice your interviewing skills.


Bingo Laughing I love what you said and it makes a whole lot of sense in my mind. Thank you !!
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SirAristede



Joined: 26 May 2014
Posts: 83
Location: Salmiya, Al 'Āşimah, Kuwait

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul exactly echoed my thoughts, dia123. Good hunting!
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dia123



Joined: 04 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SirAristede wrote:
nomad soul exactly echoed my thoughts, dia123. Good hunting!


Am done hunting SirAristide. I got my answers so far Wink Thanks to nomad soul.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17641
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just also keep in mind that in interviews in this part of the world, interviewers way too often tell you what they perceive that you want to hear... not the actual "facts." Cool

Buyer Beware...

VS
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11453
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
Interviewers way too often tell you what they perceive that you want to hear... not the actual "facts."

Buyer Beware...

Ditto that. Personally, I wouldn't bother applying---their empty website was enough of a red flag for me. Moreover, expecting a work environment to go from lousy to good in a span of less than a year won't cut it. I prefer to see a track record indicating improvement over at least two years before I would ever consider applying in these situations.
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dia123



Joined: 04 Aug 2014
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:51 pm    Post subject: AUM Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
veiledsentiments wrote:
Interviewers way too often tell you what they perceive that you want to hear... not the actual "facts."

Buyer Beware...

Ditto that. Personally, I wouldn't bother applying---their empty website was enough of a red flag for me. Moreover, expecting a work environment to go from lousy to good in a span of less than a year won't cut it. I prefer to see a track record indicating improvement over at least two years before I would ever consider applying in these situations.


I agree with you nomad soul and someone has to be super perceptive to be able to pick the lie.

And SirAristide, How can the university build that track record if everyone refuses to apply ?

Rolling Eyes
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dia123



Joined: 04 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:54 pm    Post subject: AUM Reply with quote

Oops ! My first comment is for veiledsentiments and my second is for nomade soul Smile
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11453
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:58 pm    Post subject: Re: AUM Reply with quote

dia123 wrote:
nomad soul wrote:
Expecting a work environment to go from lousy to good in a span of less than a year won't cut it. I prefer to see a track record indicating improvement over at least two years before I would ever consider applying in these situations.

How can the university build that track record if everyone refuses to apply ?
Rolling Eyes

The university's track record refers to its past performance---good and bad and relates to their reputation. Based on the most recent poor reviews about AUM, their high turnover rate, along with their website's lack of transparency and key information, their track record continues to be lousy. However, if I revisit this and other forums in 2016 and see two-years' worth of mostly positive (and credible) reviews about working at AUM, it's an indication the university's track record has improved---that the work situation is better and worth a second look.

In terms of interviews and discerning if the interviewer is simply telling you what you want to hear, you need to pose open-ended questions with clarification. (Ask what's up with their website too! Wink ) Ask about the supposed affiliation with Purdue University. Also, request an electronic copy of the employee/teachers' handbook. If you're told they don't have one, that's a red flag since the university has been in operation for more than 5 years and has had time to produce one. (Many universities post a link to their employee handbooks on their websites, but not AUM.) Anyway, if you get an offer, read it and the employment contract carefully and thoroughly.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17641
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:05 am    Post subject: Re: AUM Reply with quote

dia123 wrote:
How can the university build that track record if everyone refuses to apply ? Rolling Eyes

I know that you weren't asking me, but this is a very good question. But I look at it as... it's not my problem to be the one to fix it for them or to experiment with my life to see if they can fix it.

I can tell you how AUSharjah turned itself around. Their first couple years were very unstable though people were being paid enough to stay at least until contract endings... ie it wasn't bad enough for mass resignations. But it was very difficult and disorganized. So, what did they do? They got rid of the management, which was I believe Lebanese/Palestinian. They went to AU in the Washington, DC, and gave them a contract to come over and get things done. And they did... quickly and efficiently. Within a few years, it was (and still is) the best university in the Gulf - in the opinion of most. I believe that AU is out of it now, but so far it all seems to be holding together. (I doubt that there is any real relationship at all between Purdue and AUME other than perhaps some initial set-up advice that likely was ignored)

Another example is Sharjah University. It had a horrendous first 3-5 years with a Dean that randomly fired most of the teachers every year. Then had to hire more to fire for the next year. Soon no one was applying, so he was bringing in new graduates from AUBeirut. Finally the Sheikh who was at the top fired him and brought in someone competent. For quite a few years, it was a pretty decent place to teach... though I hear that there are some problems again in the last couple years.

Anyway... it is often inability to hire that leads to the axing of the management causing the problems in the first place. But this often runs into the problem of local and family connections...

It's a soap opera...

VS
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dia123



Joined: 04 Aug 2014
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:21 am    Post subject: Re: AUM Reply with quote

[quote="nomad soul"]
dia123 wrote:
Also, request an electronic copy of the employee/teachers' handbook. If you're told they don't have one, that's a red flag since the university has been in operation for more than 5 years and has had time to produce one. (Many universities post a link to their employee handbooks on their websites, but not AUM.) Anyway, if you get an offer, read it and the employment contract carefully and thoroughly.



Here is what I found. This woman seems to have put together an employee handbook and it is supposed to be online. Here is a quote of hers from the link below : " Further to this, I implemented an Employee Handbook, which, based on experience and up to date practice, was implemented web based, and was in place by the start of Fall 2012 Semester. "

and here is the link to this woman's profile . Apparently she worked or still works for AUM.

http://people.bayt.com/hazel-robinson-23001935/#info

My question now is the following, where is the handbook if it's online. I only found the student handbook but not the employee one ????


Last edited by dia123 on Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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dia123



Joined: 04 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: AUM Reply with quote

And here is the link to the student handbook :

http://www.aum.edu.kw/media/cms_page_media/81/AUM_handbook.pdf
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11453
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:55 am    Post subject: Re: AUM Reply with quote

dia123 wrote:
My question now is the following, where is the handbook if it's online. I only found the student handbook but not the employee one ????

Another bad sign. The question you should be asking yourself is how many red flags do you need to see before realizing this place isn't worth it?

Seriously give 'aum story blogspot' a look. (Google it.)
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