Monday, December 30, 2013

Hi Johnny,

Many thanks for your valuable questions. Actually, I would not have published my post if I do not have clear and detailed examples to support what I am saying. I left #AUM and I have contact with almost all the staff who left AUM voluntary over the past 2 years, actually just today one of the new recruits resigned and did not even finish a three months at AUM. It is plausible that those employees left AUM for mainly the combination of many reasons. Here some of them:

Job satisfaction: no proper utilization of employees’ expertise, abilities and knowledge. You are there to only implement the decisions and plans and ideas of your supervisors and managers, and those all come from one person who is #Mohaned #Hassanin. For example, they decide; without your opinion and feedback, what you teach, course projects, course structure, distribution of grades, number of quizzes, exam structure, course chapters and deliverables etc. In this sense, your sole task is to go to the class and deliver what they decide for you within the courses that they select for you. So your potentials and capabilities in other areas such as research and ideas and project proposals and areas of expertise will not be properly exploited. Another example, they mislead new recruits, especially from US and UK, by telling them rosy words about research, and in reality they do not have any research environment and framework. Mohaned Hassanin, the CLO, repeatedly mentioned that research is not a priority at AUM and that they do not consider research as essential part of their future plans and prospects. This is fair enough, but they need to be clear about that during the recruitment stages and communicate and do not manipulate and create lies.   

Employee assessment: no clear assessment processes and methods and devices. In this sense, over the period of 2 years, for example, they share a very brief  and short summary of students’ evaluation with staff. They do not follow up with staff and set any improvement and action plans. They do not have problem in criticizing you, yet they don’t offer constructive mentoring and help and support. Your managers and supervisors do not follow any clear formal and documented feedback mechanism whatsoever apart from very subjective and informal words that they use to scare and control more the staff.  I reckon that they will remain like that so they can decide promotions and recognitions on a very subjective basis. For example, they do not follow any formal dismissal process.

No respect for job descriptions: no assurance whatsoever that they will respect your job description and contract content about your tasks and duties and area of work. As an example, it is normal that if you were recruited as a teaching staff to be shifted into pure administration and clerical offices without even your consensus and opinion and involvement. It is also normal that if you were recruited to teach English courses for undergraduates to end up in the EPP department teaching intensive English program materials to prepare students before starting their actual curriculum courses. There was a huge scandal recently where they increased the working hours for teaching staff with clear breach to their contracts. Of course, at AUM you will be asked to leave if you are not happy with that.

Pay: for the same position and years of experience and age and background, two employees will not get the same salary. Here, I know differences up to 500 KD (around 1700 $).

Autonomy: as an instructor you lack autonomy and control over your course and you don’t receive professional mentoring and support and encouragement from supervisors and managers. As an example, they inform you what you will teach only 3-4 days before the beginning of the semester and it will be a surprise for you what you will teach because they do not even ask you what courses your prefer and like to teach as part of involvement and empowerment. No evidence for such concepts and theories at AUM.

Management: I highly emphasis this point because I believe that the way your supervisors and managers treat you shapes your future at any institution irrespective of the pay and work. The pay at AUM is among the highest in Kuwait and despite that you find many people leaving them in big numbers, some of them left after only one semester; I know at least 5-7 cases like this over the past 1 year.  Supervisor and managers at AUM only care about quantities and amounts of work done rather than the quality and therefore they don’t value and try to understand employees’ opinions. As an example, they introduced recently academic activities within all the courses in the business school, and the staff had completely different opinions about how to do these activities, however the management did not even listen or ask their feedback. No trust whatsoever in the credibility and qualifications of Mohaned Hassanin and #Sabine #Hoffmann, actually no one knows the background of Mohaned Hassanin or profile or resume’. This brings me to an interesting question: how they landed and who selected them and whether or not there is a clear process of selection.

Changing grades:  you have always to give high grades for students and Mohaned Hassanin and Sabine Hoffmann force inflated curves and increase the grades of students so the distribution follows a predetermined shape. There must be “A” grades in the class even if no one deserves an A, and on the other hand they ask you, actually it happened, to pass failed students even if they failed on 20%, also they force inflated grade curves for classes of less than 5 students, something I find unprofessional and unfair.

My post above is one of many I was planning to publish, but now that you asked I thought it is timely to go ahead with one of many episodes to come. I gave evidence and I am ready to give more. 

I repeat confidently that AUM is not a place for ambitious and professional people.

3 comments:

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  2. Many updates to come still, in the meantime you can email me to aumsucks13@gmail.com and I will answer all your questions

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