Why we should not hire him

Dear J,

M talked to B, but could not change his mind.

Here is my take.

1. He does not have a PHD in MIS, so he is unqualified.

2. The school has been plugging him everywhere for the last two years. He was all over the place teaching Finance, MIS, Accounting. Can you imagine anyone commending such intellect capacity to do a decent job in each area? It is a joke.

3. I also checked with several students from my simulation class. These are serious students in our MBA program. All of them have problems with his teaching. They complain that he does not know Finance, only read PPT, and does not teach much. Some were his TAs. He told them he knows how to play the game. He gives easy midterm to secure good evaluations then makes the final harder to fix the grades.

To be sure, you may also want to check with your students.

4. We start late in March. The pool has only 8 candidates. Even among them, there are at least two better ones. Why do we have to consider an insider who has so many problems? Of course, in our school, merit is not the only thing that matters. The school is notorious for letting politics dominate merit. I still cannot believe that the school could let a faculty who cannot speak to ruin students for years.

If we keep operating this way, the school will rotten to the core. And I will not waste my time on these matters.

If we believe in merit, we should not hire him.

Best,

L.

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THE GAME WE PLAY: ON HIRING

Dear B.,

The chair’s duty is to ensure the fair procedure, not to secure certain outcome.

That means, when the law is violated, the chair should call it out, not to remain silent. When the outcome of the fair procedure is tested, the chair should defend it, not to ditch it. 

In all fairness, we all had our say. We all voted. The outcome is to recommend HC only. Whether we like it or not, we shall all respect that outcome. Otherwise, the committee has no credibility.

In this committee, we have seen enough farces. I have no appetite/time for more.

L.

2016-05-21 14.45.44

Day 249, 7PTS, 5.23M

RUN: 0.8MILES, 9.5MPH, 5MIN;
SWIM: 1KM;
LEARN:0:

LUNCH WITH ALEX, AT BARNS, 1-2PM;
CALL E ABOUT THE DISPUTE, WHAT A BITCH, NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THE ISSUE, 30MIN;
TEACHING: THREE CLASSES;
HOLD EXTRA OFFICE HOURS, 11AM-1PM;
WRITE THE NOTES ON SIMUATION, 1HR;

2016-05-21 18.14.46

WRITING 153: ACADEMIC POLITICS 8, HIRING

EG is playing a dangerous game with the group. She wants to push her agenda on hiring, only selecting people that fits her interest. This Wed we had the group meeting discussing the candidates, but she missed it, because it was inconvenient for her. She commutes an hour to school and she goes only on her two teaching days. Everything has to fit her schedule: Wed. is unfit.

Despite missing the group meeting, she sent out email, asked for comments on the list she selects, acting as if she is the boss. And this came after her first attempt to bypass the group: she passed her list directly to the committee chair, only found that the chair won’t consider her list unless it is backed up the group. So she has to go back to our group. But she overreached and acted as the area coordinator, M.E.’s role.

M.E. is fed up with her aggressiveness. He did not answer her email directly. If he did, then we are all playing her game, and she will report to the chair as if she is the coordinator and takes all the credit. Instead, M.E. asks for a meeting, deliberately chosen on her non-teaching days. This is a dilemma for her: although she hates to go on non-teaching days, but since she initiated, she has to agree.

Let’s see what happens on next week’s meeting. One thing is for sure: no candidate of her specialty will be backed by the group.

2016-02-19 00.15.54

[GLACIER, CANADA, 10/2015]

WRITING 150: ACAMEDIC POLITICS 7, THEY SHOULD SAY NO

We had the personnel meeting meeting on Friday, a rare occasion one can actually meet other people in the school. Most of time, people teach and leave; the place is pretty much in comma.

To my surprise, publication is not the dominant determinant ofthe merit cases. Teaching and service matter, too. In fact, CZ was voted down simply because of his dismal teaching, despite his publication record.

But this is unfair. Publication consumes at least ten times as much energy. Yet when publication, teaching, and service are considered together, they somehow acquire equal weight.

And it is just too easy to cast a doubt on any issue. Take CZ, for example. Although his student comments are terrible, his teaching rating is actually comparable to AO’s. But RZ’s remark totally destroyed his case. RZ told us, openly, CZ said he does not want to teach. This attitude problem caught others’ attention, because it resonates with students comments—condescending, arrogant, these have little to do with the difficulty of the subject. In this case, no one can defend him on the subject ground. Indeed, M.E.’s wife was axed mainly because of these kind of comments. Already, M.E. had highlighted all such comments to take CZ down.

PC asked about SH’s service performance. JH implied that she was strategic in committee meetings: she always sided with the side that has strongest voice. J.h. then added that juniors should not sit on such committees. Once in, they are compelled to endorse the opinions of the boss.

This is nonsense, I disagreed, “they should say no.” I did. Why cannot they? If they don’t want to anger the boss, then they shouldn’t complain about the ensuing coercions. It is their appeasement that perpetuates the bully, cultivating the sick ass-kissing culture in the school. In fact, if you stand up to them once, they won’t bother you in the future. But if you give in once, they will push you around again and again. And that is what exactly happened in the school.

So if you don’t have the balls to say no, then don’t complain—you did have the choice to say no, and you didn’t. Now take the consequence.

2015-03-20 14.48.19

[ST AUGUSTINE, FL, MARCH, 2015]

WRITING: ACAMEDIC POLITICS, 6

DIVERSITY is a huge BS on campus. One variant is learning disability (LD).

Two years ago I got my first bite of this BS from our student disability office (SDO). One afternoon one of my students stopped by my office with the document from SDO declaring her LD. The document required me to give her double exam times, separate test room, with no mentioning of her actual disability. I signed the form and asked if I can be of any help of her situation. I also reminded her that taking separate exams means she would be able to ask for clarification during the exam. To my surprise, she took my words quite differently from what I intended—she started crying in my office.

A day later I received a harsh email from the student disability office, listing my five sins the student complained to the office. The email really pissed me off. For one it is students’ right not to disclose their condition leading to the special accommodation request. But it is also faculty’s right to know why one student is entitled to take double time over the rest of class—it rubs my nerve of fairness. The answer from the office can hardly be more arrogant—it’s the UNIVERSITY POLICY.

I thought that teachers must be fair to ALL students, that what to teach, how to exam is faculty’s prerogative. I was wrong: the SDO office, who has no professional knowledge of my field, can preempt my judgment on how to evaluate students in my class.

I have nothing against truly disabled. In fact, they have all my sympathy and respect, given tremendous adversary they must overcome just to get an equal chance in the classroom. Universities and faculty should try their best to accommodate these students, e.g., special corridor for wheelchairs, audio records, etc.

But learning disability is a quite different animal. Its diagnosis is most often in the hands of psychiatrists, not medical doctors. The typical causes including, reading, math, and concentration problems. Because of its subjective nature, LD is subject to abuse by those ambitious but less able students, to gain unjustified advantages–given double exam time as most often demanded. Who can do worse given double time?

Even if such diagnosis is justified, I still don’t see the logic. Why does one’s deficiency in one area, be it math or reading, entitle him certain advantage—double testing time—over the rest? Isn’t it unfair to the normal students either? After all, LD students could well enroll in special education programs tailored for their crippling situations. But they don’t. Instead they choose to go to a normal university because its diploma weights much more in job market.

Here is my problem. If they want the prestige and credential provided by normal programs, they must subject themselves to equal measures. Otherwise, would you trust your doctor who has reading difficulty, number challenged, and took double time to finish exams?  How much credit would you put on such earned degree? (Well, I hope my dentist is in that category.)

Still, I have no problem with accommodating learning disability students if their grades are marked differently, say ‘taken under double time’. But taking undue advantage over others is cheating.

I have only contempt for those who tell others they are entitled to cheating.

2011-10-01 008

[Zion, Utah, 10/01/2011]