We decided to release the agreement between the Institution and #Purdue. Along with it, we are asking some questions.
Purdue is supposed to have an advisory relationship with the Institution. Was Purdue’s opinion asked on a sylabus that is over 12 pages in length and contains spelling and grammar mistakes? Was Purdue’s opinion asked when it came to the recruitment of below average faculty and the firing of top-notch faculty? Why are not job applications to the Institution run via Purdue’s recruitment portal as for other American-affiliated universities in the Middle East? Where are the “North American standards” referred to in this agreement? Is tracking attendance at 8 am sharp, time spent in the loo, and a military regime a measure for a North American standard?
Which courses at the Institution are implemented with Purdue approaches? Professors claim to teach outdated courses with outdated books, and are limited or censored in the use of materials. How does the admissions system guarantee a North American standard? Is there transparency in the admission tests rolled out by the Institution? Do professors know what kind of tests these are and what their content is? Who grades these? Who decides on the pass grades?
How is the Institution helping #Purdue with research? Have any students benefited from study abroad schemes in relation to #Purdue? Have any of them been to #Purdue? What about faculty? Any exchanges carried out for teaching and research? What kinds of training on the job does Purdue provide to staff and faculty? What are the joint educational developments, women programs and other initiatives mentioned in this agreement? Why is there no trace of them at the institution?
We would like to know, on behalf of all workers at the Institution, what is done with the money that goes out to Purdue. We would like to have genuine transparency and demand to see evidence of ethical use of these funds. While the present Provost demands accountability for coming at 8 am sharp and gives out warnings for 5 minutes lateness, we demand accountability for the amounts in US dollars mentioned in this agreement.
Why hasn’t this agreement been made public? What is the anature of the other agreements that exist between the two institutions? The Institution calls itself student-oriented. In what respect is this agreement honoring students when the Purdue name and logo cannot be used on their certificates and diplomas? Why is the logo use limited to marketing materials? Is this not an unethical manipulation of the truth?
We demand evidence as to the non-discrimination on gender, race and specifically passport country at #AUM. For this we demand the public release of the salary scales and every teaching and nonteaching staff member at the Institution. We demand to know how the calculation of the salary is done and why faculty with 20 years of teaching have a lower salary than faculty with 5 years of teaching. Is this based on nationality? If this agreement guarantees nondiscrimination on the basis of religion, why is there no Christmas break for faculty while there is one for students?
These are some of the questions that can be asked by reading this agreement. There are many others. #AUM should realise that there is a need for a complete overhaul of its structures and practices, including academic freedom and managerial honesty. It is high time it started enforcing the transparency it claims to have.