Semester Two began with a flurry of resignations, both of staff and of hopes. Right off the bat, the Indian Wallah who oversaw the HD professionals put out the new ‘Observation Directive’, which was three observations over the year by supervisors. This regime of tireless scrutiny would involve one observation announced per semester and one unannounced over the year. Plus, there were to be two peer observations per year, where staff could be either the observer or observed. Obviously, the staff of ADWC were so lacking in competence they needed to have numerous ‘experts’ watching them teach!
This incredibly paranoid policy led to at least one instructor near the end of the term being observed FIVE times in a TWO WEEK period as the South Asian ‘supervisor’ was so inept at his job that he hadn’t conducted observations during the first semester, save for the new hires, as he was obliged to do in order to either pass or fail them on probation. Of course, all the new staff passed as there were students to teach. Think about it - FIVE observations in a two-week period!
When it came to the PEPs to be done, so much was put on the overworked HD staff that the ‘Supervisor’ failed to meet his own deadline in the 1st semester, and only got around to the preliminary and final discussion of the PEPs near the end of the 2nd semester, thus showing what kind of joke the PEPs really were in their minds. He so completely fell on his face!
Then there was the Ajayaluna ‘celebration’, a programmed event held every year. The HD lackey had so little foresight that he and his right-hand debutante of a “lead faculty” hurriedly assigned roles to their scant staff just two weeks before the event was to happen, sending them in every direction of the wind to run down students who had changed campuses or classes, had been eliminated, and otherwise were unidentifiable as they didn’t have the sense to write their names on their work. Of course, it HAD to be done as we were no longer professional teachers, we were event organizers. What a joke! At the Khalifa campus, incompetence was a ‘trickle-down’ event, and the poor teachers who tried to make it all work were the ones being trickled upon. In any event, the illusion held and the management were seen to be the victors.
There wasn’t to be a 2nd “Policy Council” meeting at the new campus, as a rainstorm had destroyed the meeting room - not to mention shown up the myriad other design flaws in the building. The fire marshal had determined that the building was so compromised that it wasn’t considered inhabitable. However, in true Khalifa management fashion, this applied only to the students, who were of course evacuated. Yet the staff were to be kept there for the entire day, building standing or not.
Then there was the announcement that there wouldn’t be an advance of salary for the summer, as the banking system had advanced so much that we could now draw our summer pay through the wide network of UNB ATMs around the world. Yeh, sure. Once again the management goonery had failed to do its homework, not realising that UNB debit cards do not work outside the Gulf! The unfortunate truth was that the HCT had become so cash-anaemic that they couldn’t even afford to purchase a 2nd refrigerator for the ever-expanding staff at the desert campus.
Later on it was announced that there was to be no annual raise or performance-related incentive. This was later revised, although the real reason was that the Ministry had run out of patience with the HCT in not gaining accreditation system-wide, that they had gone from a yearly/biannual budget to attaching funding to student populations. As more students saw how much of a joke the HCT had become and opted for other resources, namely ZU and private universities and colleges, the money was drying up. Also, the HCT now gets it funding on a month-to-month basis, so the purse strings are taut.
This professional alienation lasted for the entire year, only to be topped at the end of Semester 2 by the firing of a large part of the Khalifa HD staff on ‘Staff Appreciation Day’ - a mere two days before the end of the semester. Just when we thought that the upper management of the ADW campus had reached their personal peak of professional disrespect and contempt, they showed us all how low they could really go.