I was repeatedly bullied by the Vice-President of a Taiwanese University when I was employed there.
After the semester started in September 2002, I soon found that massive fraud was taking place in the form of excessive grade inflation for so-called students with whom there was an open tacit understanding that paying one’s tuition and merely attending classes, or at least sufficiently being present for the roll call, would mean eventually getting a degree.
Hence, the business arrangement was for students as customers being welcome to purchase their degrees with a superficial pretense of earning them, while faculty members were reduced to being customer service and sales representatives for a so-called university that was only interested in profiting from selling degrees with no interest in quality control.
Andrew Szanajda Associate professor, Overseas Chinese University, Taiwan.
Honesty and Integrity
Personally, I refused to undertake teaching work without honesty and integrity, and therefore failed students according to an accurate appraisal of their performances. The president at that time informed the English department faculty members that regardless of our frustration with the students unwillingness to do what they were supposed to do – study and show at least some nominal respect for classroom etiquette – we must not fail more than 15% of any class.
Do not fail more than 5 percent of students
The Vice-President went further, demanding of me personally on several occasions that I do not fail more than 5% of a class, and impose grades on a bell curve, which he claimed was done at reputable universities, while not mentioning that would constitute fraud. When I said I would not be a party to such fraud, I was told that I would do as I’m told if I wanted “to keep working there.”
Threatened with work permit being cancelled
Despite failing grades, instructor told to fail no less than 5% of the class. He would not be a party to such fraud, he was bullied and threatened with loss of job.
I refused to compromise my integrity after being repeatedly called to go to his office where the same demand was repeated and was continuously criticized for allegedly being unable to teach.
I was accused of being at fault for the very high failure rates and was even threatened with my work permit being cancelled, which would mean that I would be fired and have to leave the country at short notice, if I didn’t agree to artificially inflate grades to such a high extent that they would be rendered totally meaningless while the so-called students did nothing to earn even passing grades.
The same Vice-President repeatedly told me to resign as well as publicly ridiculed me in department meetings.
Forced to resign
After I refused to comply after being repeatedly threatened and forced to listen to baseless false accusations, I was removed from all of the evening classes at short notice and told my contract would not be renewed for the following year, i.e. forced to resign in a classic case of constructive dismissal, and then easily landing a better job elsewhere where, apart from hiccup experiences with a previous department chair who is best described as a sociopath, there have not been demands to inflate grades with in a completely shamelessly and fraudulent manner.