Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on July 9th, 2007
The Blacklist of Japanese Universities (http://www.debito.org/blacklist.html), where listed institutions have a history of offering unequal contracted work (not permanent “academic tenure”) to its full-time faculty (usually foreign faculty), has just been updated for the season.
Joining the 100 universities blacklisted are two new entrants, as follows:
BLACKLIST OF JAPANESE UNIVERSITIES
NAME OF UNIVERSITY: Chugoku Gakuen University and Junior College (Private)
LOCATION: Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture, west of Osaka.
EMPLOYMENT ABUSE: “Chugoku Gakuen has discriminated against its native speaking English teachers for many years and thus deserves to be placed on the blacklist. Although racial discrimination is not a crime in Japan, it is still intolerable. Neither myself nor my two immediate predecessors were able to attain working conditions on a par with the Japanese faculty. Academic credentials, publications, experience, and student evaluations have had no bearing on our position. I feel that have been discriminated against for years, and now, after seven one-year contracts, have been presented with a terminal contract. To date no one has been able to provide me with a reasonable explanation as to why I am treated differently. I have been refused promotion from lecturer to assistant professor although most other faculty are promoted after three years and generally become associate professor after five. The most recent reason is that since my Japanese is weak I cannot be on committees. Strangely enough I have been on one committee for the past seven years. I was also told repeatedly that my Japanese skills or lack thereof was not a problem, and when I offered to attend classes if that would help my situation I was told directly by the president at the time that I would never change salary or position no matter what level Japanese proficiency I attained. This year I did receive a salary increase (roughly 2% per annum if factored over my period of employment), but this came with the terminal contract. It is worth statiing that my two predecessors were capable Japanese speakers and faced the same barriers as myself. The school is now involved in an ongoing labor dispute with me and my union (EWA). The school has become a hotbed of cronyism since a new president entered the picture last year. To the disgruntlement and amazement of many faculty members, he has appointed a friend with almost no teaching experience and publications as a full professor. This is only one of the many positions filled without open competition or public posting of open positions. Please add this facility with its opaque policy making and discriminatory hiring practices to your blacklist.”
SOURCE OF INFORMATION: Richard “Cabby” Lemmer, faculty member at that institution.
NAME OF UNIVERSITY: Hokkai Gakuen University (Private)
LOCATION: 4-1-40 Asahimachi, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo 062-8605 JAPAN
EMPLOYMENT ABUSE: Nonrenewable 3 year contract for “position for a full-time native speaker of instructor of EFL”. Required to teach 10 lessons per week Monday to Saturday 9am – 9pm. Classes may include content-based EFL as well as all levels of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Materials development and other program-related activities will also be included in the duties. (Basically, you are required to do everything they ask). They expect a MA or PhD and in return offer a dead-end position offering a mere 4.4 million yen salary per year. Yet they also offer a similar position in the same department in Japanese with permanent non-contracted tenure and without any requirement of a PhD, which means they keep qualified foreigners disposable and tenure less-qualified Japanese. Sounds like a truly egalitarian place to work. Contact point for the throwaway English position: firstname.lastname@example.org (Takehiko Kurihara)
SOURCE OF INFORMATION: JREC-IN website job advertisement ( http://jrecin.jst.go.jp/seek/SeekTop?fn=1&ln=1, DATA NUMBER : D107070218). Human Science Jobs – Advertised on July 7th 2007. (See entire advertisement archived here)
But there is also some good news. For the first time in the ten-year history of the Blacklist of Japanese Universities, the following has happened:
GREENLIST OF JAPANESE UNIVERSITIES
NAME OF UNIVERSITY: International Christian University (Kokusai Kirisuto Kyou Daigaku) (Private)
LOCATION: Mitaka, near Tokyo
GOOD EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE: Has many tenured Non-Japanese faculty, and also a functional tenure review process for those full-timers on contracts to eventually become tenured faculty.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION: A personal on-site investigation by the Blacklist Moderator, Arudou Debito, who met with several ICU faculty and Dean William Steele in April 2007, who substantiated the above. NOTE: ICU was for many years on the Blacklist, but has become the first university in the decade-long history of the Blacklist to not only be Greenlisted, but be permanently removed from the Blacklist as well. Congratulations, and thanks for your cooperation.
If you would like to make a submission to the Blacklist or the Greenlist are welcome. Application is at http://www.debito.org/blackgreenlistapp.html. I welcome input. For example, if you find some job advertisement which proves a university qualifies for either list, please send me the text, save me some time by rewriting the pertinent data as per the Blacklist entry format sbelow, and a link. Please try to keep sources as close to primary as possible. Thanks.
Arudou Debito in Sapporo