BLACKLIST OF JAPANESE UNIVERSITIES

RESPONSE FROM ASAHIKAWA MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

Subject: Blacklist: Asahikawa Medical University
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 98 16:58:29 +0900
From: <bayley@asahikawa-med.ac.jp>
To: "David Aldwinkle" <davald@voicenet.co.jp>, <hnaito@file-sv.asahikawa-med.ac.jp>

Dear David

Your blacklist of universities in Japan has recently been brought to my attention, and somewhat to my suprise I find the place where I work on this list, just there below Asahikawa University, both tarred with the same brush!

Asahikawa Medical College may qualify for your blacklist as far the results of the Gifu niversity go, but the results, or at least those announced on your page, are pretty crude if not misleading. When the questionnaires were sent out, to whom were they addressed, and who answered them. Yes, Asahikawa Medical College has a gaikokujin kyoushi, but that is only half the story.

As gaikokujin kyoushi I have been working in AMC for some 6 years, and I expect I will be here another 3. No previous teacher has ever stayed more than 4 years, through his or her own choice, with the shortest period, that of my predecessor, being a mere 2.5 years; he left amicably due to personal reasons back in the UK. Nobody ever suggested to me that this would be an indefinite job. I knew this, though, before I started.

In fact my contract is not for three years, but for two. I have renewed it twice, and I will be renewing again this October, and again in 2000: I have made this quite public, and all have agreed; providing I do not embezzle the ESS funds etc.

Two years ago we were looking for a new lecturer, to be upgraded at a later date. I was invited to apply for this position but considering the significant drop in salary, I declined. In the first round of applications, a foreigner, ie native-speaker was preferred but due to the poor quality of candidates - lack of papers published, bearing at the interview ( You'd think people would wear something other than a tracksuit at an interview and have the common sense not to denamd to when to know, "When will the position be upgraded to Assistant Professor?") - the candidate chosen was a Japanese national. Incidentally, I was on the interview panel and involved in the selection procedure.

I wondered how long your page had been public: perhaps it could have explained the relatively few number of native speaker applicants we have had for the position of Assistant Professor/ Professor that we are currently advertising. We have had only one native-English speaking applicant, with another eight or so Japanese: all are being judged by the same criteria.

In the time I have worked here I have been treated extremely well and I have no complaints. In the interests of fairness I think that AMC should be removed from your black-list, not only because it might confuse those people considering applying for the currently vacant Assistant Professor position, but also because the information supplied to or presented by the Gifu University survey is not right.

Does everybody really want to stay in any one country for the rest of our lives: why were we lured into EFl in the first place? Sure, it is right that we have the choice, but a school cannot be blamed if a teacher prefers not to take on a somewhat different role involving as much administration as education.

I hope I have made everything clear on this. Should you have any questions I will be happy to answer them.

Regards
Simon Bayley

S N Bayley
Asahikawa Medical College


Subject: Asahikawa Part II
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 98 16:57:38 +0900
From: <bayley@asahikawa-med.ac.jp>
To: "David Aldwinkle" <davald@voicenet.co.jp>

Dear David

This is an adendum to my letter: I hope the last did not come over too shrill and indignant. I am including this as a separate note as I promised to send a copy of the previous to one of my colleagues with whom I have already discussed this matter. He may discuss it further so I would like to keep all references to Gwen Gallagher out it.

Because of geographical and alphabetical proximity, the name of our school comes right after Asahikawa University. The latter's dispute with Gwen gets a lot of publicity in this town, and not all of it good. For this reason, emotions run high, not least with this writer, and the fact that we are 'being tarred with the same brush' particularly galling; as would many others here I susupect.

In general, I feel it more prudent not to discuss this subject at work - perhaps I would not care if I were tenured - but Gwen is supported here.Despite the current dispute, and the tendency for people, everywhere, to close ranks, since April Gwen has been employed as a part-time teacher at our school; there was no opposition to this.

So, sorry to have appeared so bombastic in my last letter. I thoroughly applaud what you are trying to do, and I realise that every system especially at the beginning needs wrinkles ironing out:perhaps you could either change some of the criteria for inclusion on the black-list, or talk to the people involved in the actual hiring of teachers, or the teachers at those schools rather than administration officials who are rotated every couple of years anyway. Or just put a note to the effect that some people like being gaikokujin kyoushi. Has anybody else complained?

Again, thanks for your efforts on behalf; they are much appreciated.

Regards
Simon Bayley

S N Bayley
Asahikawa Medical College


Subject: Response requested
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 98 16:49:50 +0900
From: <bayley@asahikawa-med.ac.jp>
To: "David Aldwinkle" <davald@voicenet.co.jp>

Dear David

A couple of weeks I ago I sent you some remarks about your list, and my belief that Asahikawa Medical University should not be on that particular blacklist. Do you not agree? Could I have some comments on this, please? Would you like another version of the my letter, one that can be posted without showing up alll my spelling mistakes?

Regards

Simon Bayley

S.N. Bayley
Asahikawa Medical College, Japan
0166 65 2111 (2737)


Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 15:29:00 +0000
From: David Aldwinckle <davald@voicenet.co.jp>
To: bayley@asahikawa-med.ac.jp
Subject: Re: Response requested

Mr Bayley, I did get both of your letters, and, to be honest, they have been like monkeys on my back. Of course you deserve a response, and the topic is serious enough that I can't just fire something back. I'm sorry for not being able to respond--I have been in Osaka for five days this past week, and am running off to Tokyo tomorrow for four more. Believe me, my silence is not by choice. It is due to the amount on my plate these days. I'll try to get back to you with a thorough, well-drafted reasoned response as soon as possible. (snip)

Best wishes,
Dave Aldwinckle in Sapporo


Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 14:37:02 +0000
From: David Aldwinckle <davald@voicenet.co.jp>
To: bayley@asahikawa-med.ac.jp
Subject: Blacklist reply (at last) part one

Hello Mr Bayley. My sincere apologies for the lateness of my reply. I have been out on business for much of the past three weeks.

>Dear David
>Your blacklist of universities in Japan has recently been brought to my attention, and somewhat to my suprise I find the place where I work on this list, just there below Asahikawa University, both tarred with the same brush!

This "tarring", as you put it, has nothing to do with any association with Asahikawa University. It is due to alphabetization, nothing more. If I were to follow the rules of alphabetization strictly, Asahikawa Medical would be at the *top* of the list. Asahikawa University, however, has been seen in court to be particularly egregious in its treatment of its non-Japanese faculty, so it deserved, in my view, to be at the top.

>Asahikawa Medical College may qualify for your blacklist as far the results of the Gifu University go, but the results, or at least those announced on your page, are pretty crude if not misleading. When the questionnaires were sent out, to whom were they addressed, and who answered them. Yes, Asahikawa Medical College has a gaikokujin kyoushi, but that is only half the story.

The date of the survey (when it was recorded by Gifu University, anyway) is printed on page one of the jpegged documents. As for when they were sent out, to whom they were addressed, and who answered them, I do not have that information, and do not see how that information is germane to the data as is. Surveys that appear in newspapers or secondary citations do not usually give this level of detail, so I am unclear as to why you are demanding it here. This feels more like critique through pedantics than points of fact.

Let's stick to the points of fact: Is the data as noted in the survey incorrect? Do you have a gaikokujin kyoushi / gaikokujin kyouin contract system without tenure review for foreigners only, or don't you? What exactly is the other "half of the story"?

>As gaikokujin kyoushi I have been working in AMC for some 6 years, and I expect I will be here another 3. No previous teacher has ever stayed more than 4 years, through his or her own choice, with the shortest period, that of my predecessor, being a mere 2.5 years; he left amicably due to personal reasons back in the UK. Nobody ever suggested to me that this would be an indefinite job. I knew this, though, before I started.

> >In fact my contract is not for three years, but for two. I have renewed it twice, and I will be renewing again this October, and again in 2000: I have made this quite public, and all have agreed; providing I do not embezzle the ESS funds etc.

Two years? The standard length of contract for gaikokujin kyouin in National Universities, as evidenced by the Gifu University survey, is three years. So it seems your contract is not only term-limited as originally reported to Gifu University, but also unusually truncated. This further substantiates the claim that AMU has a two-tiered employment system, segregating foreigners only into limited, unstable, essentially permanent part-time status, and shorter than average.

The bottom line is that this situation, as you have depicted it, does not disqualify Asahikawa Medical University from appearing on the Blacklist. As I noted there, any university which enforces a gaikokujin kyoushi and/or gaikoujin kyouin system, with no clear path for tenure review, qualifies for the Blacklist. Period.

>Two years ago we were looking for a new lecturer, to be upgraded at a later date. I was invited to apply for this position but considering the significant drop in salary, I declined. In the first round of applications, a foreigner, ie native-speaker was preferred but due to the poor quality of candidates - lack of papers published, bearing at the interview ( You'd think people would wear something other than a tracksuit at an interview and have the common sense not to denamd to when to know, "When will the position be upgraded to Assistant Professor?") - the candidate chosen was a Japanese national. Incidentally, I was on the interview panel and involved in the selection procedure.

I understand that your job interview staff may have had a few unprofessional-looking applicants for the positions. But to extrapolate that this is because they are foreign, and to infer (by using this as evidence of some sort in this post) that this is a justification for keeping foreigners on contracts, is not only a fallacious attribution, but by definition prejudicial and discriminatory.

>I wondered how long your page had been public: perhaps it could have explained the relatively few number of native speaker applicants we have had for the position of Assistant Professor/ Professor that we are currently advertising. We have had only one native-English speaking applicant, with another eight or so Japanese: all are being judged by the same criteria.

The Blacklist has been public for about a month. Beginning of June, 1998 (whereas the proposal for it went public in mid-May, 1998). Your university was not listed until the Blacklist as a whole went up. Whether or not this has had a causal effect on your number of applicants, I cannot say.

>In the time I have worked here I have been treated extremely well and I have no complaints. In the interests of fairness I think that AMC should be removed from your black-list, not only because it might confuse those people considering applying for the currently vacant Assistant Professor position, but also because the information supplied to or presented by the Gifu University survey is not right.

How is it incorrect? Does your university have ninkisei through contracts or doesn't it? Are these exclusively and willfully established for non-citizens only? And is there a determined system of tenure review for those on contract? I have made my criteria clear as to qualification for the Blacklist. Please make your stance clear on how the university does not fulfill those criteria.

>Does everybody really want to stay in any one country for the rest of our lives: why were we lured into EFl in the first place? Sure, it is right that we have the choice, but a school cannot be blamed if a teacher prefers not to take on a somewhat different role involving as much administration as education.

This is not something that the school should decide in place of the applicant. It is presumptuous. It is like saying that "Japanese don't like foreign rice, so there is no reason to import it."--i.e., "Foreigners don't want to stay in Japan long-term, so there is no reason to employ them for life."

How does it work at your university for Japanese applicants? Under regular circumstances in National Universities, natives can stay as long as they like after they are hired full-time. Foreigners cannot--they and only they have a system of renewable contracts based upon their difference in nationality. Correct or incorrect for your university? If correct, AMU should be, in my view, on the Blacklist. If incorrect, the information that your university gave to Gifu University was apparently incorrect, and I would need counter-substantiation from AMU. Would you be willing to send some?

>I hope I have made everything clear on this. Should you have any questions I will be happy to answer them. > >Regards Simon Bayley

> >S N Bayley Asahikawa Medical College

And I thank you for your query, Mr Bayley. I hope to receive clarification on how AMU's contract system works, and how it is not discriminatory.

Dave Aldwinckle


Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 14:38:44 +0000
From: David Aldwinckle <davald@voicenet.co.jp>
To: bayley@asahikawa-med.ac.jp
Subject: Blacklist reply (at last) part two

> >Dear David
> >This is an adendum to my letter: I hope the last did not come over too shrill and indignant. I am including this as a separate note as I promised to send a copy of the previous to one of my colleagues with whom I have already discussed this matter. He may discuss it further so I would like to keep all references to Gwen Gallagher out it.

I thank you for this follow-up note, Mr Bayley, but I'm not sure I understand the two-facedness of your position.

>Because of geographical and alphabetical proximity, the name of our school comes right after Asahikawa University. The latter's dispute with Gwen gets a lot of publicity in this town, and not all of it good. For this reason, emotions run high, not least with this writer, and the fact that we are 'being tarred with the same brush' particularly galling; as would many others here I susupect.

This association has nothing to do with me or the Blacklist and everything to do with alphabetization, as I said. It is pure cooincidence that your school and AU are geographically, as you note, in the same town, with the same nomenclature. In any case, the dynamics here are backwards. If anything, your school should be putting pressure on the guilty party (AU) to conform with the karishobun rulings and reinstate Gwen Gallagher, not pressuring the messinger (me) to keep quiet and let discrimination go unreported. If your "property values", so to speak, are falling, it is due to factors within your neighborhood, not outside.

>In general, I feel it more prudent not to discuss this subject at work - perhaps I would not care if I were tenured - but Gwen is supported >here.Despite the current dispute, and the tendency for people, everywhere, to close ranks, since April Gwen has been employed as a part-time teacher at our school; there was no opposition to this.

That's good for Gwen. Thank you for supporting her financially.

>So, sorry to have appeared so bombastic in my last letter. I thoroughly applaud what you are trying to do, and I realise that every system especially at the beginning needs wrinkles ironing out:perhaps you could either change some of the criteria for inclusion on the black-list, or talk to the people involved in the actual hiring of teachers, or the teachers at those schools rather than administration officials who are rotated every couple of years anyway. Or just put a note to the effect that some people like being gaikokujin kyoushi. Has anybody else complained?

> >Again, thanks for your efforts on behalf; they are much appreciated.

> >Regards > Simon Bayley > >S N Bayley >Asahikawa Medical College

No, nobody else has "complained" (as of June 30, 1998) about the criteria--only one email asking for clarification has come.

Mr Bayley, again, I don't understand why you are showing such a "Jekyll and Hyde" persona here. In one email you are flailing at apparent unfairness of your employer's inclusion on the Blacklist (without any substantiation of how it is unfair), and in this one you are apologizing (in a "Devil Made Me Do It" mode) for your bombast, thoroughly applauding to show your "appreciation" for my efforts.

Let's be frank. It is my firm belief that you are being "Uncle-Tommed", sir--allowing yourself to be used as a native speaker as a conduit for your superiors' disgruntlement. This is precisely why I oppose limited-term contract system not only for foreigners only, but in general. It allows faculty to be treated like puppets, not like fellow colleagues, open to power games. As you said, "perhaps I would not care if I were tenured". Touche. You make all my points for me, Mr Bayley.

I understand the awkwardness of your position, but please stop allowing yourself to be used as a pawn in this game, apparently in spite of yourself.

Dave Aldwinckle


Subject: Re: Blacklist reply (at last) part one
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 98 11:52:01 +0900
From: <bayley@asahikawa-med.ac.jp>
To: "David Aldwinckle" <davald@voicenet.co.jp>

Dear Mr Aldwinkle

Well, thank you for your reply, I may have got your message, as well. I thought the subject was emotive round here but, by Jove, emotions would seem to be somewhat elevated in your neck of the woods, too.

Thanks apart, I'll reply to the content when I have digested it properly.

Regards Simon B

S.N. Bayley
Asahikawa Medical College, Japan
0166 65 2111 (2737)


(I then telephoned Mr Bayley and talked to him for about an hour. Among other topics, Mr Bayley reiterated that he was not speaking on behalf of anyone else, that his protest and motivations wereentirely his alone, and that he wanted an avenue for his university to be de-listed somehow. To comply, I sent the following:)

Date: Wed, 01 Jul 1998 12:38:04 +0000
From: David Aldwinckle <davald@voicenet.co.jp>
To: bayley@asahikawa-med.ac.jp
Subject: Response to your queries

[Mr Bayley, nice to talk to you today. Please forward this letter on to your concerned parties within the school, instead of the "less chatty" response I sent to you earlier, if you will.]

Mr Bayley, thank you for your queries and qualms.

I understand from your post that your university has opened up tenured positions to non-Japanese applicants.

If that is the case, your university need not be Blacklisted.

If you can fax me an employment announcement confirming (in Japanese or English--I read both) that the tenured position was open to non-Japanese, I will henceforth remove AMU from the Blacklist.

If your university actually goes so far as to tenure a non-Japanese, please let me know. I will then Greenlist it.

I hope that you will find this a satisfactory solution.

Regards,
Dave Aldwinckle


That was the last of our communications.

(click here to return to Blacklist)