The Blacklist of Japanese Universities (http://www.debito.org/blacklist.html), where listed institutions have a history of offering unequal contracted work (not tenure) to its full-time faculty (usually foreign faculty) has just been updated.
Substantiated by a recent job advertisement in the Chronicle of Higher Education, brand-new Akita International University (founded in 2004) has been added with the following writeup:
NAME OF UNIVERSITY: Akita International University (Private)
LOCATION: 193-2 Okutsubakidai, Yuwa, Tsubakigawa, Akita-City, Akita
EMPLOYMENT ABUSE: Despite wanting PhDs (or the equivalent) for faculty, AIU offers 3-year contracted positions with no mention of any possibility of tenure, plus a heavy workload (10 to 15 hours per week, which means the latter amounts to 10 koma class periods), a four-month probationary period, no retirement pay, and job evaluations of allegedly questionable aims. In other words, conditions that are in no visible way different from any other gaijin-contracting “non-international university” in Japan. Except for the lack of retirement pay.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION: Job advertisement in the Chronicle of Higher Education, dated September 2, 2006. http://chronicle.com/jobs/id.php?id=0000469416-01 (archived on the Blacklist at http://www.debito.org/aiudata.html). Other unofficial sources of dissent available on the Chronicle’s forums (links may obsolesce) at http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php?topic=28632.0
Sad to see, given that this “revolutionary” university has the following mission statement (from their website at http://www.aiu.ac.jp/cms/index.php?id=23):
“In today’s globalized world, peaceful solutions to a wide range of serious problems require unusual capacities to understand and respect diverse values and to assume world perspectives. AIU aims to contribute to world peace by educating young people through a unique, liberal arts education and a heavy international focus.”
The university might help its value diversity and strong liberal arts education by offering its well-educated faculty more secure jobs, for a start. Instead, it’s just going down the same path of other Japanese universities–contracting all its foreigners.
Ironically, the “revolutionary” thing about this university is that apparently nobody has tenure there–contract work applies to Japanese too.
Why contracted work is in fact problematic; links to essays from:
September 11, 2006