EFL/ESL Teaching Japan — More Troubles with Blacklists
ESL Teaching: “Setting the Record Straight”
by James Brown
ESL Teaching — “Bogus blacklist”
The blacklisting of Japanese colleges and universities is an accusation of illegal activity. Pretty strong stuff. The managers of the blacklist have a profound obligation to make sure that their accusations are accurate before going public with them, but although they claim to make “every effort” to be sure of their position, the reality is quite the opposite. The fact is, at least in the case of Keiwa College, they make no effort at all and actually refuse to hear evidence to the contrary.
Let me set the record straight.
1. Keiwa College hires full-time, tenured, foreign faculty members in the same way and under the same conditions as Japanese faculty. I am one of four such faculty members. We are given committee chair and other important responsibilities and have to perform all of the same duties as our Japanese colleagues. Our salaries are based on the same scale as Japanese faculty and we teach the same class load and same types of classes as Japanese faculty. No discrimination here.
2. The Visiting Instructor positions (as shown in the JALT ad) are also not discriminatory in any way. Keiwa College also hires Japanese-nationality Visiting Instructors for the Japanese-language program under the same conditions as Foreign Visiting Instructors are hired for the English-language program. These positions are not advertised in JALT, so they don’t appear with the recruitment ad for the foreign Visiting Instructors. As both Japanese and foreigners are hired for these positions they share the same salary, contract limitations and workload.
The Visiting Instructor position is not a tenure-track position at Keiwa College, just as professorial positions in the US are not all tenure-track positions. There is no restriction, however, on a Visiting Instructor of any nationality to apply for a full-time, tenured position if one becomes available.
There is nothing discriminatory going on at Keiwa College. It is simply good morals to check information very carefully before putting it on something so provocative as an Internet blacklist for all the world to see, as irreparable harm can be done to a school’s image and ability to recruit new staff. For the same reason, it is also an obligation to make corrections as speedily as possible to avoid further damage.
My guess is that if one blacklisting is inaccurate and unverified, the whole blacklist (sounds like McCarthyism, doesn’t it?) should be taken with a grain of salt.