[CITASA] [Air-L] 3 positions at Nanying Tech U Singapore---avoid

Tufekci, Zeynep zeynep at unc.edu
Wed Aug 5 18:05:32 EDT 2015


I'm having difficulty imagining a stronger argument against applying for a job at NTU Singapore than this, from an associate professor there:

> It is a common and reasonable expectation everywhere, that academics complay with policies
> established by the faculty they are employed by and do not openly criticize their own
> management via public domains. Being a foreign academic/consultant/associate - one has to
> be even more respectful towards  policies, practices and agendas of the employer. There is a > clear difference between freedom of speech/expression/academic freedom and employee
> loyalty!

This should be especially alarming for researchers in the field of internet and communication--very likely, and very quick to get in trouble with authorities.

-z

________________________________
From: CITASA [citasa-bounces at list.citasa.org] on behalf of Michael Baron [webbaron at gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2015 11:14 AM
To: Patrick Williams
Cc: air-l; citasa at list.citasa.org
Subject: Re: [CITASA] [Air-L] 3 positions at Nanying Tech U Singapore---avoid

With all due respect, while I am not denying the possibility of politically-motivated censorship by the University, It could be argued then, that no jobs with the Universies in China, Russia, Kazakhstan etc. academics should apply for...and no associations with institutions from these countries should be established.

It is a common and reasonable expectation everywhere, that academics complay with policies established by the faculty they are employed by and do not openly criticize their own management via public domains. Being a foreign academic/consultant/associate - one has to be even more respectful towards  policies, practices and agendas of the employer. There is a clear difference between freedom of speech/expression/academic freedom and employee loyalty! As an employer, a University can have a peer assessment system of its choice (just like any other employers in any other industries) as long as this system is within legal boundaries. In this particular case, I may not agree with the NTU's approach...but the call is theirs rather than mine so I would refrain from advising others not to accept jobs with them

On Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 12:37 AM, Patrick Williams <subcultures at gmail.com<mailto:subcultures at gmail.com>> wrote:
I saw Philip Howard's response to the NTU jobs on the CITASA and AoIR
listservs. Just to follow up on it.

I'm not sure where the information that the president of the country
overturned Cherian George's tenure decision came from, but my understanding
(and FYI I'm an associate professor at NTU) is that NTU's board denied his
tenure; there was no overturning. Certainly there were many faculty,
including me, who were shocked by the incident, but there were probably
just as many who were not surprised. I learned very quickly after moving to
NTU that engaging in actions (whether through activism, publishing
research, etc.) that directly criticize government policies could have dire
consequences. But I would disagree that "it is a bit early, and a bit
risky, to invest your academic career in Singapore." The research
environment is lively and active, the faculty is internationally diverse,
and faculty are supported in their work....as long as they don't bite the
hand that feeds them. [Yes, that may feel like a slap in the face to a
liberal academic, but it's also increasingly a reality in higher education
everywhere.]

The Cherian George case was political, but then again people are denied
tenure or fired every year at universities for political reasons. You
didn't do what your dean asked asked you to do once and got on her/his bad
side....you didn't collaborate with the 'right' people in a lab or
department or wherever....you told your students God doesn't exist....such
stories circulate in the US, UK, Europe, and elsewhere as well. Even
tenured professors in the US feel unsafe at some institutions, from
teaching on sensitive issues to not securing 'enough' grant
money...Singapore is nothing special in this regard.

There are many people who don't get tenure at NTU, but many who do. I would
agree that scholars doing advocacy or activist work that would target
Singaporean public policy might very well do better elsewhere. But there
are many scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and communication who
do great work otherwise. Therefore I would add a caveat to Philip's
statement: "If you study communication, technology, journalism, media, or
have domains of inquiry that are culturally, politically, or economically
sensitive, this is probably not a good place for you."  A more accurate
statement would be: If you study any of those things and plan to critique
Singapore governmental policy, this is probably not a place for you." Folks
interested in a job in Singapore can begin by looking at faculty profiles
and seeing what kinds of things profs here are publishing, for one thing.
Or just apply and, if you get a campus interview, ask good questions about
your concerns during your visit. If you don't get a good feeling, you don't
have to take the job.

Cheers,

patrick.

On Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 7:42 AM, Philip N. Howard <pnhoward at uw.edu<mailto:pnhoward at uw.edu>> wrote:

> Alas I don't believe these jobs will be good for many people on this list.
>
> Unfortunately NTU, and Singapore, has a bad reputation for academic
> freedoms.  Very recently the president of the country overturned a tenure
> decision involving one of our colleagues, Dr. Cherian George (phd
> Stanford), and neither his department nor his university were able to stand
> by him.  I was one of his external reviewers and got drawn into the
> campaign to have the university and government respect the usual system of
> peer assessment.
>
>
> http://techpresident.com/news/23575/op-ed-singapore-doesnt-always-need-internet-censorship-silence-critics
>
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christian-sandvig/internet-freedom-prof-den_b_2770033.html
>
> http://blogs.wsj.com/indonesiarealtime/2013/03/01/singapore-professor-denied-tenure-sparks-academic-freedom-debate/
>
> If you study communication, technology, journalism, media, or have domains
> of inquiry that are culturally, politically, or economically sensitive,
> this is probably not a good place for you.  Singapore as a country may open
> up in time, but you probably don't want to be the next test case for
> academic freedom!  It is a bit early, and a bit risky, to invest your
> academic career in Singapore.
> p.
>
> Dr. Philip N. Howard
> Professor, University of Washington
> Professor, Central European University
>      GPG Key: 9CAAEABC
>      www.philhoward.org<http://www.philhoward.org>
>      @pnhoward
>
> **New Book**
> Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up.
> Yale University Press, 2015, www.paxtechnica.org<http://www.paxtechnica.org>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: CITASA [mailto:citasa-bounces at list.citasa.org<mailto:citasa-bounces at list.citasa.org>] On Behalf Of Barry
> Wellman
> Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2015 3:29 PM
> To: communication and information technology section asa <
> citasa at list.citasa.org<mailto:citasa at list.citasa.org>>
> Subject: [CITASA] 3 positions at Nanying Tech U Singapore
>
> As Rich sez, a great dept.
>    Barry Wellman
>   _______________________________________________________________________
>    FRSC                 INSNA Founder               University of Toronto
>    http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman           twitter: @barrywellman
>    NETWORKED:The New Social Operating System.  Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman
>    MIT Press            http://amzn.to/zXZg39        Print $14  Kindle $9
>    _______________________________________________________________________
>
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2015 19:06:34 +0200
> From: Rich Ling <riseling at gmail.com<mailto:riseling at gmail.com>>
> To: AoIR mailing list <air-l at listserv.aoir.org<mailto:air-l at listserv.aoir.org>>
> Subject: [Air-L] Three positions in Comm School at Nanyang
>         Technological   University, Singapore
> Message-ID:
>         <
> CAO5RENCvT+mAsfUcwA5oTtOUAfydYGRVdP16dbD62r5ZeJ1Xiw at mail.gmail.com<mailto:CAO5RENCvT%2BmAsfUcwA5oTtOUAfydYGRVdP16dbD62r5ZeJ1Xiw at mail.gmail.com>>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> Dear all,
>
> There are three positions open at Nanyang Technological University in
> Singapore. There is a Full and an Asst. Prof. position in the area of ICT
> and an Asst. position in Integrated Marketing Communication.
>
>
> http://www.ntu.edu.sg/ohr/career/CurrentOpenings/FacultyOpenings/WKWSCI/Pages/index.aspx
>
> The University is very dynamic. It is rising in the rankings and it is a
> great place to work.
>
> --
> Rich L.
>
>
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