Monday, March 9, 2009

a scandalicious timeline

february 3, 2009: dear university president, you a fraud!

after cupe 3903 was legislated back to work seemed like the perfect timing to expose the corrupt nature of the york university administration who stonewalled cupe3903, refused to bargain for months, sent anti-union propaganda to their students(much of which were blatant lies), and then called in their friends in the liberal party to force the striking teachers back to work.

so imagine our delight when the president of york (mamdouh shoukri) became the focus of fraud charges: the newly appointed dean of the faculty of liberal arts and professional studies(which will be the largest university faculty in canada), wasn't all the administration sold him to be.

(from the press release, york university faculty concerned about the future of york university)

"" York University President Mamdouh Shoukri has perpetrated an outrageous fraud at York University. On January 26, he publicly announced the appointment of Martin Singer as the founding Dean of the new Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, which will be the largest university Faculty in Canada. Shoukri, who chaired the Search Committee in a secret process, declared that “York University is fortunate to have attracted such a strong scholar,” described as “a renowned scholar of Chinese history.”

In fact, as the attached letter from distinguished historian of China Arif Dirlik attests Martin Singer is neither renowned nor a scholar. He is unpublished and unknown in the field of Chinese history.

President Shoukri’s fraudulent promotion of Martin Singer as the most powerful academic administrator at York University is a scandal and a disgrace to the academic profession. It is an insult to the York community and a threat to the academic reputation of York University. In any reputable university, lying about scholarly credentials is the gravest offence, akin to misleading investors in the financial world. President Shoukri must resign and the search for a credible Dean for York’s largest Faculty must be renewed, to be followed by a search for a credible President.""

seems fair enough. lies about academic credentials = maybe you don't get that job which affords you extreme academic power because hey, guess what, you're not qualified.

right? when you lie, when you're not qualified, when you try to mislead an entire university community, that means that you did something wrong and should be held accountable?

not at yorku!


february 5, 2009: hey university community, that fraud shiz is not for reals!

so the president is totally caught in his lie, there really isn't an escape.

oh wait, the best escape is always to lie more! out goes this email, but to faculty only this time:

""Members of the Faculty of Arts and the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and
Professional Studies

Many of you will have received email from a group calling itself "York Faculty Concerned about the Future of York University" calling into question the search process for the inaugural Dean of the new Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and the selection of Dr. Martin Singer, the candidate recommended by the committee.

I can assure you that the search and selection process for the Dean of the new Faculty was collegial, democratic and rigorous.

The search process was recommended by the governance group established by the two Faculties to oversee the transition, and confirmed by both of their Faculty Councils. Members consisted of the Vice-President Academic & Provost, nominees elected by each of the two Faculties, as well as two students and two staff members. This represented a departure from pastsearch processes, where the President appointed some of the members. I served as a non-voting Chair.

With the help of Jack Dimond of the firm of Janet Wright & Associates, the committee conducted a wide ranging and comprehensive search - including four town halls to seek the advice of faculty members on the attributes of the inaugural Dean - and evaluated all candidates according to the
criteria then established. Dr. Singer's qualifications and experience were carefully examined in the interview and search process, and he emerged as the most suitable candidate on the basis of his entire professional record - including his administrative experience, teaching and scholarship.

I believe we are very fortunate to have Dr. Singer join the York community, and I am confident that he can lead this new Faculty forward. During the transition period prior to his appointment, he will be meeting with many of you with the aim of learning more about York and the ambitions of this new Faculty, as expressed by its leaders and members. I hope you will join me in welcoming him.

Mamdouh Shoukri
President and Vice-Chancellor""

at this point people are probably reading this thinking, alright, maybe he didn't do what he's being accused of. maybe it's a misunderstanding.

february 6-12, 2009: uhhh.... nope, you definitely lied mr president.

in response to the president's letter, YFCYFU begins to distribute the information and evidence they've been collecting on the appointment of martin singer.

""a man without a past"

It appears that the Decanel Search Committee was instructed by Janet Wright and Associates not to communicate with people at Concordia for information about Martin Singer. It is not unusual for candidates to want to keep their job-hunting from their current employer but in this case the restriction has far greater sigificance. Singer's entire career of thirty-seven years was spent at one institution, Concordia. To try to assess his candidacy without consulting people at Concordia would be to treat him as a man without a past.

Martin Singer has a past. We have consulted with numerous people at Concordia and their opinions, while only opinions, are remarkably consistent. Many have told us that in August,2006, only six weeks into his second term, Singer was abruptly forced to resign as Provost;
he was "summarily sacked;" He was "thrown out by Concordia;" a failed administrator, had lost the support of faculty and deans; "his departure was not regretted by the faculty;" "he had few fans."

As an administrator he was "authoritarian,""autocratic," "arbitrary," and "rarely consulted." His was known as the "imperial deanship." He preferred a "top-heavy power structure" opposed to "democratic practices and transparency," and exhibited "favoritism and vindictiveness,"
He dealt with people in a "brute and disrespectful way,"had "poor people skills," was a "micro-manager" and "obsessed with rules." He engaged in "psychological harassment" of subordinates, had poor labor relations and was hostile to unions. He forced new hires to make grant applications their first year; almost always made the unions go to arbitration on grievances, and prevented the union of part-time teachers from getting a contract.

Of course, all of this is just opinion, but there appears to be a pattern, one that fits all too neatly with York's repressive regime.

Of two things we are certain:

(1) Martin Singer is not a "renowned scholar of Chinese history."

(2) The Singer scam was not concocted by President Shoukri. He was just dumb enough to go along with it

People are Talking:

Decanel Search Committee members have started talking. The word is that the committee selected another candidate and Shoukri insisted on Singer; as well, it seems that Jack Dimond from Janet Wright Associates, who orchestrated the search process, would not allow committee members to contact people at Concordia about Singer! It looks like the fix was in.""

february 12, 2009: president admits fraud


Last week I wrote to you about allegations made by a group calling itself York Faculty Concerned About the Future of York University ("YFC") concerning the search process for the inaugural Dean of our new Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. YFC also made certain statements concerning Dr. Martin Singer's qualifications, and saying further that I had misrepresented Dr. Singer's credentials in announcing his appointment.

As I have said, the Search Committee process which led to the choice of Dr. Singer was a collaborative process whose structure had met with the approval of the two Faculty Councils. The Search Committee recommended the choice of Dr. Singer, who was a legitimate, and indeed natural choice. I asked you to join me in welcoming him to York when he meets with many of
you in the coming months and when he takes up his position on July 1, 2009.

I had not intended to address the allegations made anonymously by the members of YFC concerning my academic integrity, as a great deal of questionable comment is posted daily on the internet. Over the last few days, however, the YFC allegations have been spread quite widely, and I think that it is in the interest of the University that I set the record straight. I did not say
that Dr. Singer was a renowned scholar of Chinese history, nor would he have permitted me to do so. Those words were used as a line in our internal publication YFile, and their use by staff writers was an error in the circumstances. I have said that Dr. Singer was selected on the basis of his administrative experience, teaching and scholarship, and I have no doubt as to the truth of this statement having regard to his curriculum vitae and what his referees have said about him.

I have seen suggestions in emails and materials published on the internet that the proceedings of the Search Committee were somehow unfair or oppressive. This is simply untrue. For the sake of the University and the Faculties concerned, I implore the individuals associated with YFC to refrain from making any further false statements under the cloak of anonymity.

If members of our Faculty or the York community have concerns as to the future direction of our institution, these can be addressed in a number of fora, including in direct discussions with me. It is my hope and belief that we can move forward with such open and constructive discussions rather than being diverted in a negative way.


Mamdouh Shoukri has blamed his communications staff for fabricating the scholarly "renown" of Martin Singer. York's communication czar Richard Fisher has certainly been known to lie (like the time he wrote that Toronto Star reporter Louise Brown and CAUT Executive Director
JIm Turk were married) but he is not responsible for this one. Shoukri is. As a participant in the supposedly rigorous search process he would certainly have reviewed Singer's record. Even the most cursory review of Singer's research and publications would have indicated that he was no renowned scholar of Chinese history. Why did Shoukri let the statement stand? If, after the search, he was unaware of the fact that the statement was false then the search process must have been a sham.

Shoukri points out that Singer never had a chance to correct the YFile statement, suggesting that, if he had, he would have corrected it. Yet Concordia's public relations people have long described Singer as "one of Canada's leading Sinologists" and Singer has never seen fit to correct that nonsense. (What leading Sinologist does not even speak Chinese ? Singer's c.v says he is fluent only in English).

The reputation of York University has suffered enormously in the past months. These are not the people to restore it. Unless York is to become the laughing-stock among Canadian universities, Shoukri and Singer must go. They are an embarassment to our great university.""



Anonymous said...

Hi there

Thanks for sharing, I have digged this post

Anonymous said...

Good point, though sometimes it's hard to arrive to definite conclusions

Anonymous said...

Martin Singer made absolute certain that i could not transfer out of Physics and protected Joseph Shin (a very corrupt professor that gamed the system to force me out). Martin Singer used his postion to extract revenge against ethnic Germans. The idea that this idiot is a 'China expert' is laughable seeing as he made the ridiculous claim that only 200 000 were killed during Mao's time. Robert Hennecke----a victim of Martin $inger'$ concern for Martin $inger.

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