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Links of Interest

- Three Wise Monkeys has some stuff on the case of Michael Foster, formerly a professor in Korea who seems to have had a bad experience. Or the school with him. I have no idea, as I wasn’t there. Suffice it to say, it’s always interesting to see how the story is told, depending on who’s doing the telling.

- So, Americans and Canadians in Korea might not be that violent after all? Matt was kind enough to link to a pdf of the entire report for you to read at your leisure.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • Creo69

    Why don’t Koreans just cook and eat the next three or four foreigners that show up at their door step…wouldn’t this be a preferable way to rid the country of them?

  • Cloudfive

    Lee Chae Young says, “no thanks” to mad cow and cholesterol.

    http://static.allkpop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/20120616_leechaeyoung_twitter.jpg

  • PortaJohn

    Does the US state department still have an official position statement that recommends Americans simply do not teach in Korea?

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.schmidt.969 Harvey Schmidt

    Michael Ryan Foster (or his Korean lawyers) should have known that Korean Labor Law does not apply to Private universites in Korea. Private universites (http://english.kcue.or.kr/member/member_01_01.php?page=14&fcode=&tcode=&area=&name= ) follow the rules of the Private School Act of Korea. He should have not resigned, it only weakened his position. His pension would be regulated by the KTPF as per the articles of the Private Education Act of Korea).

    It sounds as if Michael recivied terrible legal advice.

    One recent decision for the non-renewal of an E1 visa holder (sorry don’t know names or details) was awarded 65,000,000 won. This was still under the probationary term of his emplyment and before Artcile 54-4 of the Private School Act was breached.

  • Scared_Silent

    I’ve got a story that shakes me out of my sleep at night. The level of fraud at my university was off the charts. You name it, I saw it, and I have documentation. These universities are frauds.

  • Scared_Silent

    Yes and no. The U.S. Department of State has a different warning from the one at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.

  • Scared_Silent

    What if I wrote the exhaustive narrative of my experience? How much time am I looking at?

    I will say that I’m a husband and a father. My wife is Korean, and my children, born in Korea, are Korean American. My American friends and family have implored me to let it go. The university has threatened me with criminal prosecution, and the university president’s connections are too strong. I’m looking forward to 2MB leaving tomorrow.

    I suspect that some of you might think I am trolling, but in as much as I can assure you, I am not. I think my statement is credible on the face of it because this is Korea. I would never believe this about any American or western university. Someone, somewhere at the university would say “WTF?” The reality is that I would just have to hand the documents to the student newspaper, and the Woodward and Bernstein wannabes would cut their teeth and bring down a university president.

    I have feared for my safety. I certainly fear for my young children’s legacy in Korea. The few colleagues at my current university who know tell me that I will probably have to leave Korea. I will certainly lose my job and become unemployable here.

    Still, so that I could put this behind me, how much time would I be looking at?

  • creo69

    Korea is rotten to the core…every day the papers are full of Mr. Kim and Mr. Lee getting their fat little fingers caught in the cookie jar…still need at least two generations to die off in that country.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    To me, here is the most important point: KU says Foster did not teach for six weeks in second semester of 2011, failed to show up for the first four weeks of the first semester of 2012, and skipped the second semester of 2012 entirely.

    According to Foster’s account, he did not tender his resignation until November 2012. So why did Foster not show up for classes that he was supposed to teach? Foster’s account is long on what happened with other people, and short on what happened to HIM, especially in the period between late 2011 to early 2012.

    I got no dog in this fight, but if Mr. Foster wants to make his case, he had better address this point head-on.

  • dlbarch

    Whatever one’s thoughts on the Foster 사건, he does get off the best line: “You couldn’t pay me enough to go back to South Korea.”

    And I’ll leave it at that.

    DLB

  • Knoxfielding

    My guess is that Foster is sensitive and eccentric and all too willing to share his views with the Korean world. Thus, he turned loon, overestimating his position, rather than keeping quiet until he could best remove himself, and left a giant cum stain of a drama as his legacy here.

  • creo69

    He would be better off never looking back and would have been much better off had he not been dumb enough to follow a woman to Korea…could have just skipped the part of his life where he had to deal with a society of drunken adults acting like children and went directly to New York. But, I guess we all need stories to share at the bar. I’ll never understand how people can expect to go to Korea and live a civilized life with people who are at war with themselves over their fragile egos.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    I am not going to hazard a guess about Mr. Foster’s mindset. You, on the other hand, are a miserable piece of excrement. Go find another country to shit on, will you?

  • creo69

    Why is this such a special line? I’d say it’s a standard sentiment of the majority of westerners who depart Korea and something they repeat each time they turn on the news to see the most recent episode of the inner peninsula pissing match.

  • Scared_Silent

    I am not a new reader of this blog, and I am certainly not new to Korea. I know all the regulars, the inside jokes, what most of you do based on your writing, and the angles you come from.

    The difference between me and everyone else who has these stories is that I’ve got documentation and witnesses, and I had access to the highest levels at the university. Another difference is that the institution has interchange with American and other foreign institutions. I thought about tackling it from the American angle.

    Let me say this flat out: Koreans’ constitutional right to (false) reputations is a bitch. I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my life.

  • creo69

    The Korean…I’ll never understand why you’re so easily offended by the truth..Koreans are a bunch drunks with huge egos. Maybe you’d prefer I lie for your benefit and start to refer to them as sensitive and social drinkers…not going to happen…the truth is what it is. The simple solution would be for Koreans to change their behavior if they ever hope to be respected. Of course when you live like a feakin cult I doubt you much care what the rest of the world thinks.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    The fact that you wrap your racist bigotry with the word “truth” is precisely why I find you to be a miserable piece of excrement.

  • Scared_Silent

    I read Prof. Foster’s account here: http://thethreewisemonkeys.com/info/mfop.htm . I didn’t see the line you quote.

    Regardless, his story is a walk in a Korean park compared to mine, and I would gladly trade for it.

  • Boo hoo hoo

    Deal with it.

  • dlbarch

    The first bullet point on the 3WM site takes one to this:

    http://r80liona.blogspot.com/2013/01/in-south-korea-foreign-professors-can.html

    The Foster quote is in the last paragraph.

    BTW, I’ve actually had pretty good employment experience in Korea, even in those jobs that “didn’t quite work out.” I’ve certainly always enjoyed my time there.

    But I still appreciate Foster’s sentiment. My own view is that Korea is a younger man’s game. At a certain point in one’s career, quality of life desires draw one to nicer pastures. He’s probably better off where he is now.

    DLB

    P.S. You should think about sharing some of those stories of yours on MH!

  • Scared_Silent

    DB, I have much more than that and the documentation affects much more.

    I have decided that I am going to write the exhaustive narrative with complete documentation. What I will likely do is “send” the info to a “blogger” who can post it in a different jurisdiction, most likely the U.S. From what I’ve read, I can’t publish this stuff, but a reporter can. It’s ridiculous in the day of the citizen blogging reporter.

    Unfortunately, I genuinely fear for my family’s safety if my identity gets out. I accept that my academic career and any job prospects here will be finished. I worry for my family in the short term from nutizens and in the long term because my children will be the children of “that guy”.

  • ChuckRamone

    do you wish you could drink, too? you’re probably the type to have half a beer and pass out.

  • Mr. Yu

    I have taught at America universities for nearly 30 years (I’ve also been an exchange professor in Korea and China) and I can tell you with absolute certainty that a 1-st year, un-tenured assistant professor who did not show up to class for 4-6 weeks of a semester without their chairman’s permission and then told their dean that they had no right to question them about their whereabouts……………… would not be around for a second year. Also, never think that western universities cannot have petty, vindictive and corrupt cultures.

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    My point exactly. Foster complains much about the tone of the dean, but holy crap, if I just didn’t show up to my job for 10 weeks in a row, the tone of my boss would be the least of my worry. As it stands, his account is just bizarre.

  • Mr. Yu

    Most (but not all) of the warnings have to do with private hagwons and such, not major universities. The main problem is that too many westerners think that teaching (anything) in Asia is going to be easy. Even in the best of situations, working in a foreign national and organizational culture is difficult and too many westerners think that they are some sort of secular missionary sent to reform the locals to “modern” standards. If that is your attitude, no wonder your colleagues resent you.

  • Bob Bobbs

    He’s ‘never been so scared in his life.’ He is at home, not being chased by men with guns. What a drama queen.

  • yangachibastardo

    So what are you doing there ?

  • yangachibastardo

    Since you brought it up ;)

  • ChuckRamone

    It probably is the scariest thing that’s ever happened in his safe life. #firstworldproblems

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    I had tenure at one university here in Korea and lost it when the university reinterpreted its rules to say that no foreigner could have tenure. I learned from a couple of Korean professors there that the reinterpretation came about because the Chinese language department wanted to get rid of a tenured Chinese woman and replace her with a Korean.

    I was sorry to lose tenure and its perks, but I had never taken that status there very seriously because I thought little of a tenured spot that would be awarded before a professor had been proven a scholar by publications. The irony was that by the time I left that university, I was publishing above what was expected. I actually deserved tenure at the time it was taken away.

    There is obviously massive fraud in Korea’s universities. No one can deny that when we’ve seen three education ministers in the past decade admit to plagiarizing their doctoral thesis. But the scholarly standards are rising, and I personally know several exceptional scholars here — and I mean Koreans — some of the brilliant, even profound.

    My life here in Korea has not been easy, but life never was. I’ve been on my own since 18, no financial support from family because they had none to provide, and I can sincerely state that my life here has treated me better than life anywhere I’ve lived. I have a standard of living that satisfies me, and my academic situation is acceptable. I’ll never be the great scholar I wanted to be, but that’s not entirely Korea’s fault; rather, it’s more my own for not following an orthodox academic path in the States and not sounding politically correct enough in my opinions to be inoffensive.

    I therefore make do. Teach as best I can. Publish what I can. Not expect too much. Not give up in misfortune. Stand it like a man.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Jang

    You don’t know what racism is and should stop stop pulling out the race card so often. This is what you stupidly said a couple days ago…” Say, weren’t there some racists who would claim that the Chinese would
    blindly vote Jeremy Lin into the All Star starting lineup?”

    If I were to predict S. Korea will lose every WBC game this year would I be a racist?

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    No. And the fact that you even had to ask the question shows that you are the one who doesn’t understand what racism is.

  • Jang

    I was mocking your stupid claim that there were “racists” on the MH predicting that Chinese people would vote in Lin. You don’t know English well.

  • yangachibastardo

    Ritual cannibalism of the whiny expat ? Not a bad idea at all !

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    You are terrible at this “mockery” business–likely because you don’t understand what is racist, and what is not.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    The simple solution would be for Koreans to change their behavior if they ever hope to be respected.

    I’m sure there are plenty of Koreans who’d suggest the same simple solution to Korea’s foreign community.

  • http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal ZenKimchi

    And some foreigners would say the same…

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    True dat.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    The real meat of the employment rules at Korean universities comes from the processes detailed in the Public Education Officials Act, which governs faculty appointments at national universities and applies mutatis mutandis to private universities. However, to my understanding — bear in mind, I hang up on English teachers and belligerent professors, and therefore have no experience with their disputes — these laws applicable to universities supplement other labor laws rather than preempt them entirely.

    I’m sure that Foster received terrible legal advice, of course, but I am not convinced that Harvey Schmidt has identified the reason why we can so surmise.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    But Yes! to shaving the bones of her face into looking like one of the Greys.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    It remains my official position statement. That said, my own experiences have been positive.

  • aligner

    Jeffery – yours is an admirable story, and you are an admirable person. I am deadly serious. But tell me, are you able to sleep tranquilly at night, and can you really be at peace with yourself and the world around you here? I believe you are doing your best to stay positive and grateful for what life has given you, and it is indeed the best approach if one chooses to make Korea his home. But does it really work? I side more with DLB on this issue, but I admire your approach as well – if it really works? I just see so few people like you in Korea. In the end, it appears most foreigners leave before their 50s, or sink into (unbeknownst to themselves) a life of alcoholism and debauchery. Of course the very wealthy foreigners are able to keep somewhat out of the fray, but they most likely have homes overseas they can escape to for periods when the urge arises.

  • aligner

    Of course I mean your approach to living in Korea is admirable – not what happened to you at universities here.

  • Scared_Silent

    I assume that you are referencing my quote. You know nothing about me or my situation. My family was evicted with a knock on the door. The university withheld my pay, severance, pension, letter of termination, certificate of employment, threatened to ruin my professional reputation with everyone they could reach, and the university president put his stamp on papers to in effect order my criminal prosecution.

    I did nothing wrong. I only reported to him widespread fraud and refused to sign off on it or cover it up. I even offered my resignation. Twice. In fact he agreed he agreed with me assessment and told me that people would be “reassigned”, but asked me to wait until the end of the semester because of the politics of Korean culture

    I still have nightmares and difficulty sleeping. I was out of here, and they asked me to stay. I have spent more time and money, hurt my health, lost my academic career and the program I was in. I can no longer afford to retire. I can no longer pay for my kids’ future educations. I have an incredible amount of documentation evidencing academic and financial fraud. Is anyone here surprised that there is academic and financial fraud at a Korean university and at an organizational level?

    I will say this from what I’ve seen online on these message boards. The Korean netizens of course blame the waegukin, and they are uniform, unyielding, and threatening in their derision. The part that gets me is the ex-pats like you who will belittle those of us who are in these situations.

    If you have been here long enough, Mr. Bobbs, you would know that my children will be ruined in the long run. In the short run, they have the power to separate me from my family. So, yes,, I’ve never been so scared in my life.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Are you Michael Foster? If not, are you a police officer? If not, stop trying to expose fraud and go to work.

  • Scared_Silent

    Mr. Koehler, I see that you often make such comments about foreigners in defense of Koreans. I don’t mean this to be disrespectful, but your reply is a logical red herring. Still, what circles do you run in that you see so many foreigners behaving so badly?

    Although I suppose such foreigners exist, I don’t know them personally. My colleagues were highly educated, dedicated professionals who conducted themselves professionally at work and with integrity in their private lives. Most of my colleagues could tell a first hand horror story, and those who couldn’t knew someone who could.

    I often think that because you use your real name and host this blog, that you have a need (as in interest, as in stake) in wanting to defend hypothetical Koreans. I am married to a Korean, and my children are Korean. I do not hate Korea. After six years of living in Korea, I am stunned by the “cultural differences” that I encounter in my dealings with Koreans and the “cultural differences” in how they treat each other.

  • Scared_Silent

    No, I am not. My experience makes his look minuscule. His situation, which I just found yesterday, was self-contained, and the particulars really only affected him personally. My situation affected staff, students, and foreign institutions.

  • Ex-prof

    I have taught at one smaller university here and I would say that you could not watch your back well enough in the event that some faction within the university decides that they want to target you.
    I learned enough to know I will never take a position with a university here ever again and will stick with the private sector.

  • 코리아

    It can only hurt your case by making such broad generalizations. Yes, a few bad foreigners exist, are only here milking the system for all it works and it makes us all look bad by association. By the same token, most foreigners here have an alright experience, a year or two operating between mostly pleasant and mildly frustrating and then go home. It seems like you had something awful happen, but you know what it could have happened in any country. Regardless, what you control is how you respond to it. Believe in what you say? Then go to the authorities, find someone who will listen and make something happen. Is your fear for your family really so much that you are “scared silent”? Then pack it up, take your family home and start a new life. Looking for sympathy anonymously on some blog isn’t going to get you anywhere. Nor does your experience mean that everyone who disagrees with you is wrong, that every Korean is corrupt and that no one can have a long, decent life here. In the end, sorry things went south for you, but wake up tomorrow and make it better.

  • 코리아

    I think you have a sample size problem. Even if “most” are leaving before there 50′s, considering the relatively short amount of time that South Korea really could have been considered a long-term option, that number is so small among a nation that is changing so rapidly that it’s hardly a relevant statistic. I’m far from a true “old-timer” here, but I am married, have children, and a career here. When I look around, I don’t like everything I see, but I like enough and enough changes that I can see myself being here for a long, long time (especially since I don’t particularly like the direction of my home country). I sleep soundly at night knowing that the job I have provides well for my family and that even if it was suddenly lost, there are more than enough opportunities for me here to keep doing so. I also know that there are many in my same position, more and more each day it would seem, so check back with us in 20 years, we’ll see if your hypothesis has any merit then.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I would second what 코리아 said. I sleep more than soundly at night. I, like him, am married, have a great family life, a job that keeps me challenged every day and is rewarding financially. I work long hours, true, but despite that I have time for my family, time for my hobbies and my job gives me the chance to see different parts of the world and to meet interesting people. What more could one want? Korea has its annoying things but they are inconsequential. You seem like a sour failure.

  • aligner

    코리아 – are your parents Korean; are you married to a Korean? I do admit to seeing some apparently well adjusted foreigners married to Koreans with children, but I do wonder what goes on in their heads sometimes. Especially if they are tied to living in Korea based on economic necessity, or the inability to generate income outside of the country due to a substandard, Korea-centric professional skill set (regardless of the profession).

  • Scared_Silent

    What “broad generalizations” did I make?

    I am not “looking for sympathy on some blog.” Rather, I wanted to test the ex-pat community’s reception. My experience has been that their response is similar to yours “don’t like it go home”, “this could happen in any country”, “go to the authorities”, “every Korean is not corrupt”….

    Well, I had plans to “go home”, and I was implored by the university to stay. When you get evicted with a knock on the door, and you have a pregnant wife and pre-toddler son, you move pretty quickly. Most people would not have the financial assets to survive that.

    Do you think this could happen in the U.S.? I could just give the documents to the university newspaper. The IRS would be carting away boxes and computers. Other university professors would not be willing participants. The university and work cultures are different. Here, one is expected to be loyal to the university; in the west, loyal to the ideals of education.

    “Go to the authorities”? Are you new here? It’s not the message, it’s the messenger. Someone told me that if I went to a Korean attorney, that if he had a connection to the university that the attorney would give them the info, and I would in effect pay a lawyer to sell me out. I don’t know whether it is true, but it sounds credible here.

    I never implied otherwise and agree that “every Korean is not corrupt.” I have a question though. If a superior asked a subordinate to commit fraud, perjury, or forgery at a U.S. university, what do you think a typical subordinate would likely do? What do you think a typical subordinate would likely do in Korea? You don’t need to follow TK’s advice to read Korean newspapers in Korean, there’s enough about it in the English translations.

  • 코리아

    I have a beautiful wife whom I love very much and that is all that matters. I have my bachelors as well as masters and am confident in my ability to make money regardless of where I’m living. I’m not here out of “economic necessity” or due to my “substandard” skill sets. Now, if that has done enough to somehow prove myself, I would ask where you get off even making such insinuations, but given your past posts I know it’s either out of jealousy, frustration, personal failure or some combination of the above. You are more than welcome to have your opinions, but please don’t bother wondering what’s going on in my head, because apparently being happy and content within this country is so far beyond your perception that it will only give you a headache if you try.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    hes a decrepit old fool who is jealous he can’t ride for more than 5 miles without getting winded so he shifts the emphasis to how Koreans dress. Don’t pay attention to the retard.

  • 코리아

    And why does any of that matter in the slightest? You have a difficult situation, fine, but how does cryptic messages here help you whatsoever? Why do you need to “test the ex-pat community’s reaction”? If you went forward and your case was as solid as you feel it to be, then I’m confident you’d find support in said community. As is, you just have another woe-is-me whine that most have heard before. People have presented your choices because they are the choices you have, so just get busy making one of them. Of course you sound so pre-defeated already that I guess the choice has been made. Other people may have created your situation, but you’re the only one really in control.

  • Scared_Silent

    OK, so when I decide to make these choices, how much time am I looking at? What if I did write about these things?

    The interesting thing is that I have them on record as saying this is “Korean culture” and “all Korean universities” do these things. Why can’t I write about things that are accepted in Korean culture?

    I’m serious. How much time would I be looking at? I want to know this so that I can make a fully informed decision about the risks..

  • aligner

    wow – it seems i have really hit a nerve with this obnoxious salaryman. Yes a polite, model, happy-go-lucky foreigner you are in everyone’s eyes on this blog – rest assured in your ignorance.

  • Scared_Silent

    Yeah, “oh, they’ve threatened me with Asian prison.” And “I’ve got a wife and kids, and I’m going to Asian prison”

    It’s not like Korean Asian prisons are like the Turkish Asian prisons in Midnight Express. What a drama queen. Never been so scared in his life! The real possibility of Asian prison hardly compares to the hyperbolic example of being chased with guns.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Keep riding, dont worry about how Korean riders are dressed and you too may one day ride without getting winded.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Its a university for crying out loud, stop shaking in your boots.

  • 코리아

    Are you talking about defamation laws? Well, MH probably isn’t the best place to be for legal advice, find a lawyer for that, but last I can see is “Any person who has defamed any other person by alleging openly false facts via information and communications networks [anyone stating true comments on the internet and email] with the purpose of slandering him/her shall be subject to imprisonment with prison labor for not more than 7 years or the suspension of disqualification for not more than 10 years, or by a fine not exceeding 50 million won”, but actual examples have never gotten anywhere near that as far as I have seen, for foreigners or Koreans.

  • bulgasari

    “By the same token, most foreigners Westerners here have an alright experience, a year or two operating between mostly pleasant and mildly frustrating and then go home.”

    Fixed that for you. People from Western countries barely make up 10% of the foreigners here.

  • 코리아

    Agreed, all too easy to forget about the migrant workers and such, even though that is by far the majority. Also tends to make our complaints and irritations very minor by comparison.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    This is an accurate summary. Usually these defamation slapfights end up with a criminal fine of a couple million won (note, though, that W2,000,000 is enough to get a foreigner deported).

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    At peace? Well, not entirely, but as I grow older, I see my own faults more and more clearly, and I often find myself — rather than others — more to blame for my lack of success. With greater humility than I used to have, I try to handle the misfortunes and challenges that come my way.

    On the more positive side, I have a wonderful wife, a Korean woman I met in Germany . . . on a train. She’d been there nearly ten years, we finished our doctorates at the same time, we got married, we saw a bit more of the world, she came close to being blown up in Jerusalem, but we eventually made our home safely in Korea because we had two kids and I needed a steady job rather than a succession of postdocs.

    With my wife’s language skills, I’ve gotten involved in the world of translating and have had the privilege of meeting Park Wan-suh and Ch’oe Yun, among others. My own writing has improved through this translation work, and I’ve recently written and published a novella, to no great acclaim, but such such is life. Those interested in a peek can preview it here. I’ll keep trying.

    And Korea is improving. I can now find good coffee, good wine . . . even good beer. Also a variety of food. Plus, there’s still a lot to experience in this strange country.

    Coming originally from the Arkansas Ozarks, where I did my business in an outhouse till I was five or six, slept above a dirt floor in a basement till I was about ten, and did rural-type manual jobs till I left for university at eighteen, I know that life can be a lot worse, so I can live with the way things are, and the way things are tending, here in Korea . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Mr. Koehler, I see that you often make such comments about foreigners in defense of Koreans.

    Perhaps, although in this case, it was more to point out the irony in creo69′s comment. Assuming you’ve been reading for a while, a lot of negative generalizations get made about our Korean neighbors in my comment sections with hardly an objection, but whenever a Korean or gyopo says something negative about foreigners, it’s like they chuck puppies from cliffs. Case in point—you responded to me, but not creo69′s original comment that Koreans are “a bunch drunks [sic] with huge egos.”

    Although I suppose such foreigners exist, I don’t know them personally. My colleagues were highly educated, dedicated professionals who conducted themselves professionally at work and with integrity in their private lives. Most of my colleagues could tell a first hand horror story, and those who couldn’t knew someone who could.

    I’m sure most Koreans who reside or have resided overseas can give you first-hand “horror stories,” too. Part of the fun in living abroad, I suppose.

    I often think that because you use your real name and host this blog, that you have a need (as in interest, as in stake) in wanting to defend hypothetical Koreans.

    Well, it kind of works both ways. As I’m sure many of my commentors would be happy to tell you, we read a lot of sweeping generalizations, racism and contempt for the locals in this here comment section, and much of it is by anonymous commenters who use the anonymity to let their “Why can’t the natives make a good cup of tea” out. I’ve long wondered how gentile things would get if I used Facebook Comments down here.

    After six years of living in Korea, I am stunned by the “cultural differences” that I encounter in my dealings with Koreans and the “cultural differences” in how they treat each other.

    Perhaps after another six years, you won’t be so stunned anymore. I don’t mean that disrespectfully. At my six year point, I knew shit. I thought I knew everything, but I really knew shit. I still know shit, for that matter, but at least I know that much.

  • aligner

    Jeffery – by any one’s gauge, you are certainly a successful person. Your honesty is also refreshing, and clearly you hide nothing, including your identity here on this blog. Your life and accomplishments are by no means insignificant. I am sure your children are a great source of comfort as well. But I must admit, your statement that life could be worse, and you can live with the way things are …. does have an air of sadness and hopelessness in it, if you don’t mind my saying.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Don’t miss the optimistic note in “the way things are tending” . . . but I understand your point, and I admit to lowered expectations about my career.

    I do, however, expect to leave a handful of good stories behind . . . though if certain calculations concerning the Higgs Boson are correct, the universe will someday self-destruct by giving birth to a new universe, implying that any stories I write will be lost forever.

    Now, that’s utter hopelessness . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • hardyandtiny

    haha

  • hardyandtiny

    yes, “cum stain of drama” well put. I read through and ended up wondering why am I reading a story about a guy unable to deal with a few assholes at his job.

  • hardyandtiny

    “I only reported to him widespread fraud and refused to sign off on it or cover it up.”

    Why are you getting involved in that shit? Just do your job, why the fuck are you fuck reporting things?
    It’s a system, maybe it’s corrupt, who cares? Just do what they tell you to do, collect your check, save your money and stay out of it.

  • yangachibastardo

    Hell H&T you’re trying to instill some common sense into the heads of an expat community which is infested with specimens belonging to categories like Captain-save-Korea, Captain-save-democracy, Captain-save-a-ho etc. etc.

  • http://tesslerdavis.tumblr.com/ thejd

    Because “sign off” means putting his name on something he knows is illegal, that’s why. Also, does he not mention somewhere earlier about the school’s involvement with another university, one located in the States? Maybe he figured that it wasn’t worth his reputation outside Korea to go along to get along. I’m guessing.

    It’s not like he’s some kid fresh off the plane who discovers his hogwan is nothing more than a glorified babysit

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    “Captain-save-a-ho”? Just hoes? What about other farm tools needing restoration? Like debauched rakes? Or divining rods that only hang down? Or the farm itself — all that territory on the lower bottom!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • creo69

    Koreans are a bunch of drunks with huge egos…And from what I could see they are proud of it so I never understand why people even find a need to attack me on this observation. I’m living in a different Asian country now…there are nowhere nearrrrrrrrrrrrrrr the amount of problems (as in about 99% less) between the locals and foreigners. Like I said, you can’t expect civility in a country where the people are fighting among themselves all the time over their delicate egos.

  • creo69

    Talking globally….Koreans are not taken seriously (basically viewed as nuts) because of all their crazy “sea of fire talk” and the same nonsense that comes off mountain sides and balloons stuffed with paper floating out of South Korea…they are viewed as little children or the retarded cousins of the rest of the world. They did it to themselves…and continue to. My opinions don’t make one bit of a difference.

  • yangachibastardo

    I’m living in a different Asian country now…there are nowhere nearrrrrrrrrrrrrrr the amount of problems (as in about 99% less)

    Allow me to suspect the main reason why in your new Asian location there are nowhere nearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr the problems you had in Korea with the locals is because your QE-ed dollars buy much more there than they did back in the Peninsula.

    Indeed i can’t blame you: the colonial life is much better than the migrant worker one (i kinda experienced both)

  • cactusmcharris

    Debauched rake – Jeffery, is that not redundant? But tell me again….

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    “Do you think this could happen in the U.S.?”

    As someone who makes a living by defending white collar criminals, my answer is–absolutely yes, it happens ALL THE TIME. Otherwise my (extremely successful) law firm would be out of business.

  • creo69

    I suspect it has something to do with money…as in the people here seem to find pleasure in other things in life than being obsessed with it. I also suspect it has to do with the fact that they have a lot less rules here…when you live in a country where there is a rule for everything (Korea for instance) it is nothing but constant conflict. Some naughty little one always breaking the rule and needed the firm hand of big important daddy and his soju wisdom.

  • creo69

    And I’ve never had the need to live a colonial life wherever I’ve lived. I live in a very cheap and small studio (I like it that way) and two of my “peasant” friends drive BMWs….Got news for you…there isn’t much colonial life left in Asia anymore. Everybody got money here now days if they want it.

  • Jang

    “but whenever a Korean or gyopo says something negative about foreigners, it’s like they chuck puppies from cliffs.”

    When thekorean called some people “racists” for saying Chinese people would vote J. Lin in the NBA Allstar game a few days ago nobody attacked him until I called him on it when he called someone else(creo69) a racist in a case better described as stereotyping. And this is your blog so I’m not very surprised Sacred_Silent responded to you instead of creo69.

  • creo69

    Is it really sterotyping to call Koreans a bunch of drunks? You live there? I lived there for ten years. Not a night of the week I didn’t have to deal with drunk people…puking…passed out here or there. Just about every Korean guy I know (in Korea) goes on and on about drinking and is so impressed. The only Koreans who don’t seem to be so proud (try to pretend like this culture of drunkeness doesn’t exist when everyone here knows it does) seem to be the ones who live outside Korea in other countries.

  • yangachibastardo

    YESSSSSSSSSSSS cos culture of binge-drinking (and boasting about it) doesn’t exist in the English ispeaking hemisphere, in the Germanic block, in Eastern Europe, in Japan, in China, among South American youth etc. etc. etc.

    Damn Koreans and their obscene drunkness, spoiling the innocent, refined saturday night activities of the well-behaved, cultured Western expats in Itaewon and Roppongi

  • bumfromkorea

    Now now, yb. There’s always a possibility that, before moving to Korea, Creo lived in Salt Lake City all his life.

  • creo69

    Born and raised in a college town. I saw plenty of college age children drunk and passed out. Thirty five years living in the USA (Chicago and Los Angeles) I never once saw a man in a business suit passed out or puking on a public street …not once. I saw this on a weekly (if not every other night) basis in Korea. Again, why do you guys deny what Koreans are so proud of? They want to be the biggest drinkers in the world. As far as I am concerned they’ve won…but you can’t be a society of drunks and try to claim you are “refined” at the same time.

  • creo69

    The fact that you guys have to say…”they do it in other countries” just shows you support my point that it is crude behavior. If you actually thought this culture of drunkeness that Koreans are so proud of was a good thing you’d just say, “Well, Koreans like their drink.” and leave it at that. Thanks for the support!

  • cactusmcharris

    creo, I like your last two comments and agree with them for the most part. I don’t agree that Koreans ‘want’ to be TWBD, as I’ve seen the same behavior (albeit with less fighting/social disturbance)in Japan, so I’d think that it’s an Asian cultural thing (hoping I don’t sound racist with that, but you can see too many similarities for it to be untrue). These last two statements almost mitigate what you said earlier, which certainly insinuates you don’t like Koreans and Korea. And really, how can that be true? The difference between the two countries I ascribe, with almost no empirical evidence, to The Kimchi Factor.

  • dlbarch

    If you can find your inner Tony Soprano, you might consider going rogue and setting up a website like David Ardwinckle’s in Japan. His “blacklist” of Japanese universities can be found here:

    http://www.debito.org/blacklist.html

    You might even get creative and register a website along the lines of “BewareHansuxUniversity.org (or whatever), and “publish” your expose there.

    (One of my favorites along these lines, bien sur, is stopsamsung.wordpress.com, but you get the idea.)

    But as you know, going rogue, especially for an academic, is risky stuff. I’d line up your next job in advance before doing anything rash.

    Best of luck,

    DLB

  • yangachibastardo

    Raised for a few years in podunk shithole in the North East Italian Alps, before moving a few inches in the direction of anything that can be vaguely (emphasis on this word) defined as civilisation, i’ve seen grade schoolers already showing signs of full-blown alcoholism.

    Later in my life, during my years in Chicago i’ve seen enough rowdy, annoying debauchery to last me for the next life and beyond. If you’re still shocked/grossed out by silly ajeosshi behaviour, after living in the favela of America the bustling Midwestern business hub, it means that

    a) You did not hang with your average Loop brokerage firm crowd

    b) Never spent a Saturday night at the Crobar

    c) You were not a regular in Schaumburg sports bars

  • yangachibastardo

    but you can’t be a society of drunks and try to claim you are “refined” at the same time.

    I know a silly, small, precariously financed island nation in Northwestern Europe who does exactly that.

    In their little imaginary world they’re also the best at some sport they invented a bit more than a century ago, despite the fact they pretty much now suck shit at it and make the whole word laugh when they play

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    I wanted to ensure that this rake wasn’t mistaken as a rectified rake. One needs to take the right tool for the job.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • cactusmcharris

    Wrecktified? It’s sanctified. But your comment did give me occasion to look the first word up – I don’t remember ever using this word 갈퀴 in (im)polite conversation ever, so thank you. As to the second, 난붕꾼 is your word – it’s certainly a word I should have known, having attempted to live the life at one time. My E-K dictionary presumes the first is bamboo, and for the second, translates ‘The Rake’s Progress’ into Korean. Ain’t dictionaries fun!

  • Baek du boy

    I lost all credibility to Foster when I read he wasn’t allowed to leave the country? What kind of an idiot accepts that? Anyone can leave the country anytime (provided you have your passport). If a university (or any employer) asks to keep your passport then alarm bells should ring loud and clear…only a fool would accept that. Perhaps he was pissed at getting a single entry visa….woooahh, just pay the fee for a reentry permit (and don’t re-enter if you don’t like it).

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Did you mean 난봉꾼? Anyway, I had first typed “sanctified,” but I wanted to play on the etymological contrast between “debauch” and “rectify,” so I changed it.

    I like that portmanteau word “wrecktified.” Good one.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Based on what you’ve written, I would infer that the university administration was frightened of you, or why else would they make such threats? When they threatened you, that was the time to raise the stakes and counter-threaten them, to have told them that if they wanted no damaged reputation themselves back in the States with those American university programs, then they had better treat you right.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Dokdoforever

    Scared Silent – I feel for you. Unfortunately, my experience is that in academia, Koreans seem to be motivated more by practical matters than by principle. The problem is that the material you found may threaten the positions of many powerful people at that university. They are probably more interested in survival than in ‘doing the right thing.’ And they are scared of suffering from a damaged reputation. So, they may try to damage your credibility. They may try to influence you to prevent you from getting the information out. I’d suggest that you safeguard that material. There are plenty of ways to do that. I also wouldn’t believe anything they say unless it is in writing. I don’t know enough specifics to offer much useful advice. But in Korea the rule seems to be ‘loyalty over principle.’ That can be a problem for Westerners sometimes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.schmidt.969 Harvey Schmidt

    “these laws applicable to universities supplement other labor laws rather than preempt them entirely’

    Exactly and the Private School Act (and other acts by MEST that can be found here -http://www.mest.go.kr/web/42211/en/board/enlist.do?bbsId=2800 supplement the Public Education Officials Act.

    i can’t comment directly Foster’s situation directly becuase i don’t anything about the details of his situaion; however, I do know that the Korean Labor board is not where his dispute should have been taken. If Foster did have a case he should have taken his case to the Korean Teacher’s Appeal Commision.

  • cactusmcharris

    Jeffery,

    Indeed I did and thank you for the correction – large-print Korean/English dictionary is what’s needed, if I can’t tell my봉 from an errant 붕. And since you’d want to know, it’s a derivative of ‘Rectum? He killed ‘em.’

  • bumfromkorea

    No problem, Creo! I mean, obviously that wasn’t the point of your 948th “those fucking Koreans” hysterics, but sure. Whatever helps you sleep at night with so much hatred within you.

  • Baek du boy

    From Foster’s 3WM write up….”Except for attending conferences, I was not allowed to leave the country–not even for a few days. When I asked to leave to attend my grandfather’s funeral in December of 2010, the request was denied”

    I just don’t get this…why can’t you leave? Why even ask permission??
    I worked at a Uni in Korea for a year. During the holidays I left the country, during the sports festival week I took a long weekend to Taiwan, in the middle of another semester re-arranged some classes. Students asked why…I said very important professor business. (I went to Angkor Watt – Cambodia). Never had a problem with any Korean deans, or faculty. Even Uni president was a dude. Can’t say the same about foreign “professors”….all but one of whom I had any respect for.

  • Cloudfive

    Got news for you…there isn’t much colonial life left in Asia anymore. Everybody got money here now days if they want it.

    The nearly 1 billion people in the world who suffer from hunger, 578 million in ASIA, may beg to differ. That you can make such a statement makes all your opinions worthless.
    http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm

    The aspect that you show of yourself in this forum reminds me of an embittered character out of W. Somerset Maugham. One summer a long time ago, before the widespread use of the internet, I was stuck with nothing to read but British authors. I don’t know what novel or story I was reading, when I thought to myself, “wah this guy(Maugham) is a misanthrope”. It definitely wasn’t the “The Lotus Eater”, but that’s the story that stuck in my mind the most. I recommend “The Lotus Eater” to everyone at MH. It’s a short story you can read in an hour.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Yes. Something’s not right.
    I’ve been at my position for over a decade and have had tenure for years, and yet I needed a special permission to leave a week before the official end of the semester, two weeks after the final exams (I had already been completed grading my students), a few years back I needed to travel back home because one of my parents was gravely ill. If it wasn’t for the head of my department who fought for me, administration would have never permitted me to leave when I did.

    My contract clearly states that if I’m unable to fulfill my duties for a certain amount of time due to illness, I can be terminated. I don’t have my contract at hand, but it’s definitely not 6 weeks, or even 4.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “… he had to deal with a society of drunken adults acting like children and went directly to New York. But, I guess we all need stories to share at the bar.”

    You clearly lack a sense of irony.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    And yet you come here to spew about Korea. That’s pathetic.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    You live in a cheap and small studio and your firends, not you, drive BMWs? LOL.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    What kind of hole in the wall did you live in? One of those second floor officetels in the bard district? I don’t see anybody drunk where I live.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Of course, I mean bar district…But every drunk becomes a bard at one point.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Once again, in what shit hole did you live? No passed out drunks where I live.
    PS. I’ve lived in Korea for nearly 20 years and I’ve never seen a crack pipe or discarded needles.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    He’s a future bitter old man.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Dude, can’t you make a point without coming off as being full of yourself. ;)

  • yangachibastardo

    Let me guess…East Java or Bali ?

  • yangachibastardo

    Did you ever read a blog whose comment section was a bigger pissing world cup than this ?

  • SomeguyinKorea

    You’re naive if you think that the foreign institutions with which your university has exchanges with are in it for the purpose of some greater good. My wife’s students can complete their studies at a university in the UK if they wish to do so; however, none have opted to do so in the 5 year history of the exchange programme. When she discussed this with one of the visiting British professors, she was told in no uncertain terms that the British institution didn’t care because it was also motive by financial gain.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    If his wife or kids had died, he could have had a week off. Grandpa? No such luck. But, yes, his claims about not being able to leave during vacation… As if.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    That’s a part of the story I don’t get. If I understand correctly, his wife is Korean. The guy should have had an F-visa, as in a come and go as you please and not worry about getting fired because you can get another job in the blink of an eye visa.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Which is why he’s a fool if he doesn’t have an F-visa (he stated his wife is Korean).

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Oh, come on. It’s incredibly easy. Every time you go on a trip abroad, bring back a gift for the head of your department and his boss. Chocolate is cheap and everybody likes it. Yes, it really is the thought that counts…and it counts for a lot.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I have no illusions. My job isn’t to make my students fluent in English over the course of 2 semesters. As a qualified and experienced teacher, I know that’s impossible. No, I to teach the class so that my university can claim that every student has taken it. It’s a bird course, and so I try to make it enjoyable for everybody involved.

  • Arghaeri

    Well who would flake out in the street in LA or Chicago, you might not wake up again, whereas Korea no harm will come to you.

  • Arghaeri

    LOL What exactly did those Brits do to you, that you’re always snarling at them.

  • yangachibastardo

    Well it’s family hatred passed down generations cos you guys helped Tito troops (that’s what my relatives kept blabbering about at least) but that’s just a feeble excuse…truth is Man U – Inter 1999 didn’t help :)

    PS

    Honestly you guys are a rather amiabe lot cos you’re not above playing some forward and self-deprecating humour, pompous asses like the French, the Spaniards and the Kartoffen truly have little to no redeeming qualities

  • yangachibastardo

    Ehr not quite sure i should share this story…but last summer, during one of my visiting trips, i was well really down and depressed on a Saturday night in Itaewon and ended up passed out in the main street. I indeed do not wanna know under what circumstances i left Helios, last thing i vaguely remember was tossing down 2 drinks at the same time.

    To cut a long and rather sordid story short at the crack of dawn this small, thin, college-age looking Korean dude woke me up and asked me to follow him to the 골목. For a split second i thought he might be a cop or some business owner who tried to sell me something, all of a sudden though i came back to my senses abruptly as he tried to unzip my pants.

    I guess my ferine scream, followed by something along the line of “Find a boyfriend your age” must have really sapped his spirit. In fact while i was walking away from him he looked at me with a really sad and let down expression.

    I will not easily forget the heart-felt laugh of the ajeosshi driving the cab who took me back to the hotel when he realised my sorry state and questionable appearance.

    In the end i had to take it out of my stomach: i apologise to all Seoul residents, Koreans and foreigners aike, for my bummy, shameful behaviour

  • MichaelFoster

    I’m happy to answer this–I did try to clarify the story as much as I could, but there is so much going on that it’s difficult to keep track.

    The simple answer is: I did not fail to show up for the first four weeks of the first semester of 2012. I taught for all weeks in the second semester of 2011.

    I was in a hospital recovering from a disease I contracted in South Korea in early September, hence I missed the first 3 and a half weeks of class. By that time, my classes were taken away from me and I was told I would not be teaching at all that semester.

    Think about it for a second–if I didn’t show up for six weeks in 2011, why wasn’t I fired by fall semester 2012? Wouldn’t you think there’s something wrong about a university that doesn’t fire someone who fails to show up a full year later?

    If you’d like to ask me more about this case, feel free to email me: michaelfoster.public [at] gmail.com. I’m also happy to forward emails from KU proving my side of the story.

  • MichaelFoster

    Korean lawyers, journalists, and professors have said much the same to me: Koreans need to change their behavior to earn foreign respect. There is a complex dynamic between Korea’s lower middle and upper middle class and nationalism, which I’m too unqualified to talk about in a public forum, but is definitely there.

    The “foreign” professor whom I replaced at KU was told, by the dean of the college (who is not the rude chair I was referring to–The_Korean has confused the terminology), “I’m sorry you wound up in Asia.” This was told to me by a Korean at KU when complaining about corruption in the department. Perhaps there were two dozen instances in total when Koreans at KU complained about cronyism, corruption, and other social problems in the university such as professors raping students and friends in the institution trying to cover it up. This is all hearsay and should be valued as such.

  • MichaelFoster

    Quantiative Easing dilutes the value of dollars by adding more to the monetary supply, so should make his dollars worth less. My field isn’t Economics, but I just thought I’d point that out.

  • MichaelFoster

    Having worked in a British institution that established these exchange programs, I can confirm: the profit motive is behind this.

  • yangachibastardo

    Yes genius that’s exactly what i meant: by moving to a cheaper, less developed Asian location he would stretch his devalued retirement dollars further…now let me call the Stockholm Academy to sign you up for the next round of Nobel prizes

  • MichaelFoster

    I will admit, it was foolish of me–I was trying to play by the rules. Since private institutions can request a list of times when you have left and re-entered the country in South Korea, I thought it safe to not break the rules. Also, I should mention that that rule exists for all large Korean firms (or so my lawyer told me).

  • MichaelFoster

    Perhaps I could have quit the KU job and got a job as an English teacher–but I’m not an English teacher and I wasn’t in Korea to pursue such a career. I was offered 80m won per year to work as a tenure-track professor and research in medieval literature, which was what I wanted to pursue. Those opportunities aren’t easy to get in Korea (or anywhere else for that matter).

  • MichaelFoster

    Horace, with all due respect, I have never been able to understand your motivations in staying in a country that has such contempt for you. The insulting things that your former colleagues told me about you at KU shocked and appalled me. While I think people like Brother Anthony are to be admired for trying their best to make a society better, another part of me wonders if they aren’t just enablers.

  • MichaelFoster

    Let me also point something else out: as a tenure-track professor, I was repeatedly called upon to do certain things during the vacation periods: attend meetings, go to university events, proctor exams, design exams (where the exam writers are sequestered for days–essentially imprisoned).

    So, yes, from a non-TT teacher’s perspective, what’s the big deal? Our two non-tenure-track faculty left Korea the day after finals and it wasn’t an issue. I was treated differently because I was on the tenure track. I’m not saying I shouldn’t have been, but just that a lot of the comments from this thread about my situation are obviously coming from English teachers who don’t realize the job of a professor (in Korea, the USA, or anywhere) is very, very different.

  • Cloudfive

    The fact that you would bring up gossip in a public forum makes you unlikable and a bit shady. >.> http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/2584/vlphoto009899.jpg

  • MichaelFoster

    Fair point; I’ve removed it. My apologies to Horace.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Medieval literature? You sure didn’t pick a field of study that is in high demand.

    And just so you know, I earn a good salary as a tenure-track professor of English.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    I’m asked to fill out a similar form before every vacation. I tell them I have no plans to travel abroad. If I make a subsequent change of plans, well that’s just too bad. I’ve already fill out the form once, I’m not going to fill it out twice. It’s not as if I’m traveling to North Korea, not that it matters since I don’t have South Korean citizenship.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.schmidt.969 Harvey Schmidt

    If you have tenure don’t you work under the conditions set forth in your schools 취업규칙?

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.schmidt.969 Harvey Schmidt

    Why did you not fight to keep your original tenure?

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    I did . . . unsuccessfully.

    The Chinese woman even appealed to the human rights commission here in Korea, which ruled in her favor, but she didn’t get her tenure back.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    W80 million a year! For that.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    I didn’t see the gossip, so I have no idea what the apology is for, but I gather that the gossip was not positive, else it would not have been an issue.

    By the way, I go by “Jeffery.”

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.schmidt.969 Harvey Schmidt

    After pleading your case to the teachers hiring comittee at your school you then argued your case unsuccessfully withe the korean teachers appeal commision at MEST?

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    No, I didn’t go further than appealing to the dean. My wife and I met with him several times — she to translate — and he was sympathetic to my case, but that changed nothing. That was back in 2003.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • SomeguyinKorea

    You’re missing the point. It was a special circumstance and I’m not talking about leaving weeks before the official end of term but merely days. Exam week was already over and the grades had already been completed and submitted. The only reason we were required to remain in-country until a certain date was in case a student appealed is or her grades, which has never been a problem because I am very thorough and generous while grading. I requested permission to leave a week or so early and the head of my department had granted me my request. However, someone at administration was being petty and tried to veto the decision. Such drama wouldn’t occur today. I have since become the senior member of the foreign faculty and as such I have become well acquainted with and respected by members of upper-management.

  • MichaelFoster

    Jeffery, feel free to email me if you’d like details: michaelfoster.public [at] gmail.com.

  • MichaelFoster

    I never thought Korea should be criticized for its alcohol culture, which is much worse in several other countries. The spitting, however–that’s something that should be tackled head on. (Yes, I know it exists in India, China, and some other places, but that doesn’t justify a behavior that makes it over 15 times more likely to contract T.B. than in many western countries.) It amazes me that the Korean media actually used the Korean propensity to spitting to attack my character.

  • MichaelFoster

    For what it’s worth: Korea University is also paying Koreans over 120 million won a year to teach similar literary topics, but the Koreans can’t even speak English.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    I have worked at universities in Korea where English professors were very poor at English, and while I cannot speak for your experience, in the three years that I taught in Korea University’s English Department, from 2004 through 2007, all the professors I knew there, whether friends or ‘non-friends,’ were quite fluent in English, though I grant that I didn’t know everyone, for my office was in a separate building, so perhaps you did meet some who “can’t even speak English,” but you might want to word your statement more carefully.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    I presume you still have my email address since you included me in the email several months ago that you sent out to a large number of individuals about your case.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • MichaelFoster

    We clearly have very different standards.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    One standard of mine is to express my views as carefully and precisely as possible. I presume that’s also your standard. Your statement leaves open the possible implication that none of the Koreans who teach in Korea University’s English Department can speak English. I doubt that you intend that implication. Hence my suggestion.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • gbnhj

    His “[they] can’t even speak English” somehow put me in mind of Gabe Hudson and his travails.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.schmidt.969 Harvey Schmidt

    Answer the question: ” If you have tenure don’t you work under the conditions set forth in your schools 취업규칙?”

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Why? Do you even know which school I teach at?

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.schmidt.969 Harvey Schmidt

    “My contract clearly states that if I’m unable to fulfill my duties for a certain amount of time due to illness, I can be terminated. I don’t have my contract at hand, but it’s definitely not 6 weeks, or even 4.”
    I am assuming that when yousay contract you mean a yearly document you sign. Tenured professors do not sign “yearly contracts”. I may be wrong here, but I am curious.

  • Scared_Silent

    You sound incredibly naive.

    Ex-pats are scared of Koreans who run hagwons. I’m not. Universities are different. University presidents, particularly this one, have political connections. People at the university not only did not question him but also covered up for him. Korean universities are owned not by themselves but by huge corporations. This particular university was owned by a very powerful, politically connected group.

    You are incredibly naive. I was too. I did not think that educators would sacrifice the ideals of education, academic integrity, commit financial fraud on an institutional and organizational scale, and sacrifice student safety for what I thought was a few crooked people. The whole university was a sham.

    I had some students who told me “this is Korea” not in an excusing sense but a derisive, dismissive sense. They reminded me that the university and corporate ownership were billion dollar enterprises. They also told me that the widespread fraud in Korea was the reason they were leaving and not coming back.

    I went to someone whom I had a connection with, whose husband was a reporter at a major Korean newspaper, and who was the editor of a minor magazine. I handed her the head of a university president and showed her financial documents. She told me “Korea is not a whistle blower culture” and to drop it.

    Even the university president was in agreement about the academic fraud, though not the financial fraud or abuse of students. Those were Korean culture. I handed him the academic fraud documents. I’m sure it’s all been covered up. What can’t be is the time/date stamped emails from witnesses and witnesses to the presentation.

    You are so naive. I’m not anymore.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Believe what you will. I’m not interested in playing your game.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Not all contracts are yearly.

  • Scared_Silent

    I have read the comments in this thread, and I’ve seen basically what I’ve expected. Please understand that I am a real person, a husband, and a father. My very young children were born in Korea, and are Korean/white American mix. I suspect that their lot in Korea would be tough enough without my breaking silence. Korean culture has a “sins of the father” mentality about (I can’t say crime, because I have done nothing wrong) breaking the Korean omerta (Sicilian oath of silence) code.

    I expect much harassment from Koreans for several reasons. First, “embarrassing to Korea”. Second, Koreans will take and translate into the Korean blogosphere at best a skewed interpretation. Koreans don’t break with Koreans, and to do so would be seen as disloyalty to Korea. There are so many others. Attorney Brendan Carr has written about the cultural acceptance and even expectation of perjury in Korean culture.

    “This culture,” Carr said, “does not place the same value on truth or view the truth through the same prism that Americans do. There is very little social disapproval of making false official statements in order to achieve an objective for your friend or relative or for a tribemate.

    “Once it breaks down to “˜those Americans’ versus “˜us Koreans,’ many, many Koreans will perceive it as their duty to make sure that the Korean is the winner of the dispute. So there’s a lot of lying when witnesses come forward,” Carr said.

    I read a Chosun Ilbo editorial, A Country of Liars, by Kim Dae-joong:

    In every country there are crimes that uniquely reflect its society. National Intelligence Service director-designate Kim Seung-kyu, in a lecture he gave late in May when he was justice minister, said: “The three representative crimes of our country are perjury, libel and fraud.”

    Professor Hodges in this thread wrote,

    “There is obviously massive fraud in Korea’s universities. No one can deny that when we’ve seen three education ministers in the past decade admit to plagiarizing their doctoral thesis.”

    Since my experience, I’ve collected so many news and other articles about the prevalence of academic fraud in Korea that it seems an every day occurrence. In comments sections to these articles, people write about all that is still uncovered.

    When ex-pats consider coming forward, fellow ex-pats fire the shots over the bow. The university and university president broke so many laws, and they can’t be stopped. They broke laws designed to protect people: labor and other civil laws. They do so with impunity. Is anyone surprised this happens? We all ask, why don’t people come forward, but there is no support even in the ex-pat academic community.

    I am legitimately scared. I have a family, and I have children who will be wanta. Yet, I get this,

    “He’s ‘never been so scared in his life.’ He is at home, not being chased by men with guns. What a drama queen.”

    and this,

    “It probably is the scariest thing that’s ever happened in his safe life. #firstworldproblems”

    Well, yes I have. The difference is that I also had guns. You do know that some people do military service, don’t you? Have you been “chased by men with guns”? Still, the standard, jacked up by the ex-pat community for a situation that we all know happens in Korea, is guns to the temple. Threats of criminal prosecution and Asian prison, eviction, confiscation of property, withholding of salary and pension and severance, threats to notify the whole academic community and ruin my reputation, destroying my reputation at the university…. all that is not enough. Well, if I come forward, I’ll lose my livelihood here, and my children their birthright. Colleagues have told me we will likely have to leave the country.

    Do you think Koreans speculate, “oh probably the scariest thing in his safe life”? The thing is that your posts won’t be uncommon, and the Koreans will eviscerate my family all the more, likely citing and translating your posts.

    I did nothing wrong. I worked hard to clean up a bad situation, which I was tasked to do and had a moral, ethical and professional responsibility to do so morally, ethically, and professionally. I worked days, nights, weekends, and at the end overnights. I have documentation that would bring down the president of any American university, and I would not fear to do so. I could take the documents to the BOT, an academic committee, any tenured professor, the campus newspaper…. In Korea, all those would close ranks around the university “brand” and be loyal to their relationships. I can’t even email them here without running into their “reputation” constitutional rights.

    Does anyone really doubt a situation like this likely exists in Korea at a Korean university or Korean school? Koreans know but keep quiet about it. Even the Korean government wants to close 20% of Korean universities (don’t fool yourself by whatever official reason, it’s because they’re fraudulent), and Koreans I speak to think (conservatively) 50% should be closed. You hear about corrupt universities, but you never think yours is one. Until you do.

    I followed the Penn State story closely. Do you really know the facts in terms of the reporting to Joe Paterno and how Joe Paterno handled the situation on the facts that he was given? You need to look at what he was actually presented with, and that’s JOE PATERNO. Yeah, but you all cowboy’d up after the fact.

    I know this will catch flak from others, but what percentage of Koreans do you think would handle evidence of academic fraud, financial fraud, or abuse of students in a way other than cover up?

    **End for now. Will pick up later**

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.schmidt.969 Harvey Schmidt

    atcually my game is that you might have passed article 54-4 of the Private School Act and are protected under the act (I assume you work at a Private University). Therefor you are entitled to the benifits and priviledges your job title affords you, for example those covered under Article 58 (Reasons for Dismissal from Office) (1) 1. When he is unable to fulfill his duties for one or
    more years on account of physical or mental incapability;
    - (a tad bit more that 4 or 6 weeks).
    PS- i you haven’t read the act – you should.
    PSS- here to help.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    PPS not PSS. PS stands for post-scriptum. Post-post-scriptum would be PPS. No idea what PSS means.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harvey.schmidt.969 Harvey Schmidt

    your right! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pps – i never mind being corrected if i am wrong; howerve, was there anything else i stated wrong about the law?
    PS- I am a horrible speller.
    PPS – (thanks again -not kidding)
    - like I said your probably covered under 54-4 of the Private School Act.

  • Scared_Silent

    I see that you’ve edited your comment to now ask whether I’m a police officer and then admonish me to strop trying to expose fraud and go to work. You mean that I should have just went along with all the fraud and abuse even though my job was not to?

    Are you an ex-pat? If so, this is the problem that I will face from the foreigner community, and if not, you are one of those to be feared nutizens. Either way, do you consider widespread academic fraud a problem? How about widespread financial fraud? How about student endangerment?

    BTW, with your police officer question, who tells the police officers? Have you ever seen a police officer looking through accounting ledgers? Or academic records? Come to think of it, have you ever seen a police officer doing anything in this country?

  • Scared_Silent

    Yes, I have an F-visa. I still have to consider my children, my employment prospects, my children’s legacy, and even my safety.

    Also, Mr. Carr, I was aware of the W2,000,000 deportation threshold. I don’t know whether that applies to F-visa’s also.

  • Scared_Silent

    I no longer work at that university, but I keep bumping up against Korea’s anti-defamation laws, which I understand do not view truth as a defense.

    I do have documents, and they know it. Unfortunately, I also made a copy for the university president at the presentations. I still have more.

    What amazes me is the financial fraud. How do they get away with it? How could they ask to participate in it?

    The financial fraud also truly frightens me. The scope of the financial fraud required many players to the point that the university was a corrupt organization. The financial fraud carries criminal liability and ruination of the school’s reputation. They will stop at nothing to prevent that.

    The financial fraud also explains why they can’t change any personnel and must get rid of the foreigners who know.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    “The financial fraud carries criminal liability and ruination of the school’s reputation. They will stop at nothing to prevent that.”

    Make more copies. Send them for safekeeping in the States (or wherever). Let the university know that if anything happens to you, those copies will be used.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • nannasin smith

    I was publishing above what was expected .
    UC3842