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So, why ARE foreign academics running away?

Foreign academics don’t seem to be enjoying their stay in Korea, and the Chosun Ilbo asks why:

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which opened just 20 years ago, is ranked top among Asian universities because of its bold initiative to fill 80 percent of faculty seats with foreign staff from 30 different countries. The prestigious University of Vienna is required by law to fill two-thirds of its faculty with foreign academics.

If Korean universities are to become genuinely competitive on a global level, they need to open their doors further. They need to take a close look at why foreign professors are leaving and work with the government to prevent it.

The Chosun cites the inability of many Korean universities to afford bringing over the academics’ families and the ostracization of foreign staff at meetings, which are usually conducted in Korean. Students shun foreign staff, too, even if the professor is a Nobel laureate:

The biggest obstacle is a campus environment where communicating in a foreign language is extremely difficult. Even master’s and doctoral candidates shun the lectures of foreign faculty, making it tough for many of them to set up their own research teams. Only 21 students applied for the macroeconomics course Sargent offered when it was open to 250.

Mind you, there are quite a few Korean PhDs who seem to think Korean universities have too many foreign professors already, or at least that foreigners get hired too easily. Korean professors, meanwhile, have been complaining for some time that they aren’t treated as equals, although I don’t know if conditions have improved in recent years. As the link before last also reports, many foreign professors are hired on a contract basis as a cost-saving measure and are replaced every couple of years.

The language issue aside, I wonder if perhaps Korea’s academic environment might also discourage foreign professors from staying—see the trouble at KAIST two years ago.

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  • Dan Strickland

    Hmm. Reminds me of my years at U. Nebraska Med Center – something like 80% of the faculty were U Neb grads. People from Nebraska tend to never leave, or if they do, they return. So those of us non-locals had a strong sense of being foreigners, and there was definite favoritism towards locals. Omaha in the 90s was probably the most provincial place I’ve ever lived in, possibly excepting Indianapolis during the 60s, where I was in high school and college.

  • dlbarch

    I don’t know which is more newsworthy: that someone like Thomas Sargent bailed on SNU early, or that SNU ever convinced him to come in the first place!

    (For non-policy wonks, Sargent is a total rock star in the economics field. The guy is simply EVERYWHERE,…even in TV ads for Ally Bank!)

    I would bet dollars to donuts that Sargent’s connection to SNU came in one form or another through his association with the Hoover Institute at Stanford rather than his work at NYU, et al.. Hoover takes so much money from Korea, Inc., that it should probably be registered as a wholly owned subsidiary.

    Anyway, as for foreign profs bailing on Korea, I presume this is has an ethnic component. I’d bet those same donuts that kyopo academics who “return” to Korea ( a la Moon Chung-in, Lee Chung-min, and Mo Jongryn) do just fine.

    DLB

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

    “Hoover takes so much money from Korea, Inc., that it should probably be registered as a wholly owned subsidiary.”

    Thanks for the laugh this morning.

  • George_Smiley

    If I had a friend in jail and a friend at SNU… I’d get my friend out of SNU first.

    That place is a cesspool.

  • http://www.eslwriting.org/ eslwriter

    That only 21 students enrolled in a class with a limit with 250 is odd. Even if language were a significant barrier, I would have guessed that comprehending just 1% of what a Nobel prize winner has to say would be enough to ignite a decent master’s or doctoral thesis.

    For that reason, I suspect other forces were in play and that the old “language barrier” card is a red herring that distracts attention for “structural” problems.

  • babotaengi

    LOL. “Why can’t I date any hot chicks?” asks the fat, drunken, broke old farmer.

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

    Maybe they presumed that he’d be sharper at catching plagiarism.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I understand why the vast majority of Korean students don’t want to sign up for foreign professors’ classes: foreign professors, and especially Nobel laureates, would not tolerate the cheating, plagiarism, whining, shirking of work, etc., that Korean professors allow.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    The headline significantly reads “Why Are Foreign Academics Running Away?”, not “Why Are Foreign Academics Staying Away?”

  • a-letheia

    Vietnam virgins — they don’t run away.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    The vast majority of students want to sail through with no work, be able to cheat and plagiarize and earn a good enough gpa to apply for work at Samsung or Hyundai or LG.

    Cost-benefit analysis shows that taking a class with a demanding and exacting professor will be counterproductive.

  • redwhitedude

    lol

    I’m not surprised that things like this happen. I had a sense that Korean universities had a bit of a provincial feel to them very insular exclusively Korean and not really open to exchanges with foreign academics.

  • redwhitedude

    That attitude of coasting through uni is because they got burnt out trying to get into uni with those scholastic exams. The whole educational system in Korea needs an overhaul but it won’t happen because of vested interests, not having the courage, and totally being clueless about how to go about doing it.

  • George_Smiley

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2013/12/116_148530.html
    “…one wonder[s] whether SNU valued Sargent as a trophy for its public image as much as for his academic credentials.”

  • Jericha

    Because article is about foreign profs. who didn’t “stay away,” they came to Korea but then they left.

    “American woman who was hired to teach art history at SNU packed up and left during the middle of the school year”

    “Sargent . . . left citing ‘personal reasons.’”

    And, of course, it’s no mystery why profs leave. It’s b/c they were never really wanted in the first place (except on paper) and when they arrive they get a clear sense of that.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    It has more to do with Korea’s love of education being a sham. What they love is the benefits of education, and study only to attain them: jobs at chaebols.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    A Nobel laureate offers a course and only 21 students sign up? This isn’t surprising in Korea. Student don’t go to SNU so they can learn from world class economists. They attend SNU so they can put it on their CV and land a cushy job doing nothing special in a chaebol office.

    Higher education is a joke here. That’s something they should warn foreign academics about when they come over. And like all good jobs in Korea, they are intended for Koreans. If a foreigner somehow squeezes his way into a cozy little tenure-track job, he’s supposed to just be thankful and keep his mouth shut.

  • Jake_in_Seoul

    In my experience, the most difficult problems for hiring and maintaining foreign faculty in Korea–compared to say, Hong Kong–are language and family issues, especially the spouse’s job and children’s education. Those will not be easy to solve.

    As for student quality and initiative, not sure about other places, but at my institution the students are quite talented and hard-working, and terrified about finding employment after graduation.

  • Jake_in_Seoul

    Not sure about Sargent, but it is my understanding that the case of the Art historian involved a difference of opinion with her spouse.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    “They need to take a close look at why foreign professors are leaving and work with the government to prevent it.”

    I am happy that the Chosun is looking at this issue and asking for solutions. But what is up with calling on the government to solve this (and most other) problems? Government solutions in universities here are a nightmare. The schools themselves should be working on the very simple solutions needed to keep foreign faculty: reasonable money, due respect, and a professional work environment.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    My students are also very hard-working and are generally wonderful to teach. As a whole, Korean students aren’t lazy; they just have very utilitarian reasons for attending university. Students want a good GPA from a good school so that they can get a good job. Brilliant faculty and challenging courses taught from international viewpoints don’t help them get a job at Samsung.

  • redwhitedude

    Their attitude with university education that I mentioned makes it a sham. They are so burnt out that once they make in to university they just coast.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Nothing in Korea can be solved if the government isn’t directly involved. Didn’t you know?

  • redwhitedude

    That is one aspect of education that needs to change. In the US department of education dictates are more about guidelines , suggestions and/or recommendations. In Korea it is law. Universities need more autonomy on how to run their own affairs especially private ones.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    OK, then the article is signigicantly about “Why Are Foreign Academics Running Away?”, not “Why Are Foreign Academics Staying Away?”

  • Jericha

    “Why Are Foreign Academics Staying Away?” would be a good topic for an article as well , because they are staying away as well as leaving.

  • Jake_in_Seoul

    I’m willing to be corrected on this issue, but I heard it from a person to whom she wrote email explaining the situation.

  • Jake_in_Seoul

    There are a number of my colleagues in the U.S. somewhat familiar with Korea who told me they would consider a job here, but can’t get away due to children, mortgage, spouse, etc. obligations. It’s very hard to hire mid-career academics.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    You specifically limit the above assertion to Korea, and it might very well be true that nothing in Korea can be solved if the government isn’t directly involved. Korea’s culture of Confucianism and cronyism not only put the kibash on problem solving but also require the cover up of the problems. According to Korea’s Confucian order, the government is above corrupt ajjushis, and the only time I’ve seen them (corrupt adjushis) jump was when the government made inquiries.

    The problem with that, of course, was that the adjushis said they’d comply and did nothing, and the Korean government never followed up.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I didn’t say “ONLY in Korea can nothing be solved unless the government is directly involved.” That sort of thinking may well exist elsewhere, but I have not come across it in Europe, Canada or the United States.

  • seouldout

    True. But a clever student who eyes advanced studies overseas would likely seize the chance to cultivate a relationship with such an esteemed academic, one whose recommendation will certainly carry weight that may open doors.

    Missed chance.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    This is true. Changing location mid-career in any field must offer significant benefits for the entire family in order to make it feasible. With Korea’s international schools costing over $15,000 per year, foreign faculty could barely afford to educate one child here.

    And Korea is a fine country for young, open-minded people who can tolerate significant changes in living standards. But older people are usually less flexible when it comes to what is considered comfortable living.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I have first-hand experience with the corruption and ensuing cover-ups. I have said this many times: such corruption could not happen at American, Canadian, and European institutions because someone, somewhere eventually (usually by the second or third person) says not only “no” but also “I have a moral, ethical, and professional responsibility to report this.” Of course, that cultural understanding leads to such universities and institutions solving their problems internally.

    I did notice that you had not posted “ONLY in Korea” but you did limit, which in the context of governments you are not in the you habit of doing, your statement by stating Korea specifically.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Well, since this is about Korea, and it is true of Korea, but not exclusively true of Korea.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Yes, hence the 12 or so that signed up……..

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Transcript only record the final grades points; there are no entries for course difficulty.

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

    Maybe the solution with the government will be to confiscate the passports of foreign academics, and require them live in a monitored faculty dormitory. That would certainly reduce the incidence of foreign professors running away.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Also, withhold their pay and threaten them with arrest. Tell them that if they write about what they’ve witnessed that they will be prosecuted and imprisoned under Korea’s draconian defamation laws.

  • seouldout

    Absconding from one’s local employer is a crime in the Gulf states. I think criminalising it may just work in Korea, too.

  • seouldout

    One doesn’t even need to be contemplating a career in the ivory towers. A letter of recommendation from a Nobel laureate would add a certain luster to one’s application to an MBA, medical, or science programme.

  • brier

    Seriously, we don’t know the details.

    But if a sort of rock star guru at age 70 was hired from a foreign country, serious recognition of this fact would need to be reflected in his ‘after-service’ accompaniment here in Korea. Did his employer have the sense or ‘nu-chi’ to find out about his personal domestic economy? Where and how did they house him? Did they have him deal with issues, that the 99% percent deal with? Was any effort made to bring over a few of his lackeys or family? He probably said f*** it, like thousands upon thousands of run-of-the-mill English conversation teachers have, and left. That is the really sad part, for Korea can be amazing when things go right, or have the patience to right them yourself through dent of determination. But a person of his status and age shouldn’t have to double think about what the hell is happening just to stay relevant in a local environment when what he has done for the last 40 years worked wonderfully, and if he is, it isn’t going to work.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Its not like he needed them. They needed him. And they fucked up. Too bad for them that this will stick to their rep and other Nobel laureates will think hard about coming over.

  • brier

    Very true.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    double true. This is not the first Nobel laureate to leave early. So what is wrong with this country if they cannot even keep their most prized employees happy? Why would a Nobel laureate choose Korea over the US, or Japan or HK or Europe?

  • Krystal Hampton

    Until there’s a clear foreign relations policy between the Korean education system and the foreign teachers they hire, this will still happen. I think that transparency, better hiring practices, collaboration,and some educational curriculum standard (for mandatory education, not higher education) won’t happen. Why be fair, and lose some power to do certain things, when you can get what you want from your hire by making your contract different from the next university? If you can take it for two years, smile and wave. Remember, if they don’t want you to work and do what you were educated and trained to do, YOU CAN SIT PRETTY, SLACK OFF, AND STILL BE PAID FOR DOING NOTHING! I would complain personally because I know my worth, and obviously the professors in this story knew their worth because they left, but publicly I don’t care. Actually, I say, keep doing it!

  • George_Smiley

    Dude,

    Thanks for saying that. (…and please get out of my head, BTW).

    The students are–for the most part–interested, interesting and fun-loving and enthusiastic and have their curiosity mostly stamped out of them by the time they leave home and arrive in my class.

    There are, of course, notable -F*ING WACK-JOB- exceptions. As if a socialization fuse has blown, occasionally I’ll come across a kid who should not have been let out into the general population.

    At bottom, you hit the nail on the head. Mostly, they’re terrified. They’re terrified of taking risks…or doing anything outside of the 틀 of what is expected of them lest they stray from that safe path to the promised land.

    So, therefore, heavy on the rote memory and the parroting of the demonstrably correct answer. On the maieutics, though, not so much…

    Professor Whang’s dream is realized: we graduate, every year, clones of their professors. They are droids with no agency. And whatever might have been sinewy and creative in them is destined to lay fallow.

    In those moments when I really give a shit…it really, really depresses me to think of the wasted potential of good people’s lives.

    What really scares me personally is the notion that it’s no less my fault than others’ for not trying harder to speak up and/or do something about the problem.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Money is the only reason a Nobel laureate would come to Korea. It’s certainly not the academic environment or the dozens of other Nobel prize winners they’d get to canoodle with.

    Will more Nobel laureates come over in the future? Sure! For that kind of salary, any academic would gladly put in two years! It’s kind of like teaching English in the Middle East.

    It’s Korean schools that are getting the short end of this deal, not the world-class professors.

  • silver surfer

    I once tried to explain to a student the concept of love of learning for its own sake. His response: “Only a crazy person would do that.”

  • eujin

    I’ve never spent any time in jail, but I did spend two very nice years at SNU. In fact, I had such a good time in jail SNU, I went back for a visit recently.

  • redwhitedude

    It’s what happens when “studying” becomes a grueling exercise which is what probably this whole system makes it out to be.

  • Jericha

    Wh-what?? You mean the Korean education system isn’t just the bestest in the whole wide world and we’re not supposed to redesign the US school system after it?? Better tell Obama and DOE chief Arne Duncan!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leonie-haimson/obama-and-duncan-on-south-korea_b_845916.html

  • silver surfer

    Perhaps, I don’t know, some of these people succeeded in becoming professors at famed institutions of higher learning because they have a genuine love of their field and want to work in a place surrounded by their peers, and not to sit pretty, slack off, and still be paid for doing nothing,

  • Krystal Hampton

    Glad we can agree that we are getting paid for doing nothing. Isn’t that the problem? I hope that wherever you go, you’re able to be utilized for your job title completely. If it’s an ESL/EFL position, be prepared to do a lot of sitting or doing something else that your job title nor employer warned you about.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    In what possible way are the schools getting the short end of the stick? What is the default position? Instead of, say Sargent, they will have a macro econ class taught by Professor Kim of Yonsei who has his name on 45 papers he contributed almost nothing to.

    In what way is the default position better if the goal is for SNU to become more than it is now, and by that I mean a marginal dinky school no one knows about? Of course they have to pay for Sargent, he has a market price that comes with that round thing he received that they so covet, and they have a sizable premium they need to pay to make up for: the unwelcoming culture, the backwards academic environment, the literal academic isolation, the lack of students with any sort of respect for academic ethics and integrity, the language, the crazy idiots up North, and some I am sure I missed.

    But, is Professor Kim the better choice?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Sargent was not an EFL teacher. You do realize that, right hon?

    He is a Nobel prize laureate in Economics with a long and distinguished teaching career at University of Pennsylvania University of Minnesota, University of Chicago, Stanford University, Princeton University, New York University.

    And to be honest, he could have done NOTHING and he would have been more than worth it for SNU if they knew how to take advantage of one of the most cited economists in HISTORY as a faculty member.

    But, alas, it seems that they are clueless.

  • ryuNchoosk

    Yeah but I bet you EFL teachers teach more students(21) than this Nobel prize laureate in Eco. Chalk one up for the Eng. teachers – 1 / Eco. teachers – 0.

  • eujin

    When a Nobel laureate recommends their students for jobs we don’t call it corruption, we call it a well functioning meritocracy.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Dave!

  • silver surfer

    Talking about real professors as discussed in the article, not ESL teachers.

  • cactusmcharris

    A recommendation is not a corruption of the system. Lying in that recommendation would be, but the thing itself isn’t.

  • cactusmcharris

    ‘If you bitch about it here, you’re really going to like it when we send you to Kuwait!’

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    A “foreign relations policy” vis a vis foreign teachers? Are you alright, hon? You are not making any sense, dear. Yes, your worth is the same as that of the professor who left…did you remember to pack your Nobel prize in stupidity, darling?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    No, we call it what it is: a person of high stature, whose judgment we trust both as a scholar and a teacher, putting that trust on the line by saying that the person has the qualities necessary to succeed in the capacity he is being recommended for. In lieu of practical track record of performance, it is used by people to reduce the risk of taking that person on in that capacity. To earn the recommendation of a Nobel prize laureate, someone who has seen the most brilliant minds, is extremely difficult and one can pretty much bet that if the laureate in question is not lying (for why would he lie?) then the person being recommended is worth the risk.

  • a-letheia

    One smart-ass comment every 4-5 years should suffice :)

  • seouldout

    Or even worse… KSA.

  • charliemarlow

    This is a perceptive post. Add to it that, contrary to popular image, university faculty (in the US and presumably elsewhere) are typically narrow-minded and rigid and at least as ethnocentric as most people they will meet overseas. It is no wonder many find living in a truly foreign environment to be beyond their ability to adapt.

  • charliemarlow

    Accrediting agencies control US higher education.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    So, slavery.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    If I read the article correctly, Sargent’s two-year contract cost SNU $1.4 million. For two years they got a high profile economist to put in their trophy case. Then he conspicuously decides not to re-sign.

    Who is SNU trying to impress? It’s already the top school in Korea. Is it trying to be the top school in Asia? Paying top dollar for world-class academics and not being able to keep them doesn’t necessarily boost the school’s image. SNU would be much better off taking that money and hiring eight young economists from top schools abroad who have a shot at producing notable work while at SNU.

    Sargent was just an expensive trophy. He knew it, SNU knew it, and anyone paying attention knew it. Now he can take is winnings and head back to the US to do some real work.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Sargent could have been much more than a trophy. But since that was the approach from the get-go then by all means, hire 10 Dr. Kims

  • seouldout

    In eujin’s world it is corruption cuz his world is corrupt. How else would a student get a recommendation? :p

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I thought the same. Unfortunately in Korea there is an informal quid-pro-quo system in academia that prevails even today.

  • seouldout

    So 1900 bucks a day couldn’t keep Sargent from running away.

  • redwhitedude

    Which is independent of US department of education. The point being it is not the government dictating curriculum, regulating student numbers and so forth. Too centralized.

  • redwhitedude

    Don’t you feel sorry for kids killing themselves in high school just to get into the cesspool?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Clearly there was something else going on there. For some poster to think that he wasn’t sufficiently coddled and couldn’t handle his living accommodations doesn’t pass the sniff test.

    He made more money than the highest paid American university presidents and could have had the best apartment in Seoul for his pocket change.

    I will conjecture that there was some ethical or professional difference. A Nobel laureate can be paid to put up with light teaching schedules with a dozen students in a macroeconomics class that he could teach in his sleep. Why do you think he left?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Nobel laureates tend to be people who need intellectual stimulation and peers or students who can provide that stimulation. Do you think he found that at SNU?

    Alternative: he posted here under some handle and some snarky bastard said something stupid to him.

  • seouldout

    A read of the ESL boards ought to tell ya: finding good cheese is tough. :p

  • seouldout

    SNUze

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I’m sure that he expected to be lulled to a slow brain death, and he had discounted (as in factored in) the cost in his decision calculus.

    Dr. Sargent is 70. SNU didn’t hire him for research. For intellectual stiumulation, there’s Skype and email. He got paid to add luster to SNU’s lackluster faculty. He knew that and didn’t have a problem with it. There’s only one thing that people in his position can’t be paid to do: look the other way or at least do so without plausible deniability.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Good points. In the end, whatever that reason was, SNU failed at creating the environment conducive to keeping someone like Sargent. But your guess, about corruption/cheating/etc is very well founded in the realities on the ground at Korean “universities.”

    I wish I had befriended him, though, he would have at least had the intellectual stimulation over a beer or two.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Beer makes you intellectually stimulating? It makes me irresistible to women.

  • Krystal Hampton

    I know. All academic workers (we are not conidered teachers or professors here) are treated the same.

  • Krystal Hampton

    Actually if the same stuff that keeps happening in the ESL teaching community now happens working as a ”professor” at a SKY university,then yes I do have the right to make a comparison. Did you remember to dust off your presumptous medal and your righteous certificate? It seems like you could use those tl upgrade your troll position.

  • Sanshinseon

    I too have been on the inside of this problem — spent 6 years in a tenure-track slot at a top-ten univ, performed at very high level in all categories (a favorite of the students with overjammed classes and 95% approvals, several solo journal publications & 2 books, plenty of community activities).

    But then lost the job due to isolation, opacity and a few rounds of blatant corruption when the new Dean decided that one of his younger cronies would fit better in my slot. Due promotion denied, then re-contracting denied. Administration, Prof’s Association, Dean of Academic Affairs, Ministry of Education — all extensively appealed-to, all declined to assist, investigate or rectify. Much advice received to not rock the boat, it’ll only make things worse. Finally, i just had to leave, beaten & exhausted… Said crony was hired.

    So it goes… But then, it’s not like i didn’t know what Korea is all-about before i chose to live & work in it long ago…..

  • Krystal Hampton

    You make perfect sense here other than presuming I don’t know his credentials. He is amazing, but in this country all of that doesn’t matter. They probably did look at him as a diamond-certified business English teacher. He obviously isn’t and with everything else that happened to him, he left. I don’t blame him if he couldn’t fake it for the sake of robbing the country blind. He has integrity. I’d say that if a person could mull around around a bit it would be worth it. Hell if any university or international school paid a person a million dollars but didn’t use their knowledge to their advantage, I feel it’s justified to take their money. If they are that superficial and dense, where they can’t tell the difference between his educational background and mine other than his Nobel Peace Prize, they deserve to be made fools of.

  • George_Smiley

    Would that were only a figure of speech.

    As a high school teacher I went to 4 funerals in two years. –3 from suicides.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I wasn’t referring to Sargent when I mentioned living conditions; I was talking about Jake_in_Seoul’s acquaintances who would consider coming to Korea if it wasn’t for their family. I should have clarified that better.

    Purely speculative (isn’t most stuff on here?), but Sargent is a 70 year old world-class economist. He’s got 10 good years left in him and he probably wants to spend them at a world-class economics school. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to spend another two of his precious twilight years living in Korea. I can imagine at that age, money isn’t the most important factor anymore.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    They’re non-governmental.

  • 8675309

    “…I presume this is has an ethnic component.”

    At the end of the day, and contrary to dlbarch’s presumption and charge of casual racism, those few foreigners who like working and staying in Korea either long term or indefinitely are usually overseas Koreans, a.k.a. “교포들,” or those who have a vested interest in Korea, e.g., being married to a Korean national/citizen who won’t budge or refuses to live elsewhere. For everyone else, the quicker you leave, the better it is for everybody. .

  • seouldout

    So many words where a if-you-don’t-like-it-get-the-hell-out post would have sufficed.

    The irony is that many readers here would consider Mr. Barch a friend of Korea.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Nobel Prize in economics, dear, not a worthless peace prize

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Of all the things that may have happened, I doubt they looked at him as a business English teacher.

  • 8675309

    The irony of your statement is that we are not talking about Mr. Barch’s life in Korea. Actually, the question is whether Mr. Barch’s presumption of an “ethnic component,” — i.e., racism by Koreans against foreigners in Korea’s institutions of higher learning — is justifiable in explaining why so many pedigreed foreign academics end up leaving dissatisfied with living in Korea. My point is that if you don’t have some type of connection to this country either by blood or marriage, or some other meaningful intangible that keeps you here, there is almost no incentive or reason to stay, which is why most foreigners don’t.

  • seouldout

    So you’re saying if a person doesn’t have Korean blood there’s little reason to stay, let alone even complete a short 2-year contract? Looks like that “ethnic component” Mr. Barch mentioned holds true after all. You sure have a queer way of agreeing with someone. :P

  • Krystal Hampton

    I believe they did.

  • 8675309

    Stop twisting my words. Either that or you’re just trolling. People stay long term in Korea either because they have Korean ancestry, because they’re married to a Korean, or because of some other vested interest — take your pick. So no, Barch’s argument of an exclusive “ethnic component” doesn’t hold water as there are certainly other intangibles and other reasons people decide to settle in Korea besides ethnicity. Regardless, that’s not how I interpreted Barch’s usage of “ethnic component.”

  • Jericha

    So it goes… But then, it’s not like i didn’t know what Korea is all-about before i chose to live & work in it long ago…..

    Let this serve as a signpost and cautionary tale for those foreign academics whose path leads them toward Korea.

  • silver surfer

    If you drink it, or if they drink it? :)

  • silver surfer

    And at 70 years old, time is more precious than money. Provided you have money already, which Sargent does.

  • Jericha

    Truly bizarre. Does you “blood or marriage” theory hold for any country and its immigrants or just for Korea?

  • silver surfer

    Stop trying to pretend that this Nobel prize winner belongs in the same category as ESL teachers. Koreans of all people would never make that mistake, and neither would anyone else in the world living outside a bubble of self-serving delusion.

  • seouldout

    I’m not twisting your words; your mind is twisted.
    Two years is long term? Sargent was here to settle?

  • seouldout

    Softball question. It only holds when it benefits Koreans, of course.

  • Krystal Hampton

    I’m not pretending. I actually believe this to be the case. He may or may not have been forced contractually to conduct business English lessons with other Economic professors or professors in general . He could have been given the same run around, or asked to forge things, just like ESL/EFL teachers. What else would make him bolt? Why can’t you believe it? If your opinion still is, “But he is a Nobel prize winner….”, take a moment to reflect on what happened.

    1. He was given one class a week to conduct a seminar to faculty. He had to teach students every 2nd or 3rd week. The Korean Times reported, “According to a report from Rep. Woo Won-shik of the Democratic Party, the professor was required to hold at least one seminar per week and to meet with students every two to three weeks.”

    In what language were these seminars taught? English. Although there may or may not have been a translator involved thus looking like colleagues would learn about the subject he was teaching, I think the reason for him teaching his seminars was not to teach the professors or visiting professors economics or macroeconomics, but rather to hear him speak English on the subject of economics or macroeconomics. The content, I believe, wasn’t important but the words used in those subjects were.

    2. Why didn’t the students come to his class? It was conducted in English. Why would the students knowingly come into a class, sans translator, to listen to a professor speak in a language that’s promoted all over their country? To learn the jargon associated with that particular subject. According to the Chosun Ilbo, Masters and doctoral candidates didn’t have time for this and skipped his class, either because they felt like they knew enough English or looked at him like he couldn’t teach them anymore than what they already knew and they didn’t have time to learn it, wait for it, in English. “Even master’s and doctoral candidates shun the lectures of foreign faculty.”

    Those are the hard facts. My personal opinion is that him being a Nobel prize holder gave him a very lucrative contract, however this contract was based on the fact that he was a Nobel holder and knew English dealing with the subject of economics/macroeconomics. I base my opinion on what was reported, not on what I believe. I may have use words filled with emotion earlier because I know what it feels like to work as an EFL teacher because I am one. I know you’re treated like a gilded peacock. You don’t work long hours. You deal with students wanting to skip class. You have to hold a teacher’s workshop once a week. You don’t have weekly or monthly meetings with colleagues. There isn’t any collaboration. You sit pretty (yes I’m saying it again), in his case in a really nice chair, and do nothing.

    I feel for him, because I understand how it feels to want to make a difference in a country doing something you love, which he loved talking about economics (Youtube), and then pretty much realize that your opinion..your professional, multi-professor, book writing, Nobel prized opinion, isn’t worth a darn but your credentials and your native language are. That’s a huge disappointment for him to feel and a test on anyone’s ethics on whether to keep going or cut your losses. Wikipedia says (which isn’t a resource, but it fits him), “Sargent is known as a devoted teacher.” So getting only 21 students out of 250, I believe that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    So tell me, why do you feel that his coveted position has no relation to my position at all? You cannot use his educational background or accolades.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You’re an idiot if you think he was expected to teach business English. An utter and hopless moron.

    He was asked to teach a MACROECONOMICS seminar. If you think MACROECONOMICS is anything like “business English” find a tree and die under it because you’re useless to humanity.

    As brilliant as he is, he isn’t a linguist and as far as I know, can’t speak Korean. Ergo, simple logic would suggest that any classes he taught, and he is known to be a dedicated teacher, would be in English.

    This position has nothing, and I mean NOTHING to do with your position. Not an iota. Go. Die. Under. A. Tree.

  • Krystal Hampton

    Ok. Minus the hateful speech, can you tell me if a translator was given to him during his seminars? If he didn’t have a translator, what other reason other than listening to this man speak in his native language is there? If only 4 out of 10 classes (guess by adding in his scheduled student lectures) were seminars (not students), what would they learn that’s useful? Now the economic professors may learn something, but they are also learning this jargon that they need to know and pronounce perfectly (remember this is Seoul National University). So please tell me again how his position isn’t related somehow to English language learning for that university? I think you’re using his credentials as a reason as to why his position is different from mine. Wrong. Tell me, though sources, how his position is different. You could get me on: He teaches Macroeconomics. But given how very little people signed up for his scheduled class and he also has a seminar which isn’t students, how does the particulars in macroeconomics differ from ESL learning if the listener isn’t a student and thus doesn’t benefit directly from learning about macroeconomics. If the economic professors already know the subject (probably so, given they are professors), what other reason is there for him to be holding a seminar?

  • Dan Strickland

    This is true. I have tried to hire mid-career academics within the US. It’s tough. You think you’ve got them, then their daggone home institution turns around and tops your offer. Which may have been what they were hoping for all along. And if they have teenage children, it gets really tough unless the kids have a spirit of adventure or don’t like where they are.

  • Krystal Hampton

    You’re fun. Ok, here’s a scenario that can help: In his macroeconomics class, the students are learning two things:

    Macroeconomics
    English vocabulary and jargon used in Macroeconomics

    Possible/highly probable:
    How to write a research paper using the correct style (APA, Chicago Turabian, etc)

    I’m sorry, but he was forced to be a linguist. He has a Nobel prize, so probably they assumed that he could do everything.

  • redwhitedude

    Yeah but then there those who will choose to rock the boat much to the embarrassment of the schools in question.

  • ryuNchoosk

    “Administration, Prof’s Association, Dean of Academic Affairs, Ministry
    of Education — all extensively appealed-to, all declined to assist,
    investigate or rectify.”

    He appealed to many for assistance, investigation etc…, some would say THAT IS ROCKING THE BOAT. It sounds like the new Dean was “embarrassed.”

  • Dokdoforever

    Sanshinseon – Sorry to hear about this. I remember where you had been previously. You were definitely right to appeal. Did you find another position in Korea? Unfortunately, there are some universities here that view foreign professors as dispensable and wouldn’t see high turnover as a problem.

  • seouldout

    ki da like how korea chooses to rock japa ‘s oat from time to time to time. Works so well.

    (sorry, ut i spit up my tea all over my key oard a d ow it’s uggered)

  • redwhitedude

    Or the other way around since Korea holds those rocks.

  • seouldout

    Teachi g E glish Side y Side this semester… o el laureate Prof Thomas ” Cheese Please” Sarge t.

  • Dokdoforever

    Foreign professors with PhDs should never be treated as ESL teachers, but if the Korean students lack sufficient English skills, that’s how they may perceive them. The best and brightest Korean grad students, especially those most proficient in English, will be pursuing foreign advanced degrees. Many of the Grad students that remain in Korea, even at SNU, lack university level English proficiency. Dr. Sargent could have found teaching these grad students in a seminar format to be extremely frustrating.

  • Dokdoforever

    What are you going to do in that type of situation? If you’ve been treated unfairly, it’s legitimate to exercise your right to an appeal. It might be really rocking the boat for the unfairly treated professor to go to the press,demonstrate in front of the University front gate, or urge his students to protest. The downside would be in harming his reputation here.

  • redwhitedude

    That’s an issue with SNU being able to attract such students.

  • Bob Bobbs

    You always did say that.

  • George_Smiley

    A litte bird told me that Professor Sargent’s long awaited FBI criminal record check came back recently. In the late 1960′s, Dr. Sargent had a short history of petty theft and shoplifting when he was at Harvard, filching t-shirts and mugs at the coop just off Harvard Sq.

    Apparently, the light-fingered Dr. Sargent didn’t want to bring any scandal that might besmirch SNU’s good name and its reputation for probity and honor.

    It’s kind of the elephant in the room on campus these days.
    But, hey…you know…”Lux Veritas Mea”

  • Anonymous_Joe

    No, that wasn’t it. As part of and like many in his generation, he was arrested for “disturbing the peace” at, ironically, a peaceful demonstration for peace. The arrest has plagued him ever since, and thank the Koreans for showing that such demonstrations against any hierarchical order have consequences even 50 years later.

    For my generation and at the time because I had a military commitment, I was embarrassed that I had never been arrested for protesting against my university’s endowment investment in Apartheid or any of the other social hot-button issues of the day. Who knew then that years later that if I had been arrested that I would have been prevented from meeting my wife and having our children.

    So this lesson on Koreans should not be wasted: Partake in a peaceful protest in your youth and die a lonely death, proscribing yourself from the prime directive of procreation.

  • Krystal Hampton

    I don’t believe this bird. Why? Because you must have your criminal records check prior to getting in the country. If he quit in the middle of his contract, which would be one year, that means this would already be processed and they accepted him with his backgound. I’m not doubting this being on his records check; I really, seriously, doubt this being the reason he left. Also if that were the case, why was he hired as a professor and was able to get that nice Nobel prize if his background was tainted? I believe that SNU is trying to save their face from being crushed, and their overall reputation, by trying to smear this great professor’s name. Trying to classify him as a, ”shady”, ” dirty”, ” can’t be trusted” foreigner. SNU can’t save their reputation from being a bad university for foreign academics no matter how much money they drop at their feet or whatever rumor they use to try to smear them once they leave unexpectedly. Guess who’s laughing though? The professors that were paid that amount of money just to fix the reputation of the supposed ”top notch” university. ”Top notch” only for Korea.

  • Jericha

    “spent 6 years in a tenure-track slot

    Is there really such as thing as tenure for non-Koreans at Korean universities? I think this is one of those myths that some claim exist and other claim is pure fantasy. Like unicorns or, say, permanent residence visas for non-Koreans who aren’t married to Koreans.

  • Dan

    Cute, but inaccurate. Korean immigration doesn’t require crim checks (or drugs & AIDS tests) for professors (E-1 visas).

  • George_Smiley

    ,” he said, taking my post seriously.

  • George_Smiley

    My dream of getting that visa died long ago having inadvertently left it in a room with the door closed and the fan on. :(

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You’re about the stupidest person to have ever written anything on this board. At this stage I would consider you a troll, but I get the feeling that you genuinely believe that a top 20 economist of all time in terms of citations was hired to teach Macroeconomics “jargon” and how to write a research paper.

    Go back to Korea bang and gossip about celebrities.

  • Dan

    I acknowledged the cuteness of your joke, but we strive for accuracy in such important matters.

  • Jericha

    Yeah, you and the humble administrator of this blog who IMHO has contributed enormously to promoting Korea and should at the very least get honorary Seoul citizenship.

  • Jericha

    Krystal, no snark intended, but you’re off base and are underestimating the English language skills of many Korean uni studs esp those at big name schools. Certainly many students at such school don’t have the best English (and this may account for low enrollment) but generally speaking Korea uni students capacity for attending English-only lectures and profiting from them is much greater than you indicate.

  • George_Smiley

    Yes, I see your point. No offense intended, mate. :)

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Jericha: “Yeah, you and the humble administrator of this blog who IMHO has contributed enormously to promoting Korea and should at the very least get honorary Seoul citizenship.”

    Cactus, someone help me out. What did Keith say about him when they made him Sir Mick?

  • just a fan

    please make your RSS feed “full feed” for us old-tech guys. we’d really appreciate it :-) loading the site on my phone takes forever……

  • Sanshinseon

    Jericha, i am indeed a non-Korean (caucasian of USA) who is not married or otherwise related to any Korean, who has a permanent residence visa (F-5), gained by merit (but not by “points”). And yes i was “really” on the tenure-track, theoretically equal to any Korean prof; would have effectively had “tenure” if i had achieved the “Bugyosu” rank (3rd highest out of 4 ranks). If the same Dean of my first 3.5 years had remained in-power, or if a similarly decent, fair, uncorrupt person had replaced him, i would have attained it. Other non-Koreans already have…

  • Sanshinseon

    Yes, i did all what it seemed that i could do (and really did embarrass the Evil Dean) — to what seemed to be the edge of getting sued for Defamation by him, and making myself unemployable in Korean academia. In the end i chose “Live to Fight Another Day” and “a peaceful mind and lower-stress life is the real victory”; i have a family to feed, and other pathways to tread.

    Emotionally, i was quite frustrated, wanted to wage American-movie-style all-out War for Justice. But was dissuaded by much advice sought from my many senior Korean friends. Still am not sure that i didn’t “fight hard enuff”….

  • Sanshinseon

    Yes, DDF, after a 2-year patch of under-employment (during which i at least got a new book written, and a few papers), i did find another stable and satisfactory prof-of-tourism position. It’s now non-tenure-track, but still a real prof at Jogyosu level — that’s probably better, really, to be outside of the Korean politics & envy and not be a ripe target for corrupt greed; just do my job and be left-alone. and it’s outside of Seoul in some peaceful farmlands, less convenient for events but not-too-far away. Friendly & supportive international colleagues, too. I’m content :-)

  • Jericha

    Thanks for the comment. Glad to hear that you’re in a new position.

    I know of one F-5 who’s not married to Korean but that’s because their spouse passed away. I don’t know of any non-Korean profs with tenure. I know of several who haven’t received tenure even after many years at their university positions.

    You explanation that you gained your F-5 “by merit but not by points” is the type of mysterious answer I hear from those speaking about that mythical visa. I’ve never seen the published criterion for the merit (non-point) route for getting the F-5. Is it listed somewhere? Can you explain what sort of merit one has to accumulate to achieve it? Or was your situation one of those special cases?

  • Bob Bobbs

    Few. Very few people signed up for his scheduled class.

  • Krystal Hampton

    I’m not offended. Most Korean people can speak in English on a lower intermediate/intermediate level. Some can speak English on an upper intermediate level. Few can speak English on an advanced level. If you are dealing with university students, aged 19-24, their spoken English ability will probably be at intermediate to upper intermediate level. They could probably write paragraphs, however, I don’t believe the majority could write short stories or an essay.

    I don’t believe the majority could express things in a deep way in English. Very, very few could write a review or a research paper. I’m not saying they couldn’t translate what they wrote in Korean and put it in the proper format on paper, sans proper citation; I’m saying that they couldn’t formulate their own point of view and use sources correctly within their paper. There’s a high probability they couldn’t explain themselves as fully and deeply enough to get a decent grade on a research paper. There would be a lot of redundancy.

    It’s not an underestimate. As an EFL teacher I see this on a daily basis. I remember once, I taught my advanced class how to write an essay. It took 10-13 days for them to finish, and only 5 out of the original 7 or 8 students that I had gave me the proper format (introductory paragraph with a thesis, body citing reason, and conclusion). There was a lot of redundancy. In places throughout their essays, there were vague parts. They didn’t really explain, they made statements but didn’t give additional personal reasons as to why their statements were true. There were a lot of grammatical errors. They impressed me, but it was like pulling teeth! If given the time, say an additional 10 days, I believe my students could have written something that an actual 8th grade middle school western student could have written. My students, however, were upper intermediate English speakers. One was an advanced speaker.

    However, that was just in one school. I have taught in 3 middle schools. On average, I think I had 430 advanced students. In that advanced class, only 5 out of 7 (from one grade level) completed the essay. I have had 12 advanced classes. At least 30-40 out of 430 students could write an essay. This would be above or below 10%. of the total number of students I had. If you apply this to the total population of adults, at or above 30 million people, (excluding senior citizens and young people which could be at or above 20 million) the number of people that could write an essay in English might measure under or slightly above 3 million people.

    Now scatter those 3 million people around the country. Seoul and Busan will take the bulk of them at 1 million to 800,000 people, the other major cities have the rest. In Seoul, divide that number by their age, excluding 50 (300,000 people). That means that approximately 600,000 people can write an essay. Now let’s divide this by university. Say that 200,000 of that number isn’t in university or are of university age. That means 400,000 of them are in this level. Now let’s divide those who are from those who aren’t in university. 200,000 people would be in university. Now let’s divide where those students go. The SKY universities would get the most students out of the 10 universities around Seoul.They would have at least 30,000 students each that could write an essay. Now let’s divide these students that do go to a SKY university by what they major in. There are at least 20 fields of study. Each major would get 1500 students.

    So out of a population of 3 million that could write an essay, only about 1500 that goes to a top notch university could and would write an essay IN ITS BASE FORM, WITH ERRORS, NOT ADDING ANY CITATION. This number is actually lower if you include which students actually write an English essay. That’s not being pessimistic, that’s an educated guess based on observation. I agree that they would profit from attending classes in English, but I believe they would profit more in conversation classes and writing classes that focus on speaking and writing in English. I guess because I see so many people leaving out subjects and verbs from their sentences when they talk to me, misuse or leave out articles, add in prepositions or use the wrong preposition, misuse an adverb, not know another noun or adjective and say the same one over and over again, or say something that isn’t proper, I may have a slightly more pessimistic view on English capability within Korea. Can’t blame me though.

  • RElgin

    Exactly.
    A foreigner or even a Korean can not honestly do well unless they have a benefactor or patron. Korea academia is very much like Italy during 16th Century in terms of politics. I have seen the same elsewhere and am not surprised.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Since you’re safely gone, you should dish. Name names, place places, school the school….

  • Sanshinseon

    you misunderstand, A-Joe — I’m not at all gone from Korea, still living & working there — so am not “safe” from a defamation suit, preferred method of the corrupt to silence those that might “embarrass” them.

  • Sanshinseon

    True enough, RElgin. Altho if the corrupt enemy is backed at high levels, even a fairly powerful benefactor or patron might not be able to help — or, when the chips are down might not be willing to. “Helping a foreigner against fellow Koreans” is a smear that few Ks are willing to risk.

  • Sanshinseon

    5 years working on the same visa, no serious crimes, some letters of Rec from respectable Koreans, and demonstrate that you being here has been / will be of benefit to Korea, to the satisfaction of the Chief of Immig — that’s it, in the actual law.

    But for 25 years i couldn’t get it, because Immig inserted various Catch-22 blocks on top of the law, as “our extra regulations” — BS designed to prevent. But then Prez Lee (2MB) cleared much of that BS away, ordered Immig to be fair with us, and even smile at us {desipte all the other stuff like 4-Rivers, we waegs must salute him for that}. I took advantage of that window of opportunity, got my F-5. Dunno if that window is till open or not, 5 years later….

    Actually, the young lady at the F-visa window at that time was quite the asshole, despite Prez Lee’s injunction. She tried to refuse my application, claiming i needed to include a certificate of having passed a Korean language exam at some high level. I knew that was BS, just another arbitrary block, and insisted that she just accept my file and submit it to her boss by regular procedure. Over 5 minutes of debate, it got very unpleasantly contentious, and i was outraged that a 30-yr-old clerk was speaking so banmal to a senior prof in his 50s — very improper. I finally prevailed, but she snottily sulked “It will take 3 full months to decide your case, and it will certainly be denied because you don’t have the language exam certificate.” I said, “We’ll see”.

    Three days later my phone rang, and i could tell by voice it was her, saying rather dejectedly “Please come in to pick up your F-5 visa” [click]. When i did so, and walked over near her window to grin at her, she refused to look at me. I did file a complaint about her rude behavior to the Immig Dept…

  • SeoulGoodman

    That’s it, contribute to justifying the dual track system (ironically, something Koreans adopted from the Japanese that they aren’t willing to forgo as it profits them). The fact someone is stuck teaching freshman courses when he or she could teach graduate students doesn’t make him or her any less of a professor, and so entitled to the same pay and benefits as his or her Korean colleagues.

  • Jericha

    Thanks very much for that explanation. It is very much appreciated.

  • silver surfer

    Last I heard, you do get points for proof of Korean proficiency. The lady in the heat of patriotic sentiment may have misremembered that as a ‘requirement’ for F-5 visa status. That and the fact that she was 30ish and you 50ish has triggered a fantasy in my head in which you were an overbearing entitled ajossi and she was attractive. So I’m going to take her side in this. ;)

  • Anonymous_Joe

    silver surfer: “Last I heard, you do get points for proof of Korean proficiency. The lady in the heat of patriotic sentiment may have misremembered that as a ‘requirement’ for F-5 visa status.”

    I take it as another Korean government clerk or worker who doesn’t know his or her job.

    A month or so ago, BC posted that of all the people he’s dealt with, Korean police are the most ignorant of the law.

    I bought a motorcycle in October off a member of the US military. I researched it, and wanted to register it where I bought it so that I could legally ride it home. The people in either the north Gyeonggi city or my south Gyeonggi city insisted that I had to register it in the city of my place of residence. Long story short, two and a half months later, I registered my motorcycle in my city, and Koreans North and South in Gyeonggi were scratching their heads as to what was the problem.

  • RElgin

    Simply let people know which university is not a good choice to go to so others may avoid them.
    I had my little moment with academia here and will not do that again unless I have control and the proper environment.

    I don’t really need it either since the money is not great.

  • RElgin

    I kept hearing about Dubai all the time during LMBs tenure. Maybe this was in the back of their minds all the time.

  • RElgin

    . . . but the university may ask for one anyway. I held a professorship for few years with a university and they demanded an FBI background check, claiming that the government wanted one.

  • Todd M

    It’s not a REAL Nobel Prize. It’s actually called the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.” Bankers using a marketing ploy to elevate the status of a social science to one of actual science to promote right-wing ideology.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    It is the highest prize for Economics. Who cares if its a “real Nobel”? And similarly, who cares if Econ is a real science or not? He wasn’t hired for a chemistry position.

    And besides, seeing as it is a CENTRAL BANK giving out the prize, one would hardly have reason to accuse them of right wing status, seeing as the right generally dismisses and opposes central banks’ fudging with currency. Similarly, it was not the right that made econ into a “science” but rather it was Keynes and his followers, especially left wingers like Samuelson. It is the need to scientifically plan the economy that requires econ to be a real science. The right, guys like Hayek and Mises, have always refuted the ability to centrally plan and it was Mises himself who denied economics was like physics. The right takes the position that central planning is impossible to pull off and that we have no tools nor enough information to do it. It is the LEFT that believes in planning and it is the left that uses central banks for this purpose. Do you think the effort to audit and end the Federal Reserve in the US are left wing movements?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    For some reason my comment isn’t showing. Disqus loses comments quite often, it seems.

    You are totally wrong if you think that a prize given out by a central bank is meant to push a right-wing ideology. Central banks are key to central planning, and the right rejects central planning. If you are at all acquainted with economic theory coming from people like Hayek and Mises, then you would know this. But you are just an ignorant fool speaking on topics you know nothing about.

    Economics was turned into a science and mathematized by the minions of Keynes, guys like Samuelsson, for example; and they did it to give the central authorities the tools and the justification for central planning. Hayek made the point that the tools are not sufficient and that there is no justification for central planning, which simply does not work.

    All that though makes no difference to the Sargent issues. In economics, the Nobel prize, THIS Nobel prize is the highest award, or, at least, the most prestigious.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You obviously haven’t got a clue. I will be brief:

    1) Check out who is leading the effort in the US to audit/end the Federal Reserve. Hint: it isn’t the left.

    2) Central planning requires the use of a central bank to enact monetary (almost always inflationary) policies. This is a feature of leftist programs.

    3) I fully agree that economics isn’t a science in the sense that physics is, and it never was until Keynes came along, and after him some of his influential minions like Samuelson. They gave economics a mathematical disguise and turned it into a science. The goal was to legitimize government’s efforts to manage the economy by making it look scientific, on scientific principles. Central planning and micromanagement of the economy also became things central banks took part in. Again, this was not a “right wing” movement, but a left wing one.

    4) If you read people like Hayek you would understand that the right has traditionally never trusted the tools for managing the economy. The left? VERY much so.

    SUMMARY: Economics became a “science” in post-World War 2 times as a tool to engage in heavy central planning. This effort was led by leftists, not by the right.

  • Krystal Hampton

    I guess your replies were missing somehow. Since you didn’t give me sources as to why one of the “top 20 economists of all time” couldn’t teach macroeconomic jargon and how to write a research paper, I will consider your comments on my main thread irrelevant. Go back to telling random people on this man’s blog to, “go die under a tree”. You should really get a new “low blow” comment. That one made me laugh.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Um, maybe because ALL THOSE PROFESSORS TEACH SOMETHING OR RATHER IN THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT? And oh, I don’t know, none are Nobel laureates making millions a year. That would be a guess.

  • Anonthistime

    It’s actually much simpler than the reporter for Chosun Ilbo suggests. I am a Korean American (and American citizen) who was offered a tenure track post at what is easily Korea’s most prestigious university. I enjoyed my visit, the interview, and all else. There were only the issues surrounding money. That’s all it was–money. I have a child who can’t write or learn in Korean. She would need to go to an English-language private school. The tuition for that rivals some colleges in the United States. Second, the university offered no tuition assistance. Besides, there was a massive waitlist for children even to get IN. Third, the university would only cover a few thousand dollars for the move there; we would have to take it on the chin for most of the costs of the move.

    If Korea is serious about bringing foreign profs, one thing will go a long way: money. Sure, Thomas Sergeant was given the big bucks but not all of us have a Nobel on our cv. The rest of us would be taking about a half pay cut to teach there. It’s nearly all about the cash. Fix that, and about 90% of the issues would take care of themselves.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    This is very true. I know so many people in the same condition.

    Lack of international Schools and the extortionate price for the few that there is (including crazy Christian schools with teachers filled from the Bible Belt of America) which could easily match the expensive boarding schools of Europe price-wise.

    I was suggesting it would be a good thing to start a school between the foreign academics themselves. A kind of expanded home-school for a few within the international community in the same area.

  • Sumo294

    A lot of devout Catholics died for the right to have religious freedom in modern South Korea that others including atheists (the crazies who worship Mother Gaia and believe the UN is the messianic vehicle that will bring about world peace) now enjoy.

  • No

    Tha fuck?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Sumo294: “A lot of devout Catholics died for the right to have religious freedom in modern South Korea that others including atheists (the crazies who worship Mother Gaia and believe the UN is the messianic vehicle that will bring about world peace) now enjoy.”

    Well, I’m glad you qualified the atheists to a subset that worships Mother Gaia and believe that the UN is the messianic vehicle that will bring about world peace. Those atheists have to be crazy to believe in Mother Gaia and some messiah or his vehicle… or you’re confused in identifying them as atheists for no better reason than the very definition of atheist.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Why the &*&^#%SW are my responses to this post not showing up? That is THREE so far and they just disappear.

  • Arghaeri

    I think you may find that Italian acedemia very much requires patronage to this very day.