Case: Fake Hiring

Any hiring which is not a true hiring is a fake hiring. A fake hiring is a setup, staged and show.

True Hiring

A true hiring is always only and only based on merits. Merits include talent, experience and performance, for example. A true hiring considers only true applicants. A true hiring provides a 100% fair competition to all qualified applicants. The only result of a true hiring is the hiring of the most qualified applicant at that time. The assessment of qualification is based on merits not personal or corporate opinion of the hiring body. Any hiring that misses any of the above is fake.

Fake Hiring

Any hiring which is not 100% merit-based is a fake hiring. A fake hiring could be based on relationships, under-table-give-and-take, fear, force and order, and so on. The list of criteria for fake hiring is none and infinite at the same time. A fake hiring disregards any true criterion, hence, its list renders none. Since a fake hiring leaves it open to reject anyone, its list renders infinite. A fake hiring is a show to impose an ill will of some personnel or corporate over other applicants. Whoever does fake hiring or corporates in its procedure to take place and to complete lacks integrity. It is a misconduct and abuse of the public trust. All should remain responsible and accountable regardless of the time passed.

Legitimacy

Only true hiring is legitimate. All types of fake hiring are illegitimate. Fake hiring is a misconduct. It is an abuse of the public trust. The existence of fake hiring in an organization shows deep corruption within. It is also a sign of lack of outer overseeing that allowed the incident to happen.

The Cases

In the following, several hiring cases which were monitored closely are reported. Here, I attempt to report only the facts and leave it to the reader to conclude which category the following cases fall in. Knowing these facts are useful even if one fears to make a conclusion.

Hiring at EOAS – UBC

EOAS is the department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The case details are as follows.

  • Date: 2016
  • Head of EOAS (also member of the hiring committee): Roger Beckie
  • Chair of the hiring committee: Erik Eberhardt
  • Member of the hiring committee: Christina Brueckman, master student of Erik
  • Hired person: Scott McDougall, a former PhD student of EOAS (Erik’s)
  • Position: Assistant Professor

I was working with Erik then, but he did not even inform me of the open position. Once I applied, my application was not even short listed despite the fact that my merits (i.e., credentials, experiences, expertise and publications) both in quality and quantity were way above Scott’s in particular. I had several recent publications, but Scott had only few in total and his last one was in 2013, i.e., three years gap in his publication before the above hiring. Indeed, according to his CV he had only one publication between 2009 and 2013. That sums up to only two publications for a period of seven years before the above hiring! And he is not even the first author for these two!

Scott's only two publications in the period of seven years before the hiring.

I had post-doctoral fellowship experience where Scott did not have any. I was a PhD from Australia (i.e., outside of UBC) where Scott was a PhD graduate from UBC, EOAS itself. I was a former university professor with tens of full courses delivered already while Scott had a very limited random teaching experience.

Scott was a former (2006) PhD student of EOAS under mentorship of Erik.

Christina was a master student of Erik at the time of hiring; she acted as a member of the hiring committee for this case according to a circulated email within EOAS. So from the list of 4 (or 6) members of the hiring committee, one was Erik and another one was his master student!

Months before the hiring concludes it was leaked (by MR, a member of EOAS) that the position is set to be Scott’s. Indeed, there was a series of in-person discussions where MR discouraged me strongly from applying for this position citing that it has been set to be Scott’s. Good to know that a few years later Scott appeared as a reviewer of MR PhD thesis!

Shortly after the hiring completed, in an email circulated to me, it was disclosed that EOAS has hired its own PhD students as professors four times in the past ten years. Interestingly, the email writer was also a former PhD student of EOAS who was hired as a professor at EOAS too. This member’s email was saying that EOAS has to stop this trend! Apparently, it had become too smelly bothering themselves too!

Remarks

I leave it blank at least for now. The picture drawn above is adequately showing the reality. Take notes of relationships between the hiring committee and the hired person. Compare the credentials and qualifications of the hired person with the well-known common standards of hiring a professor around the world.

You, the reader, make conclusion.



Hiring at CivEng – UofT

CivEng is the department of Civil and Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto (UofT). The case details are as follows.

  • Date: 2018
  • Head of CivEng (also member of the hiring committee): Brent Sleep
  • Chair of the hiring committee: Giovanni Grasselli
  • Hired person: Sebastian Goodfellow, a former PhD student of CivEng
  • Position: Assistant Professor

I was working with Giovanni then, but he did not even inform me of the open position. Once I applied, my application was not even short listed despite the fact that my merits (i.e., credentials, experiences, expertise and publications) both in quality and quantity were way above Sebastian’s in particular. According to Sebastian’s CV his publications in 2016 and 2017 (i.e., in the two years prior to the hiring) are only in conferences and symposiums!

Sebastian had no journal publication in 2016 and 2017.

I had two post-doctoral fellowship experiences where Sebastian did not have any. I was a PhD from Australia (i.e., outside of UofT) where Sebastian was a PhD graduate from UofT, CivEng itself. I was a former university professor with tens of full official courses delivered already while Sebastian had none or very limited and random teaching experience.

Sebastian was a 2015 graduate of CivEng under supervision of Paul Young (retired).

Giovanni offered me two more years of post-doctoral fellowship, however, once I shared my intention with him (in a video chat) to apply for this professorship position he seemed not impressed; he shortly after withdrew his offer.

Remarks

I leave it blank at least for now. The picture drawn above is adequately showing the reality. Take notes of relationships between the hiring committee and the hired person. Compare the credentials and qualifications of the hired person with the well-known common standards of hiring a professor around the world.

You, the reader, make conclusion.


Closing Remarks

In both cases above, the hiring is a very rare event in the departments. In both cases, the position was opened only because of retirement of a professor. In both cases, the position was filled with a graduate of the same department. In both cases, none of the hired persons had any post-doctoral experience. In both cases, none of the hired persons had any official lectureship experience. In both cases, the publication record of the hired person is of an average quality. In both cases, in the two years prior to the hiring year, the hired person had either no publication at all or only in conferences. Also pay attention to the conflict of interest of the hiring committee in both cases!

In both cases, I made a complaint at the time in a profession manner but received absolutely no proper attention from the UBC and UofT officials.

This post is aimed to help publicly the academia to preserve and defend its founding stone, the integrity.

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