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Adventures in Macedonia–Status of July 2013 July 29, 2013

Posted by etschneider in Students, Teaching.
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Here we are for the current status of the case opposing the second rector of the UIS&T of Ohrid, one of his advisors at the time of the facts and me.

The case was brought to justice by my lawyer Vladimir Danailov by the end of October 2011, more or less one month and the half after my dismissal.

Blind Justice by Einar Einarsson Kvaran, CC, Colby County Courthouse, Memphis, USA, Sculptor J. Massy Rhind according to Wikimedia

Let’s say that the whole process seems to take time, one might expect that kind of case to be proceeded in couple of months, but now, after twenty months, it did not advance a bit.

What did happen?

  • The teaching assistants went seeking the journalist Miroslava Simonovska to reveal the case. The journalist reported the case, from the information given by the teaching assistants;
  • Someone (nor my British colleague or me) published online videos of the Skype meeting we got with the Macedonian ministers;
  • Meanwhile, the Macedonian minister for Education (Mr. Pance Kralev at that time), and the Macedonian minister for Information Society (Mr. Ivo Ivanovski) met the French and British embassies representatives. The Macedonian ministers said that they didn’t want a public exposure. But the first article (from the teaching assistants side) was being published;
  • The minister Ivo Ivanovski called me that everything was settled and that the British colleague and I would get a new contract if we wouldn’t do any trouble. As for the American colleague, this was another case. I told him that because of what happened, they could start the same thing;
  • I met with the French ambassador, who told me that they cannot interfere but they will watch the case and its development. In January 2013 a new French ambassador was nominated for the Skopje post;
  • In October 2011, Professor Peter Bock from George Washington University gave an interview to Miroslava Simonovska;
  • In late Fall 2011, I gave an interview to Miroslava Simonovka, after having postponed it since September 2011;
  • My British colleague gave up his academic career because he wants to live in Macedonia. If I am not wrong he never received any dismissal letter;
  • Our American colleague passed away;
  • It seems that the plagiarism cases (at least three of them) are “filed”, despite proofs. Some of the plagiarized academics tried to face the plagiarisers and it was often said “it is an error” or “the printed (or online) version is not the intended version”.
  • The expenses of our airplane tickets were paid during Summer 2012;
  • The rector, who dismissed me, is not anymore in function at the UIS&T since end of Summer 2012;
  • The expenses of our moving, as of the 29th of July 2013, have still NOT been paid, but “it’s on its way
  • A lot of things are still happening at the UIS&T (among them “hacking”, “illegal position”, etc.). But since I am not there any more the information are on the hearsay level.

On the Justice side:

  • The case of the teaching assistants was denied because of lack of consistency in early 2012;
  • Our case was declared “valid” by the Ohrid court during Summer 2012;
  • A first preliminary hearing was supposed to took place during Spring 2013. My lawyer went to Ohrid, unfortunately the hearing was postponed because the prosecutor was not there and the judge was ill. It was postponed to June 2013;
  • The June hearing was postponed in advance this time, to July 2013;
  • The July hearing was obliged to be postponed to September or October 2013. This time because of “improper delivery”: the rector, who dismissed me, was not able to be reached by the Police to get his invitation for the hearing. His advisor, who was also invited to the hearing, was not found at his address, so the invitation could not be delivered.

That’s all for now. Let’s hope it would be settled soon fairly and properly.

 

Here are the links to the four parts of the interview:

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Adventures in Macedonia (Part IV) June 17, 2013

Posted by etschneider in Students, Teaching.
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Before concluding, here is the last part of the interview given to Miss Miroslava Simonevska. Please note that for the latest news, one would have to wait the conclusion.

And keep in mind that the following has been written in late 2011.

As for now, I see two more posts about this ethic/judicial case: one will be the current situation in 2013, and the last one would be the conclusion, i.e. what would happen at the court.

Miroslava Simonovska (MS): Explain what happened during the meetings with the government officials. Whom did you meet? What did they say?

Etienne Schneider (ES): There were two meetings with the Macedonian officials. The first one I have already described. As for the second one, people all over the world may have watched that very meeting in the videos posted on YouTube the next day (which, incidentally, were recorded without the knowledge or permission of my colleagues and me). In addition to the two foreign professors, Minister Ivanovski and Minister Kralev (2013-05-28: he was appointed as advisor for educational issues to the Macedonian’s Prime Minister’s cabinet) were both present and the other American professor was also present via Skype. They asked us to explain the case, what happened to the threatening letters sent to the Teaching Assistants by the University administration, and my dismissal. They looked amazed and surprised.
We then showed them the pièce de résistance: several examples of the flagrant and repeated plagiarism committed by the Rector and Vice-Rector (and other authors). As presented in the videos, the Rector and Vice-Rector got their positions and/or promotions based, at least partly, on the plagiarized work of other scientists.
To be absolutely clear, plagiarism is “the unacknowledged use of someone else’s work. The word comes from a Latin word for ‘kidnapping’ and plagiarism is indeed the stealing of something engendered by someone else.” (S. Barnet & H. Bedau, Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing: A Brief Guide to Argument, 2nd Edition, Boston, Bedford, 1996.)
After seeing several indisputable proofs of plagiarism, the Ministers actually asked us if we were nonetheless ready to go back and work with the current administration. Going back would imply that we approved of everything the administration has done, including their repeated acts of plagiarism.

MS: Tell us more about the current relationship you have with UIST. Who are you suing and why?

ES: I will let my lawyer reply to this question.

MS: Please add anything you would like that you think I have forgotten to ask.

ES: Before working in Macedonia, I worked in Germany and in Malaysia. My working language is English. I don’t speak English as an Englishman: I am French and I have a French accent. But I am told that, nonetheless, my English is fluent.
Much more importantly, I am shocked and angry that, even when presented with indisputable proof of repeated and massive plagiarism, nothing is happening to punish the academicians who have committed this serious and inexcusable breach of academic ethics. In Germany and in France professors found guilty of plagiarism are forced to resign, and in America they are instantly fired. Their academic careers are over. In universities, students who plagiarize are severely reprimanded on the first violation, and immediately dismissed if repeated.
I have been told that as long as the Macedonian Minister of Education doesn’t declare something as plagiarized, then it is not plagiarism. From what Professor Bock said to me, when we discussed "that is not the rule of law, which is a solid prerequisite of a democracy. It is clear evidence of systemic corruption and cronyism in the academic community, and a severe condemnation of Macedonian government oversight of their state academic institutions."
Professor Bock also added, and anyone would agree: "Finally, it is, of course, the students who are the real victims of this sham. The intellects of the young people are surely the most valuable resource of any country. Yet it is these students whose education is being trampled, whose intellects are being exploited and abused, and whose value systems are being twisted by the self-propagating process of academic cronyism and corruption.
It is an outrage. Shame!"