Friday, October 14, 2011

On the firing of foreign professors at UIST Ohrid

Right before the beginning of the new school year (2011) three foreign professors were fired at the University for Information Science and Technology in Ohrid. The news media got hold of it, a meeting held by two of the dismissed professors and a couple government ministers was secretly recorded by someone and posted on YouTube.

The true circumstances for the firing of the foreign professors will probably be never be made public. Let these facts be known, however.

During its first year of operation (2009/2010), the university hired six foreign professors and one Macedonian professor. By the end of the second year every single one of this group of foreign professors was fired. No one was given a reason beyond being informed that their contract would not be renewed. This actually happened after each one of them went through the legal process of being selected by a committee formed by the university, and after being confirmed by the university senate at the request of the university Rector. By the end of the second year (2010/2011) additional five foreign professors left the university. Four were fired, one left willingly.

During 2010/2011 the university had 10 foreign professors and one Macedonian on its staff. Of the ten foreign professors, eight did not continue their employment at the university into the next academic year. Whichever way you look at it, this does not speak well for the university.

In this posting I would like to present few documents related to the firing of the current batch of three foreign professors, and readers can make up their minds as to the circumstances and the justification for the firing.

Below is a letter from professor Musgrave addressed to the Minister of Education regarding the circumstances of his firing.

From: Musgrave Dr Clyde <>
Date: September 16, 2011 2:17:40 PM CDT

Friday, September 16, 2011

Minister Pance Kralev
Minister of Education & Science
st. Mito - Jasmin bb
1000 Skopje

Dear Minister:
My friends and associates have told me that you are a gentleman and an honorable man with great integrity and great leadership skills.  While working as a USAID volunteer, I very quickly grew to love the country of Macedonia and its people. When I was offered the opportunity to help the fledgling University of Information, Science and Technology (UIST), and teach your young people, I made a very difficult decision to live away from the USA, so that I could help your country again. As you can understand, this decision was not made lightly, so it is with deep regret that I write to you to tell you that I have found egregious abuse of power within the university system. 
During the last days, I have written and re-written this letter several times; I hope this version shows you that I want you to succeed, I want UIST to succeed, I want the students at UIST to succeed and I want the Macedonian people to succeed in the global marketplace.  From my experience and those of other professors with whom I have worked, the University’s success is in danger from within.
This letter is divided into several parts; 1) an overview from our perspective (former foreign professors, students, associates of the University, associates of other Macedonian Universities, and certain government officials), 2) a summary of what happened in my particular case as well as others 3) what we would like as far as a peaceful, equitable resolution and finally, 4) what we are prepared to do if an equitable solution can not be reached

1. Overview
It appears to all of us that many laws regarding the administration and operation of a University are being broken.  Blatant revenge and intimidation were too common under the previous Rector, and are now being used regularly at UIST by the new Rector and his new consultants. I will not go into more detail at this time, but we have documentation from the past two years to support our claims.  

2. Summary of actions against us
a) On September 1, 2011 (Thursday), during a legal Senate meeting, the Rector brought up for discussion the addition of three new Senate members. Two of these candidates were legally ineligible to be Senate members because they were not members of the faculty.  When Professor Zemon advised Rector Davcev of this technicality, the Rector formed a committee, usurping the power of the Senate, and demanded that we vote to accept. We suggested that it would be better to follow the law and appoint Deans of the faculty and then let the Deans appoint new Senate members. At this point, when the vote was a tie of three for and three neutral, Rector Davcev asked his legal advisor if there was an issue with the legality of my employment. She replied that my diploma was not on file. Rector Davcev then asked me to produce a diploma.  I said I would very gladly give it to his staff by Monday or Tuesday the 5th or the 6th of September (even though I had already produced my diplomas prior to the time of my hiring, and my contract does not require me to submit diplomas). The Rector asked me to excuse myself from the Senate meeting until I produced my diploma.  He then held the vote, which of course passed with his majority. I have sent transcripts for all four of my degrees prior to being hired; transcripts are used in the EU, and the USA and are the official authentication of attendance and graduation and are in accordance with the Bologna accords - not diplomas. 
On the 2nd of September I received a letter, by email dated the 1st of September, from Jordan who was not then an employee of the University stating that I was fired as of the 1st of September for not producing my diploma. I would agree that terminating me for poor performance would be perfectly valid, but that was not alleged. I did ask verbally and by email if the foreign professors could be paid on time rather than waiting two or more months to be paid. Although the Rector assured us all that he was taking steps to correct this late payment situation, nothing happened. Perhaps asking to be paid properly caused me to be terminated. There are several instances of contract violations on the part of UIST, the Rector, Ustijana, her husband and Jordan for my contract as well as the other foreign professors. The contract violations are not small issues; these are fundamental to any large University and would represent a violation of the spirit if not the actual Bologna accords. If my contract does not require a submission of my diplomas, then why was I dismissed from the Senate meeting and summarily fired for not submitting a diploma? This is the legal issue in my case.
b) Dr. Matthew Ager is one of the finest Math teachers I have met in my career; he was illegally terminated verbally by a consultant to the Rector; Kosta Mitrevski without the Rector's signature, Others have been threatened that if they voice an opinion against the present administration of Danco, Ustijana, her husband and Kosta, they would possibly be terminated illegally. The legal issue here is this administration has neither the experience nor the awareness of how to conduct themselves legally in the administration of a University.
c) Events according to Dr. ****** (name blocked at the request of the individual): At the Senate meeting of September 1, 2011, after Rector Davcev dismissed Dr. Clyde Musgrave, several items of the agenda were discussed and voted upon. Then the item of the promotion of Dr. ****** was presented to the staff. The rector mentioned that during the last senate meeting (in July 2011), a committee was set up to evaluate the application of Dr.  ****** to a position of Associate Professor, which was set by the former administration. This committee was composed by: Dr. Clyde Musgrave, Prof. Dr. Danco Davcev, Dr. Radmil Polenakovik. Dr. Clyde Musgrave was nominated, by the Rector, to be the president of the committee. Dr. Musgrave collected all the information and in less than two weeks made a report, signed it a, and sent that report to Dr. Radmil Polenakovik for signature, with a copy of the signed report to the rector and the administration of the university. On the Senate meeting of the September 1st, the Rector, in front of the Senate members, declared that Dr. Clyde Musgrave, as president of the committee didn't do a thing, which was a blatant lie. The legal issue here is that a promotion was promised, determined according to Macedonian law and summarily removed without legal justification.
d) In addition, we believe there can be substantial charges against present and past members of the administration including; sexual harassment, ethnic discrimination, falsifying grades, flagrant plagiarism (I attach the first document that was sent by the new Rector - a document that was claimed as his own but which has been totally plagiarized). This flagrant plagiarism is not just limited to the Rector. 
e) Certain teaching assistants who have been given authorization to take leave and finish their PhD studies have been told that their efforts in this regard will be cancelled. The issue is that this will jeopardize both larger university and their employment careers
f) Lastly, there are contract violations of former foreign professors for which we have complete documentation.

3. Potential Resolution
a) Suggested Resolution: I suppose I can really only make suggestions about the three above named individuals and the Rector. If I were advising you, I would suggest you either - move the four to some other University with NO administrative responsibilities or terminate them for illegal activity. Then I would ask the Senate to convene as it was formally constituted, without these four individuals, have the Senate nominate a new slate of Rectors (with input from your office), bring in leadership that is proper, and let the Senate do what it is good at doing; following Macedonian Law and eliminating the approaches to managing UIST that are presently in place. This will have to be your decision. 
b) Background on my case and proposed resolution: My 12-month contract ran thru February 2012 and I was not paid for July and August. This means I did not and will not receive 8 months of salary plus my return ticket to the USA (1,250 Euros) to get my diploma and get my Work Visa papers from the Macedonian Embassy in Washington DC; this amounts to almost 30,000 Euros. I would love to be reinstated and come back to Ohrid and UIST to teach, but without the four individuals mentioned above involved in UIST. Further, I realize you may not have that flexibility especially if the four cannot be moved or terminated. Further, the present Rector offered me a contract extension to June 2012 in front of several people and in an official meeting. My proposed resolution, (and my lowest bottom line) is a discussion about a settlement for significant compensation considering the illegal termination of my contract with a deposit into my Tutunska bank account in Ohrid. Ana Smakoska, the finance manager at UIST, has all the details to make the transfer. I am already owed 7,000 Euros from July and August plus the 1,200 Euros of the plane ticket (8,200 Euros) based on my 12-month contract and I am willing to discuss the details of a financial settlement as a gesture of good faith.
c) Background on Dr. Matthew Ager's case: Matthew Ager's contract was for two years at a salary of 2,400 Euros per month for 24 months; that amounts to 48,000 Euros plus a total of 1,000 Euros for the return plane tickets (one for each year); total 49,000 Euros total. Dr. Ager would love to be reinstated if the four are moved or terminated and the decision-making is returned to the lawfully constituted Senate. If no reinstatement is possible, he is prepared to discuss a settlement with you. Ana Smakoska has his banking details as well. 
e) Dr. ****** was promised a new title (Associate Professor) and only wants justice; to see the four above individuals removed from UIST and the Senate takes its proper place 
f) Certain former foreign professors were illegally terminated and were owed money as well. They have given witness statements, and they have been or are being deposed by a law firm even as I type this email.

4. What we are prepared to do
a) For the past two years, we have been accumulating documents and evidence of the crimes committed by the four individuals mentioned above as well as the previous people involved. I have been contacted by people who want to see UIST fail as well as some members of the Press who smell a scandal and by certain Macedonian authorities. I have NOT responded to any of them and will not if we can reach an equitable resolution
b) The Court of Public Opinion is much stronger than the Courts of Law in Macedonia and the International Courts are even stronger. We are prepared to discuss the details of everything we know with the press and the Courts, but I assure you we will not if there is a peaceful resolution. Simply the violation of the rights of the foreign Professors at UIST would be a huge scandal in the EU. 
c) We are talking with law firms, inside Macedonia and outside about all the charges we might bring to the press, to the Macedonian Courts and International Courts 

5. Final thoughts
a) What confuses us all is that if the present Rector had come to us and said, "We are running out of money" or "Can we work out a way so that you can leave before the semester starts" I think I for one would have said of course. This would have allowed a graceful exit, a time for the students to say goodbye, it would have built goodwill with the students and preserved the integrity of the University. The way it was handled by the four was unprofessional, immoral and illegal.
b) I hope you can read this email as a dispassionate description of what really happened, what we want and what might happen if we do not reach an equitable resolution. If we cannot reach an equitable agreement, I will send this letter with amplifying data to Secretary Hilary Clinton and a copy to the US Embassy in Skopje.
 c) There is a real opportunity to demonstrate democratic principles here for you and to make a legacy of doing what is right not what is politically expedient and catering to the whims of the few; but creating true and lasting value for the many. 
d) Some of the students want to voice negative opinions about the recent firings and other events (they have already lost four superb foreign professors just this year) and they wish to put the University back on a path to excellence and away from the intimidation and heavy handedness. But they are very afraid. UIST is not a positive learning environment for the young people of Macedonia, foreign students and this needs to be corrected. 
Please let me know your thinking about this email by the 26th of September 2011. Can you reach an equitable agreement with us? If so, we will remain silent as the four are replaced, titles are changed, reinstatements are made and the monies are transferred. If not, we will proceed as stated above.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent legal matter.


Clyde Musgrave

Cc: Dr.  ******, Dr. Matthew Ager, Ms. Biljana Maksimovska, Dr. Rubin Zemon, Dr. Danco Davcev

Professor ****** apparently sent a similar letter to the Minister of Education and to a number of other government officials and foreign diplomats. I don't have a copy of that letter.

The decision for the dismissal apparently came from the university senate. It is signed by Jordan Shikoski, who is the husband of the Vice Rector, and not a member of the senate.

The Rector of the university, professor Danco Davcev, felt obliges to respond to the accusations by professor ****** by sending a reply to the Minister of Education and the other officials. Below is a copy of that letter.

To H.E. Prime Minister of R. of Macedonia, H.E. Ministers, H.E. Ambassadors and colleagues,
With respect to the message sent to you by Mr.  ****** concerning his personal view of the situation at University of Information Science and Technology (UIST) in Ohrid, it is my duty to give you some explanations based on facts of the current state at UIST from my point of view.
  1. I took the position of Rector in July 2011 during the summer holidays when just a few foreign professors were at UIST, among them Mr.  ****** offering me immediately and aggressively to act as vice- rector for academic affairs asking for additional payment of 500 EUR (in addition to his salary of 2500 EUR per month).  Taking into account that such a position is not only for scheduling of the lectures, but many other activities like negotiations and communication with potential new foreign and Macedonian professors and students, acting according to Macedonian law etc., I couldn’t accept this offer. In addition, according to all surveys by the students, they were not satisfied by his work at all (Please see the attached documents).
  2. Before leaving for the holidays, I have requested from all professors still present at UIST, to prepare till the end of August 2011 an extended abstract of the project proposal for possible application to FP7 program in Brussels. Unfortunately, only Mr. Clyde Musgrave presented me on one page an idea about possible project. I didn’t receive anything from Mr.  ******.
  3. During the summer holidays I hired with temporal contracts two Macedonian professors as consultants for development and investing at UIST (Mr. Jordan Sikoski) and for financial affairs, IT infrastructure and support, tenders etc. (Mr. Kosta Mitreski). The only available person at UIST with Ph.D. in ICT (in the process of election for professor), Mrs. Ustijana Reckoska – Sikoska was appointed to act as vice- rector without any additional payment (with idea to be elected as vice- rector after her election in assistant professor at the beginning of September 2011). All three persons together with me worked during the holidays very hardly with great enthusiasm. They managed to reconstruct the current building and the student dormitory, to put in function and control the laboratory equipment, to establish the proper IT infrastructure at UIST, to provide a suitable library functioning, to make arrangement with IT Company for complete information system as a support of student services, financial work at UIST, digital library support and achieve work. (We plan to include our students later for updating of this software together with the IT Company which is officially in charge of proper maintenance of the software). In addition, many other students, financial and academic services were established for the first time at UIST. The promotion of UIST for the new students via news papers, TV, radio, Internet etc. was one of the most important work during July and August.  It was especially important to communicate the candidates for new professors at UIST and as a result of this, for the winter semester we have FIVE (5) foreign professors and we expect at least SEVEN (7) new foreign professors for the spring (summer) semester. In the mean time, we decided to engage temporarily few Macedonian professors  (visiting foreign professors are expected during the current semester to give some lectures within the current courses). As an example of very good collaboration with foreign universities, I would like to emphasize the visit to UIST of the Dean and one professor from the Norwich University (USA). During this visit from August 18-22, 2011, we agreed for close collaboration, exchange of students and professors, work on joint projects starting the next semester. We are continuously in contact with them on distance by using WebEx and we already signed the MoU between the two Universities. We organized an ICT conference at UIST from September 1-3 with active participation of me and my consultants and assistants. As a result of these activities, we managed to provide new 110 students, among them about 30 foreign students. We are still in process of negotiation for new foreign students.
  4. Unfortunately, at the very beginning (July 2011), we found a lot of problems. The first one was the inappropriate MANAGEMENT for finishing the laboratory part of the UIST building in the past. The current Minister of education stopped any further activity (although UIST has enough money for this). Mr. Jordan Sikoski was engaged to prepare a complete new documentation for a new tender (on the meeting with me and the Minister), but nevertheless the decision of the Minister was still negative.
  5. The salaries for July and August 2011 for foreign professors couldn’t be paid because there was no transfer of money from the responsible financial institutions. The received new laboratory equipment is still not paid because of slow financial procedures. I have received the requests by mail almost every day from few professors (among them Mr. ******) to pay the salaries for July and August 2011, but it was not up to me to do this.
  6. What is the specific problem with assistant professor ******? He maid his doctoral thesis defense in December 2004 (titled as “A Middleware Approach for Dynamic Real-Time Software Reconfiguration on Distributed Embedded Systems”). In addition, according to DBLP available on Internet, he has six (6) papers presented on conferences for 10 last years (mostly connected to the research done in his doctoral thesis), he has no journal papers at all, and he is only in one paper a first author (published in 2004 on the 1st Doctoral symposium on Middleware). According to Macedonian standards (law) similar to many other countries all over the world, it is very poor research record. Macedonia is a small country, but we have very well established academic standards. Any assistant professor in Macedonia has at least one journal paper and more than ten (10) research papers on different conferences at the time of the doctoral thesis defence. For ten years they have much more then six publications and incomparable better research records. In addition, according to our current law, each professor must have at least two journal papers with impact factor! It is requested for advisors of doctoral thesis as well.   
  7.  Nevertheless, assistant professor ****** asked in July 2011 from me to be promoted to associate professor. According to this request, on the Senate in July we elected the review committee for assistant professor ****** (Mr. Clyde Musgrave as chair, me and associate professor Radmil Polenakivic). I emphasized that the procedure must be according to the Macedonian law meaning that assistant professor ****** should submit all diplomas, one copy of each paper etc. on the basis of which the review committee will write the review which must be published in the UIST Bulletin at least 15 days before the next meeting of the Senate when election could be done. On contrary, nothing happens as I recommended. Mr. Clyde Musgrave contacted associate professor Radmil Polenakivic by mail asking from him positive vote for election of assistant professor ****** to associate professor without any evidence in any documentation and without writing any review. He also sent a message to me, telling me that associate professor Radmil Polenakivic already voted “yes”, so they already have majority! On the Senate on the September 1st I informed that this procedure is not done according to Macedonian law and I proposed to change the first member of the committee with Academic Ljupco Kocarev, but still asking from assistant professor ****** to submit the necessary documentation to the Administration of UIST. Nothing is done and the status of assistant professor ****** is undefined. In Macedonia in such case, the person under the procedure of election can’t work and give the lectures to the students (till the end of procedure). By the way, we found that a contract for 24 months that was signed in the past with assistant professor ****** is without the date of signature, without amount of salary etc.
  8. Under these circumstances, all legal documents to work in Macedonia for assistant professor ****** are at least questionable and we decided to postpone his engagement till the spring (summer) semester expecting to finish with his election and all other legal procedures according to Macedonian law. (I was informed by the administrative service at UIST that his working visa expired on September 1st, 2011).
  9. Just to compare, on the same Senate meeting in July we elected the review committee for Dr. Ustijana Reckoska Sikoska (me, associate professor Clyde Musgrave and assistant professor ******). As a first reviewer, I wrote the review, I have sent it to both other reviewers and on the joint meeting we decided to sign the review. The review was published in the UIST Bulletin and after one month and a half on the Senate meeting on September 1st, Dr Ustijana Reckoska Sikoska was elected as assistant professor. In conclusion, everybody at UIST was informed and provided with clear evidence about the legal procedure for election of professors according to the Macedonian law!
  10. Concerning the Senate legality, I would like to emphasize the fact that UIST is under development meaning that we still couldn’t have Deans and professor’s councils at each Faculty because we still expect to provide more academic staff at UIST. According to the UIST Statute, each Faculty has to give two delegates for the Senate, but we have no such a number of professors which are permanently employed at UIST, so as temporal solution we decided to run the Senate with less members (instead of 14, we decided that temporally the Senate is consisted of all Macedonian ICT professors plus one representative from foreign ICT professors plus the representative from the students and the Rector). Taking into account that the Senate must decide about the promotion of the professors, acceptance of new visiting professors, administrative and financial decisions according to Macedonian law, it was decided that it is absolutely necessary to elect as members of the Senate (just in this limited period) Macedonian professors who are temporarily engaged at UIST. I believe that this is the only way to go further in providing more professors and to run the University as a very complex institution properly. By the way, we started the procedure for updating of the UIST statute to adopt it to the real needs.
  11. Concerning the assistants, I provided a very good relationship with all of them including the assistants willing to leave the UIST for one year. I have explained to them that their doctorate is very important for UIST, but it is very unusual to go abroad for one year and to be paid by UIST during this period. In addition, what is more important for me, they were the only ICT assistants at UIST providing no appropriate replacement during their stay abroad. Nevertheless, the Senate decided (with my recommendation) to propose to the assistants to continue with their doctoral work abroad, but without salary from UIST (according to the Macedonian law, as suggested from UIST administrative service). It was up to the assistants to decide what they will do.
  12. Concerning my vision, it is old as idea for many years, but it was announced since beginning of 2008. It is in accordance with all best practices all over the world for similar Institutions. I have put in the document more than 10 references (URLs on Internet) to indicate that I propose something that already exist (nothing new, no authorship was asked from me and I can’t believe that such general, public and well known information needs any authorship). I would like to be compatible with the best Universities, especially emphasizing the research work that is strongly connected to the lectures and other academic work as well as the connection with the industry. But, what is really important, it is the plan and content of the courses. It is worth to mention that I was a co- author of postgraduate study plans and programs (including the detailed contents) for all ICT studies at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies (FEIT) and a new Faculty of Information Science and Computer Engineering (FINKI) at UKIM in Skopje, as well as the first version of similar documents for the University in Ohrid since 2008.
  13. As much more important activity at UIST, I consider the work on research international projects. Unfortunately, nothing was done about this at UIST. The professors didn’t even know about the EU FP7 ICT working program for 2011/12 (document created in Brussels for international projects). As a Macedonian delegate nominated as ICT expert I participated in creation of this document. Having in mind the importance of this document, I have sent to all professors at UIST the EU FP7 ICT working program for 2011/12 to help them for possible proposal of research projects in Brussels. As I explained in item 2, nothing happens.
  14. Concerning the other two professors, I would like just to give two facts: The Administration at UIST found that there is no evidence about the PhD diploma of Mr. Clyde Musgrave, so he was asked to provide it as soon as possible, but he didn’t do that after more than one month. Instead of this, he used Facebook to post anti – Macedonian propaganda to the students. The second fact connected to mathematician Mr. Matthew Ager is that he was asking the salary for 12 months instead of 10 (I agree with the ex-rector that the contracts should be signed for 10 months). The Senate offered to him (with my recommendation) to sign immediately a new contract– just for one academic year (10 months). He refused the offer asking for solution on the Court, engaging the lawyers etc. What is probably most important, according to all surveys by the students, they were not satisfied by their work at all. (Please see the attached documents).
  15. In conclusion, UIST must continue to work and the students believe that it is the right way to provide a productive environment. I expect an excellent development of this Institution in the near future for the benefits of all students, people and R. of Macedonia. I plan to establish the Faculty councils and to elect the Deans of the Faculties till the end of the current semester. As a guarantee, we have excellent collaboration with all other foreign professors, we expect new professors, good collaboration with Norwich University, Gorge Washington University, Boston University, Polytechnic University in New York, University of California San Diego (UCSD), University in Houston (USA), University in Tempe (Arizona, USA), Philips Research- New York (USA), Simon Fraser University in Vancouver –Canada, Politecnico di Torino, University of Florence, Nettuno –Rome, Politecnico di Bari, Paris- Sud University, AUP- Paris, Postgraduate School in IT in Sorbonne 1 - Paris, University of Glasgow, SBUL-London, Leuven University (Belgium), several universities in Germany (like Hochschule Wismar University of Applied Sciences Technology, Business and Design, BTU, Oldenburg University etc.), Aristotle University in Thessaloniki (Greece), Austria, Spain, Norway, Israel and many others. At least ten (10) MoU are currently prepared for signature.
  16. Our collaboration with all foreign and Macedonian students is also excellent. 

Skopje, Oct. 12, 2011                                     Prof. Danco Davcev, PhD and Rector

Professor Davcev in his reply states that the one of the reasons that the professors in question were dismissed was that they did not fulfill their duties competently, and for that as proof he attached student evaluations conducted by the student parliament. Below are copies of the so-called student evaluations.

Below is the content of the letter I sent as a response to the letter of the Rector professor Davcev.

Respected colleagues, professors and government officials.

The letter from professor Danco Davcev directed to you regarding a letter from professor ****** was forwarded to me, and as a former professor at UIST I felt it was my responsibility to respond.

First of all, I too sufferd the same fate at UIST as professor ****** and all of the other professors hired during the first year at UIST. Namely, I was fired without any warning with a single sentence that simply read  "The Rector told me to inform you about his decision that he cannot sign the contract with you for the next academic year 2010/2011". Ironically, this happened only after the rector himslef requested that I sign the contract and after he request taht I take a leave of absence from my home institution in USA. I am bringing up this point simply to point to the fact that this seams to be the accepted policy and procedure at UIST.

I am not familiar with the circumstances for the firing of Ager, Musgrave and ******, so I don't feel that it is appropriate to comment on that matter. However, I would like to comment on the current rector's justification for firing these individuals based on the documents that he submitted to you.

1. Professor Davcev in his letter states: "****** offering me immediately and aggressively to act as vice- rector for academic affairs asking for additional payment of 500 EUR (in addition to his salary of 2500 EUR per month)." I don't know of a single institution, and especially a government institution, where simply asking for a promotion and an increase in salary is considered grounds for dismissal. In fact, here in the US I do that every single year. Sometimes I am successful, other times I am not. But I have never been threatened with dismisal for asking. At most institutions in the west this is nothing more than part of normal negotiations.

2. Professor Davcev mentions the lack of scholarly publications by professor ******. Was UIST not aware of the amount of his publications at the time he was hired? Why was he hired in the first place? His two year contract was signed by an authority of the university, regardless of the fact that that authority is no longer at UIST.

4. Regarding the lack of publications by professor ******, has anyone looked very, very seriously at the list of publications by the rector Davcev? In his list he does not distinguish between papers delived at conferences, publications that are part of conference proceedings, and TRUE publications in peer-reviewed journals. Notice in how many of his so-called publications he is one of four co-authors. Also notice how many of the publications are actually duplicates of one and the same article sumbitted in two different places. Also notice in how many of the publications he is the advisor of a doctoral student, which seems to be a very common practice in Macedonia.

5. Regarding professor Musgrave, professor Davcev states "he used Facebook to post anti – Macedonian propaganda to the students." Can this trully be a cause for dismissal? Have you heard of any other Macedonian professor at any other Macedonian university being dismissed for making negative remarks about Macedonia? Is preofessor Davcev familiar with the concept of "freedom of speech"? Was it part of professor Musgrave's contract that he is not permitted to make negative remarks about Macedonia? Professor Davcev in his letters lists a number of US universities with which he hopes UIST will have some sort of cooperation. Will he require an agreement from professors from these universities that they don't make negative remarks about Macedonia? I can guarantee you that there is not a single US university that will agree to send a professor to Macedonia under the condition that they don't make any negative remarks about the country.

6. Regarding professor Ager, professor Davcev took into consideration student remarks that he used to drink beer in public and was seen drunk on several occasions. Again I ask, did UIST require professor Ager to sign an agreement that he will not drink in public if he wants to keep his job? Is this a requirement for ALL university professors in Macedonia? They can't drink in public, otherwise they get fired? Do you know of any professor who was fired because he was drinking in public?

7. My next comment is in regard to the letters from the student parliament. Professor Davcev states, "What is probably most important, according to all surveys by the students, they were not satisfied by their work at all. (Please see the attached documents)." In my mind and in my opinion, having taught for 28 years at several universities in the US, this is the most disturbing and unethical behavior by UIST that I found during my one year teaching there, and I see it is still continuing. Professor Davcev claims that the letters from the parliament reflect a survey of students. At my home institution the univerity is required to do a survey of students every semester. So, regarding the survey conducted by the student parliament at UIST I would like to ask the following questions:

1. What was the process by which the student parliament conducted the survey?
2. On what date was the survey conducted?
3. Who (which individuals) initiated the survey?
4. What was the format of the survey? What questions were asked? Who selected and composed the questions?
5. Approximately how many students responded to the survey?
6. Was the survey anonymous? Was it conducted on paper, or orally?
7. What were the exact results of the survey questions (negative and positive)?
8. Who, which individual or individuals, composed the letters to the rector?
9. Were the students given a chance to read over the letters before they were submitted to Davcev?
10. Was the survey directed only at the individuals who were eventually dismissed, or was the survey conducted for all professors and assistants at UIST?
11. Did UIST make comparison of the results of the dismissed individauls with the rest of the professors?
12. Why is there no name of the author attached to each of the letters?

I personally was curious to know the answers to these question, so I contacted one of the students at UIST, and this is the reply I received: 

"There was no student meeting. Students from the student parliament were asking people randomly and unofficially, on Facebook and Skype; certain people, obviously. I was never asked about anything, for example, nor was any of the good students. Reading the answers, however, it's easy to conclude who are the people that were asked.
My friends and I had a strong argument with most of the students in our generation when we heard about the "survey". Few days after that, we were called by the prorector because "students were complaining that we are making problems".
- The student organization never had any meeting with the students, in fact. We were not even asked to choose the members of that organization. It is not a surprise that these things happen now. Students voted for the president, but not for the other 8 or 9 members."

Gentlemen, you need to ask professor Davcev these same questions if you want to be certain of the validity of the so-called survey that professor Davcev refers to. What to me is most disturbing, however, is that a group of students was called in by the pro-rector beacuse they did not agree with the opinion of some other group. You need to be aware that this is not an isolated procedure, students have been called in and threatedn by university officials on several occasions when those officials were not happy with student complaints. Here is one example of a message sent to students on July 6, 2010 on behalf of a former rector of UIST:

"If  this unofficial meetings (*of students) are used to spread lies about the functioning of the University in general or lies about  employees of the University, this meetings will be considered as meetings against the interests and well being of the University and will be sanctioned according Universities honor codes and State Laws."

Respected gentlemen, I think you really need to be aware that the aim of the majority foreign profesors at UIST has always been to contribute to an improvement in the Macedonian educational system. Those who manage UIST really need to be aware that managing foreign professors is not the same as managing employees at a textile factory in Stip. We are used to certain academic standards and respect for collegiality and for academic freedom of speech and exchange of ideas. We are also used to a certain system of employer-employee relations that may not be very common at Macedonian institutions of higher education. It's simply immoral and unethical to fire a professor without first discussing issues and without first giving due notice. If a professor is incompetent, first you try to discover that out before you hire him. If you discover the incompetency later, then you make the professor aware of it so that he will have time to improve in due time. Professor Davcev says ****** and Musgrave were fired because they were incompetent (based on the so-called student survey). Did anyone previously sit down with either of them to discuss their incompetence? Are you aware that in the past two yearsthe interviews with foreign candidates for professor at UIST were conducted  almost exclusively by teaching assistants and by a secretary with a high school degree? If students had a problem understanding professor ******'s English, wouldn't have it made more sense to have one of the English professors at UIST conduct the interview? If his English was really so poor, why was he hired in the first place?

If UIST in the future intends to establish exchange programs with professors and students form US universities, it is to its benefit to resolve these issues and to be ready to provide a collegial atmosphere. UIST has fired ALL of the professors that were hired during the first year two years ago, and 3-4 that were hired this past year, and all of them under the same unethical, if not illegal circumstances. This really does not speak well for the university. Any professor who intends to seek employment at UIST in the future will most likely know about the university's record of hiring and firing its professors.

Lastly, professor Davcev in his letter mentions that during the summer he hired Mr. Jordan Sikoski and Mr. Kosta Mitreski, but he failse to mention if either one is a family relation to any administrator at UIST. Wasn't there a law passed just last spring that was supposed to eradicate the problem of employing relatives at the same institution?

With greatest respect,

Below is a letter sent by a group of students from the university who disagree with professor Davcev's accusations against the foreign professors.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anonymous Student <>
Date: Sat, Oct 15, 2011 at 5:14 PM
Subject: Scandal at the University for Information Science and Technology - Ohrid

Dear Sirs,

Recently someone leaked the documents which contained some 'opinions' from a group of students about the three sacked professors at UIST (Prof. ******, Prof. Ager and Prof. Musgrave). 

We would like to let you know that:

1. The survey was not official. The student organization members only contacted a few students and they contacted them using Facebook and/or Skype. 

2. The things said about the professors are NOT TRUE at all. 
About Professor ******, he never missed any lectures or labs. There aren't any problems with his written or spoken English. The students that are complaining about his English should check their knowledge of the English language before blaming others. Most of the students understood and communicated with him frequently, it is not possible for one group to understand him and one group not to understand his English. 
Moreover, he was the only professor in the university who wanted to bring people from the IT Sector and give us presentations. He managed to bring a Software Engineer who works at the medical department of Siemens in Germany (of course the costs were covered by the university, but Professor ****** took the initiative to do things like these). 
He was the one responsible for getting few robots for the Machine Intelligence and Robotics faculty.
About his grading, most of the students that failed his courses were the ones who were caught cheating during the exams. The grading bounds are clearly stated on the beginning of every course. If the professor thinks a student deserves 0.3 points, he will give them those points, if not, he won't. That is his right.

About Professor Ager, he is quite good in Maths. Some of the students do not understand the difference between a lecture and tutorial/lab sessions. Even though he has the right to continue with the lecture if he gets interrupted (consultations are mainly for questions), he always stopped and explained the concept (again and again) if someone from the students asked him to do so. He always accepted criticism (good or bad) and he always tried to improve. 

About his drinking that was mentioned in the letter, that is his private life and his business. As long as his contract does not say "You cannot drink alcohol." he can do whatever he wants and as long as he is not drunk in classes, that does not concern anyone. 

The same thing about attending lectures/lab sessions applies to him also. He always attended the classes and lectures.

Professor Clyde, on the other hand, apart from the teaching job, organized a club for entrepreneurs and always offered support to students who needed help. Also, it is very unclear how is it possible that he had a diploma when he was hired, but suddenly, someone says that he does not have it. That also sounds very suspicious.

3. After we saw those letters, we contacted the President of the student organization, Dejan Stefanoski, who said that there was pressure on him by Jordan Shikoski to sign those documents. 

We hope that after you finish your investigations on these matters you will do the right thing.

Yours Sincerely,
Group of Worried UIST Students