25 top officials quit HCT alleging mismanagement

Meraj Rizvi
Filed on December 1, 2005

DUBAI — A spate of resignations have been reported at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) recently, raising concern among employees over increasing job uncertainty which could adversely affect the reputation and standard of the institutions.

Some 25 officials ranking from directors, supervisors and heads of departments primarily from the directorates of Central Services and Academics at HCT, have put in their papers for various reasons, prominent being the alleged change in policy after the new Vice-Chancellor, Dr Taiyeb Kamali, took charge in June this year.

Although, Kamali denied his assuming charge as the HCT vice-chancellor has anything to do with the resignations.

"Every year, a certain number of people either resign for personal reasons, complete their contract period with HCT, or are fired for non-performance. This is very normal," said Kamali, stating that these 25 officials deciding to leave the organisation was no different from previous years. Of the 1,900 HCT staff, it is likely that some 10 to 15 per cent leave every year. Dr Kamali told Khaleej Times that people quitting HCT is not out of the ordinary but for the junior staff leaving the organisation is because of poor performance.

“HCT is known for its high performance and high standards in all areas of operations and staff with poor work output cannot continue in their jobs,” he said. He believes it is natural for the staff to resist new leadership in any organisation. “With leadership there is bound to be some changes in the policy and working styles, but this is nothing out of the ordinary,” he added.

But a majority HCT officials who have submitted their resignations recently and are serving their notice period have alleged: “There is rampant mismanagement at the HCT. The entire Community Relations and Services Department has resigned, in addition to staff from other central and academic services.”

An official who tendered his resignation recently spoke on condition of anonymity that “perhaps the new vice chancellor is re-organising the HCT, but implementing it wrongly.”

“Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Education and Chancellor of HCT, had recently urged for restructuring and reorganising of the HCT. But it is being applied incorrectly,” the official said, unhappy over leaving the organisation he has served for several years.

The official also ruled out downsizing at HCT. “It is not downsizing because recently there have been several new appointments at HCT,” he pointed out.

According to Dr Sulaiman Al Jassim, Director of Community Relations and Services, who is serving his notice period currently and claiming his decision to leave HCT is purely personal, stated there could be different reasons for the recent spate of resignations.

However, he did not rule out alleged mismanagement in HCT administration recently, to be one of the reasons for many to leave.

He also believes the resignations could be the outcome of proposed restructuring of HCT which means reform of some departments by bringing in people with latest skills and fresh ideas. Budget constraints at HCT has been a reason for concern, but Al Jassim ruled out that it could play any role in people quitting the organisation.

Commenting on his department staff also quitting after his resignation, Al Jassim said: “Perhaps they know that I am leaving the organisation. But such mass resignations will surely affect the working at the HCT specially in the department which should have experienced staff to maintain good marketing and community relations with people outside HCT.”

He also ruled out emiratisation drive that could have caused many expatriate staff quitting HCT recently.

Kamali, meanwhile, disclosed that HCT is currently reviewing certain areas and is also studying the possibility of reverting to the earlier system of hiring one director per college. Currently, Higher Colleges in Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Al Ain and Fujairah have one director heading both men's and women's colleges in these emirates.

“But this trend existed even before I took charge as VC and has nothing to do with budget constraints,” he pointed out.

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