Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)

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Singapore web rank: 16
Asia web rank: 3159
Global web rank: 10199

General Information

Type: Public Autonomous
Year of Establishment: 2009




Cronyism and abject academics

The problem with this organization is that the support and admin staff report to their respective department directors and are not appraised by the faculty whom they are supporting. As such, faculty have no appraisal power over the support/admin staff who may only be interested in fulfilling their KPIs and appeasing their own bosses, leading to sometimes apathetic attitude towards faculty’s questions or requests. Unfortunately, such a system fails to realize that 1. faculty are the centrepiece of an IHL which immediately ceases to exist if the faculty are removed and 2. the support/admin staff exist to support the faculty and students for the proper functioning of the IHL. The flawed decentralized power structure is exacerbated by the fact that the various divisions (Academic, Administration, Professional Office, Planning, etc.) are each headed by someone in the Senior Management where no one is subordinate to the other. As such, the Provost will find it difficult to effect changes which may potentially harm the interests of, say, the Administration or Planning divisions since half of the people in senior management are either ex-army generals or people with powerful political connections. Even the chairman of the Board of Trustees is a 3-star ex-Army general. Is SIT a military school? Is meritocracy even possible in such a highly cronyistic environment? Conflicts between the academic division and other other divisions in matters related to work will typically end with the academic cluster/programme directors telling their faculty to accommodate and not create trouble, unless the issue is serious enough to warrant attention from the provost. The recent promotion exercise continues to demonstrate it’s not what you know but who you know that matters. What’s the president thinking? Perhaps he is also subordinate to some powerful colleagues whom he dares not offend? Or maybe he is also part of the cronyism?

I would NOT recommend to a friend.

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