Open Letter From Chan Young Bang, President of the Kazakhstan Institute of
Management, Economics and Strategic Research (KIMEP) To The People of Kazakhstan
have been recent allegations about the management and governance of KIMEP in
various media in the form of an open letter to President N.A. Nazarbayev.
feel it is vitally important for the integrity of the institution and most
importantly its graduates and current students for the reality of the situation
to made known to the general public. These people have produced prejudiced views
masquerading as facts for personal reasons. These accusations cannot go
unchallenged. The faculty who departed did so for various reasons:
was asked to leave after becoming involved in a physical fight with the Dean
of his College in front of students. Both parties were asked to leave
was asked to leave after repeated acts of gross incompetence and
was asked to leave after becoming involved in feuds, including death
threats, with various other faculty which were undermining the integrity of
resigned after being accused of sexual harassment by a student. The faculty
member was disciplined following an investigation. The person resigned
because he was unhappy with the outcome.
last left after seven months to a much higher paid job in the USA. In doing
their contract with KIMEP was broken.
issue which has been raised in recent public pronouncements by these former
faculty who left in these unfortunate circumstances is dealt with explicitly
the outset, it is critically important to understand that the Board of Trustees
of KIMEP , comprised of senior Government, business and academic representatives
formulates policy and is responsible for the overall direction and management of
the university. No major decision can be taken by the President without their
seeks only to provide the best education to Kazakhstani citizens and to assist
Kazakhstan as it develops. Our goal
is ďeducation to change societyĒ and our mission is to serve the people of
Kazakhstan. We are seeking to train
the next generation of Kazakhstanis as leaders in economics, business, and other
1: Turnover of Faculty
KIMEP has over 600 faculty/staff and over 4,000 students. Some of our
faculty leave every year, although many more arrive.
In 2005-6, we increased our faculty by more than nine, including many
Kazakhstanis who have received advanced training in the United States,
England and elsewhere. Our
turnover rate is quite low with less than 7% of our faculty/staff leaving
this academic year. This reflects the fact that for many people, KIMEP is an
attractive employment option. Further evidence of this comes from the
faculty themselves. In a 2006 Faculty Satisfaction Survey, 95% of faculty
said that they would recommend KIMEP as a place to work to others. This
is reinforced by our students, who also report a high level of satisfaction.
Both faculty and student
satisfaction surveys are documents of public record and can be found our
2: Management of Expatriate Faculty
We have a well established procedure for promotion, appointment and
termination. Our system is a three tiered committee process (department,
college and university) with faculty involvement at all levels. Normally, we
do not deviate from these procedures. Only four faculty have been asked to
leave KIMEP over the past two years. We regret this, but the faculty
concerned did not fit into our mission and goals. Those who leave do so for
a variety of reasons, including continuing professional development (a major
factor for our Kazakhstani faculty), personal reasons (family), and the end
of fixed term visiting appointments financed by programs such as the
Fulbright scholarship and exchange programs with other universities. We do
our best to retain faculty with internationally competitive salaries,
medical insurance and other benefits as well as continuing education
opportunities free of charge. Incidentally, we also provide a range of
scholarships for students and other discounts. We have to remember that for
our expatriate faculty, Almaty is far from home and family. We also need to
remember that for a range of reasons, some people are simply not suited to
the challenge of working in a dynamic context such as Kazakhstan.
3: KIMEPís Financial Structure and Accusations of Student Tuition Fee
Like any private university, KIMEP derives the majority of its income from
tuition fees. Currently this stands at 85-90% of total revenue. Last year,
however, KIMEP received from outside donors 37.5M KZT ($300,000) of direct
support. I have personally donated 302
338 728 KZT (2 050 697 USD) over recent years.
More importantly, over 12.5M KZT ($1m) of total tuition fees were paid to
support individual students by the private sector in 2005-6. All revenues
generated by KIMEP are reinvested in the Institute according to our Charter
to improve the quality of the education experience, as anyone who has
witnessed the radical developments over the past few years can see for
4: Integrity of Tender and Contract Award Procedures and Accusations of
Favoritism Towards USKO.
Our selection of contractors is completely transparent, open and
competitive. Any interested party is welcome to visit and review our
documents and procedures. Currently there are eleven construction and
renovation projects ongoing or recently completed at KIMEP. Of these, only
two are being carried out by USKO. KIMEP follows a rigorous procedure of
tender appraisal. An independent tender committee reviews submitted
proposals and makes a recommendation to the Executive Committee of KIMEP. If
the project involves a major capital investment, it is put to the KIMEP
Council, the highest internal decision making body of KIMEP, comprised of
faculty, management, staff and students. Further, very large investments
have to be approved by the KIMEP Board of Trustees, which is comprised of
senior business people, academics and government representatives. In any
case where there is a potential conflict of interest, all parties declare
that interest and recuse themselves from the process. I would like to
emphasize that this process was recently reviewed by a leading US
educational accreditation body and found to meet with the governance
standards expected of accredited institutions.
5: Renovation of KIMEP Library and Accusations of Favoritism Towards USKO.
The creation of our new world class library facility is one of our proudest
achievements in the development of KIMEP. USKO was selected as the most
competitive bid on grounds of quality and value for money from three
submitted proposals. This decision, like all major investments, was made
according to the process documented above in the most transparent manner. I
have no doubt that the KIMEP library is a landmark achievement for the
people of Kazakhstan. It is the best modern university library in the
Republic and in my view the entire CIS. Once again, I would happy to share
the documentation on the process with any interested party.
6: Accusations of Lack of Financial Transparency
In the past five years, five external audits have been carried out
into KIMEPís financial management at our instigation. All of these audits
were carried out by the internationally acclaimed firms of
PricewaterhouseCoopers (four times) and Deloitte (once). Each of these was
unqualified in its approval of KIMEPís financial management systems and
transparency. The system is completely transparent and KIMEPís accounts
are documents of public record. KIMEP is the only academic institution to
perform such external audits in Kazakhstan. We would be happy to forward the
audit reports to you as we publish these for public scrutiny.
7: Accusations of Managerial Incompetence
I have the utmost confidence in my senior management team. They combine
decades of administrative expertise with academic and professional
experience in a range of settings around the world and have been trained at
the best institutions in the world. My management team reflects my vision of
KIMEP, with experience in the United States, Canada and Europe mixed with
Kazakhstani expertise. This team was approved by the Board of Trustees in
April of this year. I challenge anyone to find a more capable team in any
organization in Kazakhstan. I invite any interested party to visit KIMEP,
review their CVs, meet with them and judge for themselves. KIMEPís
management has been asked by the Ministry of Education and many Kazakhstani
universities to share its experience and expertise in the further
development of higher education in Kazakhstan. This is a testimony to the
superior expertise of our management team.
8: Allegations of Failure to Achieve Accreditation from a United States Agency
In general, achieving accreditation from a United States accrediting body is a five to seven year procedure. KIMEP is in the midst of this process. We are proud to be the first independent university in the CIS to apply for accreditation from a leading and internationally renowned accreditation agency in the USA. I am are confident that we will achieve this ultimate goal and give the people of Kazakhstan a world class university.
would like to conclude by highlighting that KIMEP is a dynamic institution of
which Kazakhstan can be proud. We are building KIMEP as a gift
to the people of Kazakhstan and in doing this are committed to the
provision of world class education to support the astonishing changes we see
every day in Kazkahstan.
are committed to achieving this through an open and transparent management
system so that not only do our students and graduates contribute to economic and
social change, but that in all of its actions KIMEP demonstrates world class
academic and management practices. I am grateful to our Board of Trustees for
formulating a system which allows us to do this.
greatest strength is our students and faculty who are actively involved in the
management and decision making process of the University. We seek to practice
what we preach. KIMEP is open to all and we would be delighted to extend an open
invitation to anyone who is interested to visit the University and see for
themselves what we are achieving. KIMEP belongs to the people of Kazakhstan and
we are happy to share this experience with them.
again I invite anyone who is interested to visit KIMEP and talk to any member of
the KIMEP community and see for themselves.