Webster University Thailand: Rampant Corruption, Fraud Put Blemish On Growing International Brand

By   |  March 4, 2015

Author’s Note: Journalism ethics often call for 3rd-party dissection of information and experiences in order to provide a non-biased view of a story. In this case, due to my personal involvement with Webster University : Thailand, such pure dissection is not possible at CollegeTimes. I have done my best to present a balanced perspective, including interviewing multiple current and former students and faculty from the WUT campus. This post was also reviewed for factual accuracy by multiple WUT students and faculty before final publication. PHOTO: The current Rector of WUT Ratish Thakur (left) accepts a “Trust Mark Award” from then-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2013 on behalf of the campus, despite WUT having submitted allegedly fraudulent PhD research to the Thai Ministry of Education multiple years in a row in order to renew their university-level Quality Assessment marks.

Update 3/22/2015: Webster University has officially responded to this article by sending out a private letter to WUT students via email (while avoiding all WUT faculty) threatening to sue CollegeTimes. Apparently, WUSTL thought that we would not be forwarded the threatening letter by outraged WUT students…

Update 3/23/2015: Thailand’s well-known investigative blogger, Andrew Drummond, and Hua Hin Forum, have both picked up this growing story…

Update 3/26/2015: According to writers at the Webster Journal (the student newspaper at WUSTL), they are being muzzled by WUSTL administrators and have been threatened that their funding will be “cut off” if they cover stories that cast Webster University in a critical light. This water-downed article was the only mention of WUT fraud and corruption that was “approved” by WUSTL administrators.

Update 3/29/2015: Alex Friptu, the Romanian “Online Marketing Manager” for WUT who was responsible for recruiting Ramona Mihaela Paun (see below) to be the new head of WUT School of Business and Technology, just spent 4 hours 6 mins 32 secs spamming our website from his iPhone on a Saturday night. According to WUT sources, he was recently given a part-time teaching position at WUT so that the “Indian Mafia” administrators could reward him with money allocated by Webster for continuing education of (select) faculty. Apparently spamming and slandering our website were pre-requisites to whatever they have promised him…

Update 4/6/2015: In a completely independent development, American students at Webster University : London have launched a protest regarding the illegal withholding of their U.S. federal student aid. In reaction to being told to “apply for private student loans” instead, nearly 200 students have signed an online petition demanding that WUSTL officials immediately disburse their financial aid funds.

Update 4/10/2015: In reaction to this article, Inside Higher Ed published an investigative piece of their own with several additional stories, testimonies, and other evidence of rampant fraud and corruption going on at the WUT campus. In addition, a letter signed by 160+ students from the WUT campus was recently delivered to WUSTL administrators in reaction to the lawsuit threat against CollegeTimes that WUSTL recently distributed to WUT students as an intimidation tactic.

Update 4/16/2015: After ignoring months of emails and phone calls from WUT faculty and students, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch finally decided to mention the WUT scandals after the IHE piece mentioned above was published (although the Dispatch offered zero additional research). It was followed up immediately (strategically?) by a piece acknowledging the “site review report” released by WUSTL a few days ago. We have heard reports that the Post-Dispatch’s editorial board has rather close ties with the WUSTL administration and will be following up on this. IHE briefly broke down the report’s clear attempt at glossing over serious issues.

Update 5/24/2015: A long-awaited months-long investigation into the WUT campus was published today by the Bangkok Post newspaper. WUT Rector Ratish Thakur has repeatedly insisted in recent weeks to the Post that Webster’s Cha-Am campus will be ‘moving’ to Bangkok in an apparent effort to minimize the reputation damage to Webster that continues to snowball across Southeast Asia.

Update 7/27/2015: Months after WUT Rector Ratish Thakur told the Bangkok Post that the campus would be permanently shutting down – a story that has in fact been rumored for several years – the campus continues to aggressively recruit new students from India and beyond, particularly noticeable via traffic logs maintained by CollegeTimes.

Update 3/22/2016: Well into the 2016 year, it is apparent that WUT has no intention of “shutting down” their campus in Cha-Am despite repeated promises of such to the Bangkok Post newspaper. Instead, they have pushed forward with more aggressive marketing, especially in Bhutan, as measured by CollegeTimes traffic logs. However, we were recently forwarded copies of these three emails showing that WUSTL has begun a massive “budget slashing” campaign across its international campuses, banning WUT from hiring new faculty or staff without approval and ordering them to immediately find ways to contribute to a $1.5 million dollar budget reduction.

English introduction: In late 2014, I saw General Prayut Chan-O-Cha appear on Thai television in a special appeal to anyone watching to help make Thailand a better place. Speaking in Thai, with English subtitles, he asked for residents of Thailand to faithfully report any instances of corruption to his new government. I respectfully submit this article in an effort to expose serious fraud and corruption at Webster University. I hope and pray that the quality of higher education in Thailand can be protected and improved because of stories like this, where dozens of students and faculty have united together in an effort to end years of fraud and threats of violence. On behalf of these dozens of students and faculty, I sincerely thank General Prayut and other members of the Thai government for their dedication to the safety and well-being of students and teachers throughout all of Thailand.

Thai introduction: ในช่วงปลายปี 2557 ข้าพเจ้าได้มีโอกาสเห็นพลเอกประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา ทางโทรทัศน์ ในรายการพิเศษที่ท่านมีความมุ่งมั่นในการพัฒนาประเทศไทยให้ดียิ่งขึ้น ซึ่งท่านพลเอกประยุทธ์ ได้กล่าวเป็นภาษาไทยและมีคำบรรยายภาษาอังกฤษประกอบ โดยท่านขอให้ผู้ที่พำนักในประเทศไทยทุกคนแจ้งการทุจริตต่างๆแก่รัฐบาลของท่าน ข้าพเจ้าจึงขอส่งบทความชิ้นนี้มาเพื่อแสดงการทุจริตและการฉ้อโกงของมหาวิทยาลัยเว็บสเตอร์ ข้าพเจ้าหวังเป็นอย่างยิ่งว่าคุณภาพการศึกษาในระดับอุดมศึกษาของไทยจะได้รับความคุ้มครองและพัฒนาให้ดียิ่งขึ้นจากกรณีตัวอย่างนี้ ทั้งนี้ นักศึกษาหลายสิบคนและคณะได้รวมตัวกันเพื่อสิ้นสุดปีการศึกษาแห่งการฉ้อโกงรวมถึงการข่มขู่โดยใช้ความรุนแรงนี้ ในฐานะตัวแทนของนักศึกษาและคณะ ข้าพเจ้าขอขอบพระคุณพลเอกประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา และคณะรัฐบาล อย่างสูงที่ได้ทุ่มเทเพื่อความปลอดภัยและสภาพความเป็นอยู่ที่ดีของนักศึกษาและคณาจารย์ทั่วประเทศไทย

There is one thing, at least, that nearly everyone at Webster University : Thailand seems to firmly agree on: the school has some serious potential.

Not only is WUT in an area of the world experiencing massive economic growth, but it is – at least, allegedly, anyway – also affiliated with a well-established American university that is both “non-profit” and regionally accredited.

Unending Scandals, Controversy, Threats

But spend a few days on campus at one of two WUT locations in Thailand – either the remote Cha-Am campus (near Hua Hin) or the new Bangkok center – and the scandalous stories begin to flow like rats out of a sewer. During my short time there as a part-time instructor of computer electives, here are a few revelations that I encountered, leading to my unwavering conclusion that WUT is nothing short of a diploma mill:

1) Multiple students have allegedly had their life threatened directly by the Rector of WUT, Ratish Thakur, after they questioned the corruption and fraud happening around the campus. Although the threats were repeated, the most recounted event is from 2010 when members of the WUT student council (SGA) held a private meeting in Thakur’s office. During the meeting, Thakur allegedly threatened that students “would be shot” (assassinated by a “hit man”) if they didn’t stop complaining about the poor quality of academics, facilities, and otherwise at the WUT campus. For the past 5 years, students have struggled to shine light on this shocking series of events to an unsympathetic Webster University : St. Louis (WUSTL) administration. Andrea Eickelmann, the former SGA president at WUT, has helped students submit several in-depth letters to WUSTL, interviewed with the Journal (Webster’s student newspaper in St. Louis, who seems to have recently deleted the interview), and even undertook a detailed survey of WUT students to prove that those at the Thailand campus are not only dissatisfied, but thoroughly “frightened” by what they encounter there:

2) According to members of WUT’s Academic Committee that spoke with me, Academic Director Nisha Ray-Chaudhuri has been submitting fraudulent “research” to the Thai Ministry of Education for multiple years in a row in order to renew WUT’s “university-level” Quality Assessment ratings from the Thai government, which requires ongoing PhD research to be performed. Ray-Chaudhuri alleged to the Committee that she received direct instruction from Thakur on how to carry out the fraud, including submitting research that had been completed by other Webster University campuses, changing the names on certain research projects, re-submitting old research papers, and submitting the names of “full-time” faculty that do not work at the WUT campus. Interestingly, even with allegedly fraudulent research being submitted, the Thai QA system still concluded that WUT has an extremely poor rating in terms of full-time faculty and overall research activity. Specifically, for the “15” full-time faculty that WUT claims to employ, only a mere ฿7,495 THB (approximately $230 USD) is apparently budgeted for each “researcher” per year to carry out their mandatory university-level research, resulting in a score of just 1.4 out of 5 possible points for the WUT campus in that category:

Yet, according to the QA, despite WUT conducting almost zero research, having very few full-time faculty members, and having extremely poor graduation rates, the final overall QA rating for WUT somehow managed to be 4.59 out of 5 total points. This comes on the heels of the Thai government seriously considering a total annihilation of the entire ONESQA system after years of dysfunction.

But it gets even worse – not only has WUT been committing “research fraud” for several years, the campus has also been hiring faculty with falsified credentials:

“We use people’s names who do not work full time or even part time at WUT, there is [research] publication credit given to WUT when the person writing it lives in Florida, for instance… Bruce Keel was another person who was let go at WUT, but then he returned. During the last rebellion/uprising in 2010, the “troublemakers” determined that the school giving his doctoral degree did not recognize his name on a list of persons actually earning a degree that year. In other words, he claimed to have a degree he didn’t. He was promoted to Academic Director, but all he did was make coffee. He ignored the long list of items he was supposed to do… Nisha [Ray-Chaudhuri] lists her degree as a DBA, but she added a “ABD” after it, which nobody does in academics. There is a mindset that we need to do whatever sneaky things we can to fool the Thai accrediting bodies, partly because they don’t understand academics either.” — Current WUT faculty member

Then of course, there’s the story of “Dr.” Edward Roy Krishnan, a scam artist from Malaysia with multiple “doctorate” degrees he purchased from diploma mills. Guess which Thai university hired him without a second thought? That’s right, WUT. There’s also the new “director” of WUT’s School of Business and Technology, Ramona Mihaela Paun, who claims 1 Phd, 2 Masters, and a Bachelors from Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, along with a Phd and Bachelors from the University of Gothenburg. Strangely, she achieved this impressive amount of six different degrees at the same time she claims to have held full time jobs at JCI Romania, a Romanian non-profit organization.

PHOTO: Julian Z. Schuster, Provost of Webster University in St. Louis, attends a 2014 groundbreaking ceremony for the new WUT location (a rented office building) in Bangkok. Standing with him is the so-called “Indian Mafia” administration, along with Phil Gwaltney (Student Affairs Director), an apparently “token white guy” whose job is to stop students from smoking on campus, among other trivial tasks.

3) According to multiple current and former faculty members, WUT administrators – commonly referred to as “The Indians” or the “Indian Mafia” by WUT students and faculty alike – maintain two separate financial accounting records; one that they show to Webster in St. Louis, and another that they keep for their own purposes. Over the past several years, this group of Indians have allegedly “borrowed” millions of Thai baht from WUT student tuition fees for personal travel and living expenses, and for their own higher education (i.e. PhDs in France), without any approval or acknowledgement from the rest of the Webster community. The below three documents provided to CollegeTimes by multiple sources show rather indisputable evidence of extensive financial “borrowing” carried out by Ratish Thakur, Nisha Ray-Chadhuri (now married to Samrat Ray, the Director of Marketing at WUT), and James Jain, all of whom are Indian nationals working in Thailand (and 3 of whom previously attended and later worked together at Samford International University in Hua Hin):

“It is obvious to everyone that Ratish rakes in his money every month while denying funding to so many others, even for legitimate purposes. I can only tell you from direct experience. He doesn’t document these kinds of things anyway. Executive committee decisions are simply edicts issued by him, and all the others simply go along. There are typically NO DOCTORATES on the [committee]. Some members post photos of their “retreats” at luxury spas/resorts including the bar area, pool, bedroom, etc. People were asked to nominate individuals but in fact some were simply expected to join, qualified or not.” — Current WUT faculty member

During my short time as an instructor at WUT, dozens of WUT students also claimed that various “fees” were regularly billed to them without any explanation, including a “General Fee” of $760 that did not include any itemization. Some of my American students, who must transfer their U.S. federal financial aid via Kasikorn Bank in Thailand, also alleged that they often must wait several weeks for their financial aid to be disbursed, plus pay disburment “fees”, both of which are a violation of U.S. student aid regulations.

One WUT student shared emails with me showing how, despite his plans to withdraw from WUT after December 2014, his Connections (WUT user account) was placed on hold after he was suddenly told he owed the school ฿2,000 THB from past “bank transfer” fees from up to 2 years earlier. After his account was locked, he was unable to officially withdraw from the Spring 2015 term, and thus his Spring courses “began” despite his already having left Thailand. Now, WUT is claiming that he owes both a non-refundable “General Fee” and “Media Fee” totaling ฿31,000 THB (approx. $957 USD), otherwise Webster’s St. Louis campus will not unlock his account and course records.

Update: 3/24/2015: Multiple students have discovered that WUT has been charging students a ฿25,000 THB “General Fee” (managed by James Jain, the WUT Director of Finance, who is from India) even when they are “studying abroad” at a different Webster University campus. No other Webster campus does this.

PHOTO: Despite graduation only costing $75 at the WUSTL campus, recent bills sent to WUT students totaled over ฿10,000 THB (more than $300 USD). UPDATE: immediately before this article was finalized, I was informed that enough WUT seniors had organized a boycott of the 2015 graduation ceremony that WUT was forced to drop the cost back down to its original price of just ฿3,000 THB; days later, the WUT went a step further and decided to “waive” the graduation fee completely.

4) During the fall term of 2014, Webster’s St. Louis campus sent over a “Campus Review” committee on multiple visits to the WUT campus allegedly to seek feedback from faculty/students on how WUT might improve; interestingly, very few faculty or students were actually made aware of the review process. According to members of WUT’s Academic Committee, Thakur was invited to a secret meeting off-campus with Julian Z. Schuster – the WUSTL Provost and COO – before the review process began, allegedly to reassure Thakur that St. Louis fully supported him and that the Campus Review process would not endanger his current position. Although WUT did not make any real effort to announce the Campus Review process – including burying an announcement memo prepared by WUSTL – I sent multiple emails to St. Louis administrators to inquire about the process on behalf of my students, who feared they would face backlash at WUT for any feedback they provided. Despite initial promises to the WUT student council that feedback would be “completely confidential”, Nancy J. Hellerud, the Vice Provost of WUSTL and a licensed attorney in the U.S., finally replied to my multiple inquiries with a significantly different and intimidating answer:

“Yes, we have received your e-mail. Information sent to the committee and the names of those who submit information will be treated as confidential to the extent possible, but we cannot promise confidentiality. If policy or law dictates that information be disclosed, we will do so.” — Nancy J. Hellerud, WUSTL Vice Provost

I had to personally inquire with WUT students and department heads multiple times to confirm the time and place of the “Campus Review” faculty meeting, but finally found the location at the WUT campus on 11 November, 2014. The meeting, which was hosted by WUSTL Vice Provost Nancy J. Hellerud, was only attended by around a dozen WUT faculty members in total. For the better part of 2 hours, Hellerud – fully taking on the part of an “attorney” – talked over and interrupted the attendees, making a clear effort to steer conversation away from more serious topics. Toward the end of the meeting, I confronted Hellerud over corruption and fraud allegations, and let her know to her face that one of my students’ lives has been apparently threatened by Thakur, as she had refused my earlier phone call attempts to the United States. Without any reply, she quickly canceled the meeting and walked away, fully uninterested in the fact that student lives were in possible danger at the WUT campus (@ 2:05-2:14):

At one point, Hellerud responded with vague reference to financial problems at WUT, possibly alluding to the fact that the St. Louis campus is well aware of and/or enabling the alleged corruption going on, believing it is “out of their control”:

“Frankly, its interesting because the idea of ‘profit’ is everywhere, and we’re not profitable, frankly… but what we, as an organization, have to think about, is there are things we cannot control… and some of those are things you have to ‘pay’ people… it might be benefits packages… but, you can make some assumptions.” – Nancy J. Hellerud, , WUSTL Vice Provost

If St. Louis is indeed aware of ongoing corruption being perpetrated by WUT representatives, especially related to bribery of officials or other entities in Asia, it would be a direct violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977.

5) Several faculty members at WUT have been the victims of contract fraud and/or withheld salary, often being forced to teach courses without pay or being promised compensation “at the end of the year” by administrators. One faculty member who has been at WUT for over 2 years, said even she had been scammed by the school, but told me that her students helped her to realize what was going on:

“Before, my contract finished in the middle of August. Then last year, they changed my contract to finish by the end of May. So that means they didn’t pay me for two and a half months. [They] said ‘Okay, we will give you [less] classes for the next contract.’ I said, ‘No! I finished this contract, I need to get paid first!’ So finally they paid me.” – Current WUT faculty member

I myself was a victim of contract fraud, when WUT Academic Director, Nisha Ray-Chaudhuri, attempted to force me to teach a “business” course that I was not contracted (let alone qualified) to teach, without compensating me. After Ray-Chaudhuri ignored several of my emails, I was finally able to surprise her outside her office on campus on one of my days off. When I asked for written confirmation that I was qualified to teach the course, along with financial compensation, Ray-Chaudhuri first tried to call my supervisor, Roy Avecilla, out of his classroom to tell me “why I had to teach the course.” When I asked why she herself, as the Academic Director, couldn’t resolve the situation, she said she would “make some phone calls” and asked me to leave. 30 minutes later, I received an email from her stating that I would no longer be teaching the course. The following week, Avecilla informed me that according to WUT administrators, I would no longer be able to teach at WUT because I “lacked a PhD degree, or at least a Masters degree” in web design (the subject of my elective course), despite WUT having repeatedly begged me to return in 2015 to teach again due to my strong student evaluations, and due to my course in computer applications being the most popular class on campus during 2014.

PHOTO: Although my contract at WUT was to teach computer electives part-time (web design/marketing and applications) I suddenly found myself being forced to teach a business theory class, despite my bachelor’s degree in social science. I was told to teach from Management Science written by Stephen Powell, a professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business who holds a PhD and Masters from Stanford University.

In fact, despite WUT’s very short history, already several former faculty members have filed – and won – lawsuits against WUT for wrongful dismissal, contract fraud, and other breeches of Thai labor laws, winning hundreds of thousands of Thai baht in settlements. It’s rather tell-tale that every single faculty member at WUT is placed on temporary 1-year employment contracts – even “full-time” professors who have been teaching for some years – seemingly to encourage a high turnover rate and faculty disconnect. Any faculty member or instructor who doesn’t “play along” with the contract fraud, among other campus abuses, seems to be quickly fired, “dismissed”, or their contract is simply not renewed at the end of the current year.

Dario Navarro, a recent hire at the WUT campus with an impressive list of credentials from Yale, Princeton, and Northwestern Universities in the United States, is perhaps the best recent example of the bizarre, criminal treatment of faculty. His complete story – detailing how he was continually harassed and threatened by the “Indians” at WUT after making inquiries into the campus “audit” process with WUSTL’s administration – can be found in the documents linked above, but here is a short excerpt:

“Earlier today I learned that WUT administrators have made yet another in a long series of illegal, retaliatory and coercive decisions by instructing the WUT attorney to inform me that my salary at WUT for October 2014 would be withheld until I submitted my grades and agreed to WUT settlement terms. The withholding of my salary in an illegal coercive attempt to obtain my consent to a settlement offer violates Section 70 of the Thai Labor Protection Act of 1998. The illegal coercive withholding of my salary is just the latest demonstration of the lack of good faith and abusive misconduct of WUT officials.” — Dario Navarro, former WUT professor

Of course, this may not be entirely surprising to those familiar with Webster University’s recent reputation in the United States, as WUSTL fired their Vice President of Finance of more than 12 years, David Garafola, in 2011, after he filed complaints regarding unethical recruiting practices. Garafola later sued Webster in court and won a large settlement. In an interview with Columbia University, Garafola later explained:

“My philosophy is that you can’t be a successful business officer and not be transparent,” Garafola said. “There are just way too many constituencies. You have to have openness and a transparency that’s there if you’re going to be successful.” — David Garafola, fired from WUSTL

(There is also the 2011 case of professor Tracey McCarthy, an African-American female, who alleged discrimination and sexual harassment. Several other African-American students have also alleged an extremely racist environment at WUSTL.)

6) Despite claiming to be an “American university in Thailand” there are currently no Americans within the WUT administration, no apparent oversight of WUT course curricula, and the WUT faculty is increasingly made up of Filipinos and Indians (mostly friends of Thakur), among other non-native English speakers (which isn’t necessary a bad thing, but surely isn’t an “American” thing). When I contacted the Higher Learning Commission, who is responsible for Webster’s (American) regional accreditation by way of North Central Association Of Colleges And Schools and who allegedly “accredits” all world-wide campuses of Webster, one John Hausaman informed me that:

“We accredit the institution as a whole, which encompasses all locations of the institution. All locations of an institution can be included in the evaluation process for accreditation. I do not have specific information available about that particular campus’ last visit.” — HLC

When I asked him if “any” audit or campus visit had ever taken place in the history of WUT, or if anyone at the HLC could verify such, he refused to reply further. However, after a week of badgering Hausaman, and 4-5 email inquiries later, I finally confirmed (vaguely) that the WUT campus has no audit/accreditation records on file:

“Since we evaluate the institution as a whole, the information about the particular location you are seeking is not information we provide according to our policies.” — HLC

But how exactly does an accreditation agency “accredit” an institution without ever visiting or auditing its campus? It is widely believed that HLC accreditation standards have been going downhill for years. A public 2010 letter from the U.S. Department of Education lambasted the HLC for deciding to accredit American InterContinental University, a well-known for-profit diploma mill. University of Phoenix, the largest for-profit college in the United States, is now also “accredited” by the HLC just like WUSTL. (And, coincidentally, UOP also helped to create the ACBSP accreditation agency for MBA programs after they and other poor quality schools were rejected for AACSB accreditation. Case in point, the only MBA accreditation that all Webster campuses world-wide currently hold is from ACBSP, which many American employers no longer even recognize.)

“The Thailand campus is also lacking in supplies. The last time I attended (2004), class textbooks still took 4 to 6 weeks to arrive, if they arrived at all. While cheap by American standards, the price of textbooks was high. Computer labs were not of very good quality and the internet is slow, although I believe that this has improved somewhat over the last year.” — WUT student, 2005

7) Althought WUT claims to be a “private American university”, the campus, which is located in a remote part of Cha-Am, is very poorly equipped. For years, students have complained about a lack of basic upkeep of facilities, including classrooms, cafeteria, library, sports areas, and more. For the entire 2014 year that I taught web design and digital marketing at WUT, the internet connection was so poor (and so many computers either missing or broken in our lab) that many of my students opted to bring their laptops to class and pay for a special 3G hotspot signal on their smartphones. Shockingly (or not), it appears these issues have existed at WUT since at least 2004.

PHOTOS: Despite WUT having received their Cha-Am campus property completely free of charge by convincing a joint-venture foundation of their good intentions, administrators fail to upkeep basic facilities like the library, classroom equipment, etc. Above you can see an ethernet cable dangling from the ceiling outside of my computer lab, where it remained until the end of 2014, failing to provide a proper WiFi internet connection to classrooms. During class, my students were forced to share 2-3 to a computer/desk, and also had to purchase special 3G hotspot signals to use with their personal laptop computers. Despite expensive “General Fees” charged to WUT students, somehow there was no budget for a $20 WiFi router, resulting in one anonymous student venting frustration by attaching a “No Internet Connection… you’re wasting your time sitting here” warning to one of the computers in our lab.

According to Human Resources staff, the only reason that WUT holds on to the Cha-Am campus is because according to Thai law, a private university must have at least 100 rai (acres) of land in order to operate (even though WUSTL’s true desire is to expand operations in Bangkok, where they don’t own any property whatsoever; during 2014, no less than 3 times did rumors spring up that the Cha-Am campus was being shut down). This claim echos statements made by Nancy J. Hellerud, who claimed during the “Campus Review” meeting that WUSTL is focused on growing profits in “metropolitan” areas, and that the Cha-Am location is “not profitable.”

Such claims are a bit hard to believe, though, seeing as how WUT managed to obtain their current Cha-Am campus completely free of charge as a generous donation from the Srikraivin-Bonython Foundation (a join venture of two families and University of Maryland via Raimon Land PCL), with campus buildings included, by convincing the foundation of their good intentions. Even according to Rector Thakur himself – during a July 2014 faculty meeting – the foundation is not very happy with the direction that WUT has been headed in recent years (they also reserve their right to withdraw use of the land if WUT does not abide by its contractual obligations).

8) After spamming and vandalizing Wikipedia for nearly 7 years, the WebsterThailand handle (managed by WUT marketing staff) was finally banned in February 2015. WUT continues to censor and vandalize Wikipedia to this day, deleting Ratish Thakur’s name and censoring key facts in regard to the WUT campus, in an apparent effort to hide from ongoing allegations that WUT has become an “Indian-Pinoy” college, leading Wikipedia to temporarily lock down the article. St. Louis marketing staff also got involved using new usernames, and were also temporarily banned from Wikipedia, but not before making the following bizarre and rather self-deprecating statements:

Please note that one of the incorrect pieces put on the page is that the University is “Indian managed.” Ratish Thakur is Indian, but the University is managed by an American non-profit and has numerous Americans, Europeans and Asians on staff. To specifically change this to “Indian managed” strikes me as somewhat racist. Inkyhack

Webster University Thailand is not a stand-alone University, but is a campus of Webster University based in the United States. As a result, it would not have an endowment by itself, nor should it even be called a “university” but rather a “campus of a university.” Inkyhack

Believe it or not, WUSTL marketing staff spent several days browsing CollegeTimes as well, after noticing how high our student reviews of WUT ranked on Google, and decided to try and spam Wikipedia by slandering my web hosting company, Little Bizzy (which was immediately deleted… but not before I captured it).

9) In December 2014, the entire WUT student council officially resigned in protest over the ongoing abuse and disrespect they felt they were suffering at the hands of WUT, writing a scathing resignation letter to administrators. Immediately after the announcement, WUT administrators wasted no time in tearing down student activity boards that the council had assisted with, according to student witnesses.

10) The Webster Journal, a student-lead campus publication at WUSTL, has been mysteriously deleting several stories in recent years that cast the WUT campus in a seemingly negative light. Here are a few of the stories I was able to recover:

Webster : St. Louis Completely Indifferent?

Any one of the laundry list of grievances mentioned above should be nothing short of abhorrent to a self-respecting “university” system – not to mention, any human being with even a basic sense of morality. How then, in a sane world, does Webster University not only accept the blatant fraud, corruption, and violent threats being carried out overseas, but even seemingly encourage it? One former WUT professor, Charles Brumfield, theorizes that blind ambition is to blame:

“They want the prestige of being called an international university with campuses on 4 continents. That’s understandable. But the problem with that is, when your international program is a sham, it becomes the laughing stock of the international academic community. An international university with campuses around the world is very prestigious if you’re offering quality programs like the University of Maryland does. If you’re running a shoddy program, all respect goes down the drain. All your efforts are for naught… It’s bizarre to the extent of being almost insane, as far as WUT is concerned. If you run your program based on fear, intimidation, deception, and fraud, how can your program be taken seriously?” — Charles Brumfield, former WUT professor

With the internet having introduced a new wave of consumer transparency (at least sometimes), it is impressive that phenomenons like WUT can survive so long without being crucified by online feedback and blogs. But that’s just the thing: arguably, WUT is a scam that’s been totally perfected for the 21st century. The campus is in Thailand, a country known for its sweet (innocent?) people and rife with political corruption opportunities; its student recruits are from developing Asian countries and have little cultural predisposition to things like “legal rights” or “freedom of speech”; and its administrators are masters of illusion, intimidation, and double speak.

Unfortunately, Mr. Thakur, you made one key mistake: trying to scam Americans.

To entertain for even a second the possibility that St. Louis is not fully aware of the fraud, corruption, and disgust that engulfs the WUT campus is impossible. From years of online student blogs, to internal and external surveys and QA audits (even after being doctored), to interviews in Webster’s own campus newspaper, to the dozens upon dozens of private emails and letters that have been sent, WUSTL is clearly aware to the point of exhaustion that WUT is a corrupt, fraudulent, diploma mill providing absolutely no value to the residents of Thailand and Southeast Asia.

VIDEO: WUT Rector Ratish Thakur appears on a television news show in India, an unusual event for a director whose campus is thousands of kilometers away in Thailand. The majority of WUT administrators are now Indian nationals, as the campus continues its aggressive recruiting in India and Nepal in recent years after interest declined drastically among Chinese, Vietnamese, and other Southeast Asian students.

With recent explosive stories involving embezzlement at a major Thai university resulting in the arrest and indictment of the university’s rector, is it time to expect a new era of accountability in Thailand? As WUT announces new plans for recruiting Indian students (for the third time this decade), it seems the question remains: can a “university” that hides its own administrators from their website and uses testimonials written by their own marketing employees… ever really be trusted?

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32 Comments on “Webster University Thailand: Rampant Corruption, Fraud Put Blemish On Growing International Brand”  (RSS)

  1. European International University sent me an email trying to scam me.

    Thanks to this page, they won’t get a chance to waste my time.

  2. Be aware of Bangkok School of Management and the Dr. Edward Roy Krishnan! He is a scam artist. He has no credible academic credentials. All of his PHDs are from diploma mills. His latest scam is European International University. http://www.eiu.ac. it pretends to be an actual univerity from france but has all the Bangkok School of Management staff listed as employees. Lucky I checked with Campus France before I enrolled. They confirmed that they had not even heard of it.

  3. Dr. Edward Roy Krishnan is a scam artist.

    He once attempted to fire a large bunch of teachers at Wells International School, Thonglor, Bangkok if they didn’t study a weekend course at a college part-time course he was teaching. He was unauthorized to do so.
    He has no practical experience with people, and uses these questionable degrees to obtain employment. He has no regard for other people behind that sales face, and uses the work of others to continually drive his own CV.

    Beware Dr. Roy. But Oh what a charming man! Well, he’s the snake and the charmer.

  4. Thank God , I googled. I was a prospective student in this university but after reading this article and a few others I am not going to.
    Thank you for this article, you have saved me and my parents a lot of trouble and money.

  5. Sorry to hear of this.

    However, the author was overzealous in pursuit of attacking the institution. There was no need to disparage ACBSP, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

    ACBSP recognizes and rewards teaching excellence, while requiring accredited institutions to actively inform on its performance to the public. ACBSP has a global reach…currently 62 countries

    Quoted…”(And, coincidentally, UOP also helped to create the ACBSP accreditation agency for MBA programs after they and other poor quality schools were rejected for AACSB accreditation.”

    University of Phoenix (UOP) gained ACBSP in 2007. Furthermore, ACBSP, a 28-year-old organization, is based on the Baldrige principles, a recognized quality standard.

    While AACSB is also respected programmatic business accreditor, as well as being the older accreditation agency, the fact remains that AACSB has again been placed on deferment by CHEA, for being currently deficient in accredited member’s public reporting of performance results.

    ACBSP is active in 62 countries globally and accredits more programs than AACSB does but has a lesser number of member schools. ACBSP has thus demonstrated an ability to both challenge and surpass AACSB on some of the key metrics.

    quoted…”Case in point, the only MBA accreditation that all Webster campuses world-wide currently hold is from ACBSP, which many American employers no longer even recognize.)”

    Define many… I can think of one case…Intel that withdrew ACBSP schools from recognition under its scholarship program several years ago.

    It is a fact most state boards specify ACBSP or AACSB accounting programs as a prerequisite to sit for the CPA exam.

    • Sorry to hear that they kicked out the Human resource manager recently as well.

  6. So Ratish is finally out, fantastic, what took so long? Webster should not stop there, what is the status of Nisha, Samrat and Roy Avecilla ? They were pretty crooked. Have these other bad eggs been removed?

    Blame for not doing anything should be placed at the top in St Louis, considering there were complaints for so long.

    Not long ago there was an attorney teaching for them who has since moved onto Singapore, and supporting and making up excuses, while attacking the accusers of this crew on the web discussions, J. Blaine. The Romanian department head sounded unqualified, was that person a Julian Schuster’s crony?

    • Ratish is not completely gone. He is on sabbatical leave it seems like. Lol!
      All the other crooked wankers will see the curtains sooner according to what I have heard.(or may be Sabbatical leave for bad karma! Lolz)
      Webster has screwed up its reputation so bad in Thailand that even the good employees will not land any decent jobs in any of the thai organizations. As far as I heard if you mention that you were a student there is highly unlikely you get yourself a job in Thailand.

  7. Former student, former employee, glad to be out of that mess. If any one of you doubt this article, please by all means, visit the Cha-am campus. You will be convinced. Update: Thakur is suddenly not the rector any more?

    • The Indians are so stupid and s**t on their own roads. can they manage international university ? Whoever that appointed these top management is to blame.
      Welcome to Webster ways!

  8. I as a parent of ex-student of WUT really feel bad after going through the article. I just wonder as to how long will the management of Webster principals to allow this to continue. The nepotism and partisanship is rampant under the dispensation with Ratish Thakur at helm. I had to withdraw my son after a year and got his Graduation completed in India. Being an Indian I feel bad when I hear people from this country bring bad name home. All Indians are not like the trio in question….they will certainly be condemned for the act they are indulging into. I felt particularly bad to go through the story of Mr. Keith Fitzgerald, I had a brief meeting with him during August 2011 orientation.

  9. Webster University’s continued downward spiral
    Inbox x

    Tom Thailand
    6:09 AM (1 hour ago)

    to Tom

    Below are three email announcements made by administrators at WUT about the dire straits Webster University now finds itself in. We thank university staff insiders and a few students for providing us with these emails. We already knew about the budget problems in the Webster System, and these emails simply reinforce what we already know.

    Webster University in all of its operations is bleeding cash, heavily. The attached emails greatly understate their cash flow problems. One independent estimate is that our collective efforts may have cost the Webster University System tens of millions of dollars worldwide.

    The cash flow problems the Webster System is experiencing now may mean the dissolution of the entire university within the year. Other universities are bidding to purchase Webster’s home campus in St. Louis after Webster is taken over by a bankruptcy court and a receiver is appointed to liquidate their assets to pay off their creditors. A dramatic coup de grace is coming maybe as early as July. These things take time, but now involve world leaders, government officials, law enforcement officials, and concerned educators and parents all over the world. We have made sure this will not die out until major changes are made in the Webster System’s administration. The corruption, lies, deceit and bullying must stop!

    Top administrators at WUT have lied about their qualifications and embezzled millions of baht. Until this Webster Thailand administration is removed, the expose` of Webster University around the world will continue. When this administration is gone, it will stop.

    When reached at his posh Singapore offices, one of the severely wronged professors and a chief anti-WUT activist observed:

    “If Webster does manage to survive, it will exist only as a shell of its former self. And the thing is, none of this had to happen if they had used just a little common sense. I wasn’t causing any trouble whatsoever and was minding my own business. Although I saw the corruption going on, I kept my mouth shut and concentrated on doing a great job in the classroom. But for their foolishness in fabricating charges against me and others–calling us terrible teachers in spite of our outstanding careers and records–I would be in the middle of my second year of offering them outstanding teaching and the Webster System would be thriving. However, I’m glad that didn’t happen because I’ve been so successful in my achievements since leaving WUT behind in my dust, I realize what a mistake it would have been to stay there. They did me a favor.

    “The only reason I can think of for their foolish actions is the admin in charge was so poorly qualified that they couldn’t stand the success that they knew they had not come close to achieving and never could legitimately achieve. Like many common despots, they wanted to use their power to humiliate highly successful educators like Dr. Dario Navarro and Dr. Charles Brumfield. The administration thought they could get away with almost anything–firing prominent professors, even death threats to students. I compare them to the current dictatorship in North Korea, only in North Korea Dario and Charles would have been shot by now.”

    To be continued, indefinitely…..with tremendous backing.

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Ratish Thakur
    Date: Fri, Mar 4, 2016 at 1:53 PM
    Subject: Budget revisions
    To: Jain V James , “Khun Aod (Anchalee)” , Komtuan Yancharoen , Nisha Malhotra , Phillip Gwaltney , Samrat Ray Chaudhuri
    Cc: Peter Maher
    Dear all,
    As you are probably aware, total enrollments across the Webster Worldwide system have been declining for some time now. Unfortunately this trend appears set to continue. Recent information from St. Louis shows that the number of students currently studying at all locations stands at a little over 17,000. In the last year the number of new students recruited at the two Thailand campuses as well as the total number of students enrolled in Thailand has also declined.

    As a consequence of the drop in student numbers, worldwide revenue as well as the revenue generated by Thailand looks set to decline. Senior administration in St. Louis is devising plans to balance revenues and costs and that means cutting costs where possible. Some targets have been communicated to us. The total expenditure for international campuses is to be cut by US$1.5 million in 2016-17 and by a further US$ 1.5 million in 207-18. We have been asked to cut our expenses so that the international campuses can meet their targeted cut.
    I have received two specific directives in this connection. One, that there will be no salary increases in June 2016 and second that all employee replacements or hew hires will require prior approval from the main campus.

    Please note that the international campuses are REQUIRED to cut a total of $1.5 million. It is my opinion that you are the best judges where the cuts should be made. I have asked James to send you back your original budget estimates for 2016-17. Please revise the budgets downwards by cutting where you feel there is scope. Please leave the original numbers in the spreadsheet and just add a column with the new numbers.
    Many thanks for your help.

    Ratish Thakur
    Webster University Thailand I Cha-Am Campus I 143 Moo 5, Tambon Sampraya, Cha-Am, Petchaburi 76120, Thailand
    Office: +66 (0) 32 456 161-8 I Fax: +66 (0) 32 456 169 I http://www.webster.ac.th

    Bangkok Academic Center address:

    Webster University Thailand l Bangkok Academic Center I 1 Empire Tower, 4th Floor (Em Space Zone), South Sathorn Rd., Yannawa, Sathorn Bangkok 10120, Thailand
    Office: +66 (0) 21 066 599 l Fax +66 (0) 2 106 6570 I http://www.webster.ac.th

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Nisha Ray Chaudhuri
    Date: Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 3:00 PM
    Subject: Fwd: Budget revisions
    To: Donald Paul Antone , Stephen Darayen Berry , Kenneth Brendan Houston , royj
    Cc: Registrar Webster
    Hello Team,
    I want to share with you an email from the Rector (see below).
    Keeping in mind the situation he highlights, we need to be extremely prudent in our spending in the coming academic year. Every decision we make must be well considered to ensure we get the most out of every baht we spend, and to ensure we do not spend unless absolutely essential and then too only on events that are completely worth our limited resources.
    A few adjustments I would like to propose:
    – Academic advising needs to be streamlined. I recommend you meet with your advisors and discuss the course offerings for the coming academic year. We need to make sure there are no independent studies, no overloads etc.
    – Course releases for research – this needs to be suspended for the coming academic year. If we do so, that will allow us to have more funds available for actual conference attendance and be able to publish more. This item however, needs a vote by the research committee as well. I am hopeful they will support the idea.
    That said, I want to stress that we will continue to do what needs to be done to maintain the quality of what we do.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or wish to discuss anything further. Kindly share the message with all members of your team and assure everyone that the measures taken will be for the better, and not to take away or reduce the effectiveness of what we do.

    Dear CAS team,

    I am forwarding you an email received today (Monday) via our Academic Director from the Rector. I ask that you read the email train from Aj. Ratish’s email onwards carefully.

    Some comments:

    Some of you may well already aware that there were some last minute course cancellations for the Summer term 2016, and scope for potential course cancellations for the rest of the next academic year is likely. This will most likely affect new adjunct hires the most. It should not affect current hires.
    This has not impacted CAS as much as other departments as I had already reduced course offerings in BAIR and we are constrained by faculty numbers in Psychology. Most of you probably have also noticed, or at least heard discussion of, a drop in student enrollment compared to previous years. Official word from St. Louis indicates that student enrollment is a concern for all Webster Worldwide campuses, not just Thailand.
    As a result, we will be revising the department budget for 2016-17 downward in order to meet the targeted cut for all international campuses. The following changes are in the process of being made going into the next academic year:
    1) Certain courses must be cancelled in order to spread faculty course load more evenly and efficiently throughout the year. We in academic leadership are most concerned that this not impact contracts and that we maintain the status quo with regard to our faculty body. Unfortunately, this will mean a very low chance for additional course work on top of our regular courses, which will equate to a very low number of overloads – if any. Certain exceptions may apply, but these will be based on absolute necessity. But I would say that those who ‘normally’ get overloads have no reason to expect that to continue. Please adjust to this reality.
    2) The research budget will possibly be affected in that we will not be able to offer course releases for research purposes in the coming year. The Academic Director has asked that the Research Committee get together to discuss the options. As Chair of RComm I will endeavor to do that in the very near future. More information will be made available as soon as a final decision is made.
    3) At an individual level I’m sorry to report that there will be no salary increments for faculty reaching the end of their contracts and starting new contracts in May/June of 2016. This is now confirmed.

    4) All new faculty hires from now on must be approved by St. Louis. This will not affect currently employed faculty.
    5) In conjunction with coordinators we will try to retain as much as possible of certain budget expenditure codes pertaining to guest lecturer honorariums, student related activities/field trips, and department meetings, but we will have significant cuts in these and deeper cuts other areas. All figures will be revised downwards.
    I’d like to get together to discuss these items along with any other concerns you may have in the next few weeks. Once we’ve settled into the second half of the semester, I’ll send out an official date and time for a meeting.



  10. My experience at Webster Vienna has not been better. While the corruption charges do not necessarily apply (cannot speak to Dr. Arthur Hirsch’s activities at the campus during his tenure), and the level of education is quite high, the treatment of students is abhorrent and the list of broken promises, questionable administrative decisions, and lack of transparency grows.

    I will not divulge further details, as I fear retaliation, should Webster discover my identity. I l agree, however, that Webster, albeit its non-for-profit status, seems more interested in lining their pockets than offering a memorable educational experience. Had I known this before, I would have never attended. I would have had certainly better luck at an Austrian university, with substantially less costs.

  11. u really did a grt job…i was about to join wut!!

  12. Please add me on Facebook, I’m from the London campus and the corruption and mistreatment is rampant here as well.

  13. I would not think about studying there. Threatening behaviour. illegal practices. discrimination. Poor treatment of students, terrible teachers, all true.

  14. If this is happening in one Webster campus, is it possible that its spreading across the globe? Is Webster establishing a global network of low-quality, high-priced education? I work with a lot of students, that are potential Webster customers, what will they expect when they join the international network. If STL is clearly covering their eyes, mouths and ears regarding Thailand, is this happening across all campuses?

  15. I’m a Graduate of Stamford International University Hua Hin Campus which had welcomed the new Addition of Webster International University in winter of 1999. With a huge Party at Royal Garden Resort (now Marriott). Then when A group of Students visited the Websters Campus in Spring/Summer of 2000 they where envious of how well and nice Websters where.
    Ahh yes those two you refer as Indian Mafia where Originally Stamford Graduates as well. And later on got hired as staff of Stamford and they too knowing what’s going on in the inside circle of Stamford and it’s fair share of problems. Until 2009/10. Term Stamford moved to their Campus to Bangkok to greener brighter pastures but those 2 Indians moved To. WUT and got hired THAN!
    Never thought I’d heard so bad news about our former neighboring University. Has gone down the drain since the year I’ve graduated in 2004!!!!

  16. Comment on Brian Lewis’ posting: I knew you, Brian, back in 2001-2002. Back then you and I spoke out strongly against abuses at WUT, especially the abuses carried out by interim director Arthur Hirsh, who was almost as bad as Ratish, but until recently kept his position as Director of the Webster Vienna campus. I agree that Brad Keith was the best administrator I worked under at WUT of the six I worked under in my 16 (nonconsecutive) months of working for WUT in two different decades. Brian, good to hear that you’ve done so well since I left WUT for Japan in 2002. I retired to Thailand in August (still married to my young Thai wife) and thought I’d give WUT another try. I found things are MUCH worse in 2014-15 than in 2001-02, and they were pretty bad back then.

  17. I have lived and worked in Thailand since 1989 apart from a four year spell in Bhutan. Unlike some of the academics at WUT it does seem that I can boast a genuine research career (94 publications and counting) with some academia being thrown in having supervised 9 PhD students and 7 MSc students. I consider Hua Hin (next door to Cha Am and Webster Thailand) home and would rather it not be seen as the boondocks. As many have said in the article and in comments, WUT has potential. But there is the twin problem of a corrupt local upper management and the St Louis crowd who don’t seem to care. I knew the Director of the Cha Am campus around 10+ years ago. Fed up of going to my research institute in Bangkok every Monday I fancied the idea of a teaching position at WUT Cha Am. Bill went out of his way to warn me off this idea. Even then, before the Indian Mafia took control he said the whole system sucked and St Louis did not seem to care. Reading this article and other links I am glad I did not push for a position at Webster. However, if St Louis woke up and did something about the mess here in Thailand I would be the first person to offer to set up a genuine research department.

  18. None of this is new. I was the very first faculty member hired by WUT (April 1999) before the campus opened in August 1999. I was the first head of the media program, which was the first program to be properly accredited by the Thai Ministry of University Affairs. I was also the first to threaten to sue WUT for wrongful dismissal and copyright infringement in 2003. They settled out of court for 3.6 million Baht and were forced to hire me back at the BKK center for 1 year. From the beginning, the campus was under-funded and never had proper resources or infra-structure and received only passing support from WUStL. The first director Brad Keith was the only honest director of which I’m aware and the only one who put the students first. He went out of his way to provide scholarships for needy students and during his tenure from 1999-2001, the enrollment rose to almost 400, something it has never achieved since. Brad Keith was fired for constantly fighting WUStL for more support for WUT, but more specifically, for being gay. WUStL would of course never admit this as it was illegal. But, all of us at the time who supported Brad strongly felt that this was the underlying reason. When Mr. Keith left the decline began, as well as the abuse of faculty, the terrible contracts and the slow replacement of American, Canadian and UK faculty with the dregs of the third-world.
    I have taught at several Thai universities both before and since WUT as well as doing work for the MoE. I can confidently attest to the fact that WUT has a terrible reputation within the Thai academic community and if not on probation is currently on the official watch list. It hasn’t been an institution of any sort of acceptable quality since about 2004. Somebody must be paying someone off for the place to still be open.

  19. It is clear that Julian Schuster is part of the problem, not the solution. In the face of such massive faculty, student, and community complaints, he continues to enable the “Indian-Filipino-Romanian Mafia” to run amok with fraud, deception, and abuse at Webster Thailand. He refuses to look at the evidence. He will rely on “review committees” that were sent on vacations to Thailand by St. Louis where they were wined and dined by the very people they were supposed to be investigating, to continue the illusion that there is nothing wrong at Webster Thailand. The committees did no real investigating. The word is out that there is absolutely nothing “American” (or even Thai) about education at Webster Thailand. It is a poorly-run diploma mill, and the word has been spread internationally, despite Julian’s delusions and threats. We are an organization now. We are standing up to these bullies and will continue to stand up to them until they are removed from office and perhaps convicted. We are not afraid. Attempts to intimidate us will fail if we stick together. They can’t sue or make harmful threats to the whole world, and it seems like the whole world is now out to stop the abuse of innocent, duped students at WUT. Just ask the 293 leading educators and HR managers in India who are now helping to spread the word.

    Jesse is very brave. Now is the time to stand behind him 100 percent. I will. There is a time and place in life where everyone must take a stand. This is the time friends. It’s the moral thing to do. Charles

  20. I did not mention in my first contribution here that Nisha (the second-in-command within the Indian cabal which runs that supposedly “American university” in Cha-am) attempted to steal 125,000 baht — about $4000 — from me. My contract always ran from August 15 of one year to the same day in the following year, and I always taught four hours in the Fall and four in the Spring semester, fulfilling my required eight classes each year. Thus, in each of the three years that I taught there, I actually completed my teaching duties at the beginning of May, and was still paid through mid August.
    In May of 2013, when I could no longer stand being in that spiritually cancerous environment, I gave notice that I would not be returning to teach in the Fall, 2013 term.
    Webster was contractually obligated to pay me through August 15, but Nisha, and of course with either the consent or prompting of the demonic Thakur, maneuvered to deny me my last two and a half months of salary. She shamelessly and speciously claimed that, since I’d given my notice in May, I should receive no salary after May.
    But, thanks to James Jain, who was then in charge of the Finance office, I was able to get the pay I’d earned. He insisted, against the criminal shenanigans of the higher-ups, that my contract had to be honored.
    Left to their own devices, Nisha and the Wrecktum would’ve stolen about $4000 dollars from me. One can only assume, based on all that is so widely known about them, that that stolen money would have ended up in their own pockets.

  21. I taught in the Arts and Sciences program for three years at the Cha-am campus, and found Ratish Thakur to be the most tyrannical, hypocritical, and fundamentally loathsome boss I’ve ever worked for, which is saying a lot, as I’ve worked for more A-1 a-holes since my first paycheck back in 1977 than I care to remember.
    He regularly made threats against staff in the so-called faculty “meetings,” which were not meetings in any sense of the word, since everyone knew of his penchant for firing anyone and everyone he perceived to be challenging him in the slightest. I was there, as well, when he advertised some threat against the Thai government agency which certifies (or not) schools in the country.
    He’s a hideous runt, but he carries on like a big bully whose power has never been effectively checked.
    One very wise person I know who’s been on that campus (“God” knows why) for years commented most sagaciously to me that what the Rector (Rectum or Wrecktum are far more appropriate titles) deserves is to be set upon some night in a dark alley, and viciously gang-raped by a bunch of thugs, so he learns some humility.
    Thakur is the kind of creature who incites such fantasies.
    What Jesse has presented here is very thorough, necessary, impressive, and righteous.
    I never personally doubted for a moment the stories of the Rectum’s death threat against one activist study-abroad student back in 2011 or ’12, as, to reiterate, I witnessed him repeatedly making threats to the faculty in general.
    Yes, it’s a depressing thing that the people with the most power at the main campus in St. Louis have apparently done nothing but enable, defend, and promote this scoundrel.
    Regarding the facilities available to students, the quality of the computers and equipment for showing videos, the book-ordering “system,” if you can call it that, and the general, pervasive lack of care for the welfare of the students’ whose parents are shelling out no small amount of money to get this bogus “American-accredited degree in Thailand” for their daughter or son, everything that’s revealed here is accurate.
    As concerns the matter of the Indian junta in charge of the Cha-am joint, it is of course not their Indianness per se which is the problem, but the undeniable and deeply disturbing fact that the man in charge ONLY recruits and preserves fellow Indians to the top positions. It’s essentially a radical, warped system of “Affirmative Action” in the boondocks of Cha-am.
    Transparency is exactly what’s needed. How much does the Thakur-Nisha-Sam trio take home on a monthly basis? What are their actual degrees? How did they get them? Who holds these individuals accountable?
    Right before the beginning of each term, the Wrecktum gives his standard, mind-numbingly boring speech to new students, making his pitch about “the Webster family,” how they should “never hesitate” to go see him if they ever have any problems, and suchlike vomit-inducing vacuity.
    The “Webster family” includes the three Indians in power, and, at most, one Philippine lackey in the business division who’s been carrying water for the Faker Thakur for so long that he wouldn’t know integrity if it appeared to him in the form of Pope Francis himself, pleading with him to be just, to get out of the proverbial bed he shares with Beelzebub.

  22. I earned an MBA from the Bangkok campus several years ago. Additionally, I am close friends with some of those who were at one time connected to the inner circle of the “Indian mafia”, as they’re referred to in this article. Most of what is claimed here is completely accurate.

    On the positive side of my studies there, many of the professors in the MBA programme were excellent and cared about the students succeeding, even if they were clearly unhappy with the way the school was being run and the way they were being treated. They were very qualified and knowledgeable in their subject areas. Unfortunately, nearly all of the best professors I had were fired after I finished my degree, or more accurately, their contracts were not renewed due to either them making complaints or a small number of students (most often a small but vocal group of unemployed expats) complaining that they were too hard.

    However, even at the Bangkok campus we heard from others that the Cha-Am campus was dysfunctional at best. My friends who worked there universally treated it as a joke, and it was widely known among them that Ratish and his cronies had set up a wonderful system of paying themselves high salaries at the expense of the university.

    I also have personal experience in dealing with Edward Roy Krishnan, and the claims about his fraudulent background are completely true. He is a classic narcissist with borderline tendencies, and makes every effort to completely destroy anyone who cross him. The article that is linked to provides a link to his CV on his old site: http://affectiveteaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/04/c.v.-2009.pdf. Read it while it’s still up and check into the background of the universities he claims to have earned degrees from, particularly the Open University for Complementary Medicines in Sri Lanka. The fact that Webster, and every other employer he has had in Thailand, has not checked into this is crazy.

    It’s unfortunate that all of this has been going on for so long. There really is a lot of potential for Webster here in Bangkok, and a lot of us put real effort into our studies. Unfortunately, what we worked so hard for may now be looked down upon because of the free reign Ratish and others have been given.

  23. While there are many problems at WUT, your claim of objectivity is not supported by this piece. Moreover, slanderous statements about ‘corrupt non western folks’ who have ‘no understanding of law’ is the kind of nonsense one should avoid in an ‘objective piece’. A second rate legal aid lawyer will dismiss this piece easily.

    St. Louis can clean up WUT easily if they want to.


  24. I have a great deal more information about this then just what has been listed including information which could possibly implicate Ratish in negligible homicide for failing to improve transportation after the death of multiple students on motor bikes as well as multiple cases of racially motivated threats and comments both anti-Semitic and pro-Indian.

    I personally have been threatened, involving hanging from a tree by one of the people involved in this article if i do not keep my “hooked nose” out of their business and have in one case been present during a joke by the water cooler by Nisha and her husband Samrat in which the suggestion was brought up to separate out the dorms by ethnicity because of the perception that any Thai woman visiting one of the Nepalese or American students at Sala was a prostitute. (despite multiple other universities in the area and Sala, although being one of the housing options put forward by the school, does not hold an exclusive contract and their are Thais who live in the building who are not students).

    Their is allot more needless to say, these people should not only be out of the job but also in jail.

    if you have questions, or are going to threaten the lived of my extended family or myself please contact me at the follow address:

  25. This is exactly what we tried to raise awareness of during my time at WUT! (Former student)

  26. Great peice!

  27. I thought only white people could be evil?

  28. I endorse the content of this article without reservation.

  29. Thorough, discrete and damning. Thank you.

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