On March 4, an article was posted on Collegetimes.com regarding alleged corruption at the Webster University Thailand campus. Over two weeks later, Provost Julian Schuster sent a reply addressed to the Webster University Thailand community. The letter was sent to Thailand Rector Ratish Thakur, who sent the letter to students.
“Please be assured that several members of the university’s staff, faculty and administration have investigated complaints of wrongdoing and found them to be baseless,” Schuster wrote.
Patrick Giblin said, on behalf of the administration, that the website was not a trusted source.
Gerard Tate, who attended Webster Thailand but currently studies at the Webster Groves campus, said students enrolled in the Thailand campus are planning a rebuttal letter. The letter will be addressed to Webster Groves administration explaining what students want from the Thailand university.
Before Tate attended Webster University, he was a military police criminal investigator until he medically retired in 2013. Tate said the Thailand campus is a difficult atmosphere in which to become a successful student in.
“The cause is one of a lot of fear, not so much fear of personal safety but one of speaking out and getting retribution academically. Whether that is perceived or a real threat, that climate affects the way a student can learn,” Tate said.
Tate plans to return to the Webster Thailand campus this summer to finish his last course before graduating with a criminology degree. He hopes to see a change in relationship between administration and students. He said a lack of communication between the university and the student body is a main concern.
“We have to care for our fellow students no matter where they are in the world,” Tate said.
As part of the administrative response to the article, an internal review of Webster University Thailand was discussed. It said a nine-month internal review of the Thailand campus is near conclusion where administrators will find a combination of best practices and opportunities for improvement.
Tate was not surprised by the article posted on Collegetimes.com. He says he has heard students voice concerns since 2010. Tate said he would not believe things as fact until he sees the issue for himself, which he said motivates him to take his last semester in Thailand.