Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Professor Says Long Deployments Can Cause Disruptions in Work, Education

SANTA ANA, Calif. — With American service men fighting wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, long deployments are becoming standard. Some members of the armed forces are currently on their third and fourth tours in Iraq.

These long deployments are causing a huge strain on members of the countries various National Guard and reserve units, who are weekend warriors and often hold down full-time jobs.

Dr. Majdin Taba, a professor at Argosy University, said he witnessed many of these issues while he oversaw courses for the military for the University of Phoenix. “I had one major who was a project manager at her firm and she was gone for a year,” he said. “But they were willing to take her back.”

Taba stated there were incidents when National Guardsmen who were gone for long periods of time returned to find they had been replaced on the job. Servicemen are protected by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Acts (USERRA). Statistics provided by the Employer Support of The Guard and Reserve state that employers are required to support employers for a cumulative total of five years. This includes inactive duty, annual training, involuntary recall to or retention of active duty, national emergency or active duty in support of a war.

However the Employer Support of The Guard and Reserve also states that employees have to provide written or oral notification before going on duty. Employers can request for written orders after a military absence of more than 30 days.

Taba has been a professor at Argosy University’s Orange County campus for two years and teaches courses such as survey techniques and statistics He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tehran, Iran, a master’s degree from the University of Dallas and doctorate from Dubnah International University in Moskow, Russia.

Dr. Jeb Egbert, campus president at Argosy University’s Orange County campus, said students benefit from professors like Taba who had a wide variety of experience teaching students in various classroom settings. “Our professors are often people who have either worked on their industry or taught adults students from non traditional backgrounds,” Egbert said.

Taba was responsible for setting up courses at military bases across Europe, in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“We worked with service men to set up courses in Germany, England, Belgium, Spain, Bosnia and Italy,” Taba said. “Most of the courses were graduate programs, MBAs, Information Technology and education degrees.”

Long deployments often caused problems when trying to conduct classes, Taba said.

“People in the Army were deployed for the longest periods of time, usually about a year,” he said. “Air Force deployment, usually were for about two to three months.”
This meant class numbers could drop while service members were in the field, he said.

He said that servicemen and women are very interested in continuing their education, because they need advanced degrees to promoted to a higher rank.

MBA degrees, with minors in IT and Finance, are popular because they are very marketable in corporate America. “Education degrees are popular because some servicemen want to teach after they retire,” he said.

Taba said that most of the commanding officers encouraged their servicemen to take advantage of the opportunities the Armed Services offered and prepare themselves for civilian life.

“Most of the high-ranking officers wanted to make sure that when their men and women left the military they could contribute to society,” he said.

For more information about Argosy University’s Orange County campus call (714) 338-6200 or go to

Argosy University’s Orange County Campus is one of 18 Argosy University ( locations in 12 states. Argosy University offers doctoral and master's degree programs in psychology, business, counseling, and education. Argosy University also offers bachelor's degree completion programs in psychology and business, and associate's degree programs in various health sciences fields. Argosy University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (NCA) (30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602, (800) 621-7440;