of Business Coat of Arms.
the decade of the 1990s, both supply and demand for business education
have been developing by quantum leaps. New schools, often modeled on such
giants in North America and Europe as the Harvard School of Business,
Wharton, the Kellogg School, the Sloan School, London Business School,
INSEAD, and IMD, have sprung up world wide. Regionally, one has only to
witness the recently founded Ecole Superieure des Affairs in Beirut and
the Colleges of Business at the University of Bahrain and the University
of Sharjah. Now, in keeping with the demands of the new millennium, AUB
has recently announced the creation of its own School of Business.
Launching the new project at a ceremony on August 21, President
John Waterbury emphasized the need for Lebanon, "the historic cradle
of international trade and commerce," to lead in the evolution of
business education. "Both the country and the region," he said,
"must leap squarely into the post-industrial age, into hi-tech industry
and informatics, sophisticated financial services, and, above all, the
training of new generations of managers and entrepreneurs who can understand
and profit from the daunting challenges we face."
Board of Trustees, President Waterbury explained, has been solidly behind
the new enterprise since its inception: BOT members participated in the
background planning, the surveys of schools of business in the United
States and Europe, and, finally, in the international search for a new
Dean, which came full circle in the selection of AUB's own Vice President
for Regional and External Programs, George K. Najjar.
"I insist we call this B-Day," Dean Najjar stated. "It
is the birth of a new and exciting enterprise for the University."
The new School will reflect continuity animated by change and self-renewal.
AUB's school of business was first inaugurated in 1900 as the School of
Commerce--long before any such institutions were to be found in Europe.
Today, 100 years after those early beginnings, business education at AUB
will be renewed with "resilience and resourcefulness."
Dean Najjar, who will continue to serve as Vice President of REP,
reviewed some of the differences between the new School and the current
business programs at the University. The new enterprise will create a
center of excellence in keeping with the enormous growth and development
of business education in the 1990s. Taking into consideration the current
atmosphere of globalization, the School will emphasize the latest trends
in business education through concentration on the executive component
and the production of future managers.
No longer a part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the School,
as an autonomous entity on a level with other faculties, will broaden
and deepen the offerings of the current programs on both the undergraduate
and graduate levels. The current BBA and MBA programs will be restructured
and up-dated by the fall semester of 2001 by specialist committees composed
of experts from both within and outside the University. The new program,
Dean Najjar stated, "will be liberal arts driven."
In addition to taking a common core of conventional business courses,
students will specialize in such fields as finance, marketing, and management.
The Dean also hopes to develop a minor in business for non-majors. At
present the School caters to 130 MBA and over 900 BBA candidates, but
Najjar expects those figures to grow in five years to 1,400 undergraduate
and 250 graduate students.
"Right now we are in an interim period which will continue
until we are located in our new home," Najjar said. (At this time,
no information on the School's physical location is available.) Until
the move is made, all members of the School will be working on its evolution.
"This is a team operation driven by very able colleagues," Najjar
Asked about his priorities for the School, the new Dean first cited
a rigorous recruitment program. He hopes to have four to five more faculty
members in place by the fall of 2001, and will soon be off to the US to
interview possible candidates. In the late spring of 2001 the School will
host a major conference on business education in the Middle East. Another
priority is internships and the practical work that will be a strong component
of current programs on both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The new faculty will include a Corporate Communications Officer,
who will enhance ties between the actual world of business and the new
School. At the same time a Student Services Officer will focus on internships,
training, and placement. Both officers will be working to create practicums
and internships within corporate entities. Under careful supervision,
corporate mentors will work closely with students. Finally, the new School
will operate in a hi-tech environment.
Fundraising for the new School is well underway; ten million of
the total cost of 40 million dollars has already been donated by AUB Trustee
Rafic Hariri. The President and the Development Office will be approaching
prospective donors for the endowment of chairs, and corporative support
will be sought for resourcing both the academic and non-academic programs.
What will be the future of the new project? Dean Najjar hopes,
over time, "to build a world class business program which will significantly
raise the level of business education in the Middle East. " He sees
this goal as equally essential for the economy, the youth of the area,
and business corporations.
regional center is taking shape fast, and nothing could be more exciting
than being part of this venture," Najjar concluded.
Professor Said Fakhani Appointed Associate Dean of
New Business School
Said Fakhani has been appointed Associate Dean of the School of Business.
Dr. Fakhani joined AUB in October 1998 after serving as Professor of Finance
at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
In his announcement, Dean Najjar said that Dr. Fakhani, who brings
to the role of Associate Dean a wealth of academic and administrative
experience, will undoubtedly make a very special contribution to the School.
'Diverse' Opening Ceremony
Waterbury and Provost Heath lead the faculty procession amid a student
want to speak today in praise of diversity," began President John
Waterbury in his speech at the Opening Ceremony on October 4. Behind him
on the Assembly Hall stage sat selected members of the administration
and faculty as he addressed the packed audience.
According to President Waterbury, a university is diverse by its
nature and it must be diverse for two fundamental reasons: to better reflect
global society, and to promote learning of the "different, the unusual,
the unfamiliar, and, on occasion, the disturbing." Noting that diversity
is not measurable, but infinite, he discussed Lebanon and its complex
society: "Each valley, each wadi, each city appears to have its culture
and dialect," he declared.
Dr. Waterbury also talked of regional and national diversity. "Our
faculty and students should once again...have friends who are Iranian,
Ethiopian, Uzbek, Georgian, Senegalese, Moroccan, American, Polish...
well, students from everywhere," he said.
His speech ended with a plea to members of the AUB community to
welcome diversity, embrace it, and make themselves better human beings
for having done so.
At the close of the ceremony the audience sang the AUB Alma Mater. The
president then invited students and faculty members to join him on the
steps of Assembly Hall for a brief informal get-together.
Ironically, a real-life demonstration of diversity manifested itself when
the audience emerged from the calm atmosphere of Assembly Hall to encounter
students waving banners and chanting their protests at rocketing book
prices and the new financial aid policy.