The Business Year

Prof. Nizar Hamzeh

KUWAIT - Health & Education

Campus Time

President, American University of Kuwait (AUK)

Bio

Dr. Nizar Hamzeh was appointed President of the American University of Kuwait on January 26, 2014. He is a professor of political science and international law. Previously, he served as Provost for one year and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for seven years. A 1979 graduate of the Lebanese University Faculty of Law, he pursued graduate studies at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles receiving his master’s and PhD. degrees in political science in 1982 and 1986, respectively. Dr. Hamzeh is an internationally recognized authority on the culture and politics of Lebanon, with special focus on the development of Hezbollah and Islamist movements across the Middle East.

"We continue to collaborate with the private sector."

What have been some key events over the past year for AUK?

The key events that have characterized the past year are program accreditation, faculty recruitment, and expanding campus facilities. For example, our Intensive English Program (IEP) has received accreditation for 10 years from the Commission of English Association (CEA), which is indicative of the accreditor’s high confidence in our program. We have completed three self-studies along with their site visits for our computer engineering program, arts and graphic design, humanities, and social sciences by Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET), National Association of School Graphic Design (NASAD), and American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE), respectively. In addition, our College of Business and Economic Standard Alignment Plan (SAP) and two progress reports were approved by the The Association to Advance Colligate Schools of Business (AACSB). Overall, the past year wouldn’t have been successful without the support of the entire AUK Community. The past year was also characterized by concerted efforts in faculty recruitment due to the increasing of number of students in some programs and also in anticipation of opening new programs such as systems engineering and human resources. The aim is to recruit high caliber faculty that combine both excellence in teaching and research. As regarding campus facilities, the construction of a new student center and an additional academic building that will house the College of Engineering is underway.

To what extent do you collaborate with the private sector in order to enhance curricula?

We continue to collaborate with the private sector on at least three levels. One level encompasses creating business incubators on campus that would provide training, workshops, and services to students. A second level is through internship and practical training programs that connect our curriculum and students to business sectors that broaden the students’ practical experience. A third level involves the business sector in supporting student activities and competitions whether national or internationally. Investing in students by the business sector not only is a civic responsibility but also as a national one. A fourth level is through providing consultancy by our faculty to the business sector if requested by the latter.

You recently signed an MoU with the American University in Cairo. To what extent is there an international research network between these universities?

All private institutions in Kuwait are required to have a foreign partner. Our formal partner has been Dartmouth College. In addition to Dartmouth College we have signed MoUs for collaboration with George Washington University, Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, Sciences Po, France, the University of Göttingen in Germany, and American University of Cairo (AUC).

What are your expectations for the year ahead?

For the coming years, our plan is to complete all program and US institutional accreditation. Next year will not be much different than this year and, accordingly, our concerted efforts will continue.

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