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>  News Releases >   2003 >   October

Dartmouth and John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding to advise Kuwait's First Private Liberal Arts University

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 10/07/03 • Contact Laurel Stavis (603) 646-3661

Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and the American University of Kuwait (AUK) in Salmiya, Kuwait, have agreed to launch a series of advisory and cooperative ventures over the next five years to help AUK become established as Kuwait's first private liberal arts university. The new institution will begin accepting students next year for the 2004-2005 academic year.

Dartmouth programs providing advice and consultation to AUK will be administered through the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, which coordinates the international dimension of liberal arts education at Dartmouth.

"Supporting the development of liberal education values and the spirit of free inquiry and study is in keeping with President Dickey's vision for an internationally engaged Dartmouth," said Ambassador Kenneth Yalowitz, director of the Dickey Center. "Dartmouth students and faculty will benefit by having new opportunities for study and research in this important part of the world, while contributing to the process of modernization and reform which is so important there."

As the first private liberal arts university in Kuwait, AUK will base its educational, cultural, and administrative methods and standards on the American coeducational college and university model. "Our mission is to provide students with a superb liberal arts education," said Shafeeq Ghabra, president of AUK. "Ultimately, we hope to serve society by helping form individuals with the potential to become pioneers in their fields, with a sense of moral responsibility and a devotion to the values of knowledge and humanity. We are committed to freedom of thought and expression, to helping students develop critical and analytical skills, and to creating a strong multicultural campus environment that provides service to the community.

"Dartmouth's commitment to outstanding liberal arts education is well known, and we are excited to learn from its experiences as we forge together a new path in Kuwait," Ghabra said. "It is vitally important to expose our new generations of leaders to the values inherent in the liberal arts."

Dale F. Eickelman, Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations at Dartmouth, will serve as liaison for the two institutions. "The American University of Kuwait is firmly committed to creating in Kuwait a vital learning environment rooted in the liberal arts tradition," Eickelman said. "This goal parallels Dartmouth's own educational purpose."

"Dartmouth is one of the world's preeminent institutions of higher learning," said Shaikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, the chair of AUK's board of trustees. "It is known for the strength of its teaching, its pioneering use of computer technology, superb library resources and innovative academic programs. We hope that qualified AUK students will participate in some of those programs," she added, "such as the intensive summer English course offered by the Rassias Foundation, or the Bridge Program at the Tuck School of Business."

Dartmouth students and faculty could also participate in internship and research opportunities in Kuwait, and the two institutions could hold joint academic conferences and seminars, building on Dartmouth's commitment to international affairs and education. In addition to housing the Dickey Center, Dartmouth conducts 40 study and language programs in locations around the world. It is consistently ranked as one of the top American colleges for undergraduate participation in overseas international study. The Tuck School of Business has partnerships with universities and exchange programs in Latin America, Japan, England, France, Spain and Vietnam.

Ghabra, AUK's first president, earned his doctorate in government from the University of Texas at Austin and has taught at universities in the United States as well as at Kuwait University. From 1998 until 2002, he was director of the Kuwait Information Office in Washington, D.C.

Shaikha Dana, chair of the AUK Board of Trustees, is chairwoman of the United Education Company, a holding company comprised of the four founders of AUK. Other members of AUK's board include Thomas Bartlett, the past president of the American University of Cairo and Colgate University, as well as the former chancellor of the Alabama, Oregon, and New York state university systems, and Ann Kerr, coordinator of UCLA's Fulbright program and a member of the American University of Beirut Board of Trustees.

The Dickey Center at Dartmouth was founded in 1982 to fulfill the former president's vision of increasing awareness of and furthering research on international issues. It is a campus focal point for teaching and scholarship in these areas and currently houses the Arctic Institute, and the War and Peace Studies program, among others.

Dartmouth College is a private coeducational institution of higher learning founded in 1769. A member of the Ivy League, with an undergraduate residential college that features thriving scholarship and research, graduate programs in the arts and sciences, and professional programs in business, engineering and medicine. Dartmouth enrolls students from across the U.S. and around the world.

For more information on AUK.

- By Laurel Stavis

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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