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Rector's welcome word

Dear Colleagues and Staff of the Lebanese University,

Your relentless efforts to duly establish a University Council has finally paid off.The University Leadership is now complete, with specialized committees in administrative, financial, research, scientific and media affairs. High hopes are now pinned on the University Council for a brighter future for the Lebanese University.

The first of these hopes is regaining administrative, financial and academic powers, as an independent institution. The Lebanese University is indeed a public institution whose independence is set by law. It is also de facto independent, for it deals first and foremost with university majors, grants graduate degrees and takes part in the Council for Higher Education. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) holds custody rights over the University, through the Minister, within a framework defined by law. Any university resolution is considered null if it jeopardizes the independence of the University, as is any encroachment on University powers by the MEHE.

The University has yet to regain the authority to ratify fulltime and part-time contracts for instructors and professors, reclaim the right to carry out tests to appoint staff and reaffirm the University's right to determine its financial and human needs, including setting the annual budget in accordance with the financial regulations set forth since 1970.

In a nutshell, the matters to be resolved are protected by relevant laws and decrees. They are not claims for rights the University is not entitled to have.

Having graduated more than 300,000 citizens, armed with the highest degrees and the finest educational capacities, the LU and the gains it managed to foster ought to be protected by the civil society. The civil society in Lebanon cannot exist without university-level human resources. It is indeed a mutual interaction between the University and society for the sake of protecting the country and establishing the desired state. Imagine the possibilities for this interaction if the state university housed students from all over Lebanon, from different social, intellectual and cultural classes.

In this regard, we cannot but salute UL students who overcame all discords and defended their legal rights to learn and advance educationally, socially and cognitively. We ask them to be vigilant against facing the threat of being divided into factions. These students know the Lebanese University's obligation to promote human values, as well as education and scientific research, amongst citizens.

We turn now to university professors, who abided with the law of full-time employment in essence and in action, to carry on with the mission of scientific research. Now that research teams have been reinforced, innovation and development projects have witnessed progress, and research has been linked with society's reality and its priorities,the quality of higher education, at our university and all others, will be protected and maintained. Those who are in-the-know are well aware that more than 60% of all university professors have studied at the Lebanese University, trained in its laboratories and taken part in its research. Many of them have spent a significant period of time in the field of higher education, as fulltime, part-time or tenured professors.

Dear colleagues and staff,

Listing the achievements of the Lebanese University, your university, in medical and engineering studies, law and management, literature and arts, is by no means an easy task.

The Faculty of Sciences has survived for many decades. The Faculty of Medical Sciences is still leading and recognized by international academics, as are the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Dentistry, which produce the largest number of studies rated according to the strictest of standards.

The Faculty of Law and Political and Administrative Sciences remains a leader in public administration, law, justice and foreign policy, and its graduates are promoted to the highest ranks.

The Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences is confidently taking firm steps towards making the best use of its human capacities, after its bylaws and academic programs have been established.

The Faculty of Fine Arts records the best results in Lebanese and regional competitions.

The Faculty of Agriculture has achieved remarkable success in French universities, thanks to its illustrious graduates,and so has the Faculty of Engineering, which is highly reputed in Lebanon and abroad. As far as major integration goes, the University College of Technology has also been a leader.

The Faculty of Tourism provides the best talents to the local and regional job market. The Faculty of Pedagogy remains the backbone of educational programming in public schools, in cooperation with the MEHE.

The Faculty of Public Health is keen on increasing the number of students in the majors witnessing high demand in the job market, especially Nursing.

Meanwhile, the Faculty of Social Sciences is working on setting up its social mission in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and civil organizations.

The Faculty of Journalism is headed towards more professional specialization by providing the necessary equipment.

The Doctoral Schools are improving the research integration system with the relevant faculties in the fields of exact sciences, and human and social sciences. At the same time, they are providing the best specialization opportunities at the doctoral level in the most prestigious international universities. Under the management of the Lebanese University for 45 years now, the Higher Institute of Applied Sciences (CNAM) proudly graduates the finest professionals.

We commend the persistent efforts made to help our University rise further by the Foreign Affairs Office, which is opening up to both the East and the West, and by the Language Coordination Office, which now has more than 20,000 students. Social research committees have also played a significant role and have accomplished a major part of their tasks. We praise as well the open door policy implemented in Lebanese high schools to introduce new majors and give a real and unflawed picture of the University. The Information Technology Sources Center, which provides automated services and links the University branches together, also deserves our thanks.

We salute all administrative, technical and research workshops, as well as all employees and instructors who have helped the University. They are worthy of fair recognition, materially and morally.

Finally, we cannot but praise the media which followed the University's activities over the past year. In light of our solidarity with the freedom of the press, we reaffirm our adherence to the Constitution and the Law which protect public freedoms. After all, the Lebanese University is the first place to which people enroll seeking education, and leave as citizens, aware of their responsibilities and keen on living up to them.

Long live the Lebanese University.

Long live Lebanon

Adnan al-Sayyed Hussein

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