Governance and Administration

Office of the President

Message to the Community: Retirement of Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra

Dear Members of the Lebanese American University Community,

Today Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra informed the Board of Trustees that he has decided, for family reasons, to retire when his term of office ends September 30, 2020, and that he will not accept reappointment. The Board of Trustees has accepted his decision, while expressing tremendous gratitude for his many years of exemplary service as President of our University.

Dr. Jabbra has been a transformative figure in the history of Lebanese American University. Under his leadership the student body has grown to 8,500 students taught by 813 faculty members across 57 degree programs. He has raised academic standards resulting in the accreditation of the University by NECHE, and accreditations for the Schools of Engineering, Business, Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Computer Science Program in the School of Arts and Sciences. The Architecture Program in the School of Architecture and Design, and the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine are well advanced in their drive to earn accreditation. He has overseen the establishment of the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, the acquisition of the LAU Medical Centre - Rizk Hospital, major building projects, the significant expansion of both the Beirut and Byblos campuses, and the acquisition and development of the LAU New York Headquarters and Academic Center. He has lead record-breaking fundraising campaigns that have seen the University endowment grow to over $500 million, enabling LAU to triple its financial aid. Through his tireless campaigning on behalf of our University, he has helped establish LAU as a national and international force in education, while ensuring that we are at heart a student centred institution where young men and women can grow in a nurturing and supportive environment. Above all, he has done so with self-less wisdom, kindness, fairness, and compassion.

The Board now faces the task of finding a worthy successor who can build on the great work of the last 14 years. We shall do so through a transparent, consultative process. A search committee has been formed, consisting of Board members together with faculty and alumni representatives. The committee will appoint an international search consultant to ensure we can access the deepest pool of candidates possible across the world. Further information on the process will soon be posted on the LAU website, together with periodic updates. The incoming Chairman of the Board, Mr. Peter Tanous, will visit Beirut and Byblos in the Autumn to explain the search process and seek the views of all the LAU stakeholders.

Change is essential for the transformation and renewal of any university. The founders of LAU were pioneers who embraced change, who saw the opportunity that resides in change, and set into motion a process that has resulted in an institution that would have been unimaginable to them. And each subsequent generation of leaders at LAU has embraced change and triumphed, raising LAU to higher and higher standards. LAU now has the opportunity to bring itself to a new level on the platform of excellence that is Dr. Jabbra’s legacy, so that we can continue to provide future generations of students with an education that enables them to achieve their highest aspirations. I promise you that with the help and support of the LAU community, we will find the world class leader that our University deserves and expects.

Yours sincerely,

Philip Stoltzfus
Chairman of the Board