Governance and Administration

Office of the President

Notes from March 2019 Board Meeting

Dear Members of the LAU Community,

I want to thank you for the gracious way in which you received your Board of Trustees during the meeting in Lebanon in March. That meeting was a great success, in no small measure due to your enthusiastic support and participation.

I had the opportunity to speak to many of you about the progress we are making in terms of the Presidential Search, which, as you all know, is the principal priority for the Board of Trustees between now and when Dr. Jabbra steps down in September 2020. As I didn’t have a chance to speak to everyone personally, I wanted to provide a brief summary as to where we are, and where we are going.

In September the Board appointed its Search Committee comprised of Trustees, faculty and alumni representatives, which in turn recruited a renowned international search firm, Witt Kieffer. In December, Witt Kieffer visited Lebanon and interviewed all the major stakeholders of the University to obtain their views on the qualities needed in our next president, and to establish a mechanism for nominations to be put forward for consideration. Since then, through the Committee and yourselves, we have received dozens of recommendations, and the Search Consultant has generated many more. We are now in the process of preliminary contact and interviews, and from these conversations no doubt will come new names for us to consider.

Our objective now is to reduce this universe of names to a long list of ten to fifteen that will be reviewed at an all-day session of the Search Committee in New York at the end of May. The summer will be spent in interviews with prospective candidates to produce a short-list of three. These finalists will come to Lebanon in the autumn for campus visits and interviews with the LAU community, after which the Committee will select one candidate for consideration by the Board, as per the bylaws of the University. Having reviewed the names submitted thus far, and on the basis of our preliminary contacts, I can tell you that we have some outstanding prospects. The fact that we can attract such a calibre of candidate reflects the prominence and reputation of LAU within the academic world, which is in turn a testament to Dr. Jabbra’s leadership and the hard work of all of you.

As stated many times, this Presidential Search involves a process that is methodical and meticulous, that incorporates the thoughts and suggestions of our full community, and that encompasses a world-wide search of the most talented and accomplished leaders whom we can find to entrust the stewardship of LAU’s educational mission. Although we have made a good start, there is much work to do. I promise you that the Board and the Committee will be unhurried, focussed, resolute and unwavering in the execution of our responsibility. In so doing, I am confident that we will find the President that LAU, our community, and our future generations so richly deserve.  

With best regards,

Peter Tanous
Chairman of the Board of Trustees