The brain drain and prolonged crises threaten our survival as a top-ranking, accredited institution and our students’ prospects of obtaining an American-style education in Lebanon. That is why we have launched the Together We Prevail campaign to better communicate our efforts to maintain high standards, retain our best and brightest, and give every deserving student a chance to obtain a world-class education.
Why is it important for us to come together and to prevail?
The LAU community strives to remain firmly anchored in Lebanon, sending out a message of hope for the greater community who chose to stay. We want to safeguard high-quality education and the creative, industrious community that our country has been known for.
What are we up against?
- We have already lost 15% of our faculty. If we do not step up our retention efforts, the figure is likely to keep rising in the foreseeable future.
- In the past year alone, our annual budget has recorded a deficit of more than $50 million.
- In the last two years, we have lost $73 million.
- Amid a fluctuating local currency, we have been forced to cover major operational costs in USD.
How have we been able to survive so far?
- We have used funds from the university’s savings (its endowment fund).
- The university has been able to subsidize more than 63% of its tuition revenue.
- We have received timely help from alumni, friends, and major donors such as the US Government.
- We have introduced two relief packages to retain our faculty and staff, gradually increasing the share of fresh dollars to reach 25-35%.
- We have stopped all unnecessary spending and implemented financial controls.
What will it take to prevail?
- Retain and attract the best and brightest faculty, staff and students, by continuing to renew relief packages or introducing new ones, balancing the retention packages with tuition assistance.
- Fulfill our affordability pledge with the biggest financial aid and scholarships budget in Lebanon: $100 million.
- Extend the aid to all those who need assistance, with more than 85% of our students projected to qualify for at least one form of assistance.
- Defend and maintain the university’s identity as a world-class higher education institution with international accreditations and partners, well-recognized in notable rankings.
- Address the existential threats on our financial sustainability.
What actions are we avoiding?
Depleting our savings: the endowment fund. This includes donations that are restricted to specific purposes, such as scholarships, research and development. We operated diligently, responsibly and legally, and therefore use the returns of the endowment fund in a sustainable manner. Put simply, if we were to deplete these funds, LAU would cease to exist in a matter of a few years.