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Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category

AUC adds Israeli to Trustees

Here’s the announcement from the AUC website:

Retired U.S. Diplomat Named to AUC Board of Trustees

June 21, 2009, Cairo, Egypt – The American University in Cairo announced today the appointment of former US ambassador to Egypt Daniel C. Kurtzer as a member of its Board of Trustees.  Kurtzer, the S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Middle East Policy Studies at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, served as U.S. Ambassador to Egypt from 1997 to 2001.

During 29 years of public service, Kurtzer held a number of senior policy and diplomatic positions. In addition to serving as U.S. ambassador in Egypt, Kurtzer also served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, and principal deputy assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research. Throughout his career, Kurtzer was intimately involved in Middle East peace negotiations and the formulation of US policy in the Middle East.

B. Boyd Hight, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, noted that the board continues to strengthen its ranks with distinguished members drawn from public service and business professions in Egypt, the region and the world. “The appointment of someone of Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer’s caliber represents a valuable addition to our board and will play a vital role in advancing AUC’s goal to become a leading global university,” Hight said. “All of us on the board are extremely pleased to welcome him as a trustee as he joins the AUC community at this time of extraordinary transition in the life of the university.”

Since leaving government service, Kurtzer has authored numerous articles on U.S policy in the Middle East.  He served as an advisor to the Iraq Study Group and currently serves on the Advisory Council of the American Bar Association’s Middle East-North Africa Rule of Law Initiative.  He is the co-author, with Scott Lasensky, of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East, published in 2008.  He also serves on a number of business and public service boards.

Ambassador Kurtzer received his B.A. from Yeshiva University and his M.A., Middle East Certificate, M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. In recognition of his outstanding work in public service, Kurtzer received several of the U.S. government’s most prestigious awards, including the President’s Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State Distinguished Service Award, the National Intelligence Community’s Award for Achievement, and the Director General of the Foreign Service Award for Political Reporting.
Distinguished for their professional accomplishments in the areas of business, law, education, philanthropy and scholarship, members of AUC’s Board of Trustees are all volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to supporting the university.

Primarily Egyptians, Saudi Arabians and Americans, the trustees do not receive a salary and provide their own financial support to the university. AUC’s trustees include Moataz Al-Alfi, chairman of the Americana Group; Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel Prize winner and director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency; Mohamed Ibrahim, founder and chairman of Celtel International; and Dina Habib Powell, managing director and global head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs; and Dr. Ahmed Zewail, also a Nobel Prize winner and the Linus Pauling Chair Professor of Chemistry, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Director of the Physical Biology Center.

He’s also, supposedly one of the chief architects of Obama’s AIPAC elections speech. Oh and he was appointed commisioner of Israel’s new Baseball League. (wiki)
Really now, AUC is becoming utterly shameless about its political role. While universities in the UK, Europe and even the US are moving towards divestment from and boycott of Iraeli institutions, AUC, formerly in the “heart of Cairo”, is increasingly moving towards normalization. Coupled with the complete cowing to Egyptian Security and the unapologetic disregard for the opinions of the AUC community, the administration’s policies are becoming quite frustrating to faculty, alumni and students alike.

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It’s good to know that even AUC is not immune to the spread of labor strikes. When some 500 workers at the new campus work site got food poisoning, they were apparently supported by hundreds who protested at the campus (Arabic). This led to AUC promising to take action. Naturally, State Security was there to serve and protect.

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Speaking of Egypt; I dont really follow university politics, but it seems university professors are escalating their activism:

“Demonstrations staged by workers and teachers demanding the government honour their financial rights have proved successful, demonstrating that the state will respond when confronted with a strong stance,” Adel Abdel-Gawwad, chairman of the Cairo University Teaching Staff Club, told Al-Ahram Weekly.

Yay for more domino pieces!

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Article in CounterPunch by a DePaul professor reflecting on Finkelstein’s settlement with the university.

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[PLEASE NOTE: If this letter has been forwarded to you, and you would like to sign on or have questions, please send an email to depaul.letter@gmail.com]
[To sign this letter, please send an email with your name and any academic, professional, or other affiliation to depaul.letter@gmail.com]

The letter’s after the jump.

UPDATE: thought i would point to the solidarity campaign blog.

(more…)

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