About

 

BIOGRAPHY OF PRESIDENT FR. PIERRE NAJEM
Fr. Pierre Najem joined Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) in 2010 after receiving his Bachelor degree in Theology/Theological Studies in 2001 from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome. Fr. Najem immersed himself in Biblical Science and ancient languages by continuing his specialization in Biblical Exegesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. This study compiles a broad range of languages, from Syriac, Aramaic, Biblical Hebrew, Old Greek, and Latin as well as spoken modern languages, namely Arabic, French, English, Italian, Spanish and German.

He is now finalizing his Doctorate in Research from Sorbonne Paris 4, focusing on “Histoire du Christianisme et des Civilisations” and on his DBA from Université Paris Dauphine in Business Administration and Management. Not resting on his research and teaching laurels, he quickly moved up the administrative ladder at NDU, going from Director, Center for Digitization in 2010 to Vice President for Administration in 2014 and finally to president. He is also a Lecturer of the Old Testament, New Testament, Johannine literature, Biblical Greek in Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth (USJ), and of Biblical Greek in the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK).

Fr. Najem’s vision consists of persevering on the path to academic excellence while remaining focused on educating the individual, the mind, and the soul.

 

NDU'S ACADEMIC SYMBOL
Our new President receives, during a formal ceremony, NDU Key as an Academic symbol that encapsulates what our university stands for.

The engraved silver of the NDU key bares the university insignia with at its core, a stylized representation of the Virgin Mary who blesses us with her motherly protection with every sunlight.

Mary, the faithful disciple, embraced her mission and became Mother of the Word. Like her, NDU becomes the mother of thousands of tomorrow’s men and women. A mother who educates them, accompanies them, and genuinely cares for them.

The key is a mere symbol of openness, it unlocks the door that leads all of us who enter it to a path of self-discovery, a path where we learn to cherish that extraordinary moment where we find Joy in the Truth, the moment of “Gaudium de Veritate”.
IDENTITY
Notre Dame University ‐ Louaize (NDU) is a private, Lebanese non‐profit Catholic institution of higher education which adopts the American system of higher education. The religious affiliation of the University does not impose any sectarian obligations on faculty members, staff, or students. The cultural and spiritual heritage of the Maronite Order of the Holy Virgin Mary highlights a belief in a unified Lebanon, a belief in education as a means of protection against fanaticism and corruption and a dedication to freedom of thought and expression. The University espouses such values and beliefs irrespective of color, creed, race, or gender and seeks to enhance these values through the liberal education it offers and the career preparation that caters to the real needs of Lebanon and the region.
MISSION
As a Catholic institution inspired by the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Maronite Order of the Holy Virgin Mary, Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) seeks to provide comprehensive quality education that fosters excellence in scholarship, lifelong learning, enlightened citizenship, human solidarity, moral integrity, and belief in God.

In designing its curricula, NDU is committed to the philosophy and standards of the American model of liberal arts education. Conceiving itself as an authentic academic community, NDU promotes diversity, respect for human dignity and rights, and concern for the common good. Its profound aspiration is to prepare its students to be future leaders who can exercise reason upon knowledge and shape a world of truth, justice, love, and freedom.

 

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW
NDU is a Lebanese non-profit Catholic institution of higher education, which adopts the American system of higher education. It first came into being in 1978 under the name of Louaize Center for Higher Education (LCHE). The Maronite Order of the Holy Virgin Mary (OMM), the sponsoring society of NDU, founded the LCHE under the wing of Beirut University College (BUC), now the Lebanese-American University (LAU).

The OMM’s report titled, “Louaize Center for Higher Education: A Detailed Statement from 1978 to 1981,” dated January 16, 1981, provides information on the establishment of the LCHE in terms of its objectives, importance in the region, structure, and aspirations. The report purports the need to establish a Catholic institution of higher education in Lebanon, which follows the American system of higher education.

In 1978, a total of 72 students joined the LCHE and, in 1980, 305 students enrolled. The LCHE became the first non-profit Catholic educational institution to follow the American system of higher education in Lebanon. The BUC supervised the academic programs while the OMM took charge of administrative and financial matters.

True to the mission of the Order, which insists that the country needed a national university, Catholic in spirit, Maronite in tradition, and American in system, the LCHE on April 26, 1984, applied to the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) for a license, requesting the establishment of an independent university. On August 14, 1987, the recognition of the University was granted in the form of a Presidential Decree numbered 4116, and thus NDU was founded, the only Catholic university based on the American system of higher education not only in Lebanon but also in the entire Arab Middle East region. NDU’s religious affiliation does not impose any sectarian obligations on faculty members, staff, or students. The cultural and spiritual heritage of the OMM highlights a belief in a unified Lebanon, a belief in education, as a means of protection against fanaticism and corruption, and a dedication to freedom of thought and expression. NDU espouses such values and beliefs irrespective of color, creed, race, or gender and seeks to enhance these values through the liberal education it offers and the career preparation that caters to the real needs of Lebanon and the region.

In July 1994, NDU celebrated its fourth graduation ceremony and NDU’s president at the time, Fr. Francois Eid, announced in his address the completion of the study, design, and architecture of a new campus. The foundation stone was laid on November 19, 1994.

In 1999, a new campus in Barsa, Koura (North Lebanon) was opened, known as the North Lebanon Campus (NLC). To this day, the NLC still offers undergraduate programs leading to Bachelor degrees in all majors offered at the main campus.

NDU decided to start a new chapter in its history by extending its services to the rural Shouf region where it established a campus in Deir-el-Kamar. The Supreme Council of the OMM endorsed the proposal, which the Board of Trustees (BOT) approved in its meeting on March 8, 2001. The establishment of the Shouf Campus (SC) aspired to meet the needs of the Christian and non-Christian communities, particularly in promoting dialogue, celebrating diversity, and cementing national cohesion.

In October 1992, NDU launched its graduate programs, recognized by the Lebanese government, offering Master degrees in Computer Science, Business Administration, International Affairs and Diplomacy, English Literature, Applied Linguistics and TEFL, and Arabic language and Literature.

In April 1994, NDU established the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture and, in October 1996, the Lebanese government issued decree number 9278, granting its official recognition to NDU’s new Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering, Computer and Communication Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Later on, the Architecture and Design programs were separated from the Faculty of Engineering into their own entity; the Faculty of Architecture, Art and Design (FAAD). The most recent addition to NDU’s academic programs is the Bachelor of Laws degree, which started in 2012. Today, NDU is home to seven Faculties (schools), namely:

Faculty of Architecture, Art and Design (FAAD)

Faculty of Business Administration and Economics (FBAE)

Faculty of Engineering (FE)

Faculty of Humanities (FH)

Faculty of Law and Political Sciences (FLPS)

Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences (FNAS)

Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences (FNHS)


As of fall 2017, total student enrolment (main campus and the two regional campuses) was around 7,000 (headcount).

Currently, 266 full-time faculty members and around 420 part-time faculty members serve this student body.

 

 

HERITAGE
The University’s heritage and identity are traceable to roots in the Lebanese Synod which took place in the Monastery of Our Lady of Louaize in 1739, the motherhouse of the Maronite Order of the Holy Virgin Mary and the sponsoring society of NDU.

This Synod encouraged the mission of education within the Christian Maronite ethos that believed in Education for all. Accordingly, the Order began to spread education in Lebanon and established schools in many parts of the country. Capitalizing on its being Catholic in spirit and Maronite in tradition and focusing on the Synod’s mission and directives, NDU as such has always sought to play its appropriate role in the Middle East.

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN & ACCREDITATION

Strategic Plan (SP)


In 2011, NDU President Father Walid Moussa made the bold decision to strategically elevate the University, which until that time had built for itself a growing reputation as an institution providing quality education. Fr. Moussa’s vision was to position the University on par with other leading universities in Lebanon and the Middle East. An ambitious, five -year strategic plan that comprises the following five major goals, has been developed:

 

Goal 1

NDU will continue to foster a teaching and learning environment based on a liberal arts foundation and driven by a holistic learning experience that enhances students’ professional and communication competences.

Goal 2

NDU will develop its position as the national and regional Catholic university of choice.

Goal 3

NDU will develop and integrate research as an essential part of the learning experience of its students at all levels.

Goal 4

NDU will establish planning as a natural trait of the new shared governance of the institution.

Goal 5

NDU will develop its financial resources and physical infrastructure to ensure excellent and affordable higher education.

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) was granted eligibility status by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education on November 10, 2010. NDU has then been granted Candidate for Accreditation status and is progressing towards expecting full accreditation in April 2018.

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)

After few years of preparation and learning process, the Faculty of Engineering at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) was able to secure the ABET accreditation across the three campuses to its undergraduate programs in civil, computer and communication, electrical and mechanical engineering in August 2016. The process started in 2010 and we are now fully accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

ABET Accreditation of the Computer Science Program

The Department of Computer Science at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) has initiated the ABET Accreditation application process for its Computer Science Program in October 2016. The department then submitted its complete self-study report on June 21, 2017 to ABET Headquarters, and will be visited by the ABET team on November 4-7, 2017.
The expected date of accreditation is August 31, 2018.

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU)’s Business School was declared as eligible for the accreditation of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Initial Accreditation Committee, during their 2nd of August 2016 meeting at their USA headquarters.
The Faculty of Business Administration and Economics (FBAE) will be submitting its initial self-evaluation report (iSER) for the AACSB candidacy in September 2017.

 

 

PRESIDENTS OF NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY-LOUAIZE (NDU)
Name Year
Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai*
1978 - 1984
Abbot Antoine Sfeir**
1984 - 1987
Abbot Boutros Tarabay
1987 - 1993
Bishop Francois Eid
1993 - 1999
Abbot Boutros Tarabay
1999 - 2005
Father Walid Moussa
2005 - 2017
Father Pierre Najem 2017 - Present
*Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rai was the Director of the LCHE from 1978-1984
** Abbot Antoine Sfeir was the Director of the LCHE from 1984-1987
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