In line with the Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Strategic Plan 2015-2020, and in line with the University’s mission to pursue academic excellence at all levels, particularly at the Faculty level, NDU recently underwent a faculty salary and benefits benchmark study, using leading Universities in Lebanon and the Middle East as the standard.
The study identified the compensation packages, benefits and barriers that serve or hinder Faculty success and made specific recommendations designed to improve the compensation packages and benefits and lift the barriers, ensuring that Faculty members are appropriately recognized and economically safeguarded in an ever demanding society. Implementing the recommendations of this study will in no doubt reinforce the importance of a solid and competent faculty body; thereby, giving the University a new and powerful competitive edge in academia which is already at par with other peer leading institutions and in recruiting the finest scholars.
It is a well-known fact that a competent faculty body utilizes new ways of implementing the factors that contribute to academic excellence: cross-cultural and multicultural perspectives and competence, cutting edge research, cognitive and intellectual heterogeneity, and socio-economic and cultural inclusion. This study will afford NDU to retain top scholars, and through the new highly competitive parameters in place, new faculty members who bring excellence and add diversity to the University will be attracted and appointed.
Given the current and dire state of the world, particularly in Lebanon, venturing into this new and ambitious status was no mean feat. NDU President Fr. Walid Moussa, speaking at a special general assembly on July 20, 2016, in the presence of more than 250 faculty members, vice-presidents, and upper-echelon administrative personnel, made it clear that the only way forward is not only about maintaining overall quality; rather, it is about finding ways to improve on it.
NDU Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Elie Badr also spoke along the same lines and further explained that the University expects faculty members to meet all their professional and institutional commitments at the University on a regular basis throughout the academic year, while it is the duty of the University to improve the conditions and the context in which faculty members function, as a means of retaining the best scholars while concurrently making NDU the employer of choice for other leading scholars.
The University has continued to evolve with changing times, and this new milestone in its history attests to its unwavering commitment to not only ensure education of the highest quality with a tuition cost which is the equivalent of 30% to 40% of that offered by other leading institutions but also to ensure that its faculty members are recognized and enjoy the best working conditions, which are comparable, if not superior in many cases, to other premier universities in both Lebanon and across the region.
Other important milestones that confirm NDU’s aim to providing academic excellence will soon be announced such as the anticipated accreditation of the Faculty of Engineering, the progress of NDU’s candidacy towards full accreditation by NEASC and the steps that other faculties are taking, such as the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, the Faculty of Architecture Arts and Design, and the Computer Science program towards receiving their own respective accreditation.