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About

Biography of President Fr. Bechara Khoury
Fr. Bechara Khoury, a religious of the Maronite Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was born in Kartaba, Lebanon on February 2, 1969 and ordained a priest on July 22, 1995. Fr. Bechara Khoury joined Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) in 2005 and was appointed President of NDU in 2021.

Fr. Khoury has a longstanding history at NDU with 12 years of experience between 2005 and 2017 ranging from Director of Student Affairs from 2005 till 2008, followed by Vice President for Finance from 2008 till 2017, in addition to running various capital projects. Prior to his tenure at NDU, he was the Principal of multiple schools across Lebanon, including Collège Notre Dame de Louaize in Zouk Mosbeh and École St. Rita in Dbayeh. Fr. Khoury holds a Doctorate degree in Economics from the University of Dijon, France, as well as a specialized degree in the management of educational institutions. He also holds a Master’s degree in Theology from the Catholic University of Angers, France.

Fr. Khoury is fluent in English, French, and Arabic along with Syriac, Greek and Latin.

Fr. Khoury’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
The NDU Key is an academic symbol that encapsulates what our university stands for.

The engraved silver of the NDU key bears 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. NDU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), and 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 adopts 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 Blessed Virgin Mary (OMM), the sponsoring society of NDU, founded the LCHE under the wing of Beirut University College (BUC). 

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:

Ramez G. Chagoury Faculty of Architecture, Arts 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)


It is noteworthy to mention that the culture of quality assurance and assessment has become firmly rooted at NDU. After few years of preparations including eligibility and candidacy phases, NDU received in 2018 the official institutional accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), previously the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC). NDU is the only Catholic institution in the entire Middle East and only the second university in Lebanon to have received this prestigious accreditation.

The story continues at a program level and many programmatic accreditations have been secured or are on their way to fulfillment. To illustrate, the Faculty of Engineering (FE) received in Summer 2016 the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation, and the decision was retroactive to Fall 2013. The FE underwent a reaccreditation visit in Fall 2021 and the outcome was a renewed accreditation for a new full cycle ending 2028. The Computer Science program also underwent in November 2017 a comprehensive evaluation by the ABET Computing Accreditation Commission and was granted full accreditation in 2018 with retroactive to 2016. The International Advertising Association (IAA) has accredited, since 1999, the BA in Advertising and Marketing. Furthermore, the BA in Communication Arts – Radio/TV has been approved by the International Association of Cinema and Television Schools (CILECT) as a full member starting 2017. The Faculty of Business Administration and Economics (FBAE) became eligible in Summer 2016 for AACSB accreditation, submitted its official Self-Evaluation Report in Spring 2022, and is ready for the initial accreditation phase. Other programs are actively pursuing accreditation, such as the Architecture program with NAAB and the Actuarial Sciences program targeting ABET accreditation. Both programs saw their evaluation visits postponed because of the crisis and are updating their self-studies in anticipation of new visits in the near future.
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 onto the most renowned Higher Education Institutions by pursuing the New England Commission for Higher Education (NECHE) Accreditation previously known as the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC). In that context, NDU built a strategic plan 2015-2020 to satisfy one core element for accreditation. Fr. Moussa’s vision was to position the University on par with other leading universities in Lebanon and the Middle East. An initial ambitious, five-year strategic plan was prepared and scrupulously monitored until its end.

The success of the first Strategic Plan instilled a culture of planning at both University and Faculty levels, and a second phase has been initiated in fall 2020 under the leadership of President Fr. Pierre Najem, now Superior General of the OMM. This phase lead to the second Strategic Plan of the University reflecting the current compounded crises Lebanon is facing and all its institutions including NDU. The Strategic Plan 2021-2026 emphasizes the human dimension and has five pillars with a set of strategic goals as follows:

Mission

- Goal I.1: Nurture a culture of sustainability, inclusion, and citizenship to create the widest social impact.
- Goal I.2: Foster shared governance, transparency, agility, and continuous improvement to proactively adapt to changes.

People

- Goal II.1: Invest in our People and make NDU an attractive place of work, and research.
- Goal II.2: Optimize university-students and university-alumni relationship to strengthen belonging.

Innovation

- Goal III.1: Streamline innovative learning methods and continuously design differentiated programs to cater to the student aspirations and market needs and develop the community mindsets and competencies.
- Goal III.2: Explore opportunities and invest in various endeavors with the internal and external community to create value.

Outreach

- Goal IV.1: Increase NDU student enrolment through proper planning, targeted actions, and indicators.
- Goal IV.2: Strengthen NDU image, reputation, and brand loyalty by positively influencing the perception and engagement among internal and external key stakeholders.
- Goal IV.3: Adopt a purpose-oriented approach to extend and strengthen collaboration among academia, civil society, public and private sectors and cultivate strong local and international network engagement.

Resources

- Goal V: Leverage NDU human and physical resources and strengthen and diversify its financial, technological, and physical infrastructure to ensure the university sustainability.

Accreditation

New England Commission for Higher Education (NECHE)

Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), Lebanon’s preeminent non-profit Catholic institution of higher education and the sole Lebanese Catholic university that adopts the American model of liberal arts education, is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) since 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 with retroactive effect to 2013.

ABET Accreditation of the Computer Science Program

The BS Program in Computer Science at the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences (FNAS) is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.

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) is finalizing the process and will announce the good news in AY 2022-2023.

Other Accreditations

Multiple other programmatic accreditations were secured and the list is growing at a steady pace. Typical programs with external accreditation are the Advertising and Marketing program accredited by the International Advertising Association (IAA) since 1999, the Communication Arts – Radio/TV program approved by the International Association of Cinema and Television Schools (CILECT) as a full member since 2017,and the Accounting and Banking & Finance programs accredited by ACCA since 2018 and 2021, respectively.
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 - 2021
Father Bechara Khoury 2021 - 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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