Ever since the appointment of the new President, Fr. Bechara Khoury, several Q&A sessions were held with the student representatives and faculties ensuring that their voices and concerns be heard.
The most recent of these sessions was a general assembly for the staff members held in the NDU main campus on Friday the 3rd of September. Attending this assembly were the President, Vice President for Administration and Finance, Abbott Semaan Bou Abdo, faculty deans, chairpersons, administrators, and staff members.
The Director of the Office of Human Resources, Dr. Jennifer Abou Hamad, warmly welcomed everyone and invited Fr. Khoury to discuss the current situation and the next phases. Fr. Khoury opened the proceedings by highlighting three key pillars towards which all the efforts and work should be aimed: transparency, rightfulness, and people. He believes that we are all living exceptional times, but we should all be ready for anything because once transparency and rightfulness guide the way, nothing should be feared. He promised that all the University resources, whether current or new, are placed to support the community, and no priority precedes the wellbeing of the People of NDU.
Fr. Khoury stated, “NDU should always remain the positive voice amidst the chaos and darkness that surround us.” For that purpose, in his previous written message to the students, he highlighted the “oasis” that NDU aims to embody to support the students and the whole community as they try to face the external challenges. As such, he encouraged the community to try and keep the external challenges outside the University walls and to be armed with Faith in the Virgin Mary and the University mission that have safeguarded us throughout this whole period.
Fr. Khoury highlighted the various steps NDU took to weather the ongoing storm such as changing the tuition rates to maintain the integrity of the learning experience and quality of education, increasing the student financial aid to support the students in need, increasing faculty and staff salaries to partially meet the increasingly challenging cost of living, and offering a revised insurance plan with additional and optional individual benefits. He also ensured that the situation will be continuously monitored and assessed, and that this is only the first step in the next phase. He stated, “this period needs patience; just as the footballer has the mindset of a winner, we should set the goal of winning before us, and then all the efforts are directed towards achieving that goal.”
The new insurance plan was presented by the company representatives followed by a Q&A session to eliminate any ambiguity.
“We are hearing you, and we are here for you,” stated Fr. Khoury, as he wished everyone a positive and strong academic year ahead.