News media will be invited to several events in conjunction with this historic visit. They include:

--Background media briefing with Dr. Mounir Farah, associate director, King Fahd Middle East Studies Program, 10 a.m. Thursday, May 27, 800 Hotz Hall.

--Photo op of Saudi delegation arriving at XNA airport, Thursday evening, May 27.

--Signing Ceremony, 10 a.m. Friday, May 28, Helen R. Walton Reading Room, Mullins Library

--News conference immediately following ceremony, 4th floor meeting room, Mullins Library

More details on these events for media will be issued later.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -His Excellency Khalid Al-Ankary, minister of higher education in Saudi Arabia, will lead a delegation of university presidents, deans, professors, and program directors on a visit to the University of Arkansas May 27 - 29.

The 28-member delegation also will visit Harvard, MIT, Northwestern, Michigan, UCLA, and the University of California System. They plan to sign memoranda of understanding with the University of Arkansas and these universities to strengthen existing partnerships and promote new cooperative efforts.

The ceremony for the signing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, May 28, in the Helen R. Walton Reading Room in Mullins Library.

"Since establishing the King Fahd Middle East Studies Program in 1993, the University’s Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences has worked steadily to forge just such cooperative agreements," said Bernard Madison, Fulbright College dean. "We have built the program through several joint projects and faculty-student exchanges, with the purpose of achieving better mutual understanding. We have been guided by the philosophy of J. William Fulbright, who held that only through education could we achieve any genuine understanding among nations."

Chancellor John A. White, who invited the delegation to visit the U of A, said, "We are honored that our Saudi colleagues have accepted and that they wish to sign an agreement of cooperation between the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education and the University.

"We are delighted for this opportunity to return the warm hospitality the minister and many of his party have shown our faculty and students over the years," White added. "We look forward to building upon the excellent foundation laid by Dean Madison and the Fulbright College as we work to strengthen existing programs and involve additional University schools and colleges in a wider partnership with Saudi universities."

During their visit, the delegation will meet with several UA administrators and faculty to discuss issues such as academic program standards, research partnerships with private industry, and university administration. They also will tour campus laboratories and research facilities and meet several Saudi students studying at the U of A.


Roger Williams or Rebecca Wood,
The Office of University Relations

Lynn Fisher,
Fulbright College,


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