Fulbright College Programs Win $190,516 State Department Grant

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, the Fulbright Institute of International Relations, and the Department of Political Science at the University of Arkansas have won a $190,516 grant from the U.S. Department of State to develop graduate programs in public administration and public policy for University of Tunis I (Université de Tunis I), the flagship university of the Tunisian system of higher education.

This university partnership grant, among the most prestigious given by the State Department, will fund a three-year program that will bring together faculty from the Tunisian Higher Institute of Management (Institut Supérieur de Gestion) and specialists in public administration and public policy at the University of Arkansas.

"Winning this grant is an important step on the University of Arkansas’ road to academic excellence and international recognition," said Vincent Cornell, director of the King Fahd Center. "Arkansas is now fully on the map as a significant presence in the field of international studies."

During the period of the grant, Tunis I faculty will be in residence at the University of Arkansas and UA faculty will visit the University of Tunis to develop courses that will form the basis of future programs in public administration for the country of Tunisia.

"This grant is a big feather in the cap of the department, and highlights the importance of our public administration program," said Todd Shields, chair of the UA political science department. "The expertise and relationships that we are building in the Middle East and North Africa make our public administration faculty and program unique in America."

In spring 2002, Provost Bob Smith led a University of Arkansas delegation to Tunisia to sign agreements of cooperation with four Tunisian universities and one institute. The King Fahd Center is a member of the American Institute of Maghrib Studies, which maintains a research center in Tunis (CEMAT- Center for Maghribi Studies in Tunis). The center also maintains close relations with the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education.

These partnerships, along with the cooperation of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, were instrumental to the University of Arkansas’ success in obtaining this grant.

"This is an exciting proposal," said Paul Schelp, Program Officer for University Partnerships at the U. S. Department of State. "It is a testament both to progress made and progress still to come, in our partner countries, that you were able to pull everything together in this manner."


Vincent Cornell, director, King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, 479-575-4157, vcornell@uark.edu

Donald Kelley, director, Fulbright Institute of International Relations, Fulbright College, 479-575-3358, dkelley@arkansasusa.com

Todd Shields, chair, Department of Political Science, Fulbright College, 479-575-3356, tshield@uark.edu



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