Editorial Team
Nurturing Leaders, Driving Innovation and Transforming Business Education

Established in 1924 by the Presbyterian Church as Beirut University College (BUC), The Lebanese American University (LAU) has grown into a shining example of academic brilliance in the heart of the Middle East. Over its illustrious journey, LAU has undergone transformative changes, evolving from a college to a fully-fledged university in October 1992. This evolution was underscored by the approval from the Board of Regents in New York in 1994, officially renaming the institution as the Lebanese American University (LAU).

Accredited by the prestigious New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc. (NECHE), formerly known as the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., LAU stands as a testament to academic rigor and quality. Its accreditation serves as a testament to its commitment to maintaining the highest standards of education and academic integrity.

At the heart of LAU’s academic landscape lies the Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB), an esteemed institution that has stood the test of time as one of the oldest autonomous American business schools in the region. Spanning two campuses situated in Beirut and Byblos, AKSOB embodies a dedication to exemplary teaching, scholarly pursuits, and professional service. Dr. Wassim Shahin, Professor and Dean of AKSOB, encapsulates this commitment, stating, “We are dedicated to fostering a student-centered environment that celebrates diversity and fosters academic excellence.”

As LAU gears up to celebrate its centennial in 2024, the university remains steadfast in its mission to empower students and shape the future leaders of tomorrow. With a legacy rooted in academic excellence and a vision aimed at innovation and progress, LAU continues to shine brightly on the global higher education stage.

Dr. Wassim Shahin, Professor and Dean of AKSOB

Nurturing Excellence

In a landmark moment in 2015, the School of Business, a stalwart in the educational landscape since 1979, underwent a transformational renaming. Honoring the invaluable contributions of the esteemed businessman, Adnan Kassar, the institution was christened the Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB). This renaming not only symbolized a tribute to Kassar’s unwavering commitment to educational excellence but also marked a pivotal juncture in the school’s journey towards greater heights of distinction.

With campuses strategically nestled in Beirut and Byblos, the AKSOB prides itself on cultivating an environment of academic excellence and support. Dr. Wassim Shahin, Dean of AKSOB, emphasizes, “Our primary objective is to empower our students with a competitive edge upon graduation, ensuring they are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of their chosen fields.”

Central to AKSOB’s ethos is its dynamic leadership and faculty, comprising a blend of industry veterans, seasoned academics, and pioneering researchers. This fusion of expertise ensures a holistic learning experience, infused with real-world insights and scholarly rigor. Dr. Shahin affirms, “Our faculty members are not only dedicated educators but also industry practitioners, bringing a wealth of practical knowledge to the classroom.”

A defining moment in AKSOB’s trajectory came in 2016 with the prestigious accreditation bestowed upon its programs by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), International. Widely regarded as the gold standard in business education accreditation, AACSB accreditation reaffirmed AKSOB’s unwavering commitment to academic excellence and innovation. Dr. Shahin underscores the significance of this accreditation, stating, “AACSB accreditation serves as a testament to our relentless pursuit of educational quality and our dedication to preparing future business leaders.”

Furthermore, AKSOB’s commitment to excellence is exemplified by its accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA). This accreditation, received in 2021 for a full seven-year period, underscores AKSOB’s dedication to upholding the highest standards of hospitality education. Dr. Shahin emphasizes, “ACPHA accreditation underscores our commitment to excellence in hospitality management education, providing our students with a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”

The Diverse Offerings

At the heart of the AKSOB lies a steadfast commitment to nurturing academic excellence and fostering a dynamic learning environment. Dr. Wassim Shahin affirms, “Our overarching goal is to equip students with a comprehensive skill set, blending theoretical knowledge with practical acumen, to thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of business.”

With a robust portfolio of undergraduate and graduate programs, AKSOB stands as a beacon of educational diversity and innovation. In the Spring 2024 semester alone, AKSOB boasts an enrollment of approximately 2,500 students, spanning across its campuses and online platforms. These students are enrolled in a myriad of programs, each meticulously designed to cater to the diverse interests and career aspirations of its student body.

At the undergraduate level, AKSOB offers three distinct degree programs: the Bachelor of Science in Business Studies, the Bachelor of Science in Economics, and the Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM). Within the BS in Business Studies, students have the opportunity to specialize in seven emphasis areas, ranging from Accounting to Marketing, ensuring a tailored educational experience that aligns with their passions and career goals.

Furthermore, AKSOB prides itself on its array of graduate degree offerings, catering to the needs of seasoned professionals and aspiring leaders alike. From the prestigious Master in Business Administration (MBA) to specialized programs such as the Master of Art in Applied Economics, Master of Laws (LLM) and the Master of Science in Human Resources Management (MS HRM), AKSOB provides a pathway for individuals to elevate their expertise and advance their careers in a rapidly evolving global marketplace.

Central to AKSOB’s commitment to academic excellence is its dedication to cutting-edge disciplines such as Data Analytics. Through innovative courses and experiential learning opportunities, students enrolled in the Data Analytics minor are empowered to harness the power of data to drive informed decision-making and solve real-world business challenges. Dr. Shahin emphasizes, “Our Data Analytics program not only equips students with technical skills but also cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving abilities essential for success in today’s data-driven world.”

Moreover, AKSOB’s emphasis on experiential learning extends beyond the classroom, with initiatives such as class competitions providing students with hands-on experience working with real-world data sets from esteemed companies like Areeba, Murex, and Unilever. Dr. Shahin underscores the significance of these competitions, stating, “Our partnerships with industry leaders not only enrich the educational experience but also provide students with invaluable networking opportunities and potential career pathways.”

As a student-centered institution, AKSOB is dedicated to providing comprehensive support services to its students, ranging from academic advising to career guidance and alumni relations. Dr. Shahin reiterates, “Our commitment to student success extends beyond graduation, ensuring that our students are well-equipped to thrive in their professional endeavors.”

Committed to Foster Academic Innovation and Scholarly Engagements

Excellence is not just a goal at AKSOB; it’s a guiding principle that permeates every aspect of its academic endeavors. Dr. Wassim Shahin emphasizes, “Our commitment to academic innovation and scholarly engagement is paramount in fulfilling our mission to empower students and advance knowledge in the field of business.”

Central to AKSOB’s mission is its dedicated faculty, whose expertise and passion drive the school’s academic pursuits forward. Chaired and staffed by faculty members, all standing councils and committees at AKSOB are committed to curriculum development, course delivery, and the assessment of learning outcomes. Dr. Shahin underscores the importance of these efforts, stating, “Our faculty-led approach ensures that our programs remain at the forefront of academic excellence, continually evolving to meet the dynamic needs of the business landscape.”

In line with its commitment to innovation, AKSOB faculty are at the forefront of adopting cutting-edge teaching practices to engage and inspire students. Through the Center of Innovative Learning (CIL), faculty members are provided with the necessary support and resources to leverage state-of-the-art technology and pedagogy. From online course content development to immersive learning experiences such as augmented reality and virtual exchange, CIL empowers faculty to create dynamic and interactive learning environments that foster critical thinking and creativity among students.

Beyond the classroom, AKSOB faculty members are active contributors to the development and growth of local and regional industries. Through consultancy services and assignments, faculty members leverage their expertise to address real-world challenges and drive innovation in the business community. Dr. Shahin highlights the collective impact of faculty contributions, stating, “Our faculty’s intellectual prowess extends beyond academia, shaping the economic and business culture of Lebanon and the region.”

The scholarly achievements of AKSOB faculty are testament to their dedication to knowledge production and dissemination. From publications in top-tier international journals to participation in prestigious conferences and forums, AKSOB faculty members are at the forefront of driving forward the frontiers of business research. Dr. Shahin proudly acknowledges the international recognition received by some faculty members, stating, “Our faculty’s accolades underscore their commitment to excellence and their contributions to advancing knowledge in the field.”

Moreover, AKSOB faculty actively engage students in research endeavors, fostering a culture of collaboration and mentorship. Through joint publications and participation in research projects, students are provided with invaluable opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world problems, preparing them for success in their future endeavors.

Creating Global Impact and Industry Engagements

The superiority of AKSOB transcends borders, as evidenced by its stellar performance in the 2024 Times Higher Education (THE) Subject Rankings. Dr. Wassim Shahin proudly asserts, “Our consistent recognition as a national leader in Business and Economics underscores AKSOB’s unwavering commitment to academic excellence and global impact.”

For the past three years, AKSOB has maintained its position as a national leader, ranking number 1 in Lebanon, while also securing a spot in the top 251-300 globally and achieving the impressive rank of number 7 in the Arab World. These remarkable accolades affirm AKSOB’s distinction across its diverse array of programs, showcasing its commitment to delivering world-class education that prepares students for success on a global scale.

Central to AKSOB’s global impact is its extensive network of collaborative partnerships with leading businesses and academic institutions around the world. From iconic hotel chains such as Intercontinental Phoenicia and Marriott to esteemed academic institutions like Cornell and the University of California Berkeley, AKSOB’s partnerships facilitate invaluable opportunities for student placement, faculty exchange, and collaborative research initiatives. Dr. Shahin highlights the significance of these partnerships, stating, “Our collaborations with global and regional entities not only enrich the educational experience but also provide students with real-world insights and opportunities for professional growth.”

Moreover, AKSOB’s active institutes serve as vital conduits for connecting with the business community and fostering meaningful dialogue between academia and industry. The Institute for Family and Entrepreneurial Business (IFEB) and the Institute of Hospitality and Tourism Management host an array of workshops, conferences, and professional seminars featuring prominent figures in business and academia. These events not only provide platforms for knowledge exchange but also facilitate networking opportunities for students and industry professionals alike.

Furthermore, AKSOB’s Career and Guidance Office plays a pivotal role in preparing students for the transition from academia to the professional world. Through annual career fairs and internship fairs, students and alumni have the opportunity to interact with representatives from a wide range of industries, spanning from finance and hospitality to technology and engineering. Dr. Shahin emphasizes the significance of these events, stating, “Our career and internship fairs serve as gateways to employment opportunities, providing students with the chance to connect with potential employers and secure internships and job offers.”

As AKSOB continues to lead the way in global education and industry engagement, it remains steadfast in its mission to empower students, foster innovation, and make a meaningful impact on the business landscape, both locally and internationally.

For More Info: https://sb.lau.edu.lb/

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