Center for International Development



The Dean of the College of Education on the University of Tripoli’s Janzour campus, Dr. Abdulatif-A-Muhamed Shaban, completed a two-week visit to the United States and Ball State University November 24-December 8, 2011. His historic visit (he was the first educator from Libya to travel under the new Libyan government following the overthrow of dictator Muammar Qaddafi) was welcomed by Ball State University. He met with President Emerita Jo Ann Gora, and they exchanged gifts. President Gora signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Tripoli, laying the foundation for collaboration with multiple colleges at the University of Tripoli. Activities envisioned under this memorandum include:

--acceptance of documentation, faculty, staff and/or students, who will be responsible for all of their own expenses and fees at host university

--development of proposals seeking external support for collaboration in research, instruction, or service functions

--other activities within the scope and mission of both institutions and regulations of host countries

Both parties agree to identify Coordinators to set reciprocal goals and to oversee achievements.

During his visit, Dean Abdulatif held several meetings with faculty and administrators in Teachers College including Dean John Jacobson, Associate Dean Laurie Mullen, Associate Dean Debbie Rodgers and Director, Office of Teacher Education Services, Judy Miller. In order for the Dean to learn more about the Teachers College approach to training elementary and secondary teachers, it was important to introduce him to American pedagogical theory, philosophy and application. To that end, he made contact with Muncie Community Schools, and met Peggy Lewis, Director of BSU Schools Network, and principals from the following schools:

Burris Laboratory School

Storer Elementary School

Muncie Southside High School

Muncie Central High School

This aspect of his visit concluded with a Muncie District School administrator luncheon held at the BSU Alumni Center.

Additional departmental meetings were held with Special Education, Elementary Education, the Intensive English Institute, Department of Physics and Department of English. Tours and discussions also included the Teleplex and visits to our video conferencing facilities. Specifically, he toured the Ball Communications control room, BC 200, and BC 129 as well as the TEACH Adaptive Technology Laboratory. Furthermore, he was able to attend a lecture regarding the creation of a digital textbook for classroom instruction. He also met with Dr. Matt Stuve in the iStudio and participated in a discussion of educational technology and applications.

Dean Abdulatif also met with the Rinker Center’s Director of International Admissions regarding BSU’s admissions process where he learned about our interest and support for admitting qualified Tripoli University students and faculty. The Dean was provided handouts regarding the graduate level degrees available at BSU, both on-campus and online (distance education). The online advanced degrees are of great interest to the Dean as he currently has 35 female faculty members who have expressed great interest in enhancing their teaching methodology, skills and pedagogy as well as their content knowledge. Online degree programs are important as such courses will allow females to remain in Libya with their families if they so choose.

Dr. Robert Morris, Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, and Dr. Marilyn Buck, Associate Provost and Dean of University College, hosted the Dean for conversations regarding the current state of the Libyan educational system and Tripoli University’s educational reform plans. Finally, in a wrap up session Meeting with Dr. Kenneth Holland, Dean of the Rinker Center for International Programs and Director of the Center for International Development, it was agreed that a partnership plan would be devised to the mutual benefit of both institutions.

Kristie Smith Johnson, CID Grant writer, is working with Sponsored Projects Administration to write three proposals for external funding to support the partnership: (1) Establishment of an English Language Institute at the University of Tripoli; (2) Building the capacity of the University of Tripoli’s College of Education; and (3) Providing graduate education to teachers in the College of Education. In accordance with guidance from the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, the sponsor of these three projects will be the Libyan Ministry of Education.