Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


In his address to the Advisory Council’s 43rd ordinary session on November 11, HH The Emir highlighted the importance of ongoing assessment of plans in order to build on successes and learn from mistakes. He stressed that such evaluation aims not only to track progress made but also to make amendments as necessary in light of actual results and changing external factors.

Here I would like to seize the opportunity to reflect on the importance of strategic planning and to note that while it is a guide that helps us determine our direction and track our progress as a national institution of higher education, it should not be a rigid process.

Adapting plans to changing circumstances is key to successful planning while always maintaining consistency and focus when it comes to core principles such as mission, vision, values and key objectives. I would like to draw your attention to the approaching period which occurs around mid-December every year to review strategic plans and I urge you to keep the above in mind as you move forward with your planning review.

As His Highness emphasized “plans are not drawn up for the purpose of completing a procedure as a formality only; plans are drawn up to be implemented. Hence they must be designed carefully, and be enforceable within the framework of relevant inputs, including available budgets”.   His Highness further said that rational spending is not only an economic issue but also a cultural one. We as a national university play a key role in developing the kind of society and the kind of individuals that HH referred to in his speech, which means that we should become a role model in responsibility, sustainability and efficiency.

This week, we were pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Abdullatif Al Khal as the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the College of Medicine.  Dr Al Khal comes with long experience at Hamad Medical Corporation where he is Director of Medical Education among other leading roles.

We welcome Dr Al Khal to the College of Medicine and into the QU family.

I will also take this opportunity to welcome the new faculty on Japanese studies who recently joined the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS).  The positions of a Marubeni Chair in Humanities, Marubeni Chair in Social Sciences, and lecturer in Japanese language are part of an agreement signed last April with Marubeni Corporation, one of Japan’s largest and most respected trading and investment companies.  Students will have the opportunity to take courses related to Japan, its history, culture and language which will strengthen their understanding and appreciation as well as contribute to advancing the spirit of friendship and goodwill between the two countries and their people.

Another highlight this week was QU receiving the 2014 Outstanding Academic Advising Program Certificate of Merit Award from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), the international accrediting agency for advising programs.

The Award is in recognition of the distinctive academic advising programs at our Center for Academic Advising and Retention, making QU the only university in the Gulf and the Middle East to gain this prestigious achievement.

It underlines QU’s commitment to giving students a comprehensive experience of academic development and personal growth that begins with a deep and culturally-rooted understanding of what the transition to university life entails.  It cannot be overstated the importance of academic advising in the myriad of student services that include career guidance, student counseling, learning support, and services for students with special needs, which work together and complement each other to make the student experience a success.

It was also a proud moment for us to co-host the 2014 NACADA Middle East Conference which was the first time being held in the region and the first-ever conference on academic advising in the region. We deeply appreciate our partnership with NACADA and its excellent global outlook which will help us work together and benefit from experiences and best practices in academic advising, a crucial piece of the student success framework.