AUB confirms resignation of university’s president

An article on the resignation of the president of the American University of Beirut, published in Al-Akhbar English in June 2014.

The American University of Beirut confirmed on Friday afternoon that its president, Peter Dorman, will be stepping down, in an e-mail sent to the AUB community.

“The Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut (“AUB”) announced today that its fifteenth president, Peter F. Dorman, an eminent scholar with deep and strong personal roots in Lebanon, will be stepping down as the University’s President after a successor is identified,” the e-mail read.

The board of trustees added that it expected to appoint a new university president “by early 2015.” It added that Dorman was expected to return to AUB as a professor of history and archeology at some point after his resignation.

Neither the e-mail sent by the board of trustees nor one sent by Dorman himself specified the reason behind the president’s decision to step down.

However, AUB’s director of communications Maha Azar told Al-Akhbar that Dorman decided to resign because he “wanted to go back to academia” and thought that “this was the best time to do it.”

“The president made his decision based on his desires and ambitions,” she said, when asked whether Dorman had chosen to step down because of recent student protests.

Azar said that Dorman chose to submit his resignation at this point in time due to a planned university campaign in 2015 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of AUB.

“He thought it would be better to have a new person to lead at the beginning of the campaign,” she said.

Dorman’s six-year tenure at one of Lebanon’s most prominent universities has been marred with scandals.

AUB student protested earlier this year against a planned hike in tuition fees, with many calling on Dorman to step down.

In 2013, reports came out revealing that AUB was allegedly spying on its students, staff and faculty’s e-mails.

A leaked 2011 report by a university trustee also accused the university of being “riddled with mismanagement, corruption, and malpractice, costing millions of dollars each year.”

Dorman was also strongly criticized for AUB’s decisions in 2011 and 2012 to honor figures with ties to Israel.

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