The KFUPM Council held its sixth session for the academic year 1438/1439 H on the 7th of Ramadan 1439 H corresponding to 22 / 5 / 2018, at the university campus in Dhahran under the chairmanship of His Excellency Dr. Khalid S. Al Sultan. Attendees included Dr. Mohammed Abdulaziz Al Saleh, Secretary-General of the Interim Committee of the Higher Education Council, and Vice Rectors and Deans of Colleges, and the supporting deanships.
At the beginning of the meeting, His Excellency the Rector congratulated the attendees on the occasion of the holy Ramadan, asking Allah Almighty to support our government with pride and victory under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, may Allah preserve them, pointing out that KFUPM will continue in its achievements with the support and great attention it receives from our wise government.
The meeting agenda included several topics, including the approval to allow female students to enroll in graduate programs (MS and PhD) in various disciplines such as: Mathematics, Applied Statistics, Computer Science and Engineering, Business Administration and Engineering Management. The study shall be at the beginning of the academic year 1439/1440 H corresponding to 2018/2019. This decision was based on the recommendations of the committees that have been formed years ago. This topic was studied extensively to ensure the job opportunities of female graduates and to ensure the achievement of the desired goals that meet the quality standards to which the university is committed.
On this occasion, H.E. Dr. Khalid S. Al-Sultan, KFUPM Rector, said that the university is looking forward to achieving the aspirations of our wise leadership and the directions of the Saudi Vision 2030 to contribute to preparing qualified women leaders for the development sectors. Female leaders will contribute to scientific research and strengthening the system of innovation and technology development for KFUPM and Kingdom. This approach will also support the university's orientation towards being a research entity which requires specialized competencies in scientific research and innovation. In addition, this initiative fulfills the needs of educational and research institutes in the Kingdom with a distinguished female teaching body and researchers.
He added that the university played a distinctive and qualitative role in various missions serving Saudi women for several years. For example, the University has contributed through the Academic Leadership Center to the training of more than four thousand academic leaders in Saudi universities. The university has also trained and educated female students and teachers to improve teaching science to young people and enhancing their knowledge of its importance through the Sultan bin Abdulaziz Center for Science and Technology (SciTech). It also established a science office to train female teachers on the methodology and pedagogy in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Further, the KFUPM Deanship of Continuing Education trained thousands of female students and taught them English basic skills through short and long courses. The R&D centers at Dhahran Techno Valley have contributed to the recruitment of female researchers. KFUPM supported the Saudi female researchers through its “Ibn Khaldun” program, which comes as part of the research cooperation between KFUPM and MIT in the USA. The university has also developed a program to train women leaders of non-profit organizations at the Al-FOZAN Academy.
For his part, Dr. Omar Abdullah Al-Swailem, Dean of Faculty and Personnel Affairs, Acting Secretary of KFUPM Council, said that the Council's decision to provide graduate programs for female students will be subjected to the admissions process and according to the criteria of graduate study programs. It also required the formation of preparatory committees to develop the final steps and requirements for human resources and appropriate spatial needs, as well as to issue the necessary regulations for the educational process, rights, duties and professional relations.
Dr. Al-Swailem noted that the Council had discussed and adopted several other issues on its agenda. These included the approved of the Annual Report for the last academic year 1437/1438 H, the approval of changing the name of the College of Industrial Management to the College of Business Administration, restructuring its departments to become Accounting & Finance, Management & Marketing, and Information Systems & Operations Management, and to oversee the development of the degree programs accordingly.
The Council also approved changing the name of the College of Applied & Supporting Studies to become the College of General Studies, as well as the Department of General Studies to become the Department of International and Community Studies. These amendments are in line with the latest international trends in these fields to match academic programs in prestigious universities. In the same vein, the Council approved the development of master's and doctorate programs in Petroleum Engineering, Industrial Engineering and System Engineering.
He concluded by saying that the Council had discussed other issues, including renewing the contracts of some faculty members, appointing new members to the Scientific Council and Research Institute, and reforming the Deanship of Graduate Studies Council.