Thanks be to God, who has blessed us with Islam and its
principles, and peace be upon our Teacher, Prophet Mohammad, our exemplar of
good deeds; his family, and his Companions.
Dear colleagues, the leadership
of King Abdul Aziz University,
May the peace and blessing of God be upon you.
Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatu Allah wa Barakatuhu
I thank God that He has
given us, in this University, the active, intellectual minds and working hands
that you and all your colleagues represent. You all work earnestly, carefully
and faithfully to upgrade this university in the service of our religion and
this bountiful land. I thank God that He has placed Science and Organization at
our service so that we may make optimum use of our endeavors, ideas and positive
work through a clear-cut, specific plan that ensures the achievement of the
goals we aspire to. The impact of our organization is clear for all to see: the
university has recently witnessed several pioneering, qualitative shifts that
have led to the dissemination of an agreeable culture, the adoption of suitable
practices and the realization of distinctive achievements.
strategic plan was launched in 1424H. It entailed the ambitious goals of its
employees and adherents, and these goals revolve on six axes: academic
upgrading; total quality; scientific research; increasing the number of
stakeholders; the ideal exploitation of resources; and partnership with local
and international institutions.
The plan has reinforced the policy of change
for the better. It has also consolidated continuous improvements, the adoption
of suitable international practices, the revival of practices drawn from our
heritage, and ascertaining performance according to international performance
You will remember our meeting at the Fourth Quality Forum in 1424
H, when, according to a bold and ambitious plan, we raised the slogan, 'Change
for the Sake of Development'. I thank God that things went according to plan,
and in some cases great results have been achieved that were beyond our
You will also recall that in 1428 H the Custodian of the two
Holy Mosques honored me by renewing his confidence in me, whereby I have
continued to head this great university. Our slogan then was 'Towards
Internationalism by Word and Deed,' and I thank God that we have been able to
score several achievements in that direction.
These four landmarks were
really important for drawing a clear and ambitious path for the university:
strategic planning, academic accreditation, total quality and international
partnership have become the prevalent culture in the university, and they
represent the means and methodologies for the achievement of goals, ambitions
and leadership. Furthermore, the exchange of knowledge and experience has become
the major requirement for all the sectors of the university. Distinguished
achievements have followed one another, bearing the mark of development and the
ambitions of this university.
In the field of academic upgrading, the
university syllabi were changed and updated, and new programs were introduced.
The Foundation Year was also introduced, bringing with it basic subjects and
skills acquisition. Furthermore, all the facilities and means of the university
– buildings, labs and work force – were upgraded. International accreditation
was also obtained, a unique and unprecedented achievement among the universities
in the region. Thirty-three academic programs have been accredited – apart from
the accreditation awarded to the university hospital – and several programs are
very close to obtaining the highest academic accreditation. Also, many sectors
have obtained the ISO Certificates for total quality. Moreover, the services of
the university have been extended to an increasing mass of people, whether
students, faculty, administrators, technicians, or society at large. We have
also distinguished ourselves in scientific research. We now compete with many
research centers. We have obtained several patents for inventions, and have won
several local research competitions. We have also had the lion's share in all
the research and student competitions, as well as in other competitions.
thank God that we have also achieved a great deal in the field of partnership
with local and international organizations. We have set up a Business and
Knowledge Alliance with four branches: business incubators, expertise houses,
knowledge parke and central labs. We have also established the academic
endowment to support research, and have signed several agreements with local
private and governmental sectors and international institutions.
university, with its planning and cadres, has taken under its wings several
rising government and private universities and colleges in many parts of the
Kingdom, so that it is leaving its imprint everywhere. We are also leaving our
mark on research, methodology and academic programs outside the Kingdom. For
instance, we are cooperating with the University of Business Administration in
Madrid to found an Islamic economic center in Spain; and some European countries
have sent students on scholarship to study at our university within the
framework of an ambitious student exchange program.
The real driving force
of K.A.U. lies on the ideas and work of its students, administrators,
technicians and faculty, who, together, make up a total of 150,000 people. The
university is concerned with their worth and with their abilities to make
distinguished contributions, and it is also especially concerned with the
construction, implementation and benefits of its planning and achievements.
Our students receive the greatest part of our attention, and for this reason
there have been several new programs. External education, Distant Learning,
E-Learning, digital libraries and parallel programs have all been developed.
Moreover, the number of graduate programs has increased, and graduate students
are supported in the field of research, and are also enabled to receive
distinguished learning. The university is also concerned with developing the
students' personalities, and with their cultural and intellectual make-up, it is
furthermore interested in affording them various recreational activities in an
agreeable and motivating environment that fosters in them the feeling of
dedication, patriotism and pride in their national Islamic identity and its
concepts. This area has witnessed a continuous improvement in the programs that
are offered to them owing to the restructuring of some of the faculties, the
revision of curricula and the development of skills and expertise.
faculty, the university has provided them with the means to develop their
personalities and skills and has provided them with the opportunities for
research and interaction at the international level, as well as meetings with
social organizations that represent all the aspects of society and its
activities, whether governmental or private, industrial, commercial or
financial. In this regard, some universities have followed our steps. In
addition, incentives have been augmented by the increase in the awards presented
of a moral value and also by generous money awards for distinguished
With regard to our colleagues the administrators and
technicians, the university is concerned with developing the university
environment for their benefit by seeking total quality, with the result that its
successful program allowed several sectors to obtain the ISO after the revision
of some policies and procedures, the application of electronic and financial
mechanisms, and the professional development of the employees. There has also
been an expansion in the development of administrative character and skills
through various summer courses at the university and elsewhere in and outside
the Kingdom. Besides this, there are money incentives for good performance, the
acceleration of promotions and solutions to the problem of salaries that have
remained fixed for many long years and which gave the employees the feeling that
they had stagnated.
The achievements of the university are the outcome of an
extended period of time that dates back to 1384H, as well as of the accumulation
of goodwill, strenuous efforts, generous support and blessed work to disseminate
science and knowledge, prepare generations for the future, develop sciences and
Every result in which we take pride stems from these deep
roots and depend upon the contributions of the leadership, the administrators,
the faculty and the students. These span four decades of work and giving. May
God reward them. And let us not forget to pay our tribute to the committee that
founded this unique university, and to pay our tribute also to its former
Our achievements are also the outcome of the extension of place,
geography and work and are the product of good deeds that go beyond the confines
of this university to embrace several aspects of society as well as the
governmental and private institutions of the Kingdom. These deeds even transcend
the borders of the Kingdom to blend with and contribute to the endeavors of
prominent people in the world to disseminate well-being, the development of
knowledge, and Virtue.
Our march on the path of development and practical
applications is obstructed by core issues that must be confronted, dealt with
and resolved. Some of these issues are: the merger of the Women’s and Teachers'
Colleges with the university; the development of the new universities; the
expansion of the university horizontally and geographically; the development of
its infrastructure; switching to an opened university by reinforcing its role as
a house of knowledge that offers counsel and sponsors work; switching to an
electronic university with all its resultant development in organization,
regulations, and in the administrative, financial and academic sectors; focusing
on the application and evaluation of syllabi and faculty; laying down specific
measurements for performance and its follow-up; and developing graduate studies,
scientific research, the endowments and scientific chairs.
If all these
issues are well dealt with we will – God willing – achieve internationalism in
work, results, relations and continuous distinction.
The university has
signed several agreements with several international institutions of higher
education and has benefited in part from some of them. The time has come to
translate these agreements into tens of exchange programs and projects with
specific goals and results that would serve the learning process and scientific
research and society, and which would raise the university's position
education-wise. The goals and results would also allow for the exchange of
knowledge and culture and the reinforcement of experience. Many international
institutions of higher education, research centers and centers of excellence are
open to more agreements.
The university's adoption of practical programs such
as business incubators, expertise houses entrepreneurship, sponsoring genius and
talent, and some academic chairs shows to what extent the university, in
cooperation with the governmental and private sectors, wishes to reformulate the
labor market in the Kingdom to make it commensurate with the Kingdom's economic
capabilities, its human resources and its place in the world. These programs
should be further activated and continually developed.
If the direct outcomes
of the university are education, scientific research and community service,
internationalism requires an international presence and its own outcome, and
that outcome is presenting the proper image of the university and disseminating
it in all the local and international academic platforms. We must admit our
obvious shortcomings in this area. The reasons, perhaps, may be attributed to
the nature of our scientists and producers, and the lack of talk and media
exposure so as not to consume time and also as sign of humility to God in the
belief that he will reward us for our modest silence. But there are rights unto
ourselves and our country, and it is right to show our distinguished
achievements and to present the image of the university with truths and deeds.
Strategic planning requires strategic thinking, the ability to criticize
constructively, comprehending the best practices and suggesting alternatives,
the ability to move from problem to resolution and combining creativity and a
realistic, calculated boldness. It also entails the ability to define what is
best for a given field, to aspire to it, and interact with it. It also involves
embracing enlightened ideas and their exponents. Carrying out a strategic plan
requires the ability to embrace the bold, win over the hesitant and neutralize
skeptics, and also to think of ingenious ways to secure resources and utilize
K.A.U. has adopted change for the better as a permanent basis,
constant improvement is its policy and aspiration to the best practices is the
road it has taken. This policy hinges on cooperation and requires, first of all,
good intentions, boosting efforts, infusing a spirit of initiative and starting
steadfastly and with confidence according to a unified vision.
university will continue to be strong and energetic as long as its sons in all
sectors are imbued with its vision and mission, are determined to translate them
into ambitions and goals commensurate with their determination, and refuse to
allow any obstacle to stand in their way.
The change we aspire to requires
pioneering planning that takes into consideration reality, the latest in all
fields, work systems, means of performance, and methods of achievement. Change
also demands re-engineering old and traditional methods of work in a manner that
would allow these traditional methods to benefit from new ideas and tools, and
to adapt to competition and the demands of the age in constructing changing
organizations capable of absorbing what is modern, in order to raise the
standard of performance.
The change we aspire to requires calculated risks,
bold ideas and readiness to open up new horizons. The change we aspire to
requires planning to achieve success.
The decade 1420-1430H was one of
change and continuous improvement, a policy set by the executive administration.
The change also encompassed University Vice-Presidencies and all their sectors
and administrative methods. Thanks to its experience, the University was able to
smoothly take up responsibility for several newly-established universities and
colleges and merge others into it.
Change and continuous improvement require
a clear-cut plan that delineates the road that we must take. The plan must be
the outcome of the ideas of its faithful sons. Ten years ago, the vision and
mission of the university were defined by its sons and the first strategic plan
in which many of its sons participated was laid down in 1423/1424 H. The
long-term goals of the strategy were set in 1414 H and the strategies defined
for the years 1425-1430 revolved on six axes mentioned previously, namely;
academic upgrading; total quality; scientific research; increasing the number of
stakeholders, the ideal exploitation of resources and partnership with local and
Today we meet as a family to agree and work
together to set the university's second strategic plan (1431- 1435H). I have
chosen a specialized team from amongst you to carry out this work, headed by the
University Vice-President for Development. The members of this team are the
Councilor for Strategic Planning and the Supervisor of Strategic Planning
I hope you will facilitate the work of this team so that it
can carry out its duties with maximum efficiency. Examples of the way you can
facilitate their task are:
• Active participation in 3-day workshops, which
may be conducted outside Jeddah.
• Participating in handing out and
collecting questionnaires inside the faculties.
• Enabling the team to
obtain all available data and information in each sector.
• Enabling the team
to use the conference rooms that are equipped to allow for video conferences
with the Women's Campus.
As we have agreed, cooperation with the team
responsible for setting the second strategic plan involves several workshops,
focus groups, surveys, studies and meetings.
With regard to the three
projected workshops, a select group of university staff concerned with their
performance will take part in them. The workshops are:
• A workshop on (the
future we aspire to).
• A workshop on (defining strategies).
workshop on (programs and projects).
As for the focus groups, there are
several, such as:
• The international focus group, which comprises
consultants from international universities and research centers known for their
model practices in conveying experiences and adopting the best practices.
Stakeholders focus group, formed of the governmental and private sectors.
Faculty focus groups comprising faculty who have recently returned from
scholarships. The purpose of this group is to record their ambitions and
experiences, suggest original programs and projects to ensure and reinforce
interaction at the international level and to exchange experiences between our
university and others around the world.
• Various focus groups from the
• Focus groups comprising distinguished students from both
campuses and from different levels of study. The function of this group is to
know their mind map with regard to the university environment including
buildings, facilities, faculty, learning activities, student activities,
administration, actions and procedures.
• Focus group comprising graduates
who entered the labor market. Its purpose is to know what they had hoped the
university would adopt, and also to know their vision on how the university may
• Focus group comprising students on scholarships in different
countries of the world. The function of this group is to acquaint itself with
the new, positive experiences they have been exposed to, and what experiences
they have had may be of use to the university. The group will also encourage
them to practice their successful experiences in the universities where they are
on scholarship and then transplanting these experiences into King Abdulaziz
As for the meetings, these comprise:
• This meeting.
• A meeting with the male students of the university.
• A meeting with the
female students of the university.
• A meeting with the councils of some of
the faculties and some of the committees.
The proper protocol will be applied
to all the meetings, focus groups and workshops so that use may be made of the
outcomes of these proceedings to formulate the plan with its strategies,
programs, projects and performance indices and their evaluation. The policy that
will be adopted by the strategic planning team depends on the successful
application of planning and the utilization of various tools and techniques for
analysis, to ascertain the accuracy and practicality of the outcomes of the
plan. This will allow for the formulation of multilevel documentation so that
the goals, programs and developmental projects of the strategic planning team,
which will play a major part in the formulation of the documentation, would be
known to all sectors of the university.
The university leadership will act
to meet all the requirements for implementing the plan after its approval. It
will also follow up regularly with all the sectors during the stages of
implementation according to clear performance indices, and with the utmost
To talk about the vision and aspirations of your university is
to talk about your vision and aspirations and those of your colleagues, and the
employees, men and women, who are the pride of the university. I hope that this
meeting will be tantamount to a pledge to work diligently to please God and
satisfy our leaders who have put their trust in us and given us this
responsibility towards our future generations and society.
remember the speech I gave to you at the start of my first term in office. I
asked for your support that we should work together. At the start of my second
term in office, I asked you to continue your support. I thank God that you
responded and that together we have achieved much of what I have mentioned and
Now we need to put our hands together to carry on with our
distinguished work and benefit our sons and daughters in this beneficent land.
Remember what we build today is a link in the chain of construction since the
university was founded and I wish you a long life and distinguished achievements
by you and for you.
I ask God to grant us success in our diligence in
order to please Him. I thank you, and I appreciate your support and your coming
here today. I also thank the Vice- Presidents of the University, the members of
the strategic planning team, Professor Essam Filali, the Strategic Planning
Advisor to the University President, Professor Abdulghani Milibari, Director of
the Strategic Planning Administration and all those who have worked and continue
to work with them to prepare this plan which will be a beacon for us during the
coming five years, God Willing.
Thank you and God bless you.