From the fitful spread of democracy to the region to the rise of Islamist movements and continued oil abundance, the Middle East and the Arab world will remain extremely important in world affairs for the foreseeable future. With generous gifts from John Hofmeister (BA in Political Science, 1971; MA in Political Science, 1973), former President of Shell Oil and founder and CEO of the non-profit Citizens for Affordable Energy, Kansas State University established the Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies to remain at the forefront of Middle East studies. It was largely through the efforts of the chair’s honoree, Michael W. Suleiman, that KSU developed a widespread reputation for excellence in the study of Middle Eastern and Arab issues. A KSU faculty member for over forty years, Suleiman was a leader in the study of Arab politics and a pioneer of the study of Arab-American relations.
The Department of Political Science at KSU would like to build on this well-earned reputation. Presently, the Suleiman Chair remains unfilled as we work to enlarge its endowment. A gift to the Suleiman Chair not only honors Michael W. Suleiman’s legacy, it builds upon a tradition of success in the study of Middle Eastern a
ffairs at KSU. This tradition continues even as the chair remains vacant – a robust intellectual community centered around Middle Eastern politics and issues continues to thrive on the K-State campus and in the Manhattan community (Middle Eastern Studies). With a fully endowed Suleiman Chair as its centerpiece, this community will only become more vibrant and its visibility will continue to grow.
The Suleiman Chair and the activities that will be associated with it (such as talks and workshops) will help to expand our knowledge on issues that will remain relevant for generations to come. KSU has a long history as a leader in the study of Arab and Middle Eastern issues, and we ask for your support to maintain this history of excellence. Located near the geographical center of the continental US, KSU is an ideal location for the study of politics and developments in the Middle East. KSU has proven to be a welcome home-away-from-home for generations of Arab and Middle Eastern students who view it as a friendly and safe location for university education. KSU’s strength in Middle Eastern studies not only draws on the talent of these many and varied students, it also builds upon the university’s strengths in related areas. Oil and security issues are informed by the university’s graduate programs in Security Studies. The university is also developing into a national research hub for biological and agricultural security issues, topics that have increasing relevance for the water strapped Middle East (BioSecurity Research Institute).
If you would like to discuss the Suleiman Chair or Middle Eastern Studies at Kansas State University, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Michael W. Suleiman