The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 8th

Seminar To Advise Next Year

If the chancellor decides to pursue a business school in Qatar, the seminar will have input on program design.

Student government officials recommended the seminar, the formation of which was announced at Friday's Faculty Council meeting.

The seminar, which is scheduled to start next month, originally was suggested as a way to give a group of students the opportunity to provide Moeser with informed feedback about his decision of whether to form a satellite campus in the Middle Eastern nation.

But Moeser said he intends the seminar to provide input about programming proposals in the event that he approves the Qatar decision, a call he will make by the end of the calendar year.

"I don't want to discount student input on the decision to go or not to go to Qatar, but I think the seminar's purpose is more important in designing the program if the project goes forward," he said.

Student government officials said that although they hoped the seminar's discussions would be a factor in Moeser's initial decision, they are pleased students will have some input on the issue.

"I hope that the feedback will affect his initial decision, but my focus is more about what will actually go into the programs we will start there," said Student Body President Justin Young.

Moeser said students can offer important input on how to make Qatar a learning environment for UNC students through study abroad and international public service opportunities.

"In helping us design how the program will work, students can best be involved in the project," he said.

Student Body Vice President Rudy Kleysteuber said Moeser's idea to focus student input on programming is the most practical, given the high likelihood the program will go forward.

"We have to approach this from a realistic viewpoint," he said. "Realistically, from where we stand now, it looks like this will happen, so this is where students can realistically have the most impact."

Young said the seminar was formed to educate students about the Qatar situation and present a balanced view of the advantages and disadvantages of Qatari involvement.

"There definitely is a concern of bias, but we have discussed giving a well-balanced view of opinions," he said.

Although the two appointed facilitators -- faculty members Holden Thorp and Bob Adler -- are both advocates of a UNC-sponsored business school in Qatar, they hope to include the opposing arguments in the seminar. "We are trying to get (Professor) Dennis Rondinelli, who I think is the most articulate opponent, and other voices of dissent to participate in the seminar," Adler said. "The seminar would be useless if we didn't raise questions of concern about Qatar."

Rondinelli said he is not sure what role he would take in the seminar, but he is considering participating.

Adler said he and Thorp are almost finished preparing for the seminar and hope a variety of students will show interest.

Young and Kleysteuber are responsible for screening the student applicants and choosing 30 students to participate in the seminar.

Adler said he wants a diverse group of students to create a representative committee. He emphasized the need for student awareness to provide Moeser with quality input.

"I think students and faculty are in the same boat -- Moeser is the decision-maker, but I believe he will pay extreme attention to informed input," Adler said.

"It is up to us to do our homework."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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