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University of Balamand > Administration > Presidency > President Salem > Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

The Birth of the Master Plan
Several committees worked on each axis, cooperating with each other as far as possible.  Working documents were brought together before a joint commission made up of members of the Board of Trustees and representatives of the administration, under the chairmanship of the University President.  A decision was made to hire a consulting firm to create a master plan for the University.  The University hired one of the world's leading firms in academic master planning, Sasaki Associates, to create a Master Plan for the University for the next 20 years.  Sasaki Associates clients include such world-class institutions as Harvard University , Stanford, and Yale to name only a few.  Over a period of a year, a Sasaki team met with a wide cross section of the University population, including the President, Vice President s, Deans and faculty members, employees and students to assess the needs of the Faculties, students and the Administration.  A draft of the Master Plan was presented.  This draft underwent thorough scrutiny by the University community.  The end product of this process was the University Master Plan which was approved by the University Board of Trustees, in March 2004.  The Master Plan contains two documents:
  1. The Physical Master Plan for the University, providing for all its needs to 2020.
  2. The Strategic Academic Plan, laying down guidelines for the University’s pedagogical development with the aim of improving adaptation to new technology and worldwide changes in the domain of work.
The Physical Master Plan spells out in some detail the locations of new buildings and facilities to make optimum use of the available space.  The Plan breaks the campus into two main sections: the lower campus core and the upper residential campus (shown in the sketch below).  The key metaphor for the core is the academic village: a concentration of new buildings, to be built around the existing structures on the campus.  This cluster of new and old buildings will create a focus of energy and make inevitable the frequent interaction of faculty and students from the University’s various disciplines.
The upper residential campus follows a similar approach as the campus core.  It contains existing student and faculty housing along with future expansion in both.  Residences will be sited to generate a close-knit community where students and faculty interact, to respect the natural environment and to take advantage of dramatic setting.
The Path of Learning will be the major structuring element of the campus, integrating and expanding on the existing interior pedestrian network of the academic campus and the informal olive grove pathway.  The Path will create a strong visual and physical link between the upper campus and the lower core.  It will stretch from the Goat House to the Monastery cutting through the heart of the campus.

The Plan calls for the creation of about 30 new buildings. Among the major projects in the plan are a new 4-building engineering facility, a new Medical School Building, a new centrally-located Library and Learning Center, and a new Recreation and Sports Complex.
Top View of the whole campus showing existing and planned buildings
Any great physical Mater Plan goes hand in hand with a great Strategic Academic Master Plan. This was definitely the case here. The Academic Master Plan lays out the future academic direction of the institution. It emphasizes the creation of interdisciplinary programs, research centers and innovative learning approaches. It sets goals for the creation of centers of excellence in areas such as Environmental Sciences, nanotechnology and Aerospace Engineering.
The successful implementation of the new Master Plan will insure the growth of one of the leading institutions in the region.  It will allow the University to offer its students the best education possible for a rapidly changing world.
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University of Balamand,
Balamand Al Kurah,

Tel:  +961-6-930250
Fax: +961-6-930278