On September 26, the Middle Eastern Studies (MES) program held a meeting to introduce new faculty and staff members and to discuss completed, ongoing, and future tasks for the program. Professor Mehrzad Boroujerdi opened the meeting by welcoming all attendees and making a number of announcements, several involving the expanding range and depth of courses offered by MES. He also spoke about existing projects now under- way such as the creation of a new “SU in the Middle East” booklet that will inform the university community as well as potential donors and partners about our past, present and future ventures in the region.

The focus of the meeting then shifted to two new initiatives: institutionalizing the MES program at Syracuse University and applying for the National Resource Center (Title IV) award. To advance the first goal, Profes- sor Boroujerdi suggested measures such as regularizing MES courses and including them as required com- ponents of other university programs. The National Resource Center goal was forwarded as an excellent op- portunity to access large grants that could fund MES activities and doctoral dissertation travel and research. Both initiatives aim to increase the profile of the program and to attract additional funds and students.

After a comprehensive review of the program’s status, participants raised a number of questions involving the process requirements to create courses in January or the Maymester semesters, how to regularize MES courses, and what the Title IV award process entailed. Faculty members and staff then broke off into small groups to discuss each other’s current work and their plans to implement the new initiatives.