As part of the broad effort to enrich its faculty base with professors from around the world, the Maxwell School in the spring 2007 semester welcomed the Dean of Faculty and Students from Palestine’s An Najah University, Saed Al Koni. A professor with a deep and varied background in accounting and at academic institutions across the world, Dr. Al Koni’s semester in Syracuse was a unique and rewarding experience for both faculty and students. Receiving his bachelor’s degree in Nablus, his masters in Texas and his PhD in West Germany, the range of experiences that Al Koni has to draw from as a professor provides for a substantive and challenging academic experience.

Beyond the academic influences that Dr. Al Koni has had in Syracuse, he has also channeled his efforts into establishing connections that will last well beyond his semester in Syracuse. Given the positive relationships he has cultivated during his time on campus, Dr. Al Koni will leave SU having secured a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ that will expand scholarly ties, facilitate academic coop- eration, and promote mutual understanding with three different programs: Maxwell, the Whitman School of Management, and the School of Engineering. Given Dr. Al Koni’s short stay on campus, the magnitude of these achievements is especially impressive. In fact, Al Koni admits, “It was not on my agenda to have a cooperation.” Rather, it was something that developed in the last few weeks, “because my experience here was so wonderful.” By increasing ties between the Maxwell School and An Najah University in Palestine in multiple subject areas, Al Koni has made it one of his personal goals to facilitate cross cultural exchanges. Through their efforts, Dr. Al Koni and the Maxwell School have forged a strong connection between the U.S. and the Middle East that will endure well into the future.