The Board of Trustees of the Arab Open University (AOU) chaired by HRH Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz declared the designation of Prof. Mohammad Ibrahim Al-Zakri as President of the AOU succeeding Prof. Moudhi Al-Humoud.
In a press release, the Board announced that Prof. Al-Zakri starts his work as President of the University represented in its Headquarters located in Kuwait and its nine branches operating in a number of Arab countries today on Sunday, 21st January 2018.
The selection of Prof. Al-Zakri has been the culmination of his success in leading a number of positions assigned to him inside and outside the University, and his academic and professional qualifications and experiences.
The Board said that Prof. Al-Zakri was the Director of the AOU branch in Saudi Arabia before choosing him President of the AOU. He is one of the Arab qualified figures in the field of education and science. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Educational Computing, Design, & Online Learning from Kansas State University, the USA in 2000, and his Master degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Ohio State University, the USA in 1997. In 1989, he was granted the Bachelor’s degree in Arts from Umm Al-Qura University, Mecca in addition to a number of diplomas and training and academic certificates in planning, management, leadership, quality assurance, and education. He chaired a number of Arab and international scientific and professional committees and worked as Advisor to the Chairman of the AOU Board of Trustees for the Affairs of Evaluation and Follow-up of the University performance. He also supervised a number of Master's and Ph.D. theses and obtained several appreciation certificates and scientific excellence awards.
The Board had recently held a ceremony honoring Prof. Moudhi Al-Humoud in recognition of her great leadership role and efforts throughout her presidency of the University that was characterized by integrity and loyalty. The Board chaired by the founder of the University HRH Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz granted her the responsibility of the presidency of the university from June 2004 until she left the university in 2008 to hold the portfolio of the Ministry of Housing and Development, and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in the Government of the State of Kuwait. Then, she was assumed for a second term as President of the University in December 2012 due to her scientific and practical expertise and administrative and leadership capabilities. The ceremony held in Sheraton hotel, Kuwait, witnessed a presence of the Board members and a number of faculty and administrative staff of the AOU. It started with an address delivered by Prof. Ali Fakhro Vice Chairman of the Board on behalf of HRH Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Chairman of the Board. He welcomed the attendees into the land of Kuwait and to the ceremony.
On his own behalf and on behalf of the Board Chairman and Members, he thanked and appreciated Prof. Al-Humoud for her great efforts throughout her presidency of the University that resulted in essential changes in all academic, administrative and financial areas. He also commended her personal qualities, acceptance of other views, humility, cooperation, and sincerity wishing her all success in her new career.
In a letter from HRH Prince Turki bin Talal, Chairman of the Advisory Body of the AOU Buildings and Member of the Board, he praised Prof. Al-Humoud’s dedication and commitment to improving the reputation of the University and to implementing the AOU founder’s vision.
For his part, the Executive Chairman of the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) and Member of the Board of Trustees, Nasser Al-Qahtani, commended Prof. Al-Hamoud, describing her as a sister for all. He stressed on Prof. Al-Humoud’s good qualities and traits and being an example of humility throughout her presidential term at the AOU. He said, “All benefited from her long experience and her wisdom as AGFUND took advantage in various subjects and consultations.”
The new President of the University, Prof. Mohammed Al-Zakri praised Prof. Al-Hamoud's achievements and her good qualities and said that Prof. Al-Hamoud will be highly treasured by all. He thanked her for all her efforts for the University.
Prof. Naif Al-Mutiri, Director of the AOU Kuwait Branch, said, “honoring of Prof. Al-Humoud is an honor to the mission and values of the University as well as to the Kuwaiti and Arab woman and all who are dedicated to the development of education and progression in the Arab world.” He pointed to the importance of the period in which he worked under her administration and the benefit that he acquired from her experience in management and leadership. He appreciated and thanked her for her cooperation and efforts, and lauded her moral and humanitarian aspect towards all AOU students and staff.
On her part, Prof. Al-Humoud expressed her gratitude and appreciation to the Chairman and the members of the Board for this generous gesture. She expressed her pride in the University and the generous support and care of its founder and his trust in her to be the President of the AOU. She also applauded the cooperation among the different work sectors, the councils and the committees of the University, and their efforts in developing the AOU and achieving many accomplishments at all levels.
Prof Al-Humoud said, “Over my presidential term at the AOU, I have not felt I am a president, but I always felt as a part of the University and a colleague to all its staff. My concern was to serve its interests and develop it to be a leading university.” She added, “It’s my pleasure to congratulate Prof. Mohammad Al-Zakri for naming him as President of the AOU, who is one of the leading members of the University and had assumed a number of high-level positions in the AOU. He shared me all the AOU matters due to his possession of wisdom. I wish him all success in his new job.”
At the end of the ceremony, Prof. Fakhro presented an honorary shield to Prof. Al-Humoud in acknowledgment of her distinguished efforts and her work in the University. He also welcomed the designation of Prof. Al-Zakri as President of the University wishing him all success in his new assignment, stressing he will be a worthy successor to Prof. Al-Humoud.