AUGUST 29, 2008


OU to Expand Arabic Language Program

The National Security Education Program awarded the University of Oklahoma’s International Programs Center a $1.3 million grant to expand the Arabic language program on the Norman campus. The award will be used to increase scholarships for OU students majoring in Arabic, hire new faculty and staff, and study the best Arabic language programs in higher education across the United States.

“The selection process for National Security Education Program grants is extremely competitive,” said OU President David L. Boren. “This award recognizes the growing excellence of OU’s International Programs Center.”
Zach Messitte, OU’s vice provost for International Programs and the co-author of the grant, said, “This award will help make OU a national leader in the study of Arabic. Gaining fluency in Arabic will help OU students unlock the history, culture and politics of a dynamic region of the world.”

NSEP is a federally funded program administered by the Department of Defense. It provides grants for institutions and students to study world regions and languages critical to U.S. interests. Boren authored the legislation that created NSEP when he was a U.S. senator. NSEP’s Boren Scholars and Fellows programs help American students acquire the international competence needed to communicate effectively across borders, to understand other perspectives, and to analyze economic and political affairs.

“The grant will allow OU to implement the best teaching and learning practices for the study of Arabic, said Mohammad T. Alhawary, the ConocoPhillips Professor of Arabic Language, Literature and Culture and a co-author of the grant. The new scholarships will attract the best and brightest students from Oklahoma and across the nation.”

The total award to OU was $1,327,489 along with $275,591 financed as a cost share by the university. Eighty-three percent of project will be financed with funds from NSEP.

For more information, contact the International Programs Center, (405) 325-1396.