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TO: Francis J. Ricciardone, President

Gordon A. Handke, Vice-President for Finance and Human Resources

Hanan Abdel-Meguid, Vice-President for Management and Transformation

Dr. Ehab Abdel-Rahman, Provost

RE: Office of Faculty/Engagement Services

We, the undersigned AUC faculty, are writing to express our strong support for the Office of Faculty Services (OFS) (recently renamed the Office of Community Engagement (OCE)), and for retaining Ms. Dina Touta as its Director. We request that funding for this Office continue to be allocated for the purposes of paying a fair and equitable salary to Ms. Touta as well as for covering the Office’s everyday operations, day tours, overnight trips and other social activities, which have traditionally been the purview of the Office.

Furthermore, we want to emphasize the essential role of this office in faculty retention, particularly in improving the lives of AUC faculty, and the high esteem in which we hold Dina Touta. Four of the five new AUC pillars—Internationalization, Quality of Education, AUC Experience, and Institutional Effectiveness—simply cannot be upheld without a centralized office where foreign faculty, who are a significant percentage, can receive support and assistance during their transition to Egypt and throughout their careers at AUC as expatriates. The OFS furthermore facilitates support for local faculty who, like all of us, often require assistance navigating the institutional terrain.

For many of us, the OFS is a lifeline. As such, the retention of a highly qualified and committed director is essential. We, therefore, also write to express our accolades for Ms. Touta’s performance over the past four and one-half years. Her expertise in travel and tourism is unmatched by any other staff member or office at AUC. The activities which she has arranged to date have been universally invaluable to our well-being. Her fairness and professionalism towards each and every faculty and staff member with whom she interacts are commendable. Her personal experience as an expatriate, her knowledge and experience of Egypt and the Arab region, her exceptional intelligence and excellent educational background, her strong managerial and linguistic skills, and above all her remarkable conscientiousness and dedication to her work comprise an ideal set of qualifications for the position of OFS Director—indeed Ms. Touta is perfect for the job.

In view of the above, we, the undersigned AUC faculty, believe that the AUC administration would be severely remiss were the OFS-sponsored activities, along with the centralized office, were terminated, and if Ms. Touta’s position were to be eliminated. These are possibilities which we have come to understand, to our dismay, the AUC administration is considering. We therefore urge you to reconsider any such plan of action. We are available at your convenience to discuss our position with you to reach an amenable and mutually beneficial resolution to this serious and heartfelt matter.

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