Kennesaw State Updates Agreement with University of Hassan II Casablanca
March 31, 2016
Kennesaw State University renewed its partnership with University of Hassan II Casablanca in Morocco following a series of consolidations that has led to a four-fold increase in that institution’s student population.
On Tuesday, March 29th three representatives of University of Hassan II Casablanca – President Idriss Mansouri; Abdelkader Gonegai, Dean of the College of Humanities; and Abdelmajid Bouziane, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities – visited Kennesaw State University to discuss new avenues of partnership and to sign an updated memorandum of understanding between the two institutions.
President Mansouri and Kennesaw State University President Dr. Daniel Papp signed the MOU during a ceremony at Kennesaw Hall. Kennesaw State’s Vice-Provost of Global Affairs Dr. Lance Askildson attended along with Gonegai and Abdelmajid.
Kennesaw State and the University of Hassan II Casablanca have been partners for more than ten years. In 2004, Kennesaw State's then President Betty Seigel travelled to Morocco to meet with Dr. Rahma Bourqia, who was University of Hassan II Casablanca's President at the time. Following the meeting of these two women, the collaboration between the two institutions continued thanks to the efforts of faculty members like Dr. Akanmu Adebayo at Kennesaw State and Dr. Mohammed Benchekroun at University of Hassan II Casablanca who paved the way for subsequent visits to Morocco by Kennesaw State faculty, including Dr. Nina Morgan in 2007, Dr. Catherine Lewis in 2009, and several visits by the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies.
In 2008, Bouziane visited Kennesaw State and attended a presentation of John Gentile’s Moby Dick performed by the TPS. He then invited the department to participate in the International Festival of University Theatre hosted by University of Hassan II Casablanca the following year. Professor Karen Robinson has since traveled with theatre students three times to participate in the festival, including in 2012, when she and TPS Senior Lecturer Margaret Baldwin directed The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party, which won awards for best emerging ensemble and best emerging actress.
Kennesaw State University Department of Performance & Theatre Studies students at University of Hassan II Casablanca
In 2009, Dr. Catherine Lewis, Kennesaw State's Assistant Vice President for Museums, Archives & Rare Books, partnered with University of Hassan II Casablanca on an initiative to create the Ben M’sik Community Museum, which was the first community museum in Morocco.
Another significant partnership between the two universities is the Moroccan American Studies Association, which is housed at University of Hassan II Casablanca. Established in 2013 under the leadership of Dr. Nina Morgan, Associate Professor of English at Kennesaw State, MASA works to encourage academic cooperation between U.S. and Moroccan educational institutions.
The signing of the updated MOU follows a period of expansion where University of Hassan II consolidated with several other local state universities in Morocco. The consolidation activity significantly increased University of Hassan II Casablanca's student population from nearly 25,000 students to 100,000.
As University of Hassan II Casablanca grows, Kennesaw State hopes to expand the opportunities for faculty and student collaboration. One potential area for new collaboration involves Kennesaw State University’s new education abroad program, Around the World in 80 Days. Students participating in the program will spend more than three weeks in Morocco. Dr. Askildson says University of Hassan II Casablanca will become one of many important partners in Morocco, along with Al Akhawayn University, which signed an MOU with Kennesaw State in January.
Photos from the MOU Signing Ceremony
From left to right: Dr. Lance Askildson, Kennesaw State Vice-Provost for Global Affairs; Dr. Daniel Papp, President of Kennesaw State University; Abdelkader Gonegai, University of Hassan II Dean of the College of Humanities; Idriss Mansouri, President of University of Hassan II; Abdelmajid Bouziane, Associate Dean of University of Hassan II's College of Humanities
Kennesaw State University President Dr. Daniel Papp (left) and University of Hassan
II Casablanca President Idriss Mansouri sign an updated memorandum of understanding
University of Hassan II Casablanca President Idriss Mansouri (left) presents Kennesaw State President Dr. Daniel Papp with a plaque to honor the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two universities
University of Hassan II Casablanca President Idriss Mansouri (right) with Kennesaw State Vice-Provost of Global Affairs Dr. Lance Askildson