Politics and Government chair and professor Jamal Nassar will retire from Illinois State University this summer and take a new position as dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University-San Bernardino. Alumni are invited to a retirement reception for Nassar on Thursday, April 26, from 4-6 p.m. in the Bone Student Center Faculty-Staff Commons.
Nassar, a Jerusalem-born professor, came to Illinois State 29 years ago. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville University, his master’s degree from the University of South Florida and his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.
Since joining the Illinois State faculty, Nassar has established himself as a leading authority on the politics of the Middle East, lecturing around the world on the history of the Palestinian liberation struggle and on Middle East politics. His many publications include such books as “Globalization and Terrorism: The Migration of Dreams and Nightmares,” “Intifada: Palestine at the Crossroads,” “The Palestine Liberation Orgranization: From Armed Struggle to the Declaration of Independence,” “Change Without Borders: The Third World at the End of the Twentieth Century” and “Politics and Culture in the Developing World: The Impact of Globalization.” Many of his articles, chapters and reviews have appeared in highly rated publications and have been translated into a dozen languages. Nassar has chaired a number of national and international conferences on the Middle East.
“I admire and respect Jamal Nassar,” said Dean Gary Olson. “He has been a dedicated scholar, teacher and administrator, and he has contributed greatly to the Department of Politics and Government and to the College of Arts and Sciences. We will miss him, but we wish him great success in California.”
Between 1991 and 1995, Nassar served as editor of Arab Studies Quarterly, and he currently serves on the editorial board as well as boards of other distinguished journals on the Middle East region. He has addressed the United Nations as an expert on the question of Palestine and was consulted or has appeared as an expert witness in highly visible court cases in the U.S. and Canada.
In recognition of his many years of service to Illinois State University, the Department of Politics and Government is establishing the Nassar Scholarship Fund, which will provide student scholarships to enable students to travel overseas, engage in independent research projects, serve as research or teaching assistants or receive recognition as an outstanding student in their junior, senior or graduate year. The Department is soliciting funds from all those who have been touched by Nassar’s leadership, whether through his presentations at the Senior Professionals Academy, his teaching or his community service activities.
Those interested in contributing can either go online to the College and Arts and Science Foundation Web site and fill in the information, or send checks to the Politics and Government Foundation Account at Campus Box 8000 and list in the notation section “For Nassar Scholarship.”