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Director Udi Aloni presented and discussed his film 'Local Angel: Political and Theological Fragments' at ECLA on Nov. 6.

Ambassador Takes Part in ECLA's First-Ever State of the World Week
November 11, 2003

Last week ECLA held its first-ever State of the World Week (SWWE). The theme of the week was the Middle East and Central Asia (Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine, Chechnya).  Topics discussed included nation building, the peace process, journalism on war and terror, and US & European approaches to the problems in the region.  Guests included US Ambassador to Germany Daniel Coats, Jill Dougherty, CNN Moscow Bureau Chief, Israeli Film Director Udi Aloni, Michael Schmunk, Ambassador, German Gov. Coordinator for Afghanistan and others.  In addition to giving a lecture, each guest speaker took part in a small-group seminar with no more than twelve students.

The SWWE is held in the Autumn and Spring terms as part of ECLA's Academy Year and Second Year programmes. It is meant to give students an opportunity to reflect on how liberal arts studies relate to issues of the present day (see SWWE page).



ECLA Names Distinguished Liberal Arts Leader As Top Academic Officer
October 22, 2003

The European College of Liberal Arts (ECLA) has named Laurent Boetsch, the former provost and acting president at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, USA, as its chief academic officer for the 2003-04 and 2004-05 academic years.

Boetsch's affiliation with ECLA began October 1 in conjunction with his sabbatical project on interdisciplinary and international studies - areas he advanced in his seven years as the highest ranking academic officer and acting president of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, an elite liberal arts institution ranked the 12th best in the United States.

Following his one-year sabbatical from Washington and Lee, Boetsch has agreed to extend his leave on an unpaid basis to assume full-time responsibilities in Berlin as the European College's dean of academic affairs through summer 2005.

"I am delighted by this opportunity to work more closely with ECLA as part of my sabbatical research and continuing exploration of finding new learning opportunities in international and interdisciplinary education," said Boetsch.

"ECLA's vibrant approach to learning by examining the central questions of intellectual history through a thoroughly modern interdisciplinary pedagogy offers new opportunities for liberal arts education for students the world over," he added.

Boetsch's personable leadership style and his success in broadening liberal arts studies are a good match with ECLA's mission to help students develop a broad base of cultural knowledge within a highly interactive and multicultural learning community.

Founded in 1999, ECLA's curriculum is structured around specific intellectual problems, such as the concept of justice, that are explored from the vantage points of philosophy, political theory, science, history, literature, art, film and music.

As the first private liberal arts college to take root in Germany, ECLA offers an eight-to-one student/faculty ratio attracting professors and students from more than 20 countries. The Berlin-based school, where courses are taught in English, offers two nine-month programmes, as well as a six-week summer session. Academic credit is transferable through Bard College in New York.

Boetsch, a Washington and Lee professor of Romance languages who holds a doctorate in modern languages from Middlebury College in Vermont, is spending his sabbatical in Italy and Spain studying 19th- and 20th-century Spanish literature, culture and civilization - his principal areas of teaching and scholarship.

Since joining Washington and Lee in 1976, Boetsch has advanced through the academic ranks and into administration as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, chair of the Department of Romance Languages and, from 1996-2001, as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College.

W&L's Board of Trustees named Boetsch as acting president in August 2001 following the July 2001 death of President John W. Elrod. Boetsch led the University through that difficult period and the subsequent Sept. 11 terrorist attacks while also overseeing W&L's capital campaign and several major building projects. He was named the University's first provost following the appointment of President Thomas G. Burish in July 2002.

Washington and Lee University, the United State's ninth oldest institution of higher education founded in 1749, is ranked the 12th best liberal arts college in the country by U.S. News and World Report. The news organization also ranks W&L's School of Law in the top 20 legal programmes in the U.S.