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Ciftci Named Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies

President Kirk Schultz, Dr. Sabri Ciftci, and Provost April Mason
President Kirk Schulz, Dr. Sabri Ciftci, and Provost April Mason

Sabri Ciftci (associate professor) has been appointed the Michael W. Suleiman Chair in Arab and Arab-American Studies in the Department of Political Science. “I am truly honored to hold this title,” Ciftci said. “Michael W. Suleiman has been a pioneer in Arab studies. Building on his legacy, I believe we can advance the study of Middle East in the Department of Political Science and at Kansas State University. Activities associated with the Michael W. Suleiman chair will help to build an intellectually vibrant community on campus and they fit well with K-State’s vision to be among the top 50 public research universities by 2025.”

Ciftci joined the department in 2008 after receiving his Ph.D. in political science from Florida State University.  He specializes in Middle East politics, political Islam and democracy, Arab public opinion, civic engagement in the Arab world and anti-Americanism in the Middle East. Ciftci’s research on these topics has appeared in a number of prestigious journals in political science and Middle East studies, including Comparative Political Studies, Political Research Quarterly, International Journal of Middle East Studies and Social Science Quarterly. He is passionate about the study of politics in the Middle East, and such passion is apparent in the classroom. Not surprisingly, his courses are popular among political science majors and non-majors alike. 

“Professor Ciftci is the kind of academic leader that we want to recognize with the Suleiman Chair,” said Peter Dorhout, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “Through his teaching and research, he has enabled our students to understand and appreciate people and cultures outside their ken, and broadened their perspectives.”

It was largely through the efforts of the chair’s honoree, Michael W. Suleiman, that K-State developed a widespread reputation for excellence in the study of Arab and Arab-American issues. A K-State faculty member for over forty years, Suleiman was a leader in the study of Arab politics and a pioneer of the study of Arab-American relations.

To honor his legacy and strengthen the study of Arab and Arab-American issues at K-State, John Hofmeister, former President of Shell Oil and founder and CEO of the non-profit Citizens for Affordable Energy, made a lead gift in 2005 to establish the Suleiman Chair and was instrumental in initiating support from Shell Oil. Hofmeister is a K-State Political Science alumnus, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1971 and a master’s degree in 1973 from the department.  In 2014, he received an honorary doctorate from K-State.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Ciftci has been awarded the Suleiman Chair,” said Jeff Pickering, Political Science Department Head. “His scholarship has appeared in the foremost journals in Middle Eastern studies and political science, and is on the cutting edge of knowledge in the area. I am confident that Dr. Ciftci’s ongoing research and the activities he has planned for the chair will enhance K-State’s reputation in the area even further.”

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