American U. of Beirut to Name U. of Chicago Scholar as Next President

March 12, 2008

Beirut, Lebanon — The American University of Beirut is expected to name the University of Chicago’s Peter Dorman as its new president next week.

Mr. Dorman, an Egyptologist and chairman of Chicago’s department of Near Eastern languages and civilizations, said he planned to accept when the American University of Beirut, known as AUB, makes the offer official.

“Well, yes, I have indicated that I plan to accept to the AUB board,” said Mr. Dorman, speaking from his Chicago office. “It is far too thrilling an opportunity to pass up.”

No stranger to the Middle East, Mr. Dorman has spent much of his career shuttling between Chicago and Egypt. After receiving his Ph.D. from Chicago in 1985, he spent nine years leading the university’s fieldwork in Egypt, documenting inscriptions and relief scenes at the Temple of Luxor and the nearby Temple of Amun.

Before his academic career, Mr. Dorman was a curator in the department of Egyptian art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, for 11 years. At the Met, according to Chicago’s Web site, Mr. Dorman “assisted with the Tutankhamun exhibit, the reinstallation of the Egyptian galleries, and the publication of the Metropolitan’s archival excavation records from the 1920s and 1930s.”

Mr. Dorman will succeed John Waterbury when the AUB’s long-serving president steps down at the end of this academic year. An AUB spokesman declined to comment on the appointment until the Board of Trustees makes the offer official next week. —Andrew Mills