‘Lahore’s social : structure is fascinating’

* LUMS co-founder Robert Collins says he helped LUMS hire faculty, develop infrastructure
* Says he would never stop visiting Pakistan

By Abdul Manan

LAHORE: The strong family ties and the respectful relationship between the youth and their parents and the entire social structure of the city is fascinating, and has prompted frequent visits to Pakistan over the past 24 years, one of the founding members of the Lahore University of Management and Sciences (LUMS), Robert S Collins said on Tuesday.

Collins is a professor of manufacturing management and strategy at IMD, a leading business school in Switzerland. He was a member of the visiting committee to LUMS.

LUMS history: He said that in 1984, he visited Pakistan and discussed with Syed Babar Ali (owner of Packages Limited) and Abdul Razzaq Dawood (owner of Descon Engineering Limited) the establishment of LUMS, which would provide rigorous academic training to locals and a viable alternative to the sub-standard education that engulfed the country. He said that he offered his help in developing the infrastructure of the university in 1985, adding that the first school was started on two rental buildings. He also said that he had advised and helped the LUMS administration in hiring qualified faculty from across the world and in accessing one of the biggest libraries of the world to form its own.

In 1985, LUMS was granted a charter of university and in 1986, it launched its School of Business for MBA programmes. In 1996, the School of Arts and Sciences was formed to oversee the undergraduate programmes at LUMS. In 2006, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences was developed. And more recently, in 2008, the classes of School of Sciences and Engineering (SSE) were established. He said that he visited the school every three months to deliver lectures on subjects he had an expertise of.

Personal life: On a personal note, he said that he was a tourist who had visited all the Northern areas of the country. He said that during his visit to Sakardu, the Pakistan Army had provided him with two tents and sleeping bags.

When asked if he planned to settle in Pakistan, he said that he had two daughters in Switzerland who had to complete their education there. However, he said that whenever he returned to his home country, he presented photographs of the hilly areas of Pakistan to his family and friends. He also said that he would never give up his regular visits to Pakistan.

Source: Daily Times, 22/10/2008


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