Purdue to help rebuild Kabul University
Many of the buildings on
the campus of Kabul University have sustained significant damage
through a decade of bitter war. Photo by Kevin McNamara
By Tom Campbell
Kevin McNamara served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan 30
Now a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue, McNamara and two
colleagues returned to the war-torn nation in March as part of a fact-
finding mission. Their goal is to help rebuild Kabul University.
"There is so much devastation. Seventy-five to 80 percent of the
country has been destroyed," says McNamara, who spent a week in
the country with Dennis Engi, a professor and head of Purdue's School
of Industrial Engineering, and Zarjon Baha, a professor of building
construction management technology.
The three professors met with Afghanistan's minister of higher education,
other officials and faculty from six schools within Kabul University.
Purdue signed an agreement in February to help seek funds to help rebuild
the university, a five- to 10-year job that could cost millions of dollars.
The agreement gives Purdue the authority to pursue funds for rebuilding
from domestic and international agencies.
"The people we met were anxious for U.S. assistance in rebuilding
their facilities and academic programs," McNamara says.
"They are desperate. Buildings have been either destroyed or are
in poor repair, many without windows, water and electrical wiring. Labs
and teaching supplies are non-existent."
A committee comprised of Purdue faculty and Afghan expatriates will
prepare a proposal for rebuilding the university and will submit the
proposal to national and international funding sources.
Contact McNamara at firstname.lastname@example.org