Koç University News & Announcements Bulletin

December 2019


Dear Members of the Koç University Community,

As we end another year, it is a season to be jolly, a time for reflections on the past year and resolutions for the coming New Year...This year, December was filled with our traditional celebrations.

We started off with quite a joyful event with the Koç University Seniority Awards. For many years, we have had the practice of presenting plaques to those who have worked at our university for 10 and 20 years at our annual end-of-year dinner events in a rather formal setting. Last year, we started celebrating 15 and 25 years in addition to 10 and 20, in a separate on campus ceremony, designed to be more intimate and exciting. Celebrating a significant anniversary of employment at an institution marks an important milestone for both the individual and the institution. The success of our institution is very much dependent on having devoted and capable members and I wish our awardees of this year many more years at our wonderful university. This separate ceremony is indeed a special occasion for our staff and faculty. I am especially happy to have thus started another new tradition that enriches the lives of our employees for many years to come. I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all those who received their respective seniorities for their commitment to this institution. Their service and dedication are much appreciated.

We held our second General Faculty & Staff Meeting of the academic year, which I also cherish. These meetings give me an opportunity to share our long-term vision and objectives for the current year, important developments and successes of our faculty, as well as other news about the wonderful things that happen on our different campuses. As we now have done for many years at our December meetings, we presented Outstanding Faculty Awards, celebrating the wonderful work of our faculty and their contribution to scientific research and development. This year, in recognition of their long-standing work in their respective areas from all disciplines, their robust research projects and many high impact publications, we presented 1 President’s Award and 7 Faculty Awards. I wholeheartedly congratulate all our recipients for their extraordinary research performance.

We ended the month and the year with our traditional New Year celebration dinner for Faculty & Staff, where 900+ attendees had a lot of fun while enjoying the company of their colleagues. This year-end dinner is not only a joyous event but also an opportunity for me to express our deepest thanks and appreciation to my colleagues, our founders, generous supporters, our Board and dearest members of the Koç family. With a record high attendance this year, I we completely maxed out Rahmi Koç Museum's capacity!

The year 2019 was the best we had so far as we ran faster to new endeavors, cementing our place in the top ranks in terms of research in Turkey, a fact that was accentuated by a recent accolade from the Council of Higher Education in Turkey, where Koç University has been selected as the top Research University in Turkey. Koç University faculty continued to be recognized nationally and internationally for their research; in fact, this year we had a record number of recipients of national and international awards. Our faculty also continued to receive significant grants from prestigious institutions, including the European Research Council, for projects on a variety of fields.

This year started with a very exciting development - the official opening of our new Research Center KUTTAM - the Koç University Research Center for Translational Medicine. I strongly believe that the future of humanity lies at the intersection of multiple disciplines, especially in the overlaps of medicine with engineering, sciences, social and administrative sciences and law. At Koç University, we are at the forefront and are uniquely positioned to lead this major wave of change, and are working hard to make sure that academic curricula meet these needs and that our research enterprise embraces multi-disciplinary approaches in all of its dimensions, from the faculty we hire, to the environment we create for them, to the means by which we motivate them. KUTTAM’s official opening with the attendance of Naci Ağbal, Head of the Presidential Office of Strategy & Budget, the former Ministry of Development, through which the governmental funding for KUTTAM was acquired, was thus quite a milestone for our university. In the context of this center, there is much opportunity to make significant discoveries and contributions to global medical science. I am certain that the next decade of Koç University shall be full of new accomplishments as our momentum from the past few years has been incredible.

We cannot leave 2019 behind us without a few words on the 50th anniversary of Vehbi Koç Foundation (VKV). VKV truly transformed and changed Turkey on so many levels, under the leadership of Vehbi Koç and the Koç Family. Myself and my colleagues at the university administration are the current custodians of the generous resources provided to us and we are motivated and driven by the charge our Founder has given to us to use the resources of the Foundation as effectively, as frugally and as impactfully as possible. VKV celebrated its centennial with a series of events, including some organized by our research centers. It was also pleasing to see our beautiful campus and many of our university staff prominently featured in several communication materials covering the whole spectrum of the work of the Foundation on education, culture and health.

In closing, I want to thank each and every one of you for making me the luckiest person... As I reflect on my own past year, I would not have wanted to be anywhere else but here, with you, as the President of this wonderful university which has been more than my home for the last decade. I am truly proud to be leading this great institution, which is a beacon of light and hope for our country, and I look forward to taking it to even greater heights with the help of all of you.

I wish all of you and your families Happy Holidays and a great New Year, full of nothing but happiness, health and success.

My best wishes and regards to you all,

Umran Inan



TÜBİTAK Encouragement and TÜBA GEBİP Awards to Our Faculty

We extend our congratulations to Assoc. Prof Alper Uzun, Assoc. Prof. Nurhan Özlü Sıcakkan, Assoc. Prof. Nükhet Harmancıoğlu Gür and Assoc. Prof. Şener Aktürk for receiving the 2019 TÜBİTAK Encouragement Award and Asst. Prof. Umut Aydemir, Asst. Prof. Mehmet Cengiz Onbaşlı and Assoc. Prof. Nükhet Harmancıoğlu Gür for the 2019 Turkish Academy of Sciences Young Scientist Awards (TÜBA GEBİP).

Koç University Seniority Awards

Koç University faculty and staff were presented with 10, 15, 20 and 25-year pins at the Seniority Awards Ceremony, held on December 4, at Founders Hall.

Outstanding Faculty Awards

The recipients of the Outstanding Faculty & President Awards 2018-2019 were announced at the General Faculty and Staff Meeting on December 6. Our sincerest congratulations once more to everyone.

CEMS Graduation

CEMS MIM graduates, a total of 1197, from around the world gathered for their graduation ceremony in Vienna on December 1, hosted by WU, Vienna University of Economics and Business. Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2019 and Koç University Graduate School of Business CEMS Alliance Students!