Ekland-Olson Addresses Al Akhawayn University President’s List Students


Ifrane, March 15, 2011 – Prominent University of Texas expert Dr. Sheldon Ekland-Olson discussed “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides?” at a special University dinner on March 14, honoring Al Akhawayn students who were on the President’s List for having earned straight As in the Fall 2010 semester. Seventy-one Al Akhawayn University students received certificates for this academic achievement. 

President Driss Ouaouicha and other University executives presented the students with their certificates at the event, which also honored exchange and study abroad students who were on the President’s List at their home institutions, and Al Akhawayn students who scored highest on the recently administered ETS Proficiency Profile Test.

In addressing the students, Ekland-Olson delved deeply into difficult issues of life and death, discussing a range of topics from euthanasia to suicide and introducing the audience to his newly published book, entitled Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides? Abortion, Neonatal Care, Assisted Dying, and Capital Punishment(Routledge, 2011). 

Responding to a range of student questions and opinions, Ekland-Olson said, “I am incredibly impressed by the thoughtfulness and insight Al Akhawayn students possess.” 

“It is precisely your ability to think through difficult issues, ask probing, out-of-the-box questions, and see the connections between disparate topics that shows the value of the liberal arts education you are receiving here at this excellent University,” he added. 

A sociologist by training, Sheldon Ekland-Olson earned his PhD at the University of Washington and before that did post-doctoral work at the Yale University School of Law. He has taught at Yale and at the University of Texas, Austin, and since 1971 has served, inter alia, as Special Assistant to the Chancellor for the entire University of Texas system, as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas, Austin, and from 1998-2006 as Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Texas, Austin. He now serves as the Director of the Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation at Austin and teaches a popular course on law, ethics, and society. 

Over his long and distinguished career, Dr. Ekland-Olson has received a number of teaching and service awards, has held the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Centennial Endowment in Liberal Arts, and has published numerous books and articles on such topics as social research, criminal justice, and the role of universities in society.