Khalid Alissa: Empowering the Youth through Education

Khalid Alissa: Empowering the Youth through Education | The Enterprise World

The education sector is the pillar of a nation, especially for its youth. As the digital age has taken over, we can only predict what happens next with the collaboration of education and the digital sphere. As new avenues of education open up, it has become vital for education leaders to make relevant education available to the youth. Fields like health, engineering, arts, and science are getting deeper and better. A leader who identifies these elements and provides the said knowledge to the potential talent of the nation is a visionary individual. One such leader is Khalid Alissa, Dean of Information and Communication Technology at the Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Imam Abdulrahman University (IAU) aims to be a leading university achieving excellence nationally, regionally, and globally. The mission of the university is to provide creative knowledge, research, and professional services with effective community partnerships. The university is standing on six core pillars, i.e. loyalty, excellence, teamwork, transparency, diversity, and creativity. Khalid’s prolonged success is driven by qualities like strong management, leadership, constant improvement, and openness. 

About the Esteemed University

Imam Abdulrahman University started accepting admissions in 1975 by establishing two revolutionary colleges, the College of Architecture, and the College of Medicine. After continuous efforts, this institution has evolved into a leading research university with 21 colleges. It is spread all over the Eastern province with an enormous student population of 45,000. Being a distinguished research-based institution, Imam Abdulrahman University is committed to transforming the conventional education sector to digital. It regularly assesses the curriculum and expands the academic prowess in all disciplines. 

Deanship of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) is responsible for anything related to information and communication technologies at Imam Abdulrahman University (IAU). DICT has achieved first place in digital transformation in the education sector in Saudi Arabia. The deanship plays a leading role in helping the educational sector to excel in this makeover. 

Khalid Alissa adds,” We always compare ourselves to us and try to be better every year”. 

Well-curated In-house Systems

As Imam Abdulrahman University is a research-based educational institute, it has developed the majority of the products and systems in-house. The institute has developed some systems that are useful to other organizations as well.

  • Succussion platform
  • Social Responsibility Bank
  • Basmati
  • My ID
  • Students Skills Registry
  • Field Training Portal

Some more systems were developed in-house based on the research of the academic institute. Along with these, the IAU has diverse colleges. Numerous courses are available in many areas of study. The colleges and courses are as follows:

For the Health Sector:

For Engineering:

For Sciences and Management:

For Arts and Education:

Early Spurs and Stirred-Up Growth

Khalid Alissa faced numerous challenges in the early days. The size of the university was enormous. It accommodated fundamentals like 8 different campuses, 4 hospitals, and users totaled over 70,000. There was a gap between the expectations of the users and the resources available were limited. His job was to bridge the gap between the expectations and the resources at hand. Managing the change inside the university was also a challenge for Khalid. He experienced growth when he undertook digital transformation. His team worked hard to automate everything in the university and to reach the maximum digital transformation. The team started using these assets and innovations to generate profits. 

Going the Extra Mile to Revamp

Khalid Alissa says, “Risk-taking and innovation are some of the hardest things to achieve. 

He took the time to restructure and to have the right teams. Maintaining stability and ensuring day-to-day work goes smoothly is quite a task. While he was fighting fires, working extra hours to rework and re-engineer the processes was inevitable. He was consistently at it until the time he reached stability. To maintain the achieved stability, he has two separate entities with two managers for each of the entities. 

  • One manager responsible for operational and technical affairs
  • The other manager responsible for improvement and quality

The Employees’ Employer Philosophy

Khalid Alissa says, “Do what your employer is expecting from you without involving them in the details. They want to see results that are aligned with their expectations”.

Khalid Alissa protects his employees and imparts the feeling that they are the priority. If the employees are taken care of they will do the given work most perfectly. These are the two objectives he always keeps in mind. It also includes making the right decisions and surrounding oneself with the right employees.  

A Considerate Mentor

Khalid Alissa has established a separate department for employee development. The department looks after performance and identifies the gaps to provide the needed training. He uses McKenzie’s methodology in identifying performance and growth for each employee which divides the employees into 9 categories. As he is near his employees, Khalid knows those who need a push and those who are excelling. At times, just changing the role of employees or changing the department has made a significant difference in the employees’ overall performance and efficiency. A below-average employee turns into a superstar performer when changes are implemented. 

The Training Pills

During the pandemic when work from home took over, Khalid Alissa and his team were able to make the shift smoothly. Within two weeks, all of the employees were able to do 90% of the work remotely. Due to the existing advanced technology, the team had to just tell each other where to go and what to do. To implement this better, small online courses were introduced under the name of “Training Pills”. These courses were as short as 15 minutes. Courses for how to sign documents using the PC, and another one to do the same using your smartphone. Two separate courses were crafted for each. This helped Khalid and his team to implement the remote working transition smoothly.     

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