A Saudi woman, Dr. Maha Abdullah Orkubi, has been appointed Dean of the Jeddah branch of the Arab Open University (AOU), the first time a Saudi woman has been appointed to such a senior academic position. The appointment was announced by Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, chairman of the university's board of trustees and president of the Arab-Gulf Program for UN Development Organizations. Dr. Orkubi, who is from Madinah, did her postgraduate studies at Ohio University. She is an associate professor and head of childhood studies at Jeddah's King Abdulaziz University. It was not immediately clear if she would retain this position when she takes up her new post. The AOU has branches in Jordan, Bahrain, Lebanon and Egypt and offers correspondence courses in computer science, information technology, English language, business administration and teacher training.