Oral history interview with Tawfik Jlassi, 2015
Tawfik Jlassi has been professor in information technology and e-business and dean of MBA programs at École nationale des ponts et chaussées in France since 2000. In 2014, he was appointed minister of information technology and higher education in Tunisia's technocratic government. From 1996 to 2000, he was dean of academic affairs at the Euro-Arab Management School of Granada. From 1994 to 1996, he was professor in information technology and dean of MBA programs at the Theseus Institute in Sofia Antipolis. In 1989, he became lecturer and head of the technology management department at the European Institute of Business Administration in Fontainebleau. In 1984, he was lecturer in information systems at the School of Business at the University of Indiana, Bloomington.
Scope and Contents
Tawfik Jlassi describes his experiences of the Tunisian Revolution, focusing on how he heard about developments from abroad. He explains the roles of the army versus the police during the revolution. He narrates his recruitment to Mehdi Jomaa's government. Jlassi's work extended beyond the purview of his ministries; for example, he headed a confidential program tackling cyber-terrorism. He discusses the challenges he faced, particularly regarding criticism of Jomaa's diasporic ministers, and dealing with union-led strikes responding, student strikes, and vestiges of corruption from the Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime. Jlassi moves on to describe his prior involvement in Afek Tounes, which stopped before he took office. Though the technocratic government mandate was short, Jlassi believes he did hand off some worthy reform ideas for Tunisia's higher education to his successor.
Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2015.