Foundation History

Hüsnü M. Özyeğin Foundation began its efforts to found Özyeğin University in the autumn of 2005.

The foundation of Özyeğin University entailed a comprehensive study that involved more than 500 persons including businessmen, faculty members, as well as university and high school students in addition to a study entitled "Developing Sectors and Professions in Turkey and in the World". Taking the results of these studies as a baseline, the core values and vision of the university are discussed and identified in collaboration with all stakeholders in line with the design efforts carried out by ARAMA 

Participating Management Consultancy. As such Özyeğin University started to shape its vision through a series of workshops held with more than 300 participants including businessmen, faculty members, university students and new graduates.

Özyeğin University was officially founded  on  May 18, 2007 pursuant to Law No: 5656 published in the Official Gazette No: 26526 with the mission of  contributing to social development by producing creative, original and applicable knowledge through its modern education system, its innovative structure integrated with life and its academic programs focused on the service sector.

Özyeğin University, thus, welcomed its first students on its Altunizade Camps in September 2008 and opened the doors of its Çekmeköy Campus in September 2011. Thus the university has increased the total area of its campuses to 136 thousand m2. Özyeğin University also built a strong faculty with distinguished faculty members. 60% of the OzU faculty came from top 100 universities around the world, while 85% came from global top 200 universities.

In 2012, Özyeğin University produced its first cohort of graduates and launched 6 new undergraduate programs including Pilot Training, Gastronomy and Culinary Arts, Management Information Systems, International Business, Civil Engineering and Architecture in addition to its existing programs in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship,  Banking and Finance, Psychology, Law, Industrial Engineering, Electrical-Electronics Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Hotel Management and Air Transportation Management.


Prof. Dr. Erhan Erkut
Founding Rector
1.1.2008-1.7.2013


Prof. Erkut obtained an undergraduate degree from the Faculty of Engineering of Bogazici University in 1980 and a Ph.D from the University of Florida in 1986, both in Industrial Engineering. Between 1985 and 2005, he taught at the University of Alberta’s School of Business, and was a visiting faculty member at the Univ. of Geneva, Ohio State Univ., NIDA (Bangkok), as well as Bogazici and Sabanci Universities. He received nine teaching awards, including the prestigious "INFORMS Teaching of Management Science Practice Award" and Canada’s "3M Teaching Fellowship," as well as five awards of merit, and four practice awards from the Canadian Operational Research Society.

Prof. Erkut, served as project leader for a number of externally-funded projects, founded an applied research center (Center for Excellence in Operations) at the University of Alberta, was the Founding Editor of INFORMS Transactions on Education, and published over 50 refereed journal articles in journals such as Operations Research, Transportation Science, European Journal of Operational Research, Interfaces, Computers & OR, Risk Analysis, and Geographical Analysis. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration of Bilkent University between 2005 and 2007, before starting to serve as the Founding Rector of Ozyegin University in 2008.

Prof. Dr. Erhan Erkut, who served as the founding rector of Özyeğin University from January 1, 2008 to July 1, 2013, successfully led the establishment process of our university.