ICASALS was established in August of 1966 by the Texas Tech Board of Directors through a unanimous decision. President Grover Murray was inspired to create a special international mission for Tech during his travels to North Africa. He intended for ICASALS to bring world-wide distinction to the University and to involve the efforts of all the educational departments and resources. The geographic location of Texas Tech made the study of arid and semiarid lands appropriate. Since one-third of the Earth is considered to be an arid or semiarid region, ICASALS would stimulate and coordinate research to help increase the productivity of these areas and the people living in them. ICASALS provides a means by which Texas Tech University is able to make global contributions.