American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) Commencement

SULAIMANI, IRAQ, June 16, 2012—Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education, will serve as the keynote speaker for the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) inaugural commencement exercises. The institution will confer undergraduate degrees for the first time on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 6:00pm on its new 418-acre campus.

AUIS will award Baccalaureate degrees in Business Administration, Information Technology, and International Studies to 37 students, including the university’s first cohort of ten students. Among the graduates are the Open Society Foundation’s Middle East Rule of Law Masters Scholarship recipient and a Fulbright Fellowship finalist. An additional 37 students will receive the degree of Master of Business Administration.

“IIE is committed to supporting higher education in Iraq,” said Dr. Goodman. “I am honored to participate in the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani’s first graduation and to have the opportunity to speak with these young leaders who will help rebuild and determine their country’s future.”

Dr. Allan Goodman is the sixth President of IIE, the leading not-for-profit organization in the field of international educational exchange and development training. Since its founding in 1919, the Institute has also rescued scholars threatened by war, terrorism, and repression. Previously, Dr. Goodman was Executive Dean of the School of Foreign Service and Professor at Georgetown University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founding member of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE).

AUIS was founded in 2006 by its chairman, former Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Barham Salih, and several other prominent, forward-thinking local businessmen.

“A year later a few dozen courageous students enrolled hoping to improve their lives by embarking on an untried course of study in an unfamiliar language,” said AUIS President, Dr. Athanasios Moulakis. “And now after a year of intensive English-language classes and four years of coursework to fulfill general education and major requirements, the members of this first undergraduate class have earned their degrees. We couldn’t be more proud of them on this historic occasion.”

Among IIE’s key initiatives are the Iraq Scholar Rescue Fund and the Iraq Scholars and Leaders Program, efforts which provide professors and students from Iraq with the means to work or study in the United States. In addition, IIE has helped convene a conference series focused on rebuilding the higher education system in Iraq and a higher education fair for Iraqi students interested in studying in the United States.

Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of over 20 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.

Scholar Rescue Fund

In 2002, IIE launched the Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) to provide fellowships for scholars threatened in their home countries. These fellowships support temporary academic positions at safe universities and colleges anywhere in the world. SRF scholars contribute to their host universities through teaching, research, lectures and other activities. In return, host universities provide professional guidance and financial and in-kind support. Scholars from any country may qualify.

The Iraq Scholar Rescue Project was launched in August 2007 with the goal to rescue Iraq’s most senior, most threatened academics – from any academic discipline – by placing them at institutions of higher learning mainly in countries within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. To date, the IIE Iraq Scholar Rescue Project has granted temporary fellowship assistance and other relevant support to 244 established Iraqi academics. In addition to carrying out their fellowships at host institutions, Iraq Project scholar-grantees attend training workshops, present at academic conferences, research and publish, and continue to teach Iraqi students via e-learning in order to further their professional development and prepare them, as academics, to contribute to new educational innovations in Iraq.

American University of Iraq, Sulaimani

AUIS is Iraq’s only private, non-profit university. The mission of the university is to provide advanced academic programs at international standards of quality in higher education for the professions and general education. Academic programs, taught in the English language by international faculty members, are designed to meet or exceed accreditation standards set by regional accreditation organizations in the United States.

It is the objective of the University to produce graduates of responsible character with the necessary knowledge and skills for professional and national leadership. Students are prepared for successful careers in a modern, democratic, pluralistic society and in a global environment. The educational program of the university is designed to develop strength in critical thinking, the ability to communicate well, a strong work ethic, good citizenship and personal integrity. Broad-based education, rooted in the American liberal arts tradition, as well as skill development is achieved at the University through teaching excellence, quality scholarship, and caring student services.

The core values of the university are freedom and responsibility, democracy, free expression and inquiry, equal opportunity, individual rights, tolerance, and honorable personal and professional behavior. These values apply equally to all members of the university community, including students, faculty and staff members, administrators, persons invited to participate at the university, and members of the board of trustees and advisory bodies. The university is, by design, an institution that is non-governmental, non-partisan, nonsectarian, independent, not-for-profit, and guided by the highest ethical standards.  It is committed to integrity and the rule of law in all of its dealings with public officials and private interests. Academic freedom is a principle guaranteed in teaching, learning, and research in a manner identical to that found at regionally accredited colleges and universities in the United States. The university does not discriminate on the basis of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, occupation, politics, economic standing, or any other common human demographic factor in its admission of students or administration of the University or its policies.


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