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AUIS news

Studying Water in Iraq

A group of AUIS students visited a water treatment plant in Dukan, near Sulaimani, as part of their course on “Water in Iraq”, taught by Dr. Maria Saldarriaga.The general idea of the course is for students to understand the whole context of water in the region - history, water resources, traditional water systems, quality, in addition to the current challenges. “Part of the course is to test water quality, where students conduct basic tests on water samples taken from different areas. The trip was arranged for students to be able to actually see different processes of water treatment including sedimentation and chlorination.” said Dr. Saldarriaga. Around twenty students and 3 faculty members from the science and engineering departments visited the Dukan water filtration plant. They made observations on how the drinking water is treated and collected water samples from the plant. Dr. Saldarriaga gave her students an assignment which required them to interview people at the treatment plant. “They had to collect notes, so in the classroom we reconstructed everything again based on what information each student had collected. We looked at the challenges, and what improvements can be made.” said Dr. Saldarriaga. The Water in Iraq course was taught like a timeline. “It started from history of water in the region, in Mesopotamia; traditional water systems like karez; slowly moving into the present - current challenges, impact of climate change and overexploitation of groundwater resources.” explained Dr. Saldarriaga. “Within the course, we look at water quality which is a present challenge and then look at how we treat the water; moving towards hydropolitics in the region - what instruments are available to countries to resolve water conflicts, and how to allocate their resources.”  Dr. Saldarriaga is a fellow at the Institutute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS), conducting research on karez and water management in Iraq. See more photos of the trip on our facebook page.

Board of Trustees Thanks Donors and Elects New Members at Recent Meeting

Sulaimani, Iraq – March 14, 2013 – For two days last week the Board of Trustees of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) met at its campus to discuss the current state of the University and to set the vision for its future.  The AUIS Board of Trustees establishes policies for, and oversees, the University and its management and operations.  It is comprised of prominent Iraqi and American leaders from across government, business, non-profit, and education sectors. The board expressed its appreciation to the donors and to the Kurdistan Regional Government's generous support since AUIS's inception. The board also appreciates the commitment and dedication of its faculty and staff. Highlights from the Board’s committees include: Presidential Search Committee The Committee has retained the services of a consultant from an international firm, AGB Search, to assist with the process of finding a new President.  Committee Chair Jill Derby reported that the search has adhered to the highest standards of regional accreditation agencies in the United States. From a pool of 56 applicants the committee interviewed four semi-finalist candidates in Sulaimani and will interview four more semi-finalists in Washington, DC by the end of the month.  Two or three finalists will be on campus in April for interviews with the board, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Governance Committee The Committee nominated two new members to the Board of Trustees.  Mr. Shwan Taha, CEO of Rabee Securities, and Dr. Salahaldinn Saeed Ali, President of Sulaimani University, were both unanimously elected to three year terms.  The Committee also put forth a resolution to formally acknowledge and thank the original members of the University’s board for their groundbreaking service.  Finally, it asked the administration to consider a rotating schedule for board meetings which would enable members to attend commencement or the annual Sulaimani Forum. Finance Committee Major items of discussion from this Committee included appreciation for the KRG’s commitment to provide support to the University’s operating budget and the steps necessary to create and build a robust endowment. Audit Committee The Committee reviewed the audit report from the international accounting firm Ernst & Young and approved a three-year agreement with the firm.  The auditors’ report reinforced clean audits from Kurdistan-based accounting firms. Land and Buildings Committee In light of unprecedented growth in the student body, the Committee considered the addition of a new academic building consistent with the University’s master plan.  It also asked the administration to consider additional ways to use the University’s land in ways that would benefit the community. Academic and Student Affairs Committee The Committee focused on how to promote diversity within the student body and emphasized its commitment to merit-based admissions criteria.  It also recommended that the administration bring forward a proposal for a new degree program in the Department of Mathematics and Natural Science. Advancement and External Relations Committee The Committee discussed opportunities for the University to express its deep gratitude to its myriad donors and how to continue to attract new supporters, especially for key initiatives like the Iraq Legal Education Initiative, the Center for Expertise in Teaching and Learning, and the Institute of Regional and International Studies.  The committee also considered ways for the University to extend its reach throughout other parts of Kurdistan, Iraq, and the Middle East. For more information on the members of the board of trustees please visit: A complete list of the University’s donors is located here: About the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani  Founded in 2006, AUIS is Iraq’s only non-profit institution for public benefit.  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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