Американский университет Армении (Окленд, США)

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Американский университет Армении (Окленд, США)
American University of Armenia Corporation (Oakland. USA)
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Вид заведения: Университет
Руководитель: Арменян Арутюн (Haroutune Armenian)
Адрес: 300 Lakeside Dr, 4th Floor,Oakland, CA 94612, USA
Телефон/Факс: (1 510) 987 94 52; Fax: (1 510) 208 35 76
Ссылки: http://www.aua.am http://www.aua.am/aua/about/about_armenia.htm

American University of Armenia Corporation

History of the University

On December 7, 1988 an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale rolled through the former Soviet Republic of Armenia, killing 25,000 people and leaving another 500,000 homeless. The human tragedy and economic devastation shocked the world and opened the Republic to unprecedented international humanitarian and technical assistance.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, many Western specialists in the field of earthquake engineering visited Armenia and had the opportunity to interact with their Armenian counterparts. It was during one such meeting in 1989 that the idea of an American style technical university in Armenia was proposed by Yuri Sarkissian, then rector of the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute, to Armen Der Kiureghian, Professor of Civil Engineering of the University of California at Berkeley, as a way to establish a new foundation for education and training in Armenia.

The idea soon evolved into the specific goal of founding a graduate university based on the American model. What followed was a period of steadfast effort led by two earthquake engineering professors, Mihran Agbabian of the University of Southern California and Armen Der Kiureghian of the University of California at Berkeley. The vision of an American graduate university in Armenia soon became a goal to which other academics in America and Armenia lent their support. The late Professor Stepan Karamardian, formerly Dean of the Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Riverside, soon joined the Agbabian and Der Kiureghian team early on. The team then approached the Armenian government and several organizations seeking support for the achievement of the stated goal.

The American University of Armenia became a reality thanks to the steadfast support of the Armenian government and two major institutions in the United States: the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the University of California (UC). From the very beginning, the government of Armenia ¾ and specifically the Ministry of Higher Education and Sciences (now the Ministry of Education and Science) ¾ provided logistical and financial support for the establishment of the University. Despite the significant political and economic changes occurring in Armenia during the period from 1989 to 1991, the Ministry delivered its unwavering assistance facilitating steps and removing hurdles.

AGBU agreed early on to underwrite a major share of the operational funding necessary to launch the University. From the outset, AUA also benefited from a vital working relationship with the University of California. When approached for its technical assistance, David P. Gardener, then President of the University of California, responded by appointing a task force, chaired by then Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs William R. Frazer, to explore the feasibility of UC's participation in this undertaking. The task force visited Armenia in July 1990. A year later, the Regents of the University of California unanimously agreed to an affiliation with the University. Based on this affiliation, UC lends valuable technical support and educational experience in the growth of the American University of Armenia, collaborating in the preparation of a cadre of faculty and participating in the development of a program of exchange and cooperation.

On September 21, 1991 Armenia declared its independence. On the same day, AUA began instruction with 101 students enrolled. In a phenomenally short time, the vision had become a reality. Today, the American University of Armenia (AUA) operates as an independent, private, non-profit institution of higher education in Armenia.

Today, AUAs academic program provides graduate education in Business and Management, Industrial Engineering, Information and Communication Technologies, Political Science, Health Sciences, Law, Comparative Legal Studies, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Its emphasis on graduate programs is intended to complement the State Universities and Institutes in Armenia that provide undergraduate education. Parallel to its academic programs, AUA has established the Center for Business Research and Development, the Engineering Research Center, the Center for Policy Analysis, the Center for Environmental Management and Research, the Center for Health Services Research, and the Legal Resource Center to promote research in conjunction with graduate teaching. AUA faculty members are invited to promote learning and knowledge by teaching and conducting research. The exchange between faculty members and students is based on intellectual openness. Students are encouraged to formulate, critically and creatively, their individual paths of understanding and to pursue diversity in knowledge. As a public service to the community, AUA also provides courses through its Extension Program.

By providing teaching, research and public service, AUA seeks to serve Armenia and the region and to provide a positive model in the transition to a market economy and democratic style of government. The University aims to prepare graduates who will play a constructive role in the social and economic development of Armenia and the region. The use of English as the language of instruction is intended to facilitate communication between graduates of AUA and their colleagues throughout the world and to attract an international faculty cadre and student body.

President's Message

The idea of an American style graduate university in Armenia was developed at one of the bleakest moments of the history of Armenia, following the 1988 earthquake that resulted in an unprecedented level of destruction and casualties in recent memory. However, with the establishment of this University a moment of adversity was turned by its founders into positive achievement. The small group of people that planned AUA were agents of change who were able to see the historical opportunity to affect the lives of a large number of people.

The establishment and development of a University, outside the United States, based on the American model, was not an accident. The American higher educational system provides an approach that can help train the type of expertise Armenia and the region need to make the appropriate economic and social-developmental transitions at the start of the new millennium.

As primarily a graduate university, AUA is involved not only in imparting knowledge but also in developing actively new knowledge through research. The university is a direct participant in the sustainable long-term development of Armenia and its regions. Our Research Centers provide a venue through which students and faculty participate in that development.

The University provides an environment that encourages academic excellence, freedom of inquiry, personal integrity, and a concern for societal issues. As the educational programs evolve over the next few years, we hope to achieve more multi-disciplinary integration that helps develop the person beyond narrow technical expertise.

The students at AUA have a personal responsibility for their education. During their education, students have the opportunity to develop critical thinking and analytic reasoning as well as problem solving skills. These are some of the challenges that the new students have to face at AUA. This catalog is a window that the University opens on itself for those interested in the institution. It provides information about the programs, philosophy, people, and various rules that the University has established. However, we have to be aware that the University is a very active and dynamic system. There is a constant and lively pace of change at the American University of Armenia and what is presented in this catalog provides only a snapshot about the University at a fixed point in time. The AUA website at http://www.aua.am and http://www.aua-mirror.com is yet another source that, we hope, will continuously provide the most recent and up-to-date information about the University.

This is a higher educational institution that has been evolving at a number of levels. The challenges that the founders of AUA set forth for AUA will continue to be met on a daily basis by its faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

HAROUTUNE K. ARMENIAN President of the American University of Armenia

Haroutune Armenian, M.D., Dr. P.H. is the President of the American University of Armenia, and the Dean of the College of Health Sciences. He is a Professor of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has served as the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the American University of Beirut and has been the manager of a number of health manpower and health services development projects in numerous countries. His research focuses on chronic disease epidemiology, disaster and historical epidemiology using Armenian parish records.