Sharjah Ruler chairs AUS meeting
H. H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), chaired the meeting of the university's Board of Trustees held at the AUS main building today, June 10, and expressed satisfaction at the progress made by AUS over the past quarter.
During the meeting, the Sharjah Ruler also thanked the board members for their commitment and dedication toward the development of the university and approved a number of important initiatives.
Subsequent to the meeting, Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of AUS, announced that the board had approved the establishment of the Gulf Coastal Ecosystem Research Center (GCERC) that is envisaged to provide the university and the faculty with research opportunities and establish AUS as a focus point in the region.
"The establishment of this research center will go a long way in encouraging and enhancing the quality of research as well as teaching at AUS. It will also provide a boost to collaborative initiatives undertaken by AUS faculty members on campus as well as with partners outside the university," said Dr. Heath.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bee'ah for the generous AED 30 million endowment made earlier to support the center," he said, thanking Bee'ah Chairman Salem Al Owais for his support and continued cooperation with the university.
The board approved the center to undertake long-term, multidisciplinary environmental monitoring, research and education with a focus on the Gulf as a vital ecosystem of global importance. The center will promote multidisciplinary research activities to understand the influence of human and natural factors on the Gulf ecosystem. It will also act as a central resource for data and knowledge, which will assist governmental and non-governmental agencies and policy makers in planning and execution of sustainable management programs concerned with the health of the Gulf ecosystem.
"The center will provide a platform for collaboration among biologists, marine biologists, chemists, biochemists, biophysicists, geologists, civil and environmental engineers, and others," said Dr. Heath.
The board also passed a number of other resolutions including ones authorizing in concept a Master of Science in Accounting degree; and approving the budget for FY 2013. Resolutions concerning faculty rolling contracts and promotion recommendations were also approved at the meeting.
Dr. Heath said that the board had also received updates and reports from the resource development committee, the audit and compliance committee, the trusteeship committee, and the finance committee on various other important university matters.
Subsequent to the meeting, H.H Sheikh Dr. Sultan visited an exhibition entitled Six Degrees, which showcased the best works of the College of Architecture, Art and Design's graduating class of 2012. The exhibition displayed work by 80 students. Six degrees is a play on the six degrees offered at the college: five undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree.
Members of the AUS Board of Trustees are: H.H Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairman of the Board and President of AUS; Dr. Ali Abdullah Al Shamlan, Director-General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, Kuwait; Dr. MaryAnn Baenninger, President, College of Saint Benedict, Minnesota, USA; Mr. Joseph L. Brand, Senior Partner, Patton Boggs LLP, Washington, DC, USA; Professor Lord Alec Broers, Member of the British House of Lords, UK; Dr. Anthony George Coates, Director of the Museum of Biodiversity, the Bridge of Life, Republic of Panama, and Senior Scientist Emeritus, Smithsonian Institution, USA; Mr. Charles Cotton, Director of Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge, UK; Mr. Abdul Jalil Yousuf Darwish, Chairman of UAE Enterprises Group; Dr. Leroy S. Fletcher, Regents Professor Emeritus and Thomas A. Dietz Professor Emeritus, Texas A'&'M University, USA; Dr. Roderick S. French, Chancellor Emeritus, AUS; Dr. Peter Heath, AUS Chancellor; Mr. Hamid D. Jafar, Chairman and CEO, Crescent Petroleum Company, Sharjah; Dr. Cornelius Kerwin, President, American University, Washington, DC, USA; Baroness Onora O'Neill of Bengarve, CBE PBA FMedSci, Member of the British House of Lords, UK; Mr. Riad T. Sadek, Chairman of Al Habtoor Leighton Group, Dubai; and Mr. Maroun A. Semaan, President and CEO, Petrofac International Ltd., Sharjah. The meeting was also attended by senior AUS officials.