Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, the President of the American University of Sharjah (AUS), emphasized the need for adaptability and innovation to maintain AUS’s competitiveness in the increasingly crowded academic landscape. During the recent AUS Board of Trustees meeting, which marked her six-month tenure as President, Sheikha Bodour stressed the importance of articulating a renewed, forward-looking vision to elevate AUS’s reputation and establish higher standards of excellence.
Sheikha Bodour expressed her ambition for AUS to become the highest-ranked university in the Arab world, aiming for a position within the top 100 universities in both the QS World University Rankings and The Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Subsequently, the Board reviewed recent highlights, discussed strategic direction, and approved the budgets and financial statements for AUS Enterprises (AUSE), AUS Audited Standalone, and AUS Group Consolidated for the fiscal years ending May 31, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
In addition to addressing administrative matters, the Board ratified resolutions from the Academic Affairs and Research Committee to support AUS’s development and growth. These resolutions included conducting an academic quality review to ensure the programs continue to meet AUS’s high standards and adapt to the evolving job market. The Board also approved faculty promotions and contract renewals, as well as the AUS research strategy.
Key agenda points covered during the meeting included:
- The Resource Development Committee recommended strengthening ties with the alumni network and establishing strategic partnerships to facilitate the university’s progress in key areas.
- The Student Life Committee proposed enhancements to student housing and various facilities, such as dining amenities, to enhance the student experience. The Board approved an Emiratisation strategy plan aligned with national policies, including the appointment of an Emiratisation Director.
- Development of a comprehensive AUS media and communications plan with a particular focus on promoting AUS’s collaboration with the public.
Sheikha Bodour expressed her gratitude to outgoing Trustees Charles Cotton, Hamid Jafar, Dr. Georgia Nugent, and Riad Al Sadek for their invaluable service, contributions, and implementation of strategies benefiting students, faculty, and the wider university administration during their terms. She also welcomed new Board members: Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, UAE representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency; Mohamed Al Abbar, founder of Emaar (developer of Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall); Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, Emirati educator, art collector, scholar, and columnist; Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Emirati politician and speaker of the Federal National Council; and Dr. Gong Quihang, President of the University of Peking. She acknowledged the return of Dr. G.P. ‘Bud’ Peterson and Bedour Al Raqbani, who will serve another term, and announced that Bedour Al Raqbani would chair the Student Life Committee, while Abdulfattah Sharaf would chair the Resource Development Committee.
Reflecting on the changes, Sheikha Bodour expressed her gratitude to the Board members for their dedicated commitment to supporting the university, overseeing academic programs, and driving its development. Under the guidance of the Board, AUS will continue to be a progressive, dynamic, and innovative environment for learning and personal growth.
During the Spring 2023 Commencement ceremony at University City Hall in Sharjah, Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi commended the graduates for successfully navigating their studies during the unprecedented global pandemic. She emphasized that they are well-prepared for real-life challenges, drawing inspiration from notable figures such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Maya Angelou, and Gibran Khalil Gibran, whose reflections have shaped her own