President’s Message

In November 2022, I was asked by the Board of Trustees of the American University of Armenia (AUA) to serve as the Interim President upon the resignation of AUA’s fifth President, Dr. Karin Markides. It is my honor and privilege to serve in this capacity while the Board is conducting an international search for a new president.

I am not new to AUA. In fact, I have been with the University from the moment of inception of its idea in 1989. I am a co-founder of the University together with late Drs. Mihran S. Agbabian and Stepan Karamardian and served as its Founding Dean of Engineering from 1991 to 2017, Interim Provost during the academic year 2011-2012, and as President from 2014 until 2019. Furthermore, I have served as a Founding Member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Armenia Corporation (AUAC) since 1991. AUAC is registered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in the State of California in the United States.

Founded in 1991, AUA has traveled a glorious path. Starting with fewer than 100 students in three graduate degree programs, today AUA has close to two thousand students enrolled in 8 undergraduate and 11 graduate degree programs, as well as 5 certificate programs that enroll hundreds of additional students. It has a growing number of international students, including education-abroad students, who offer diversity of cultures, languages, and viewpoints to the learning experience. AUA has state-of-the-art facilities, a highly qualified international faculty, English-language library resources that are the best in the region, an infrastructure that supports collaborative research, and facilities and programs that encourage and facilitate innovation and entrepreneurship. AUA is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, 1001 Marina Village Parkway, Suite 402, Alameda, CA 94501, and is affiliated with the University of California (UC), which provides guidance on academic, legal, human resources, and financial matters. Several members of the Board of Trustees of AUAC are senior members of the UC system.

AUA is primarily funded through donations to AUAC by individuals and private foundations, largely from the Armenian Diaspora. By educating future generations of Armenians, AUA is the most important gift that the Diaspora has given to Armenia. From the initial days, AUA has received support from the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and they continue their support through an endowment designated for the University. AUA has also received substantial support from the American government through its USAID American Schools and Hospitals Abroad program. A substantial portion of AUAC’s investments are in an endowment that is managed by the UC Treasurer’s Office. Being part of the UC multi-billion-dollar portfolio, AUA’s investments benefit from high-level investment expertise, portfolio diversification and economies of scale.

Thanks to our donors and supporters, AUA is able to institute a need-blind admission policy: Students are admitted on the basis of their academic credentials and potential, not their ability to pay the tuition. Once admitted, the student is provided financial support, if needed to be able to enroll. In the academic year 2022-2023, about 48% of domestic AUA students received partial or full scholarship toward their tuition. Merit-based scholarships are also available for international students.

I invite visitors to Armenia to also visit our campus. You will see the bright faces of future Armenia, the energy and learning zeal expressed by our students, our modern and attractive facilities including our well-resourced library that is open to the general public, and have a chance to meet our dedicated faculty and staff. I will be happy to meet visitors and discuss our future plans and how you can be a part of them.  

Sincerely,

Armen Der Kiureghian

Interim President