Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Academic Dean of Students comes with full package of experience

By Salman Ahmed Rasul

                                     Harrigan becomes the new Academic Dean of Students.
                                                        Photo by Nuha Othman- AUI-S Voice 

James Harrigan is the new Academic Dean of Students at AUI-S. He has been working for the University since at the beginning of the fall semester of 2010. He has a plan to help the students to found a student government.

He was resided in Western Pennsylvania in the United States where he lived with his wife and his three children who are two girls and a boy ten, seven, and six years old.
In terms of academics, he graduated from the University of Connecticut which is the State School in Connecticut with two bachelors’ degrees, one in Political Science, and one in History.
He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of that institution and graduated with a master’s degree in Political Science also form the University of Connecticut and a PHD from the Claremont Graduate School which is in California. Harrigan worked for the Academic Journal Citizens and Statesmen.
How do you feel about your current life here in Kurdistan Region of Iraq?
Well, I enjoy doing the job. I enjoy working here. And I miss my family which is probably pretty typical. I hope that in future years, they will come and stay with me here in Kurdistan.
It may happen that a student is going to come here and talk to you about a situation which is not relevant with your responsibility. So, can you tell us what the role of dean is? And what the dean’s office provides for the students?
Right, it is very complicated. And actually, my title I believe will be changing to simply dean of students making at shorter and a little simpler.
My first goal is to make sure all of our students are well cared for both in the academic and non-academic lives which means we have to tend to the academic integrity of this institution. It is my job to make sure that we are acting in an honorable fashion both as an institution and individually.
We have to make sure that our student living conditions are appropriate and decent.
Essentially, this office takes care of everything that impacts students in any way from academics to life in the dorms to sports teams to clubs almost anything a student will want to do at AUI-S.
Do you think that the AUI-S students need to found a student government? Do you have any plan to help the students to establish an association inside the camp to serve the students?
I mean an independent student government which should be far from political parties’ influence? The short answer to the question is yes, we do have a plan. The longer answer is yes, but it is going to take time.
We are going to begin the student advisory consul probably next semester and from that will grow a student government which we hope we begin next year. This will be wholly independent. Political Parties are not welcome in AUI-S internal discussion with our students. We want to keep the politics of the outer world away from our inner world. So, the student government will not be dominated or even impacted by Iraqi, Kurdish or anybody’s political parties.

This interview first appeared on 

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