Rector, provost share leadership responsibilities in absence of president
By Salman Ahmed RasulAthanasios Moulakis
Unlike last academic year, AUI-S does not have a president or chancellor. Until quite recently, the job opportunity was still on the University’s website; anyone with qualified ability could apply for this position. In the absence of a president, the provost, Athanasios Moulakis, and the rector, Johan Brongers have divided the duties of the position. The provost is in charge of the academic side and the rector leads the administrative side.
“Until we have a president or a chancellor, the rector Mr. Brongers and I share the responsibility normally borne by the chancellor,” said Moulakis.
“Given that we operate without a chancellor to co-ordinate the academic and administrative activities of the University it is especially fortunate that the Rector and I have a very good working relationship.” It is entirely up to the Board of Trustees to hire a president.
“This is a decision that depends on the Board of Trustees,” said Moulakis.“The Board of Trustees has a procedure by which to choose a chancellor or a president. And it is not an easy process because it has to be the right kind of personality. I am sure that the Board has its reasons for having hesitated to make an appointment so far.”
According to the AUI-S Board of Trustees the reason for this issue is that the board’s set the qualification for the president is very high. “The reason of why the Board has not hired a president yet is that we have set the qualifications very high,” said Azzam Alwash, a member of the Board of Trustees, in his e-mail.
“Because we are proud of our University and we want a world class president that will be able to open doors for the University and raise the funds need to lead the University into the future. The search will continue until we find a suitable leader and we will not settle for second best.” “The main reason we have not found a President yet is that we have not found a suitable person and continue looking,” said Kanan Makiya, another member of the Board of Trustees, in his e-mail.
“Our standards are very high, and not many people in the West are willing to relocate under the circumstances. But we will succeed eventually, I am sure. As to when we will succeed that is impossible to answer.”
Not having a president doesn’t stop AUI-S from achieving. Also, the University has achieved so much in the absence of president.
“Without a president, we have been able to continue to expand and recruit facility and open new programs and even get AUI-S accredited in the US, not an easy accomplishment even with a “president” running the show,” said Alwash.
“A properly constructed organization with well trained staff filling key position need not have a “president” to be able to function smoothly and properly. At least that is true in the western world, of which AUI-S is an example.” Alwash indicated that the Board always helps the University, and he elaborated on the provost’s duty toward the University.
“Our provosts are charged with all major issues regarding academics and our board is very active in helping the provosts achieve our goals, build the new campus, raise funds for construction and operations, etc,” he added.
In the meantime, Moulakis and Brongers have a strategic plan for their responsibilities to ensure success for the University without a president.
“We will find a way to identify the right kind of personality in the context of our strategic plan,” Moulakis added. “The rector and I have been developing such a plan that will lay down the main lines of where we are, where we want to be, what it takes to get there and what we want to be. What is necessary in order to be successful? It is a comprehensive plan.
And clearly, this kind of comprehensive plan is best held together by a personality that can also represent our vision to the outside. The plan will also help consolidate what has been achieved already.
A great many admirable things have already been done. We now want to move forward by all of us agreeing what it is we want to do.
One way to put a capstone holds the whole arch of the University together is to have the right chancellor.”
This article first appeared on auisvoice.org