THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF
ARMENIA:
A University that is as American as any
in the U.S. and as Armenian as any in
Armenia
Haroutune K. Armenian
President Emeritus
OBJECTIVES OF THE TALK
Historical
perspective
Some Guiding Principles
An American University
An Armenian Institution
Future perspectives
Higher Education in Armenia - 1
 Visiting
student model – Syriac, Greek –
 Students
seeking the sources of knowledge
 Professor is the source
model – Datev, Narek, Gladzor,
Kosh, but also Venice and Vienna
 Monastic
 Professor
is the source but large repository of
manuscripts and books
Higher Education in Armenia – 2
American Missionary Colleges
- Central Turkey College – Aintab – 1874
- Euphrates College - Kharpert – 1878
- Anatolia College – Marsovan – 1886
- etc.
Liberal Arts Colleges
Mostly Armenian students
Higher Education in Armenia – 3
European – German – Russian model
universities:
Nikol Aghbalian and Yerevan State
University in 1920
Professor centered system
Emphasis on teaching
Research is primarily the role of the
institutes of the Academy of Sciences
AUA is the return of the
American Liberal Arts
higher educational tradition
to Armenia after a
severance of 70 years.
Lessons from American
Universities of the past
 Universities
and Colleges that operated
within the boundaries of their campuses
 For the Locals: Colleges that were the
institutions of the American missionaries
 For the US Public: Charitable institutions
with a missionary (religious?) objective
targeting Middle Eastern youth
INTRODUCE THE UNIVERSITY
PARTNERSHIP
-American
University of Armenia
Corporation
-Government of the Republic of Armenia
Armenian
General Benevolent Union
University of California
US Government Support
Adversity is an opportunity
for positive achievement.
UNIQUENESS OF AUA
 Historical
circumstances
 Synergy of institutions
 American model in the Soviet and Russian
cultural environment
 Graduate university geared to development
 Most efficient operation
 Vision for the future
EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY
LIBERAL
ARTS EDUCATION:
-Virtuous Person = Broad skills and
knowledge
- Research and Problem Solving
competencies
- Democracy at the root of liberalism
Traditional University
Library
Labs
Computers
Data
Experts
FACULTY
Student
Student Student
Student
Student
Student
Student
Student
Student
Student
Graduate American University
Data
Experts
Library
Student
Data
Faculty
Computers
Data
Library
Computers
Labs
STUDENT
Experts
Labs
Experts
Library
Student
Labs
Data
Student
Competitor
Labs
Computers
An Ideal University: U VA
An ideal community … a small republic, finding in itself all
that is necessary in the way of government and the pursuit
of happiness. It is democratic as far as its government is
concerned….
The atmosphere of this college world is ideal. Here a man’s
consequence is not determined by his wealth nor by his
antecedents, but by his character… There is absolute
equality of opportunity, a thing necessary in an ideal
republic, and the thing which was really demanded by the
Declaration of Independence.
Patton JS, Doswell SJ. The University of Virginia. Glimpses of its past and
present. Lynchburg, VA: J.P.Bell Company; 1900
THE ROLE OF AUA
AMERICAN
-
Liberal Arts Education
TRANSFORMATIONAL
-
Choice
- Quality
- Entrepreneurship
- Technology
UNIVERSALITY
Universities: universal heritage and values
AUA: global roots
Students: operate within global society and
economy
Not an alienation from the local culture but
enriching its potential and global reach
and exposure. e.g. Armenian Digital
Library
EXCELLENCE
- Aiming beyond the standard and the average
-
We may start at different levels but aim for
the largest numbers achieving the best
possible results
-
From a bell shaped distribution to a
distribution skewed to the left
Knowledge Society
 Is
a society where the intellectual product
is pre-eminent over the material
 Is a society where creativity and
innovation is encouraged over sensory
pleasure
 Is where spirituality is enhanced because
of the intellectual and creative experiences
of the individual
What is an American Higher
Institution? a
AAICU Meeting May 25-26, 2007
Curricula,
calendar, credits
Faculty
Teaching
and Learning
What is an American Higher
Institution? b
Incorporation
and Accreditation in
the US
Academic Freedom and Diversity
Student Services and Extracurricular
Activities
Governance, Administration,
Facilities
A Institution that is Armenian 1
Partnership
with Armenian
Government
Armenian diasporan engagement and
leadership – AGBU
Broader objective of impacting higher
education in Armenia
Majority of students and faculty
Armenian
A Institution that is Armenian b
Development
and research projects
targeting development in Armenia
Change agents of Armenian models
A model. Ex. Transparency Avedisian building
Examples: ACE, CHSR, TCPA,
Digital Library, TRDP
An Equilibrium
 Guilt
vs. Shame based cultures or internal
and external locus of control
 It is important that the AUA maintains an
equilibrium between its American existence
and its Armenian mission
 It is important for it to be accepted as
American as any in the US and adopted as
being as Armenian as any institution in
Armenia and the diaspora
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åÇïÇ ÙݳÝ:
¸³ñ³í»ñçÇÏ ¸³ëïdzñ³ÏáõÃÇõÝ, 1890
Krikor Zohrab
Education is learning for moral and
intellectual development and not for
monetary gain.
One should not confound education and
culture with craft or trade. One can serve
the other, but their objectives are
different and will stay entirely different.
End of Century Education, 1890
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