Board of Trustees Statement of Appreciation

May 11, 2020

The Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo wishes to recognize the selflessness, ingenuity, and dedication displayed by all members of the University community in coping with the disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic and completing successfully the Spring 2020 semester. It is difficult to imagine a greater challenge than the one we now face, and it is equally difficult to imagine any other group of people responding with the courage, creativity, and commitment shown by AUC’s faculty, students, staff, and administration these past several weeks.

First, the Board records its profound gratitude to the University’s faculty: Since the University moved to remote operations at the end of March, our more than 800 full- and part-time professors and instructors have reinvented almost 1,000 courses and almost 2,000 sections, moving literally tens of thousands of hours of course material online at short notice, with little fanfare, and with a passion for maintaining the instructional quality that has been nothing short of inspiring. The Board also wishes to recognize those researchers across the University’s schools and centers who are working overtime to help us all understand the multiple dimensions of this pandemic---from its direct impact on health to its broader effects on economies and societies.

Second, the Board wishes to recognize the courage and resiliency of our students: Even as they mourned the loss of their Spring semester on our beautiful campus, our students rose to the challenge, throwing themselves into the business of remote learning with the energy and intensity for which they are appropriately famous. By all accounts, their combination of resolve and good humor helped make the best out of a difficult situation, and the Board could not be prouder of them. 

Finally, the Board recognizes the staff and administrators who in ways large and small, in public and behind-the-scenes, kept the University operating safely at a time when other institutions were forced to close their doors. The University’s swift response to the pandemic set the standard for Egyptian institutions of higher education, and for this the Board thanks the University’s administrative and faculty leadership, who pulled together with focus and determination. The Board wishes to acknowledge in particular those who labored around the clock to accomplish the technological transformation required to move University operations online, and who thus enabled our faculty and students to continue---despite an almost worldwide lockdown---to advance AUC’s core mission of educating the next generation of Egyptian and Middle Eastern leaders.

The Board realizes that all of these contributions to our institution came at what was for many in our community a time of great personal hardship. To those members of the AUC family whose lives, livelihoods, and loved ones have been touched by this pandemic, either directly or indirectly, we offer our deepest sympathies. 

As the Board registers its pride at the AUC community’s courageous response to the pandemic, it also recognizes that the current crisis is far from over. Although the University will be open for instruction in the summer and fall, the precise timing of a return to on-campus operation remains uncertain, and steep declines in University revenue are projected. There are difficult choices ahead. The Board, therefore, calls upon all members of the University community to meet the coming challenges in a spirit of openness, cooperation, and collegiality. When the history of the University’s next 100 years is written, we are confident that the coming together of our faculty, students, staff, and administration during this moment of global adversity will constitute one of its finest chapters.

RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees expresses its appreciation and admiration for the dedication, creativity, and professionalism shown by the AUC faculty, students, staff, and administrators during the successful completion of the Spring 2020 semester in the face of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, and looks forward with confidence to working together in the days ahead to ensure that the institution we all cherish emerges from this trial not just undiminished, but stronger than ever.