Campus 2026, Partnerships and Plans
October 5, 2023
Dear AUC Community,
A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a group of new students who were both excited and nervous about starting their undergraduate studies. They and their families had decided to invest in an AUC education that would shape the rest of their lives. I can say with confidence that they made the right decision and the proof is in the thousands of alumni, many of whom I’ve met personally since I joined AUC, who are doing remarkable work and realizing success for themselves and their communities. Nonetheless, their decision reminds us of the humbling responsibility we all share in delivering the quality educational experience they deserve. As a faculty member like many of my colleagues at AUC, I was drawn to academia by the promise of shaping the next generation and engaging in knowledge production for the betterment of humanity. Our shared mission of serving our students and engaging in impactful work is a powerful catalyst that gives meaning to the contributions of our faculty and staff on campus every day.
The following are key areas of focus and milestones we will be working together to achieve this year, among the many other initiatives across each of the schools and departments.
Campus 2026: Our Students and Community
Perhaps the most exciting milestone of this academic year is transforming the ideas developed in the campus master plan conversations that took place in 2020 to detailed conceptual designs for three new projects that each support a core pillar in our Strategic Priorities Roadmap. Over the summer, the Land Development Committee of the Board of Trustees worked with us on the selection of two renowned international design firms for the projects. The three projects under development are the NextGen Student Living and Learning Spaces, the Technology, Research and Innovation Lab (TRI-Lab), and the Extended Education Hub. For each project, a committee focused on programmatic needs is engaging with students, faculty, staff, alumni and stakeholders to develop detailed user requirements that will inform the final designs. Please join the campus discussions on each project that will be announced shortly to share your thoughts and ideas. To learn more about the projects visit the Campus 2026 website. It is gratifying to see three projects that have been under discussion for many years — some as early as the move to New Cairo — finally becoming a reality.
We signed an agreement today with the authorities in the United Arab Emirates to deliver an Executive Diploma in Sustainability for four cohorts of roughly 200 public servants as the United Arab Emirates prepares to host COP28 later this fall. We are drawing on AUC’s technical expertise in sustainability and our strong track record in professional education programs. We hope this can serve as a model for equipping the region’s workforce with skills essential to the future of work. In addition, we are discussing a wide range of possibilities for contributing to the education landscape in the UAE.
Eliminating Single-Use Plastics on Campus
This summer we witnessed record temperatures and unprecedented weather events that scientists believe are the consequences of global warming brought on by human activities. The need for swift action has never been more urgent. This fall, we are working to formulate a plan to eliminate most single-use plastics on campus by the end of 2024 as one of the ways we can contribute to mitigating climate change. All of us must work together to achieve this goal, which we hope will inspire others. In addition to efforts to make our campus operation more sustainable, AUC’s Climate Change Initiative remains focused on combating this existential threat through the work of our faculty and the growing contributions of alumni in this arena.
Please join me and senior leadership team members for a discussion of these and other plans at the first Campus Conversation of the year on October 15. I look forward to seeing you there or on campus and welcome your thoughts and insights. This year promises to be full of activities, achievements and possible adversity. As always, the strength, creativity and care of the AUC community will ensure our University continues to thrive and excel.