Dear Members of the AUC Community:
This week is the most special time of year on our campus: many of us are returning fresh from summer special projects and a bit of well-earned rejuvenation, to welcome the rest of “us” -- our new cohorts of students, faculty, and staff. The strong numbers and high quality of our special AUC centennial year crop of new faculty and students demonstrate that AUC continues to replenish our human capital with sustained competitiveness and bursting ambition. Over the next several days we will be spending intensive time together in orientation activities for the start of classes and the refreshment of AUC’s institutional journey.
To start the summer, the Board of Trustees had approved the Administration’s adoption of our Faculty Handbook, while calling on the Administration and Senate to continue efforts toward perfecting this living policy document. With the Handbook now adopted, and the momentum evident in Provost Abdel-Rahman’s message to Faculty recapping a long list of solid advancements in academic affairs last year, we are poised to refocus together on the drive to carry AUC ever forward from good to truly great at the international level.
In this auspicious spirit of renewal of our new academic year, I take particular pride in announcing especially important advancements toward our priority goal to revitalize AUC’s global identity: this summer, we have brought aboard four new, very distinguished American members of our senior leadership team.
Provost Abdel-Rahman already had announced the promotions of several continuing distinguished faculty leaders: new Associate Provost Zeinab Amin and Interim Dean of HUSS Zeinab Taha, and additions of two newcomers to AUC leadership roles: Dr. Rachel Awad to anchor the inner circle in the Office of the Provost, and Dean James Ketterer to join the Provost’s Council as leader of the School of Continuing Education. I am also delighted further to announce that Ms. Shereen Shaker has joined us from a senior executive position at a leading American global technology firm in order to help build exemplary management operations at AUC, while Mr. Bruce Flessner has relinquished his own very successful private practice to lead the revitalization of AUC’s representation in all of our operations in North America.
For those of us conducting or joining our high-priority orientation programs for new faculty, staff, and students, please do seek out Shereen among your sister participants. For those participating in our strategy and budget planning process in mid-September, please do also schedule some quality time with Bruce, as well as Shereen – and our visiting Chairman of the Board, Richard Bartlett -- in advance of our off-site sessions. Let me offer just a few more words on each of these two very special new members of our leadership team:
AUC alumna Shereen Shaker has taken office as our new Vice President for Management and Operations. Her first AUC experience launched her steady professional rise over more than two decades in diverse and challenging global business services and operations at Procter & Gamble in Egypt and Belgium. Ms. Shaker went on to spend several years at Alcatel-Lucent and three more years at IBM in real estate management and operations, spanning central and eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Along the way, she received a master’s degree in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver, Colorado. Her AUC responsibilities span the full range of operations, administration, and management, including security.
Mr. Bruce W. Flessner has assumed the new AUC role as our Vice President for North America, after founding and leading American and international consulting firm Bentz Whaley Flessner over 36 years. BWF supported leading not-for-profit colleges and universities worldwide on board relations, development, alumni affairs, communications, strategic planning, and advancement services. A leading entrepreneur published author, and public speaker on institutional advancement, Mr. Flessner has guided some of the largest fundraising campaigns in the US. Previously, as Vice President at the University of Minnesota Foundation, he led the drive that brought that university into the top 10 American institutions in fundraising. Mr. Flessner’s goals are not only to advance the University’s fundraising capacity in North America, but also to grow our partnerships with U.S.-based institutions and US federal and officials and media, and to guide and support our talented US-based representatives in each of our diverse administrative departments.
I invite all returning members of AUC to join me in warmly welcoming our newest students, faculty, and staff to our AUC Community.
Francis J. Ricciardone
The American University in Cairo