AUC Welcomes Bruce Flessner as Vice President for North America

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A leading entrepreneur who focused his career on helping advance universities’ strategic fundraising plan, a published author, a public speaker on institutional advancement and a road warrior, Bruce Flessner is AUC's vice president for North America. After spending 36 years in founding and leading the American and international consulting firm Bentz Whaley Flessner, he is ready to invest his expertise in AUC's second century to make it "even more remarkable than our first 100 years". #PeopleOfAUC

What is your main role as vice president of North America

The North America region will always be important to AUC. The University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, incorporated in the State of Delaware and with offices located in other states and abroad. Recruiting American students, raising private gifts, securing research grants, opening doors for alumni, and raising AUC’s global visibility are constant priorities for the North America-based office. My role is to help my talented colleagues here succeed in their significant work. They are a remarkable group of professionals.

What are your priorities in the coming year?

Currently, we are focused on building a more efficient operation in the United States. Our larger goals are seven-fold: (1) student recruitment; (2) partnering with US-based colleges and universities; (3) raising public and private funds; (4) increasing AUC’s visibility in North America; (5)  supporting AUC Press;  (6) managing AUC’s endowment; and (7) assisting the Board of Trustees with their overall goals.

What are your priorities in the coming year?  

My priority is to build a North America operation worthy of the best University in Egypt.

Why did you decide to join AUC?

I sold my consulting firm and wanted the next chapter in my life to focus on making an impact, particularly at a distinct university. I believe that AUC’s second century will be even more remarkable than our first 100 years.

Have you ever been to Egypt? 

Yes, several times. It is wonderful. 

Will you be visiting regularly? 

Yes.

What are the main functions of AUC’s office in North America? 

The real work of AUC happens in Egypt, where great students and extraordinary faculty members focus on education, research and public service. Our role is to support their work. Our goals are their goals.

What is your plan to strengthen AUC’s visibility/presence in North America?

The University is an extraordinary institution, and we need to remind our alumni, donors, friends, students, potential students and opinion-makers every day that AUC is continuously raising its trajectory of excellence.

What are your short-term and long-term goals for AUC’s presence in North America?  

The academic leadership at AUC has laid out an impressive five-point strategic plan of quality of education, internationalization, the AUC experience, institutional effectiveness, and innovation. North America work will support each of these objectives.

Favorite Movie:  To Kill a Mockingbird

Favorite Book: The next one I get to read. Right now, I’m reading some great novels published by AUC Press.

Favorite Music:  Opera, especially the warhorses like Carmen, La Boheme, La Traviata and Madam Butterfly.

Favorite Activity:  I am a big baseball fan.  My father is a Cubs fan, and my daughter is a Cardinals fan. It makes for lively discussions.

Favorite Egyptian Food: Yes, I love to eat.

Your hero/role model:  I had the privilege of working with Neal Armstrong when he served as co-chair of the Purdue University capital campaign. Most people see him as a hero because he was the first person to step onto the moon.  For me, he is a hero for his post-astronaut life. Neal was gracious, modest and more interested in others than his personal story.  He never made a fortune from his fame and spent most of his life as a private citizen in Ohio, working every day as an engineer and volunteering for good causes.  He conducted himself with great integrity and humbleness.

Greatest inspiration:  I was born before the Brown decision, but had the honor of meeting Rosa Parks. Her life shows that everyone can make a difference and change the arc of history.

Accomplishment you are most proud of: I am mostly proud of participating in some of the largest fundraising college and university campaigns in the United States and around the world. What I am most proud of was working on the Centennial Campaign for the Statue of Liberty when 10 million donors contributed more than $300 million to restore Lady Liberty.  Today, the Statue of Liberty stands in New York Harbor, welcoming all and reminding Americans that we are an immigrant nation, drawing people from all countries, races and faiths.

Fun facts: I have flown over 5 million miles on Delta airline.  I’m a road warrior.

What problem do you wish to solve in the world?  

I have focused my entire career on helping advance universities’ strategic fundraising plan. Whatever small impact I have made is gratifying. Higher education institutions play a critical role: They provide opportunities for students and alumni, educate leaders in diverse academic fields, conduct research to expand our knowledge and help serve their communities and the world. In its second century, AUC will become the model that other universities will follow.