You are here: American University President Announcements January 12, 2012 Memo

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Memorandum January 12, 2012

Deans, Directors, and Department Heads
Neil Kerwin, President
Transition in Relationship with American University of Nigeria

Since 2004, American University has had a mutually beneficial relationship with the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, which we helped to establish with considerable support from the institution's chief benefactor, Atiku Abubakar.

As AUN developed and progressed, our relationship evolved. At the outset, we established a five-year management consultancy, which lasted through 2009. More recently, we have maintained an annual, renewable, and limited partnership focused primarily on AU providing academic expertise and executive search support.

AUN continues to mature as an institution and is now well positioned to function more independently. Therefore, AU and AUN leaders mutually agreed to end our consultancy when the contract expired at the end of 2011. As a consequence, the AUN office on campus has been closed and staff members redeployed.

Over the course of seven years, AU has provided AUN with expertise to establish infrastructure, leadership, academic programs, faculty, and student services. AUN graduated three classes of undergraduates in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Some of these students have gone on to enroll in the best graduate programs in the world. AUN's faculty have established solid academic programs and succeeded in attracting external research support.

We take great pride in our work with AUN. And we thank our colleagues in Africa; members of the AUN Board of Trustees, including professor Robert Pastor and SIS dean emeritus Louis W. Goodman; and especially AUN's founder, Atiku Abubakar, for their energy and optimism as we proceeded to envision, build, and begin operation as a Western-style university in rural Nigeria.

Also, we could not have accomplished this without the diligent efforts of Dr. Patrick Ukata, our liaison office director, as well as numerous other AU faculty and staff.

We wish AUN much success in the coming years, and we look forward to future opportunities for academic and student exchange between AUN and AU.