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The American University of Iraq – Sulaimani

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Title: The American University of Iraq – Sulaimani  
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Subject: Education in Iraq, Sulaymaniyah, List of universities in Iraqi Kurdistan, List of universities in Iraq
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The American University of Iraq – Sulaimani

The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani
Established 2007
Type Private
Chairman Barham Salih
President Dawn Dekle
Rector Steven Mallott[1]
Admin. staff 220
Students 1100[2]
Location Sulaimani,
Campus Urban 400 acres

Dark Blue and Gold

Sports Football (Soccer) , Basketball , Ping Pong
Nickname AUIS
Mascot Eagle

The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, also known as AUIS, is a private, non-profit university that offers a liberal arts education based on the American model.[3] First established in October 2007, it is located in the city of Sulaimani in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.[3][4]

The institution is licensed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Kurdistan Regional Government of the Republic of Iraq.[5] In June 2010, AUIS received a full, five-year accreditation by the American Academy for Liberal Education, at the time a U.S. Department of Education-approved agency.[5][6]


In 2001, Kurdish businessman Dana Qashani set out to establish an institution dedicated to offering a comprehensive, American-style education in Iraq.[3][5] He sought to create a university where talented students in Iraq and the region would come to learn, regardless of origin or affiliation.[7]


The university has a Board of Trustees that establishes policies for, and oversees, its management and operations.[5][8] It is composed of prominent Iraqi and American leaders from across the government, business, non-profit, and education sectors.[8] In May 2013, the Board of Trustees announced that it had appointed Dawn Dekle as the university's new president, effective August 2013. Dekle became the first woman president of an Iraqi university.[9]

Undergraduate programs

The university offers six undergraduate majors: Business Administration, English-Journalism, General Engineering, Information Technology, International Studies, and Mechanical Engineering, and an Executive MBA program.[3][4]

All instruction at AUIS is in English, and all language instructors are native English speakers.[5]

Graduate programs

AUIS offers an MBA program through its Professional Development Institute.[1][8]


Former campus

AUIS was first located in a temporary campus in the heart of Sulaimani.[8] The campus consisted of about 50 temporary classrooms and offices built near a main administrative building, which housed the university's cafeteria, library, and several large classrooms.[8] As of 2012, the former campus is an admission campus.[8]

Current campus

The current AUIS campus consisting of an administration building, two academic buildings and two dormitory facilities, is located just outside the city limits of Sulaimani.[10] The AUIS academic building opened in October 2011 while its administrative building opened in the spring semester of 2012.[8][10] Moreover, the new student dorm facilities opened in November 2012.[1][8]


The university welcomed its first undergraduate class in October 2007, which was composed of 45 students (all Iraqi Kurds, Arabs and Turkomen).[8] These students enrolled in the university's English Writing Program and Language Institute, a two-year course designed to bring students to an adequate level of English that will allow them to succeed at the academic level.[11]

At the beginning the 2010-2011 academic year, the university had over 520 students enrolled in the undergraduate program. The university has plans to reach 5,000 students by the year 2021.[12]

The University "aims to produce graduates who will be indispensable [to Iraq]... as well as socially responsible entrepreneurs. The students are expected to engage in community-service projects." [11]


In 2009, CounterPunch ran an article by former English instructor Mark Grueter who stated that the university functioned more as a political tool than as an educational institution.[13] Faculty members and students have complained about mismanagement and incompetence.[14]

In 2011, Donald Rumsfeld protegee, John Agresto, who was then serving as AUIS's Provost.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Steve Malott to Join AUIS as Chief Administrative and Financial Officer". Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "About AUIS". Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "American University of Iraq in Sulaimani". Amical Consortium. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Undergraduate Academics". 
  5. ^ a b c d e Bzhar Ali Boskani (January 31, 2012). "English Degree to Start at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) Fall 2012". Kurd Net. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ "About Us". AUIS. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ "IRAQ: Focus on rebuilding universities in north". April 24, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i "THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF IRAQ,SULAIMANI - The Search for a President". AGB Research. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  9. ^ "AUIS Appoints Dawn Dekle as President". May 28, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Kurdistan Fatih (May 19, 2011). "New campus sounds promising to AUI-S students with all academic equipments, labs". AUIS Voice. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "University brings American-style learning to Iraq". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  12. ^ Wong, Edward (January 3, 2007). "An American University for Iraq but Not in Baghdad". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ Grueter, Mark, Inside the American University of Iraq, CounterPunch (November 2009)
  14. ^ a b AUIS communications department has also been criticized. Baker, Russ; Kristina Borjesson and Mark Grueter (16 February 2011). "The empire strikes again". Salon. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 

External links

  • "An American University for Iraq but Not in Baghdad" The New York Times, January 3, 2007
  • "Inside the American University of Iraq" by Mark Grueter in CounterPunch, November 6–8, 2009
  • "I Was a Professor at the Horribly Corrupt American University of Iraq...Until the Neocons Fired Me" by John Dolan in Alternet October 8, 2010
  • The empire strikes again,, February 16, 2011
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