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AUS CAAD is the best in Middle East: Chancellor Heath
The College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at American University of Sharjah is the best in the Middle East, said AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath today. Addressing faculty members of the architecture department at a departmental meeting, Chancellor Heath pointed to the high demand of students wanting to enroll in CAAD. He emphasized that CAAD is producing excellent students. Chancellor Heath was accompanied by Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, the AUS Provost and Dr. Olin McDaniel, the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration (VCFA).
Chancellor Heath started the meeting by clarifying the purpose of his attendance at the departmental meeting, along with Drs. Hochstettler and McDaniel. "We came to see what you want from us and how we can be of better help to you," he said.
The discussion covered major issues and addressed many concerns raised by the faculty, such as the criteria for evaluating faculty, course load and research expectations. "Yes we are a research institution, but such standards have to be discussed internally as defined by your field," Dr. Heath said. He emphasized the fact that architecture is viewed by the university as being of high relevance and importance to the country and the region.
On the matter of how faculty plan their professional engagement as teachers as well as scholars, Dr. Hochstettler said the matter varies, depending on where a faculty member is in her or his career, on departmental needs, and on the resources available. Faculty should understand general parameters in setting their goals, not just numbers. "In addition to quantifying the allocation of effort, faculty should also engage, together with their department head and dean, in articulating a scenario about how they might best focus their energies in the coming year or semester."
Dr. McDaniel said he would work with the Chancellor and Provost to ensure more faculty engagement and transparency in the budgeting process.
The meeting also discussed current faculty/student ratios and how to improve communication of faculty members with each other, with heads of the department, the dean and with the university administration. "That's why we are here," said Dr. Hochstettler.