University at Albany
(Above) UAlbany President Robert Jones and Athanasios Moulakis, president of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), sign an MOU allowing for future academic collaborations between the two institutions.

UAlbany Signs MOU with the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS)

On Wednesday, July 10, 2013, University at Albany President Robert Jones welcomed Dr. Athanasios Moulakis, president of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) to campus for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions. 

(Above) Members of University at Albany leadership meet with Dr. Athanasios Moulakis, president of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), during his recent visit to campus, July 10, 2013.

The MOU establishes a framework for the development of a cooperative relationship, including activities such as faculty and student exchanges, curriculum and course development, non-traditional educational delivery, and other initiatives, to build academic and cultural exchanges between the two campuses. In his remarks, Dr. Moulakis stated that building an American style liberal arts college in Iraq is essential for the country's devlopment. He envisions the university becoming a key regional site for dialogue among the diverse set of actors.  Moulakis praised the quality of education and research in the University at Albany's Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy and School of Public Health and said that he hopes to begin  the academic collaboration between UAlbany and AUIS by focusing on public administration and public health at the undergraduate level. 

(Back row, from left) John Pomeroy, Arash Alaei, Dean David Rousseau, Dwight Williams, Fardin Sanai, Kevin Williams, John Justino, and Bob Andrea. (Front row, seated left to right) President Robert Jones, Carol Whittaker, Dr. Athanasios Moulakis

"I am looking forward to working with Dr. Moulakis, his faculty, and his students," said Dean David Rousseau of Rockefeller College.  "I can envision a variety of rewarding collaborations.  For example, having AUIS undergraduates spend their freshman and sophomore years on their home campus and their junior and senior years in Albany would add a unique and important perspective to upper division classes in political science and public administration and policy.  Moreover, upon returning home to Iraq, these students would be able to immediately contribute to rebuilding their economy and strengthening the public and nonprofit sectors.  The UAlbany-AUIS exchange will enhance the educational experience of students from both institutions." 

About Athanasios Moulakis

Athanasios Moulakis has over forty years of experience in higher education and academia in Europe, the United States, and Asia.  He currently serves as President and Provost of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), which he joined in September 2010.  Before joining AUIS, Dr. Moulakis served as Chief Academic Officer and Interim President at the American University of Afghanistan, where he was also a Distinguished Professor of Government & International Relations.  Prior to moving to Asia, Dr. Moulakis was an Adjunct Scholar in South-East European Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C, where he conducted research on Balkan politics and Greco-Turkish relations.  Between 2001 and 2005, he directed the Institute of Mediterranean Studies at the University of Italian Switzerland, Lugano.  Dr. Moulakis has also held teaching positions in political science, philosophy, and the humanities at University of Colorado, Boulder, the European University Institute, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Ruhr Universität, Bochum (Germany).  He was also a Fulbright Professor of Philosophy at the University of Jena (Germany).  Dr. Moulakis has authored and edited numerous books on the history of political thought and liberal education, including Beyond Utility, Liberal Education for a Technological Age (1994), which won the AAC&U Frederick Ness Award for Best Book on Liberal Education and was named  Choice "Outstanding Book of the Year."  Dr. Moulakis obtained a Ph.D. in Political Theory from Ruhr Universität, Bochum in 1969.  He speaks fluent English, German, French, Italian and Modern Greek.

About American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS)

In 2006, the Board of Trustees of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani set out to establish an institution dedicated to offering a truly comprehensive American-style education in Iraq.  They sought to create a university where talented students in Iraq and the region would come to learn, regardless of origin or affiliation.  This new university, determined to provide an alternative to the "lecture-memorize-repeat" model of education so prevalent elsewhere in Iraq and the Middle East, opened its doors in 2007.  Forty five students from across Iraq were admitted to the first undergraduate class, and the university simultaneously launched an MBA program for students planning to study business and leadership at the graduate level.  The university has grown to roughly 1000 students and while much has changed since its early days, AUIS remains firmly committed to the ideal around which it was founded: to build a center of excellence and research dedicated to educating talented students from across Iraq and the region.  AUIS is recognized by the Kurdistan Regional Government's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research as the No. 1 private university in Iraqi Kurdistan.  In June 2010 AUIS was awarded an unconditional five-year accreditation from the American Academy of Liberal Education.