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American University of Iraq–Sulaimani president to visit NIU

April 8, 2014
Dawn Dekle

Dawn Dekle

Dawn Dekle, president of the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, will visit NIU Monday, April 14, and Tuesday, April 15, as part of Celebrating Excellence.

Her schedule includes several open forums and a public lecture on “The American University of Iraq: Inspiring the next Generation of Leaders.”

All events are free and open to the public.

The keynote lecture, which begins at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 14, takes place in the Altgeld Hall Auditorium. It follows a 3:30 p.m. dessert reception.

Dekle, who is helping Iraq rebuild through education, will focus her lecture on “reasons for hope for Iraq’s future.”

“Since the U.S. coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003 the images coming out of the country have been uniformly negative, leaving the world with the impression of Iraq as a failed state. Furthermore, Iraq’s education infrastructure has been destroyed by more than 30 years of war and sanctions that began with the Iraq-Iran War in 1980. In fact, hundreds of university professors have been assassinated since 2003 alone, and thousands have left the country,” according to the lecture synopsis.

“Yet, there are reasons for hope for Iraq’s future,” it continues.

“For example, the percentage of Iraq’s youth (ages 15-29) is one of the highest in the world, and they are eager to contribute to the future of Iraq. This youthful population has helped Iraq become one of the fastest developing economies in the world. Iraq’s future hinges on working to resolve sectarian conflicts, establishing rule of law, and attracting foreign direct investment to rebuild the country. Education is the key, and the American University of Iraq, founded in 2007, is a vital pathway for Iraq’s future.”

Logo of the American University of Iraq-SulaimaniDekle joined the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani in September 2013 and is the first woman to serve as president of a university in Iraq.

As president, she oversees efforts to earn regional accreditation in the United States; build academic programs that continue to attract top students from across the country; and strengthen resource acquisition, allocation and management, including the establishment of an endowment capable of supporting scholarships, construction, faculty development and co-curricular activities.

Before joining AUIS, Dekle served as provost at the American University of Afghanistan, where she implemented undergraduate law and business programs and led the institution’s U.S. regional accreditation efforts.

Monday, April 14

  • 8:45 to 10:15 a.m. Open forum: “Today’s Middle East.” University Honors Center, Campus Life Building 100.
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Open forum: “Education and the Modern Middle East.” Gabel Hall 146.
  • 3:30 p.m. Public reception. Altgeld Auditorium.
  • 4:30 to 6 p.m. Public lecture. Altgeld Hall Auditorium.

Tuesday, April 15

  • 10 to 11:30 a.m. Open forum: “Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East.” Reavis Hall 103.
  • 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. Open forum: “Business in the Middle East.” Barsema Hall 300.
  • 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Open forum and documentary screening. “Salaam Dunk: Athletics in the Middle East.” McCareins Classroom, Yordon Center.

For more information, call (815) 753-0694 or email [email protected].

NIU: Celebrating ExcellenceCelebrating Excellence at NIU, scheduled from April 12 to May 1, highlights the accomplishments and contributions of NIU students, faculty, staff and alumni to the university’s mission of promoting excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry and outreach and service during the academic year.