It gives me a great pleasure to welcome all of you in the start up of our Fifth Academic Year at ALHOSN! The entire family of ALHOSN University, its Faculty, Staff and Students, have the right to be filled with great pride on how this university has grown and gained the respect of the community for its quality education and services. This success must be a real incentive for all of us to improve and strive to achieve even more remarkable progress in all fields.
Our meeting today provides a great opportunity for all of us to review ALHOSN strategy and discuss our plans for the year ahead of us stating measurable goals and deliverables. More importantly, it is an opportunity to renew our commitment to work together as one team, a team of achievers who will meet next year to celebrate the success of the past and set yet a new peak to reach in the future.
Looking back on the past year we find that we have been able to sustain growth at a time of decline, stability at a time of volatility, and development at time of drop off. This could have not been achieved without the firm cooperation, dedication, and enthusiasm of ALHOSN community, where the contribution of every team member counts from office helpers to Faculty members.
ALHOSN presently offers a total of 18 undergraduate and postgraduate programs, and its city campus now includes 6 buildings, the newest addition being the Studio Building across the Women’s Main Building.
The Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Holding Company and the Board of Trustees of ALHOSN University have always been very supportive to the advancement of the University. We will continue to invest in our staff and our facilities in order to provide our students with the best possible learning environment realizing our motto of Global Knowledge with Local Vision.
I cannot think about many entities in the UAE that may come close to having such a group of highly qualified and dedicated professionals that gathered in this room. We underestimate our potentials if we do not strive for thebest, and we do ourselves a disservice if we do not achieve it. We have all the ingredients to succeed. We shall continue providing the best education to our students while making our atmosphere at ALHOSN most convenient, productive and enriching to all of us. It does not take more work, as much as it takes better planning, motivation, collaboration, and dedication. We spend at ALHOSN more time than what we spend at home, so let us make the best of it.
Let me start by welcoming the newcomers and give them a chance to introduce themselves to the rest of ALHOSN family.
Twenty-one faculty, teaching and support staff have recently joined ALHOSN family and they are attending this general meeting for the first time. I welcome all of you and wish you a fruitful and exciting career with ALHOSN this year and the years to come, and I will call each newcomer by name to rise up and introduce himself/herself. The calling will be in alphabetical order:
I wish our colleagues, who left us every success in their new undertakings. Their time and expertise shared with us will always be remembered.
We have about 1,400 students for Spring 2009. The University has accepted about 200 new students (almost equally divided between male and female), and registration is still open until the end of this week.
In the last year, ALHOSN events were highly visible in the media headlines and in prime television news for many times. We succeeded to make news of our innovative approach to Community service, including the establishment of the Women in Engineering Society, the green club, the earth day, and the many successful specialized open day’s events.
In July 2009, our website and online portal was upgraded. The latest versions feature improved user interface and advanced internet technologies. AHU home visits counts as of 31st August to about 50000 visits.
In the rest of this meeting I would like to share with you some points to be briefly addressed as being vital to the success of our new academic year. These points will be dealt with in more details in the many upcoming departmental and colleges meetings in addition to the meetings of the University Standing and Ad-Hoc committees.
1. The student is the pivot of ALHOSN. Making the student feel that he/she is treated properly and fairly is as important as being so.
2. Attendance need to be dealt with gradually but strictly.
3. Academic Ethics have to be explained explicitly in the beginning of each semester, like the safety instructions in airplanes. If there is a case of almost zero tolerance at ALHOSN it will be Academic Ethics.
4. We have to strike a balance between our strict high quality measures and user friendliness. Students are our only customers and they have to be well-served by providing them with the best quality through the most friendly approach.
5. Extracurricular activities should be encouraged but without having a premium on teaching.
Faculty and teaching Staff affairs:
1. The tripod of the Faculty load has to be well balanced with its three legs: Teaching, Scientific Research, and University and Community services. None of them can replace the other.
2. Publish or perish. Refereed publications will be funded, and publication in ALHOSN refereed Journal will be rewarded.
3. Innovative approach to funded research and community involvement. We may have matching fund and or release time for preapproved externally funded research proposals.
4. Student advising and effective teaching. AS advisors, and class instructors. We have to follow up our students’ progress and development so closely to anticipate potential weaknesses and problems and try to prevent them. Do not delegate such tasks to others.
5. Society of Women in Engineering SOWIE, and the support of Women role in ALHOSN. We do have higher Female/Male faculty than many local and international academic institutions.
6. Involvement in International professional society’s chapters is highly encouraged. Currently, ALHOSN is the host of the ACI-UAE Chapter, and ASCE-UAE Section.
7. Proposals for professional conferences are encouraged especially for self-funded ones.
General to all EMPLOYEES:
1. Innovations are highly encouraged in all fields and by all employees. Think out of the box.
2. Preventive rather than corrective measures to all potential problems and disputes that may occur. The use of De-escalation than Escalation approach if they happen. For