YEREVAN — Dr. Karin Markides bid farewell to the American University of Armenia (AUA) on Saturday after almost four years of service as president. The Boards of Trustees of the American University of Armenia Corporation and the American University of Armenia Fund thanked her for her dedication to AUA and her service during a highly challenging period in Armenia. The Boards expressed their gratitude for her perseverance and tenacity in the face of adversity and wished her all the best in her future endeavors.
Under Dr. Markides’ leadership as AUA’s fifth president, the institution has realized important changes with respect to its strategies for the critical role it will play in the coming decades. Undergraduate enrollment of well-qualified students has grown substantially, while new academic programs were added in politics and governance, nursing, human rights and social justice, and environment and sustainability science. The AUA faculty has grown to meet the University’s academic needs and research in areas integral to Armenia’s advancement. Dr. Markides successfully created a culture of collaboration enhancing AUA’s impact.
“I am honored to have served as your president, and I am sure that you will take the opportunities we have created for you to make AUA an impactful force in the country and a visible attraction on the international scene,” wrote Dr. Markides in her farewell message to the AUA community. “As an Armenian by choice, I will constantly support you and become one of your strongest ambassadors,” she added.
Thanks to Dr. Markides’ steadfast service to the University, AUA has established new working agreements, incentives and practices with international organizations, government agencies and universities in Armenia, the United States and Europe, which will expand the University’s educational and research interactions. These and other accomplishments that were realized under her leadership were brought to bear despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and deadly Artsakh conflict, attesting to AUA’s resilience in the face of severe adversity.
While the Board conducts an international search for a new president, AUA co-founder and President Emeritus Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian will serve as interim president. Dr. Der Kiureghian is the University’s fourth president and has played a pivotal role in AUA’s founding, devoting 30 years of service to the institution, with the last five years as president. Following his retirement in 2019, Dr. Der Kiureghian continued serving AUA as a member of its Board of Trustees.