Sharjah: Chaired by Her Excellency Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of American University of Sharjah (AUS), the AUS Board of Trustees approved the establishment of three new research centers, the launch of a Bachelor of Science in Data Science (BSDS) Program and several high-level appointments at its June 2024 meeting.

Following the Board’s decisions, HE Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi said: “Our vision for AUS is one of nonstop evolution and improvement as a globally renowned learning and research institution. The addition of three further research centers represents an important enlargement of our overall proposition as we interrogate the forces that shape our world and confront the big questions facing humanity and our planet. We are fortunate to have a Board of Trustees that shares that vision and supports it through decisions that propel AUS forward and increase our appeal as a leading educational and research institution with global reputation for academic and research excellence.”

The board approved the establishment of the Center for Arab Studies and Islamic Civilizations (CASIC); Advanced Biosciences and Bioengineering Research Center (ABSBERC); and Artificial Intelligence, Smart Infrastructure and Robotics Research Center (AISIRC). The new centers follow the launch of three cutting-edge research centers in May, each dedicated to addressing critical challenges and driving innovation in their respective fields.

CASIC will focus on meeting the demand for comprehensive insights into the intertwined histories, cultures, arts, societies, economies and current dynamics of the Arab and Islamic worlds, leveraging an established body of over 70 research-active faculty.

ABSBERC will pioneer innovative and interdisciplinary biosciences and bioengineering research for global impact while addressing regional needs, bolstered by a robust cohort of research-active faculty and backed by established doctoral and master’s programs, laboratories and research facilities.

AISIRC aims to emerge as a premier research and resource hub for pioneering artificial intelligence, smart infrastructure, robotics and technological ecosystems to tackle global, regional and UAE-specific challenges, facilitated by a strong cohort of research-active faculty and backed by existing doctoral and master’s programs, laboratories and research facilities.

Members of the Board of Trustees endorsed the launch of a Bachelor of Science in Data Science (BSDS) Program. The proposed four-year program, aligning with CAA standards, capitalizes on the robust departments of mathematics and statistics and computer science, along with the information systems and business analytics program at AUS. The new program is expected to launch in the 2026–2027 Academic Year.

The Board of Trustees also confirmed the appointment of Dr. Steven Griffiths as Vice-Chancellor for Research at AUS, and Dr. Mohamed El Tarhuni as Interim Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost. The board also confirmed the assignment of Ali Alsuwaidi as Acting Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration and Shaima Bin Taliah as Acting Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience.

During the meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the university’s general operating budget, research and graduate studies budget and the capital projects budget for the 2024–2025 Academic Year.

The Board of Trustees also reviewed the university’s Emiratization Strategy, exploring partnerships with several federal programs to enhance the competitiveness of Emirati human resources.

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