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The American University of Nigeria (AUN) was founded by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, GCON, in Yola, the capital of his home state of Adamawa, Northeast Nigeria.

Having first established a private primary and secondary school, ABTI Academy (now AUN Academy) in 2002, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar approached the American University (AU) in Washington, DC, for advice and assistance in establishing an American-style university. That university was licensed as ABTI University in 2003, and the ground was broken for the buildings in October 2004 on the land originally donated by the 11th Lamido Adamawa, the late Alhaji (Dr.) Aliyu Musdafa, CFR. Today, it is seated on more than 2,500 acres.

The renamed ABTI American University of Nigeria set up an outstanding international Board of Trustees, which included Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Professor Robert Pastor (1947–2014) from AU, Washington, and a chairman, Ahmed Joda, CFR, a distinguished indigenous technocrat. The first class of students—124 in all—was admitted in the Fall of 2005/Spring 2006. The first President was David Huwiler, PhD.

The institution was conceived as a university which would focus on development issues while providing an education modeled after the best US practices in content and pedagogy. The three constituent schools were Arts & Sciences, Business & Entrepreneurship, and IT & Computing. In 2007, the name of the institution was changed to its present name of American University of Nigeria (AUN). The pioneer class of 92 students graduated in 2009. Every class since then has graduated on schedule.

In 2008, the National Universities Commission (NUC) accredited AUN programs and re-accredited them in 2013. In 2012, AUN launched a graduate program, the Executive Master’s degree in Information Technology. Since then, more programs up to the Ph.D. level have been approved by the NUC.

In 2014, it opened the new Robert A. Pastor Library and E-Learning Center, home of its award-winning e-library.

AUN is located in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa State. The AUN campus occupies a serene savannah vegetation most of which was used as farmland. Adamawa, one of the six states in northeast Nigeria, shares the longest borderline with Cameroon. Yola is accessible by road and air, and daily flights from the Yola Airport connect through Abuja to regional, national and international locations.

The main campus on the Yola southern bypass is both attractive and modern. The main campus comprises 16 buildings including nine comfortable Residence Halls , a spacious cafeteria, a large commencement hall, administrative buildings, School of Arts & Sciences building, and Peter Okocha building which houses the School of Law. A new library complex, The Robert A. Pastor Library and E-Learning Center, has been completed and contains a library section, state-of-the-art classrooms, study rooms, reading zones, the Advising Unit, Honor Society tutoring center, and the Atiku Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Development. The North Campus, which used to be the temporary site, is located across the street from the main campus. It provides dedicated space and buildings that include the new fully furnished Faculty (housing) Village, and the Community Development Center. All buildings are fully air-conditioned and installed with modern facilities. The entire campus has wireless Internet connectivity and the residences are provided with security personnel, clean running water, and cable television.

Health and Safety
AUN works diligently to ensure the safety of its students, members of staff and faculty. The Safety Unit monitors and drives fire prevention efforts including the campus fire alarm systems and the maintenance of extinguishers. The unit also oversees regular fire drills and the fire response team (two fire engines and 10 crew members). The unit is complemented by the AUN Health Center, which is fully staffed by professionals and equipped with two ambulances. Health services are available to students, faculty and staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The AUN Security and Safety Department is charged with saving lives and protecting property while working to provide a safe living, teaching, and learning environment. It focuses on positive interactions and building relationships. The officers use a team approach to problem-solving, conflict resolution, and the university’s development concept. They are the first responders to all campus emergencies. Officers also conduct parking enforcement, traffic control, aerial research, surveillance, as well as an equine and canine patrol of both campuses.

Security and Safety officers work closely with the school administration, students, faculty and staff members, the host community, and local law enforcement teams. They provide a police presence and security for student events and all university activities. The Security and Safety Department also conducts regular security training and education, fire training and education, and conducts investigations of policy and institutional violations.

AUN has a formal Environmental Unit responsible for campus-wide trash collection, cleaning, and 100 percent recycling of all waste produced by the institution. The AUN Recycling Center makes handcrafts and eco-bricks from all plastic and glass waste and compost from all paper and organic waste. The Sustainability team and Facilities Management unit oversees the efficient use of such resources.