Welcome Back to AUN
I feel most profoundly honored to welcome you back to the American University of Nigeria, Yola – your home away from home. The decision to ask you to return as President of the American University of Nigeria was one of our easiest decisions in so many years. Oftentimes, Chief Executives are hired not because of some certain knowledge of who they are. It is an informed gamble in most cases. But when the opportunity to re-hire a well-known, well-trusted, well-tried, and tested hand, one is no longer taking a chance, but doing what one knows is apt. So it was with great ease that we took the decision to recall you back to Yola in order to continue the excellent work that you have started at AUN.
Back in 2011, when we worked together to put up a Strategic Plan for AUN, our common vision was to create Africa’s Development University that will address crucial economic and social development needs of Nigeria, West Africa, and, indeed, the wider continent of Africa. That vision seems to have slowed down following your departure. Now that you are back, I would like you to retrace your steps and not just re-launch that bold vision, but also achieve it. And you can do so not just by attracting superb faculty who embrace this vision but also by creating teachers and scholars from out of the AUN Alumni community that will eventually take over from you whenever you decide to leave the University. I am particularly inspired to read that the leadership of Dickinson College was turned over to a very distinguished alumnus. Replicating such
a feat at AUN would be a great achievement.
Your return to our campus must improve AUN’s ability to attract students from within Nigeria and across the continent of Africa, who are inspired by the call of leadership and service.
Your return to Yola must restore AUN’s towering pedigree in the use of technology in instructional programs and in the management of the institution. Your vision and creativity will also need to impact the physical development of the AUN campus in alignment with our priority goals, in the same way, we expect it to stabilize and strengthen our University’s financial position.
Your return to Yola must bring back those creative community outreaches that enabled our institution to impact so great not only on the Yola community but across the country and the world. I remember, with a combination of pride and humility, how you mobilized the Yola Community and personally led the fight for the continued education of the abducted Chibok girls. You opened the AUN campus, first to those Chibok girls that escaped the onslaught of Boko Haram, and eventually to those few that were freed in 2016. You will be reuniting with some of this determined generation of young women who have continued to pursue their educational dreams
HE Atiku Abubakar, GCON