July 24, 2024

AURAK appoints Dr. David A. Schmidt as New President

Aurak appoints Dr. David A. Schmidt as its new president as he brings to the post 33 years of leadership expertise in global education arena.
Dr. David A. Schmidt, new President of AURAK . Image Courtesy: AURAK

American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK), a leading UAE university, has recently announced the appointment of Dr. David A. Schmidt as its new President.

Industry sources added that Dr. Schmidt brings to AURAK 33 years of broad-based experience as an executive academic leader and faculty member, spanning a wide range of institutions – public, private, and international, including the University of Wisconsin System.

“It is an exciting and challenging time to join AURAK when the higher education landscape is going through a disruptive phase,” said Dr. David A. Schmidt. “I will strive to leverage my expertise in administrative leadership to provide the right direction to a young university that has accomplished so much in such a short time. I feel there is a need to adopt an engaged and collaborative approach that fosters clarity and reciprocal accountability. Today’s altered landscape of higher education demands a new approach, and I am confident my extensive experience, along with the amazing faculty and staff of AURAK, will help the university achieve the goals it has set.”

Dr. Schmidt regards himself as a “global nomad,” having had the privilege of working or studying at 16 different universities in 15 cities across five countries. This unique multicultural, global background has served him well in his role as a forward-thinking leader who inspires students, faculty, and staff to embrace opportunities for international learning and collaboration.

Dr. Schmidt holds a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University, an MA from The Ohio State University, and a BA from the University of Wisconsin. After serving as the founding coordinator of the Fox Fellowship Program at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies, he led the University of Wisconsin System’s Institute for Global Studies, where he created a framework that emphasizes the importance of international education to maximize the benefits of the state’s social, economic, and cultural progress.

He also led the transformation of several campuses, ensuring that international education and experience are integral parts of the institution’s mission and curriculum.

Industry sources confirmed that prior to joining AURAK, Dr. Schmidt served as the President of the American University in Dubai (AUD), where he led the university through the COVID pandemic. He has also successfully directed the university’s SACSCOC re-accreditation, and initiated new enrolment strategies that resulted in enrolment growth.

Dr. Schmidt succeeds Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, who retires after more than a decade of distinguished service as AURAK President.

AURAK is an independent university, committed to advancing knowledge through cutting-edge research, innovative teaching, and community engagement. Its extensive campus in the picturesque Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah boasts state-of-the-art facilities and a world-class faculty, delivering an integrated American-style education that prepares students for success in today’s global economy.




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