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Inaugural Advisory Board meeting deliberates on AIT’s vision and mission

The inaugural meeting of the newly constituted AIT Institute-Level Advisory Board (ILAB), which met on 21 October 2016, deliberated on the vision and mission of the Institute, and discussed on how AIT should position itself in the years to come.

Inaugural Advisory Board meeting deliberates on AIT’s vision and mission

Dr. Subin Pinkayan (left) and Prof. William C Webster.

Chairing the meeting, Prof. William C Webster mentioned that AIT is at a crucial juncture and “it must place itself in a new role that both respects its distinguished origins and alumni and that meets the needs of the coming generations.” Attended by nine of the 10 ILAB members, all of whom are distinguished academic leaders, members stressed the need to develop a strong vision and mission statement that gets a “buy-in” from all of the stakeholders: faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors. The vision statement is the banner under which the whole AIT community marches; the mission statement is primarily a management tool, he remarked.

In his presentation, AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai stated that AIT is not and will not be a traditional full-fledged university. AIT should position itself on its niche and exclusive uniqueness, so that it can take full advantage of the blue ocean, i.e., an uncontested market space. He added that over its past 57 years of operation, the international character of the Institute has been the trademark of AIT. AIT was ranked recently as world's top in International Orientation by the EU-funded U-Multirank.

Further, most issues that confront the sustainable future of mankind such as climate change, natural disasters, energy, food, infrastructure, etc., have cross-border dimensions. They need to be addressed at a global level for regional solutions. AIT has the potential to seize the opportunity to be an international platform to tackle these issues courtesy of its solid academic and research focus which cuts across countries and disciplines, Prof. Worsak added. (His presentation is available at this link http://www.slideshare.net/WorsakKanokNukulchai/ait-develops-global-citizens).

ILAB members attending the meeting included Prof. Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar, Vice Chancellor, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia; Prof. Tissa Illangasekare, AMAX Distinguished Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Director, Center for Experimental Study of Subsurface Environmental Processes, Colorado School of Mines, USA; Dr. P.J. Lavakare, Senior Adviser, Institute of International Education (IIE-US) in India, India; Dr. Za-Chieh Moh, Former Provost of AIT, Chairman of the Moh and Associates Group, Chinese Taipei; Prof. Tso-Chien Pan, Former Dean of the College of Engineering, Executive Director, Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore; Mr. Ragnar Soegaard, Former Norwegian Seconded Faculty to AIT, Board Member and Senior Advisor, Clean Energy Group, Norway; Prof. Charas Suwanwela, Former President, Chulalongkorn University, Former Interim President, AIT, Former Council Chair, Chulalongkorn University, and Council Chair, Prince Songkla University, Thailand; Prof. William C. Webster, Former Vice Provost, Professor Emeritus, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, USA; and Prof. Suchitra Punyaratabandhu, former Vice President for Administration, former Dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration, former President of the Academic Senate, and former Director of the Research Center, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), Thailand.

Chairman, AIT Board of Trustees, Dr. Subin Pinkayan; Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prof. Sivanappan Kumar; Deans of the three Schools, Prof. Prof Voratas Kachitvichyanukul, Prof. Rajendra Shrestha, and Prof Lawrence S Abeln; Director, Office of External Relations, Mr. Shawn Kelly; and Institute Secretary, Mr. Karma Rana attended the meeting.

Following the inaugural meeting, AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai has invited all AIT stakeholders to participate in the discussion on AIT’s new vision. A discussion board has been created at this link http://www.vision.ait.asia