CISR and JMU College of Business Awarded $629,513 USAID Contract to Work in Iraq
Photo caption: 2012 Jan 8 CISR Director, Ken Rutherford, fogged-in on a Kurdish mountain range between Erbil and Duhok with IKMAA Director (and 2011 Senior Managers’ Course participant) Siraj Barzani, and IKMAA Deputy Director and Legal Advisor Ali Miran. Dr. Rutherford was in Iraq to meet with local survivors & partners to assess needs and opportunities.
The Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) at James Madison University (JMU), is pleased to announce the receipt of a $629,513 USAID grant to provide information and guidance regarding accreditation of two Iraqi universities through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).
The challenges facing business and finance education in post-conflict Iraq at the university level and the tertiary education system as a whole are immense, and no single program will be able to sufficiently address every deficiency identified. However, by focusing on manageable components, changes can be introduced into Iraqi institutions of higher learning that will smooth the process by filling skill gaps identified by professors, administrators, and researchers. CISR, working closely with JMU’s College of Business (CoB), will develop a training program to give Iraqi business faculty skills to better prepare their students for the developing private sector, and guidance provided by JMU faculty to help lay the ground work for accreditation activities. The work will take place at Salahaddin University in Erbil, and Al Mustansiriyah University in Baghdad.
The Iraqi university participants in this program will gain a greater perspective on subjects specific to finance/business education, enabling them to enhance their degree programs. Faculty will be able to better link scholarship and professional application, while also enhancing their classroom and administrative skills by becoming knowledgeable about current practice vis-a-vis such topics as teaching practices, curriculum development, classroom management and student engagement. This enhancement will help these universities attract and retain high-quality faculty and students and better meet the challenges of anticipated future demand placed on higher education institutions in Iraq. All these improvements will also enhance student learning and contribute to a better learning experience for students at the two selected universities. The training and mentoring program will ultimately help partner universities start down the path to accreditation (and future reaccreditation) of their finance and business programs.
The program is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development and part of a larger USAID initiative to directly contribute to Iraqi Private Sector Development. USAID is the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. USAID seeks to “extend a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country.” USAID’s stated goals include providing “economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States”.