AUA Hosts the “PEOPLE” Promoting Educational Organization through peoPLE Project Team

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On July 9, 2014, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted the European Union (EU) visiting team for a day-long audit within the framework of the “PEOPLE” (Promoting Educational Organization through peoPLE) project. AUA is an implementing partner of this three-year project, which has become possible thanks to a 2013 Grant Agreement with the EU’s Education, Audiovisual and Cultural Agency (EACEA), within the framework of the Tempus Program. The other partner organizations in this project include higher education institutions from Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Armenia.

The general objective of the PEOPLE project is to strengthen the competencies of top and middle managers of institutions for higher education. More specifically, the project aims at developing human resource (HR) management and staff through a strategy that addresses the unique challenges of each institution and focuses on the economic transition processes of the partner countries and the effects of globalization.

The purpose of the EACEA visit was to gain familiarity with the processes and procedures of AUA’s HR Department, as well as to collect data for meeting the project’s objectives. The audit team, comprised of four members, included Alicia Berlanga and Marisa Juste from the UNESCO Chair of Higher Education Management, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain, and Marta Pile and Alexandra Pontes from the Institutional Studies and Planning Office, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisbon, Portugal.

The day began with an opening session with the AUA leadership team, including Vice President of Operations, Mr. Ashot Ghazaryan; Interim Provost, Dr. Donald Fuller; and Vice President of Finance, Mr. Gevorg Goyunyan. In this session, the visiting team reviewed the key objectives of this assessment visit and heard about the AUA leadership’s steadfast support and focused attention on human resource management issues.

The next session was devoted to reviewing AUA’s HR Department processes and records. The visiting team had the opportunity to be briefed by the staff of the University HR Department on different facets and features of the University HR management system. This was followed by a session dedicated to learning about the professional development courses and trainings available to all employees of the University. Dr. Arpie Balian, director of AUA Extension, reviewed with the EACEA team the close cooperation that exists between the AUA HR Department and Extension, highlighting the courses available in the AUA Extension catalog. She also explained the flexible and innovative approach AUA uses in its continuing education programs, including comprehensive English language training, computer literacy and information technology, as well as a number of leadership, project management, marketing, business and public management, communication, and entrepreneurship courses.

The second half of the day was devoted to discussing, in greater detail, the HR processes currently in place at AUA and those planned for the near future. The AUA Director of Administration, Anahit Ordyan, and HR Manager, Arina Bekchyan, presented the key components of the University’s human resource management function. The session concluded with the EACEA team’s review of the Tempus “Promoting Educational Organization through peoPLE” project implementation plan. The full report of the visit will be forthcoming in September 2014.

As a part of the visit, the team had a chance to see the newly renovated AGBU Papazian Library and the state-of-the-art facilities of the AUA Paramaz Avedisian Building.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values. 


The audit team in the AGBU Papazian Library. 



The audit team discusses AUA’s HR processes already in place with HR Manager Arina Bekchyan and Director of Administration Anahit Ordyan.



The audit team meets with the AUA Executive Committee.



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