AKIPRESS.COM - The Board of Trustees of the American University of Central Asia announced the appointment of Jonathan Becker, the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bard College, as the new acting President of the American University of Central Asia. Dr. Becker has been a trustee of AUCA since 2009 and has led its historic collaboration with Bard College.
In making the announcement for the Board of Trustees, David Lakhdhir, its Chair, stated: “I am pleased and deeply grateful that Vice President Becker has agreed to become President of the American University of Central Asia. His longstanding connection with AUCA, and his personal knowledge of many of the senior administrators and faculty members, make him the ideal person to oversee the University’s operations and continued development.” It is expected that Dr. Becker will serve as President until a longer-term successor to President Wachtel is appointed and able to take up residence in Bishkek.
In accepting the appointment, Dr. Becker stated: “It has been my privilege to be connected with the American University of Central Asia over the past decade, to watch it grow from strength to strength, and to flourish as a beacon of liberal arts education in the region. I am pleased to have this opportunity to lead the University during this transitional period, working together with senior administrators and faculty members who I have come to know and respect during my time as a Trustee and Bard College representative.”
In addition to his work with AUCA, President Becker has a lengthy record of promoting international education and running innovative educational programs, including Bard’s Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City, Bard’s twenty year partnership with St. Petersburg State University (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences/“Smolny College”), and the Bard-Central European University partnership. He also directs Bard's Global and International Studies academic program and Bard’s Center for Civic Engagement; works closely with Bard’s Institute for International Liberal Education, and sponsors lecture series and other programs that focus on contemporary political, social, and economic issues.
Dr. Becker is the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic at Bard College in Annandale New York, where he has worked since 1997. He is also an Associate Professor of Political Studies and co-Director of the Global and International Studies Program. He works primarily with Bard’s international and national networks of liberal arts institutions, including: Bard’s dual-degree partnerships with the American University of Central Asia, Al-Quds University, and St. Petersburg State University/Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Bard College Berlin; the Bard High School Early Colleges; the Bard Prison Initiative; and the Clemente Course in the Humanities. He also works with Bard’s strategic partners, including the Central European University. He focuses on educational and co-curricular activities that link students, faculty and staff of network institutions and partners, including Bard’s main campus in Annandale-on-Hudson. Previously, he served as Assistant Vice President of the Central European University and European Director of the Civic Education Project.
Dr. Becker earned his B.A. from McGill University in 1987 and his DPhil. from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University in 1993. He is the author of Soviet and Russian Press Coverage of the United States: Press, Politics and Identity in Transition (1999; revised and expanded edition, 2002), co-editor of Svobodniye Iskusstva i Nauki na Sovremennom Etape: Opyt SShA i Evropy v Kontekste Rossiiskogo Obrazovaniya (2014), and author of chapters and articles in a variety of books and publications, including Demokratiizatsiya, European Journal of Communication, Journalism, Mass Communications Quarterly, and Voprosy Obrazovaniya.
In 2015, Dr. Becker served as a guest editor of a special issue "Education Questions" (Moscow), dedicated to the liberal arts and science education.