Asian University for Women (AUW) is governed by an independent Board of Trustees, which is currently chaired by Dr. Dipu Moni, Physician, Human Rights Lawyer, and Minister of Education, Government of Bangladesh; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh. The initial Board of Trustees was elected by the International Support Committee of Asian University for Women in 2009 in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of Asian University for Women.
The University also enjoys the support of a number of the most important leaders in government, business, and academia, leaders who are collectively known as the AUW Council of Patrons.
About Our Governance
The Charter of Asian University for Women (“Charter”) is the founding document of Asian University for Women. It was ratified into law by the Parliament of Bangladesh in 2006. Under the provisions of the Charter, AUW is granted official status as an international, non-sectarian, and fully independent university with complete institutional autonomy and academic freedom.
Neither the University, nor its duly authorized agents, shall discriminate against any individual or group for reasons of race, color, creed, sex, age, culture, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability.
AUW is pursuing accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. NEASC is one of six regional accrediting organizations in the United States.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees shall consist of no fewer than nine (9) members and no more than twenty-two (22) members, including two Government of Bangladesh officials serving as ex-officio members. Trustees serve up to a maximum of two consecutive four-year terms.
Officers of the Board of Trustees consist of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.
The Standing Committees of the Board of Trustees are Executive, Audit and Finance Committee; Appointments Committee; Resources Committee; Nominations Committee; Campus Planning and Construction Committee; Academic Affairs Advisory Committee; and Communications committee. The role and responsibility of each Standing Committee is defined in the By-Laws.
The Board of Trustees generally meets three times annually. At least one of the meetings must be held in Bangladesh.
The first AUW Chancellor was elected by the International Support Committee; subsequent Chancellors will be elected by the Board of Trustees to serve as the titular head of the University. The current Chancellor of Asian University for Women is Mrs. Cherie Blair.
Cherie Blair is a noted human rights lawyer. She became a member of the Queens Counsel in 1995 and is a founding member of Matrix Chambers.
Mrs. Blair is closely involved with over 20 charities with a special emphasis on those working with women, children, and individuals based in Merseyside. In late September 2008, she introduced the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, which supports women entrepreneurs in the developing world through partnerships with existing organizations that promote women’s leadership in a global economy. Mrs. Blair has been Chancellor of AUW since 2011.
Council of Patrons
The Council of Patrons is composed of prominent international leaders, including international dignitaries and notable figures in business, politics, and academia. It is the responsibility of Patrons to communicate the vision of AUW to the broadest public and advocate its ideals whenever possible. Under the provisions of the Charter, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh is Chief Patron.
Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Bangladesh
Emma Bonino, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Italy
Laura Bush, Former First Lady, USA
Anson Chan, Former Chief Secretary, Hong Kong SAR
Lone Dybkjaer (Deceased), Former Minister of Environment, Denmark
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Former President, Sri Lanka
Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Luxembourg
International Support Committee
International Support Committee for the Asian University for Women, consisting of persons as of August 28, 2006, the names, addresses and further particulars of whom are stated in Annexure to the Charter; and as may be reconstituted by the committee from time to time.
Madame Lone Dybjkaer, Chairperson
Dr. Rasha Al-Sabha
Donald J. Johnston
Mark Malloch Brown
Thoraya Ahmed Obaid
The Honorable Mary Robinson
Bangladesh Board of Advisors
The Bangladesh Board of Advisors is a group of eminent individuals in Bangladesh who actively support Asian University for Women. Drawing upon members’ expertise in the civic, political, economic, and social sectors, the Bangladesh Board of Advisors reviews the operations of the University, suggest improvements that may render the University more effective and impactful, and facilitate collaborations between AUW and other relevant institutions and individuals in Bangladesh.
Chair: E. Mr. Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh
Kamal Ahmad, President & CEO, AUW Support Foundation
Dr. Begum Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, Hon’ble Speaker, Government of Bangladesh
Kazi M. Aminul Islam, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, Government of Bangladesh
Sultana Kamal, Human Rights Advocate and former Executive Director, Ain o Salish Kendra, TIB
Ambassador Humayun Kabir, Former Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States
Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, Palli Karma – Sahayak Foundation
Rokia Afzal Rahman, Chairman, Arlinks Group
Gowher Rizvi, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for International Affairs, Government of Bangladesh
Abdus Salam, Chairman, Chittagong Development Authority
The University Handbook is adopted by the Board of Trustees as a general guideline of the organization and operations of the University and is valid from the time of publication. It is subject to periodic review and updates, as approved by the Board of Trustees. Such updates will be circulated to all faculty, students and staff, and incorporated in the Handbook at the beginning of each Academic Year.
Questions and suggestions about the University Handbook should be directed to the University Registrar.
Asian University for Women Appoints Ombudspersons
As a part of its policy on maintaining full integrity and transparency on all aspects of the University’s governance and administration, the Board of Trustees of the Asian University for Women (AUW) has unanimously appointed Professor Saad Andaleeb, former Vice Chancellor of BRAC University and Professor Firdous Azim, Chairman of the Department of English and Humanities at BRAC University as Ombudspersons for the Asian University for Women. The appointments are entirely on a voluntary basis and no compensation is paid to those serving in this capacity. Separately, AUW Admissions Office adheres to an Integrity Policy on Admissions & Financial Aid as stated in https://asian-university.org/who-we-are/statement-of-integrity/
Professor Andaleeb was educated at the University of New Hampshire as well as at the University of Illionois – Urbana Champaign, from which, he obtained a PhD in Business Administration in 1989. He serves as Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Pennsylvania State University. He was previously the Editor of the Journal of Bangladesh Studies.
Professor Firdous Azim obtained her PhD from the University of Sussex. She is a leading member of Naripokkho, a leading women’s advocacy group in Bangladesh.
The Ombudsperson serve as a key sentinel for safeguarding the reputation and ethical integrity of all aspects of operations of the university. The function of the Ombudsperson is to provide a neutral and confidential, yet open channel for communication of grievances of any type by anyone or observations of unfair or otherwise unethical or illegal practices of any type in the or by organization – personnel, financial or otherwise. Upon receipt of any signed and sufficiently detailed complaint, the Ombudsperson will make inquiries regarding the allegations. Based on the veracity of the complaints or allegations, at his or her discretion and judgment, the Ombudsperson shall bring the issues presented to the attention of the Board of Trustees of AUW for further review and appropriate action.
The Ombudsperson’s name and address will be publicly available on the website of AUW and anyone with knowledge of relevant issues will be encouraged to write directly to either of the Ombudspersons. He or she will be responsible for arbitrating complaints or allegations, or directing them to the appropriate channels within the university. The Ombudsperson may work in conjunction with an appropriate law firm if the Ombudsperson requires legal counsel or additional on-the-ground support. He or she will respond to and manage complaints regarding topics such as those in the following non-exhaustive list:
- Faculty and staff hiring, termination, and salary
- Scholarship assignations and fee requirements for students
- Changes in academic programs
- Treatment faculty, staff, and students by university leadership
- Financial irregularities
- Any other instance of unfair treatment or practice
The Ombudspersons shall keep all such submissions confidential.
AUW could not be more grateful to these two distinguished citizens for so selflessly helping the institution in the crucial task of maintaining its integrity at all times and on all fronts.