Meet James Ketterer: New Dean of AUC's School of Continuing Education


From serving as AMIDEAST's Egypt country director to having extensive experience in U.S. higher education institutions, such as Bard College and The State University in New York, James Ketterer is now leading AUC's largest school: the School of Continuing Education (SCE). News@AUC spoke to Ketterer about his vision and plans#PeopleOfAUC

What is your vision as dean of AUC’s largest school?

To build on the excellent work of those who have preceded me as dean and to expand SCE's offerings in order to reach as many people as possible, all while ensuring that SCE maintains the quality of instruction and educational experience as appropriate to AUC's stellar reputation. Doing this as part of the overall strategic plan of AUC and in support of the vision of the University's leadership will guide my work at the school. 

At SCE, we strive to have our classes be high quality, affordable, flexible, accessible and designed to enhance employability, offer academic enrichment and sustain lifelong learning.

What do you like most about AUC?

I look forward to being part of a global University based in Egypt, a great institution with a past filled with accomplishments and a bright future ahead of it.
Why did you decide to join AUC?

The opportunity to work with the excellent team at SCE and the other outstanding administrators and faculty at the University -- and to be part of the vibrant AUC community is so compelling. I was thrilled and honored to be offered the opportunity and look forward to next steps.

You previously served as Egypt country director of Amideast. What do you like the most about being in Egypt?

Egypt is at the crossroads of so many things geographically, historically and culturally. It is a dynamic, engaging and interesting country. It's impossible to narrow down what I like best to one thing.

You have extensive experience in U.S. higher education institutions, such as Bard College and The State University in New York. How will you build on this experience during your tenure at AUC?

Bard College is a leader in liberal arts education, and the State University of New York is the largest public higher education system in the United States. Both institutions have a global reach, and both value offering the highest quality educational experiences to as diverse a collection of students as possible. Elements of those experiences will certainly inform my work at AUC.

What’s your plan to further strengthen the visibility of AUC’s School of Continuing Education locally and regionally?

I know that excellent work is already being done in this area, and I look to build upon that via creative programming and establishing new partnerships, where appropriate. We want to expand our online offerings and attract students from across the world. Along with the SCE team, we are also working to expand our reach and accessibility throughout Cairo in additional locations in Egypt and across the Middle East and North Africa. But we must also continue to strengthen our presence at AUC, with new facilities being planned in New Cairo and renovations upcoming in our building downtown. SCE is also coordinating with the Tahrir Cultural Center, and we look forward to being part of the renovations of AUC Tahrir Square and the overall revival of cultural life in the neighborhood. 

What are your priorities during this coming year?

To listen, learn and identify those areas that most need my immediate attention.

What are your long-term goals for the School of Continuing Education? 

I hope that I can contribute to SCE's expansion while maintaining its high quality and integration into the overall operation of the University. SCE has a long history, and as we approach its 100th anniversary, it is perfectly positioned to build on its tremendous achievements while developing new initiatives that address the challenges of today's world.   

Favorite movie: Do the Right Thing, All the President's Men and Field of Dreams

Favorite books: The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles, Beer in the Snooker Club by Waguih Ghali and Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Favorite music: Miles Davis, Ani Difranco, Eftekasat, Youssra El Hawary, JS Bach

Favorite activity: Running, hiking, attending concerts, supporting the New York Yankees baseball team 

Favorite Egyptian food: Koshary at Abou Tarek  

Your hero/role model: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, former US Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and former South African President Nelson Mandela

Accomplishment you’re most proud of: Anytime I have been able to help others advance in their studies, careers or other aspects of their lives. 

Fun fact: I am a drummer/percussionist and have performed and recorded over many years.