Login | Webmail
You are here: Home News-and-Events 2015 News New Year Message from AIT President
Document Actions

New Year Message from AIT President

AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai has sent a New Year message to the AIT community. The entire text of his message is reproduced here.

Dear Colleagues,

I begin the New Year message by wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year 2015.

As we move into 2015, it is time to look back as well as look ahead. The Year of 2014 was an indeed a year of reflection, restraint and rehabilitation. While we had seen our beloved campus being inundated with flood waters in 2011; most of 2012 saw AIT being submerged by the issue of legality arising out of the New Charter, and the unpleasant rows between the former President and our alumni. Though AIT returned to its original legal status on 12 December 2012 (as a non-profit international post-graduate institute), the crisis left AIT on the brink of financial collapse. In 2013, we tried to come to grips with the chaos that had been created.

The Year 2014 finally brought us a bright ray of hope. As we start 2015, you will be delighted to know that the financial forecast at the end of 2014 has shown signs of sharp recovery. We are now moving in the right direction, with renewed strength and vigor. We have been able to plug the leaks, and halt the financial bleeding that took us on a downhill path from 2009-2012.

I am extremely grateful to the Board of Trustees and all its Committees for the extreme attention that they have paid to the Institute. I am especially proud of our faculty and staff for their understanding and sacrifice, as we jointly made efforts to resolve the worst crisis in the 55-year old history of our beloved institute.

In 2014, we gradually regained the trust of our strategic partners, especially our host country, Thailand. Thailand has resumed its annual budget allocation to AIT, and we have secured support under the 10th 5-year Cooperation Plan of the Royal Thai Government (RTG). AIT will be provided an annual budget for the next five years in the form of Royal Scholarships and RTG Fellowships.

The Year 2015 shall be a year of a concerted focus on income generation. An AIT business plan will be developed in line with the Vision provided by the Board Chair. This will allow us to re-establish and enhance our faculty strength. In this regards, the Executive Committee has already outlined a policy for an international open selection of the deans, which may require a premium compensation package.

The Year 2015 will also witness a greater diversification of its funding sources to complement the existing donor-driven model. We have made a solid start in this direction courtesy of our industrial relationships. Worthy of special mention is the new partnership model established with the Thai Pipe Industry Co., Ltd. (Thai Pipe), a business entity driven by our doctoral alumnus, Dr. Yanyong Phataralaoha. Thai Pipe is the largest producer of PVC pipes in the region, and it has earned tremendous goodwill due to its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Aimed at human resources development, Thai Pipe has established a Thai Pipe Scholarship (TPS) Fund at AIT, to support students from Indochina and Myanmar year after year. For the first year, the TPS Fund will provide three (3) bond-free full scholarships to students from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Many other private companies have also started providing various kinds of supports to AIT including scholarships to AIT students, and I must thank Siam Cement Group (SCG), Regional Container Lines (RCL), Panya Consultants, Index International, Pruksa Real Estate, Chevron Asia South, SPS Global Corporation, Bhagya Enterprises and Chai Patthana Foundation among others. Most of them are in Thailand, but I look forward to expand the list with non-Thai Corporates in the future.

The Year 2015 will also see a full-fledged effort at reinvigorating its beautiful campus. AIT has already spent 297 million Baht (from its flood compensation total of 440 million Baht) over the past two years, which has helped to bring the campus back to life after the devastating floods.

However, much more needs to be done before AIT can return to its glorious past. After our financial situation showed an improvement in 2014, the Administration received an endorsement from the Executive Committee to use the remainder of the insurance money (133 million Baht) to completely overhaul our 40-year-old aging infrastructure, as well as modernize the AIT Library. The library modernization plan will however require that the AIT Administration raises an additional 31 million Baht (details in Attachment # 1).

The original AIT Library was constructed with funds donated by the Government of Japan in 1981, and it acquired a face-lift in 2007, courtesy of support from the AIT Alumni Association (AITAA). It was an example of a typical university library built at that time, with bookshelves dominating the ground floor and special collections being showcased on the upper floor. After the flood, the library received an allocation of 10 million Baht from insurance compensation for repairing its ground floor. The repair could have been completed in a simple straightforward manner, if AIT wanted to maintain the library in the same old form and format. However, today’s library users (faculty, researchers and students) access, process, and use information in a manner totally different from the practices followed 40 years ago when this AIT library was designed and built.

Today, libraries are no longer places to merely browse books or to complete assignments. Instead modern libraries have emerged as places for immersive learning and meeting places for academic discussion and intellectual reflection; where media centers, digital repositories, and wonders of modern architecture and design converge to create a stimulating atmosphere. Thus, it is a good opportunity for the AIT library to be modernized to cater to the 21st century needs of the students. Hence, they can avail of new and amazing services, benefit from emerging technologies, while simultaneously utilizing the tailor-made spaces to study and collaborate. Some of the new ideas in the modernization are included in the same Attachment.

In this regard, I would humbly seek your full cooperation and whole-hearted support for the library modernization plan. We need your help to identify some companies who may be able to make a donation from their CSR fund. For major corporates, a contribution of 5-10 million Baht (150k-300k USD) will result in the library zone being named after your company. The company will also get permanent library membership, and your staff can benefit from online access to all learning resources from your work place. For medium to small size companies, they may consider a donation of 1 million Baht, and a discussion room in the Library will be renamed after your company.

For individual faculty and staff members, a token Baht 15,000 (USD 500) donation up will be acknowledged by a permanent inscription of your name in the Hall-of-Fame Wall of the library. Even smaller donations are welcome, as the act of participation is more important than the quantum of the gift. You could send the gift directly to AIT as detailed in attachment. Please consider that your donation is a salute to the tremendous spirit of this glorious institute. Your gift not only helps create permanent infrastructure, but it also contributes towards building the future of the next generation.

Please feel free to share your thoughts with me.

And I promise that while 2014 was a year of reflection, 2015 will be a transformative year for AIT.

Happy New Year 2015.

With kind regards,
Professor Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai
AIT President

Library Modernization Plan. Download from this link.
Contribution form: Download from this link.