Welcome Speech of Rector Vardan Urutyan
I extend a warm welcome and express my pleasure for your interest in the Armenian National Agrarian University. It is with the deepest respect that I appreciate the nearly 90 years of the unique history of the only agrarian university in Armenia and of course the people who have created that history. Now is the time for active reforms to address the current problems of today’s agricultural industry in the country. We will be determined and consistent, in particular, in serving the curricula of the University to the specific needs of the industry, raising to a qualitatively new level the relationships between the students and faculty, and radically changing the student evaluation system.
ANAU, known for the high level and quality of international cooperation, will continue developing its role and significance in the international educational space. The University has all prerequisites to become a regional university suggesting a modern agrarian education with a student-centered learning and teaching environment.
We are determined also to significantly strengthen the role of ANAU as the center of both fundamental and applied agricultural and agribusiness research and to make it an integral part of the university culture. ANAU is ready to cooperate with all stakeholders in the country’s agricultural community to jointly find solutions to the existing problems on the education level.
Biography of the Rector
Vardan Urutyan was born in 1977 in Maralik, Shirak marz. After graduating from the High School #1 in Maralik, he entered the Yerevan Institute of National Economy. He graduated with honors from the “World Economy” specialty of the Department of General Economics at the renamed Yerevan State Economics Institute. Urutyan was a PhD student at the Chair of Theory of Economics, YSEI during 1999-2002. In 2002 he successfully defended a thesis titled “The Agri-food System and the Main Directions of State Regulation of Its Development in the Transition Period: Example of the Republic of Armenia” and graduated from the PhD Department of YSEI with the degree of a Candidate Doctor (equivalent to PhD) of Economic Sciences.
Dr. Urutyan graduated from the special postdoctoral course at the University of Guelph, Canada in 2003. He received 4 certificates from the World Bank Institute during 2006-2012. Urutyan has been permanently improving his knowledge and engaging in research activities. He has repeatedly travelled to European and U.S. universities for experience exchange and training purposes. He completed a special course of “Leadership and Education” at Texas A&M in 2008 and a “Leadership and Management of Higher Education Institutions” executive management program at Maastricht School of Management in 2011.
Since 2000 Dr. Urutyan has been working as an instructor and a researcher at the Agribusiness Teaching Center (Agribusiness Department), jointly founded by the Armenian National Agrarian University, the US Department of Agriculture and the Texas A&M University. He was the Deputy Director of the ATC since 2005, and the Director since September 2007. Vardan fluently speaks English and Russian in addition to his native Armenian. He also uses a number of analytics software such as SPSS, SIMETAR, etc. He teaches (in English) Financial Management, Financial Analysis and Agricultural Cooperatives courses at the ATC. Dr. Urutyan has been part of a number of regional and international research projects. He has been an expert of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UN FAO, UNDP and has continually participated in research projects implemented by these agencies as a team leader and chief researcher.
Vardan Urutyan is a Docent (equivalent to Associate Professor) of ANAU since 2007 and Adjunct Associate Professor of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University since 2010. He has developed and implemented a number of educational programs meeting the international criteria since 2014 jointly with the Virginia Tech University, Fresno State University, Penn State University, the United States and the Geisenheim University, Germany. Urutyan is a member of a large number of respected international research institutions, including the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE), and the Research Council of International Cooperative Alliance (ICA RC):
Dr. Urutyan has published 37 research and methodological papers, of which 23 were presented at international research conferences. He has received a number of awards and certificates of appreciation during his career, among them – those received from the Ambassadors of the United States to Armenia, John Ordway, 2002 and John Evans, 2005. Urutyan was awarded the Gold Medal of ANAU in 2011 and 2015. He also was awarded a thank-you letter from the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Armenia.
Vardan Urutyan is non-partisan. Married, three sons.
Research Activity, Publications, Teaching Experience
Still as a university student, Vardan Urutyan had a special interest in agribusiness economics, and this interest largely determined his further research career. In his nearly 40 research papers and studies published in Armenia and abroad, of which 23 were presented at international conferences in different countries, Dr. Urutyan has revealed urgent issues of the Armenian agriculture and agribusiness and suggested hands-on solutions based on the latest international practices and approaches. Dr. Urutyan has implemented numerous research projects and sector specific studies that suggested long-term sustainable results eventually leading to investments, successfully accomplished projects, and changes in the country’s legislation. His studies cover a wide range of diverse topics, from reforms in agricultural education to creation of cooperative legislation in the country, from a baseline assessment of the wine industry to value chain analysis for particular agricultural products, from financial literacy for different stakeholders of agricultural production to capacity building for the organic sector, from production and management of greenhouse crops to creation of universal models for sustainability evaluation of farms.
Dr. Urutyan’s partnership ties with a number of leading universities in Europe, the United States and many other regions have basically secured the place of the ANAU Agribusiness Department (the Agribusiness Teaching Center) in the international educational and research space.