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Association of American Universities

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Association of American Universities

Association of American Universities
Formation 1900
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Membership 62
President Hunter R. Rawlings III

The Association of American Universities (AAU) is an international universities devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research and education. It consists of 60 universities in the United States (both public and private) and two universities in Canada.


The AAU was founded in 1900 by a group of fourteen Ph.D.-granting universities in the United States to strengthen and standardize American doctoral programs. Today, the primary purpose of the organization is to provide a forum for the development and implementation of institutional and national policies, in order to promote strong programs in academic research and scholarship and undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.


The largest attraction of the AAU for many schools, especially nonmembers, is prestige. For example, in 2010 the chancellor of nonmember [2] In 2012, the new elected chancellor of University of Massachusetts Amherst, a nonmember of AAU, reaffirmed the framework goal of elevating the campus to AAU standards which inspire them to become a member in the near future, and called it a distinctive status.[3] Because of the lengthy and difficult entrance process, boards of trustees, state legislators, and donors often see membership as evidence of the quality of a university.[1]

The AAU acts as a lobbyist at its headquarters in the city of Washington, D.C. for research and higher education funding and on policy and regulatory issues affecting research universities. The association holds two meetings annually, both in Washington. Separate meetings are held for university presidents, provosts, and other officials. Because the meetings are private they offer the opportunity for discussion without media coverage. Prominent government officials, businessmen, and others often speak to the groups.[1]


Executive Term
Thomas A. Bartlett 1977–1982
Robert M. Rosenzweig 1983–1993
Cornelius J. Pings 1993–1998
Nils Hasselmo July 1, 1998 – April 2006
Robert M. Berdahl May 2006 – June 2011
Hunter R. Rawlings III July 1, 2011 – present


As of 2004, AAU members accounted for 58 percent[4] of U.S. universities' research grants and contract income and 52 percent of all doctorates awarded in the United States. Since 1999, 43 percent of all Nobel Prize winners and 74 percent of winners at U.S. institutions have been affiliated with an AAU university. Approximately two-thirds of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2006 Class of Fellows are affiliated with an AAU university. The faculties at AAU universities include 2,993 members of the United States National Academies (82 percent of all members): the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine (2004).[5]

  • Undergraduate students: 1,044,759; 7% nationally
  • Undergraduate degrees awarded: 235,328; 17% nationally
  • Graduate students: 418,066; 20% nationally
  • Master’s awarded: 106,971; 19% nationally
  • Professional Degrees: 20,859; 25% nationally
  • Doctorates awarded: 22,747; 52% nationally
  • Postdoctoral Fellows: 30,430; 67% nationally
  • Students Studying Abroad: 57,205
  • National Merit/Achievement Scholars (2004): 5,434; 63% nationally
  • Faculty: approximately 72,000


AAU membership is by invitation only, which requires an affirmative vote of three-fourths of current members. Invitations are considered periodically, based in part on an assessment of the breadth and quality of university programs of research and graduate education, as well as undergraduate education. The association ranks its members using four criteria: research spending, the percentage of faculty who are members of the National Academies, faculty awards, and citations. Two thirds of members can vote to revoke membership for poor rankings.[6][7] As of 2010 annual dues are $80,500.[1]

Institution[8] State or Province Control Established Year joined Total students NCAA
Boston University Massachusetts Private 1839 2012 30,009 Patriot
Brandeis University Massachusetts Private 1948 1985 5,808 UAA
Brown University Rhode Island Private 1764 1933 8,619 Ivy League
California Institute of Technology California Private 1891 1934 2,231 SCIAC
Carnegie Mellon University Pennsylvania Private 1900 1982 12,908 UAA
Case Western Reserve University Ohio Private 1826 1969 10,325 UAA
Columbia University New York Private 1754 1900 29,250 Ivy League
Cornell University New York Private 1865 1900 20,939 Ivy League
Duke University North Carolina Private 1838 1938 14,600 ACC
Emory University Georgia Private 1836 1995 14,513 UAA
Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Public 1885 2010 21,471 ACC
Harvard University Massachusetts Private 1636 1900 21,000 Ivy League
Indiana University Bloomington Indiana Public 1820 1909 42,731 Big Ten
Iowa State University Iowa Public 1858 1958 34,732 Big 12
Johns Hopkins University Maryland Private 1876 1900 20,871 Centennial
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Private 1865 1934 11,301 NEWMAC
McGill University Quebec Public 1821 1926 36,904 N/A
Michigan State University Michigan Public 1855 1964 49,300 Big Ten
New York University New York Private 1831 1950 53,711 UAA
Northwestern University Illinois Private 1851 1917 19,218 Big Ten
Ohio State University Ohio Public 1870 1916 57,466 Big Ten
Pennsylvania State University Pennsylvania Public 1855 1958 98,097 Big Ten
Princeton University New Jersey Private 1746 1900 8,010 Ivy League
Purdue University Indiana Public 1869 1958 39,256 Big Ten
Rice University Texas Private 1912 1985 6,487 C-USA
Rutgers University New Jersey Public 1766 1989 65,000 Big Ten
Stanford University California Private 1891 1900 15,877 Pac-12
Stony Brook University New York Public 1957 2001 24,594 Am East
Texas A&M University Texas Public 1876 2001 62,185 SEC
Tulane University Louisiana Private 1834 1958 13,462 American
University of Arizona Arizona Public 1885 1985 40,223 Pac-12
University at Buffalo New York Public 1846 1989 29,850 MAC
University of California, Berkeley California Public 1868 1900 36,204 Pac-12
University of California, Davis California Public 1905 1996 34,175 Big West
University of California, Irvine California Public 1965 1996 29,588 Big West
University of California, Los Angeles California Public 1882 1974 42,163 Pac-12
University of California, San Diego California Public 1960 1982 30,310 CCAA
University of California, Santa Barbara California Public 1944 1995 22,225 Big West
University of Chicago Illinois Private 1890 1900 14,954 UAA
University of Colorado Boulder Colorado Public 1876 1966 31,702 Pac-12
University of Florida Florida Public 1853 1985 49,042 SEC
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Illinois Public 1867 1908 44,520 Big Ten
University of Iowa Iowa Public 1847 1909 31,065 Big Ten
University of Kansas Kansas Public 1865 1909 27,983 Big 12
University of Maryland, College Park Maryland Public 1856 1969 37,631 Big Ten
University of Michigan Michigan Public 1817 1900 43,426 Big Ten
University of Minnesota Minnesota Public 1851 1908 51,853 Big Ten
University of Missouri Missouri Public 1839 1908 35,441 SEC
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill North Carolina Public 1789 1922 29,390 ACC
University of Oregon Oregon Public 1876 1969 20,829 Pac-12
University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Private 1740 1900 24,630 Ivy League
University of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Public 1787 1974 28,649 ACC
University of Rochester New York Private 1850 1941 10,290 UAA
University of Southern California California Private 1880 1969 39,958 Pac-12
University of Texas at Austin Texas Public 1883 1929 51,000 Big 12
University of Toronto Ontario (Canada) Public 1827 1926 47,259 N/A
University of Virginia Virginia Public 1819 1904 21,000 ACC
University of Washington Washington Public 1861 1950 43,762 Pac-12
University of Wisconsin–Madison Wisconsin Public 1848 1900 43,275 Big Ten
Vanderbilt University Tennessee Private 1873 1950 12,795 SEC
Washington University in St. Louis Missouri Private 1853 1923 14,117 UAA
Yale University Connecticut Private 1701 1900 12,223 Ivy League


Former members

Departed as a result of "institutional emphases and energies" that differed from the other AAU members.[9]
Departed because of a shift in the AAU's emphasis to large research universities.[10]
Removed from the AAU.[7] Chancellor Harvey Perlman claimed that the lack of an on-campus medical school (the Medical Center is a separate campus of the University of Nebraska system) and the AAU's disregarding of USDA-funded agricultural research in its metrics hurt the university's performance in the association's internal ranking system.[6] In 2010 Perlman stated that had Nebraska not been part of the AAU, the Big Ten would likely not have invited it to become the athletic conference's 12th member,[2] although a lack of support for Nebraska's AAU membership by some Big Ten members "call into question the pretext on which Nebraska was invited to join [the Big Ten]."[11]
Because of a dispute over how to count non-Federal grants, Syracuse voluntarily withdrew from the AAU in 2011. The [12]


The AAU supported the Research and Development Efficiency Act (H.R. 5056; 113th Congress) arguing that the legislation "can lead to a long-needed reduction in the regulatory burden currently imposed on universities and their faculty members who conduct research on behalf of the federal government."[13] According to the AAU, "too often federal requirements" for accounting for federal grant money "are ill-conceived, ineffective, and/or duplicative."[13] This wastes the researchers' times and "reduces the time they can devote to discovery and innovation and increases institutional compliance costs."[13]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d Fain, Paul (2010-04-21). "As AAU Admits Georgia Tech to Its Exclusive Club, Other Universities Await the Call".  
  2. ^ a b Hine, Chris (2010-06-13). "Nebraska has it all to attract Big Ten, most importantly AAU membership". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ UMass Amherst: Kumble R. Subbaswamy - Feature Story. (2012-05-13). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  4. ^ Over $15.9 billion: NIH: $9.1 billion, 60 percent of total academic research funding. Research Funding: National Science Foundation: $2.0 billion, 63 percent of total academic research funding Department of Defense: $1.2 billion, 56 percent of total academic research funding Department of Energy: $505.2 million, 63 percent of total academic research funding NASA: $673.2 million, 57 percent of total academic research funding Department of Agriculture: $271.9 million, 41 percent of total academic research funding
  5. ^ AAU Facts and Figures. Accessed August 24, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Abourezk, Kevin (2011-04-29). "Research universities group ends UNL's membership".  
  7. ^ a b Selingo, Jeffrey J. (2011-04-29). "U. of Nebraska-Lincoln Is Voted Out of Assn. of American Universities". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Member Institutions and Years of Admission". Association of American Universities. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  9. ^  
  10. ^ Peter Schmidt, "Clark U. Leaves Association of American Universities; Others May Follow" (September 10, 1999). Chronicle of Higher Education.
  11. ^ Smith, Mitch; Abourezk, Kevin (September 3, 2011). "Emails: Wisconsin and Michigan opposed Nebraska's AAU membership". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved October 14, 2013. 
  12. ^ Selingo, Jeffrey J. (2011-05-02). "Facing an Ouster From an Elite Group of Universities, Syracuse U. Says It Will Withdraw". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved May 3, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c "AAU Statement on the Research and Development Efficiency Act". Association of American Universities. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
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