Association of American Universities

The Association of American Universities (AAU) is an organization of American research universities devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research and education. Founded in 1900, it consists of 71 public and private universities in the United States as well as two universities in Canada. AAU membership is by invitation only and requires an affirmative vote of three-quarters of current members.

Association of American Universities
FormationFebruary 28, 1900; 124 years ago (1900-02-28)[1]
Founded atChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Type501(c)(3) nonprofit organization[2]
HeadquartersWilliam T. Golden Center for Science and Engineering, Washington, D.C., U.S.
    • United States
    • Canada
Coordinates38°54′01″N 77°01′42″W / 38.90028°N 77.02833°W / 38.90028; -77.02833
Barbara Snyder[3]
Carol Folt Edit this at Wikidata

Organization edit

The AAU was founded on February 28, 1900, by a group of 14 Doctor of Philosophy degree-granting universities[a] in the United States to strengthen and standardize American doctoral programs.[1] American universities—starting with University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University in 1876—were adopting the research-intensive German model of higher education. Lack of standardization damaged European universities' opinions of their American counterparts and many American students attended graduate school in Europe instead of staying in the U.S. The presidents of Harvard University, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, and the University of California sent a letter of invitation to nine other universities—Clark University, Catholic University of America, Cornell University, the University of Michigan, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin, and Yale University—to meet in Chicago in February 1900 to promote and raise standards.[4] The AAU's founding members elected Harvard's Charles William Eliot as the association's first president[1] and Stanford's David Starr Jordan as its first chairman.[5]

In 1914, the AAU began accrediting undergraduate education at its member and other schools. German universities used the "AAU Accepted List" to determine whether a college's graduates were qualified for graduate programs. Regional accreditation agencies existed in the U.S. by the 1920s, and the AAU ended accrediting schools in 1948.[6]

For its first six decades, the AAU functioned as a club for the presidents and deans of elite research universities to informally discuss educational matters, and its day-to-day operations were managed by an executive secretary.[7] In the 1970s, the AAU shifted to a role of active advocacy on behalf of its members' interests; dues were raised, more staff members were hired, and its chief executive was given the title of president and the duty of becoming far more publicly visible than his predecessors.[8]

Today, the AAU consists of 71 U.S. and Canadian universities of varying sizes and missions that share a commitment to research. The organization's primary purpose is to provide a forum for the development and implementation of institutional and national policies in order to strengthen programs in academic research, scholarship, and education at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels.

Benefits edit

The largest attraction of the AAU for many schools, especially nonmembers, is prestige. Since the AAU's founding, it has "been a grouping of the elite in the American university world", and "[n]ew presidents of nonmember universities often list gaining admission to the AAU as a goal of their administration."[7] For example, in 2010 the chancellor of nonmember North Carolina State University described it as "the pre-eminent research-intensive membership group. To be a part of that organization is something N.C. State aspires to."[9] A spokesman for nonmember University of Connecticut called it "perhaps the most elite organization in higher education. You'd probably be hard-pressed to find a major research university that didn't want to be a member of the AAU."[10] In 2012, the newly elected chancellor of University of Massachusetts Amherst, a nonmember of AAU, reaffirmed the objective of elevating the campus to AAU standards and the hope of becoming a member in the near future, and called it a distinctive status.[11] 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.[9]

The AAU acts as a lobbyist at its headquarters in Washington, DC, for research and higher education funding and for 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, business leaders, and others often speak to the groups.[9]

Presidents edit

Executive Term
Thomas A. Bartlett 1977–1982
Robert M. Rosenzweig 1983–1993
Cornelius J. Pings 1993–1998
Nils Hasselmo 1998–2006
Robert M. Berdahl 2006–2011
Hunter R. Rawlings III 2011–2016
Mary Sue Coleman 2016–2020
Barbara Snyder 2020–present

Statistics edit

As of 2004, AAU members accounted for 58 percent[b] 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).[12]

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

Membership edit

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. Non-member universities whose research and education profile exceeds that of a number of current members may be invited to join the association; current members whose research and education profile falls significantly below that of other current members or below the criteria for admission of new members will be subject to further review and possible discontinuation of membership.[13] A vote by two-thirds of the member institutions can revoke membership for poor rankings.[14][15] As of 2022 annual dues are $139,500.[16] All 69 U.S. members of the AAU are also classified as Highest Research Activity (R1) Universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, as are three of the five former AAU members.

Current members edit

Institution[17] State or province Control Established Year joined Total students Medical school[18][19]
(LCME accredited)
Engineering program[20]
(ABET accredited)
Land-Grant Institution[21]
Federally funded R&D exp.[22]

(Dollars in thousands)

Arizona State University Arizona Public 1885 2023 144,800  N  Y  N 274,541
Boston University Massachusetts Private 1839 2012 36,729  Y  Y  N 402,443
Brandeis University Massachusetts Private 1948 1985 5,808  N  N  N 52,147
Brown University Rhode Island Private 1764 1933 8,619  Y  Y  N 198,574
California Institute of Technology California Private 1891 1934 2,231  N  Y  N 293,197
Carnegie Mellon University Pennsylvania Private 1900 1982 12,908  N  Y  N 234,993
Case Western Reserve University Ohio Private 1826 1969 12,201  Y  Y  N 340,438
Columbia University New York Private 1754 1900 29,250  Y  Y  N 831,648
Cornell University New York Private 1865 1900 21,904  Y  Y  Y 592,359
Dartmouth College New Hampshire Private 1769 2019[23] 6,571  Y  Y  N 152,335
Duke University North Carolina Private 1838 1938 14,600  Y  Y  N 776,632
Emory University Georgia Private 1836 1995 14,513  Y  N[c]  N 515,940
George Washington University District of Columbia Private 1821 2023 26,457  Y  Y  N 161,349
Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Public 1885 2010 29,370  N  Y  N 852,319
Harvard University Massachusetts Private 1636 1900 21,000  Y  Y  N 616,589
Indiana University Bloomington Indiana Public 1820 1909 42,731  N[d]  Y[25]  N 326,326
Johns Hopkins University Maryland Private 1876 1900 23,073  Y  Y  N 2,774,643
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Private 1861 1934 11,319  N  Y  Y[e] 483,526
McGill University Quebec Public 1821 1926 36,904  Y  Y  N N/A
Michigan State University Michigan Public 1855 1964 51,316  Y  Y  Y 349,889
New York University New York Private 1831 1950 61,950  Y  Y  N 547,027
Northwestern University Illinois Private 1851 1917 21,208  Y  Y  N 572,975
Ohio State University Ohio Public 1870 1916 60,540  Y  Y  Y 559,797
Pennsylvania State University Pennsylvania Public 1855 1958 45,518  Y  Y  Y 622,532
Princeton University New Jersey Private 1746 1900 8,010  N  Y  N 205,000
Purdue University Indiana Public 1869 1958 52,211  N  Y  Y 295,278
Rice University Texas Private 1912 1985 8,212  N  Y  N 125,106
Rutgers University–New Brunswick New Jersey Public 1766 1989 41,565  Y[27]  Y  Y 339,015
Stanford University California Private 1891 1900 15,877  Y  Y  N 811,183
Stony Brook University New York Public 1957 2001 26,814  Y  Y  N 162,972
Texas A&M University Texas Public 1876 2001 77,491  Y  Y  Y 528,057
Tufts University Massachusetts Private 1852 2021 11,024  Y  Y  N 166,809
Tulane University Louisiana Private 1834 1958 13,462  Y  Y  N 113,819
University at Buffalo New York Public 1846 1989 30,183  Y  Y  N 210,257
University of Arizona Arizona Public 1885 1985 40,223  Y  Y  Y 353,117
University of California, Berkeley California Public 1868 1900 36,204  N[f]  Y  Y 354,478
University of California, Davis California Public 1905 1996 34,175  Y  Y  Y 373,719
University of California, Irvine California Public 1965 1996 29,588  Y  Y  Y 255,010
University of California, Los Angeles California Public 1919 1974 42,163  Y  Y  Y 721,043
University of California, Riverside California Public 1907 2023 26,809  Y  Y  Y 97,182
University of California, San Diego California Public 1960 1982 30,310  Y  Y  Y 801,117
University of California, Santa Barbara California Public 1944 1995 25,057  N  Y  Y 122,168
University of California, Santa Cruz California Public 1965 2019[28] 19,457  N  Y  Y 86,263
University of Chicago Illinois Private 1890 1900 14,954  Y  Y  N 394,275
University of Colorado Boulder Colorado Public 1876 1966 32,775  Y[g][29]  Y  N 459,816
University of Florida Florida Public 1853 1985 55,781  Y  Y  Y 423,154
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Illinois Public 1867 1908 44,520  Y  Y  Y 406,612
University of Iowa Iowa Public 1847 1909 31,065  Y  Y  N 283,763
University of Kansas Kansas Public 1865 1909 27,983  Y  Y  N 187,249
University of Maryland, College Park Maryland Public 1856 1969 37,631  N  Y  Y 713,283
University of Miami Florida Private 1925 2023 19,402  Y  Y  N 231,001
University of Michigan Michigan Public 1817 1900 43,426  Y  Y  N 891,125
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Minnesota Public 1851 1908 52,376  Y  Y  Y 570,946
University of Missouri Missouri Public 1839 1908 35,441  Y  Y  Y 163,576
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill North Carolina Public 1789 1922 29,390  Y  N[h]  N 747,895
University of Notre Dame Indiana Private 1842 2023 12,809  N  Y  N 109,891
University of Oregon Oregon Public 1876 1969 22,980  N  N  N 82,242
University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Private 1740 1900 24,630  Y  Y  N 792,089
University of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Public 1787 1974 28,649  Y  Y  N 724,993
University of Rochester New York Private 1850 1941 10,290  Y  Y  N 309,647
University of South Florida Florida Public 1956 2023 49,766  Y  Y  N 185,364
University of Southern California California Private 1880 1969 48,500  Y  Y  N 574,185
University of Texas at Austin Texas Public 1883 1929 51,913  Y  Y  N 489,827
University of Toronto Ontario Public 1827 1926 97,678  Y  Y  N N/A
University of Utah Utah Public 1850 2019[31][32] 32,994  Y  Y  N 340,434
University of Virginia Virginia Public 1819 1904 24,360  Y  Y  N 297,273
University of Washington Washington Public 1861 1950 43,762  Y  Y  N 1,046,377
University of Wisconsin–Madison Wisconsin Public 1848 1900 43,275  Y  Y  Y 646,764
Vanderbilt University Tennessee Private 1873 1950 12,795  Y  Y  N 586,880
Washington University in St. Louis Missouri Private 1853 1923 14,117  Y  Y  N 606,127
Yale University Connecticut Private 1701 1900 13,609  Y  Y  N 647,656

Former members edit

State or province Control Established Year joined Year left Total students
Catholic University of America[i][33] Washington, D.C. Private 1887 1900 2002 5,771
Clark University[j][34] Massachusetts Private 1887 1900 1999 3,498 (2019)
Iowa State University[k][35][36] Iowa Public 1858 1958 2022 30,708 (2021)
Syracuse University[l][37] New York Private 1870 1966 2011 21,322 (2020)
University of Nebraska–Lincoln[m][38] Nebraska Public 1869 1909 2011 25,820 (Fall 2018)

Map of schools edit

South Florida
Arizona State
UC Riverside
George Washington
Notre Dame
UC Berkeley
Texas A&M
Penn State
Michigan State
Ohio State
Ga. Tech
UNC-Chapel Hill
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UC San Diego
UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Cruz
U. Chicago
Johns Hopkins
Five schools*
Wash U.
Stony Brook
Case Western
Carnegie Mellon
A map of the AAU schools, with private schools marked blue and public schools marked red. Five private schools in Greater Boston are not labeled separately due to their close geographic proximity: Boston University, Brandeis, Harvard, MIT, and Tufts.


Advocacy edit

In 2014, the AAU supported the proposed Research and Development Efficiency Act 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."[39] According to the AAU, "too often federal requirements" for accounting for federal grant money "are ill-conceived, ineffective, and/or duplicative."[39] This wastes the researchers' times and "reduces the time they can devote to discovery and innovation and increases institutional compliance costs."[39]

Similar organizations in other countries edit

Similar organizations around the world include the Russell Group (United Kingdom), U15 (Germany), League of European Research Universities (Europe), BRICS Universities League (BRICS), Association of East Asian Research Universities (mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan), C9 League (China), Group of Eight (Australia), RU11 (Japan), and the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities (Canada).

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ The Association of American Universities was founded by the University of California, the University of Chicago, Catholic University of America, Clark University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin, and Yale University, all of which were its first members.[1]
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Although Emory shares a joint engineering department with Georgia Tech, the program is accredited through Georgia Tech.[24]
  4. ^ While the funding numbers of the Indiana University School of Medicine are reported through IUB, IUSM is accredited through its main campus at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). After IUPUI is dissolved at the end of the 2023–24 academic year, IUSM's accreditation will be through the newly established Indiana University Indianapolis.
  5. ^ USDA has confirmed that MIT is eligible to apply for grants that are available only to land-grant institutions, the State of Massachusetts chooses to allocate its federal capacity appropriations to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.[26]
  6. ^ The University of California, Berkeley is closely tied with the LCME-accredited University of California, San Francisco, which only provides graduate-level courses. The two universities share a joint program
  7. ^ The University of Colorado School of Medicine is affiliated with the University of Colorado Boulder, a LCME accredited school of medicine.
  8. ^ UNC-Chapel Hill offers an ABET accredited Biomedical Engineering degree jointly with North Carolina State University. The engineering courses are offered through the NC State College of Engineering, while the medical courses are offered through UNC-Chapel Hill.[30]
  9. ^ Departed as a result of "institutional emphases and energies" that differed from the other AAU members.
  10. ^ Departed because of a shift in the AAU's emphasis to large research universities.
  11. ^ Iowa State departed claiming that AAU's internal ranking indicators unfairly favor institutions with high levels of NIH funding and noted that its strength is not in biomedical research because the school does not have a medical school.
  12. ^ Because of a dispute over how to count nonfederal grants, Syracuse voluntarily withdrew from the AAU in 2011. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that after "it became clear that Syracuse wouldn't meet the association's revised membership criteria, university officials decided that they would leave the organization voluntarily, rather than face a vote like Nebraska's, and notified the leadership of their intentions."
  13. ^ Removed from the AAU. Chancellor Harvey Perlman said 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. In 2010 Perlman stated that had Nebraska not been part of the AAU, the Big Ten Conference would likely not have invited it to become the athletic conference's 12th member.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Colleges Will Co-operate: Organization of the Association of American Universities". The Washington Post. March 1, 1900. p. 2.
  2. ^ a b "Association Of American Colleges And Universities. Archived December 21, 2018, at the Wayback Machine". Tax Exempt Organization Search. Internal Revenue Service. December 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "Case Western President Named Head of AAU". Inside Higher Ed. Archived from the original on February 19, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  4. ^ "Editorial: Association of American Universities". Educational Review. 19: 404–405. April 1900. Archived from the original on May 11, 2022. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  5. ^ "For Uniform Requirements: Universities Will Fix Standard For Higher Degrees". The Baltimore Sun;. March 1, 1900. p. 2.
  6. ^ "The Association of American Universities: A Century of Service to Higher Education 1900–2000". Association of American Universities. Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Rosenzweig, Robert M. (2001). The Political University: Policy, Politics, and Presidential Leadership in the American Research University. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 20. ISBN 9780801868191. Archived from the original on July 13, 2021. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  8. ^ Rosenzweig, Robert M. (2001). The Political University: Policy, Politics, and Presidential Leadership in the American Research University. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 21. ISBN 9780801868191. Archived from the original on May 11, 2022. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c Fain, Paul (April 21, 2010). "As AAU Admits Georgia Tech to Its Exclusive Club, Other Universities Await the Call". Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  10. ^ Hine, Chris (June 13, 2010). "Nebraska has it all to attract Big Ten, most importantly AAU membership". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 6, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  11. ^ UMass Amherst: Kumble R. Subbaswamy – Feature Story Archived July 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. (May 13, 2012). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  12. ^ AAU Facts and Figures Archived September 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed August 24, 2008.
  13. ^ "Membership Policy | Association of American Universities (AAU)". Archived from the original on March 16, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  14. ^ Abourezk, Kevin (April 29, 2011). "Research universities group ends UNL's membership". Lincoln Journal Star. Archived from the original on May 3, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  15. ^ Selingo, Jeffrey J. (April 29, 2011). "U. of Nebraska-Lincoln Is Voted Out of Assn. of American Universities". Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on May 2, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  16. ^ "ISU ends membership with prestigious Association of American Universities". Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  17. ^ "Our Members". Associate of American Universities.
  18. ^ "Accredited MD Programs in the United States". LCME. Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Archived from the original on May 16, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  19. ^ "AAU Peer Institutions". Data Analytics. August 10, 2016. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  20. ^ "ABET ACCREDITED PROGRAM SEARCH". ABET. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "Land-Grant Colleges and Universities". National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
  22. ^ "Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey". National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
  23. ^ "Dartmouth Joins the Association of American Universities | Dartmouth News". Archived from the original on November 7, 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  24. ^ "Accreditation and Assessment". Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory University School of Medicine. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  25. ^ Keag, Kelsey (September 15, 2022). "Luddy's B.S. in Intelligent Systems Engineering program achieves ABET accreditation". Retrieved December 26, 2023.
  26. ^ "The U.S. Land-Grant University System: Overview and Role in Agricultural Research" (PDF). The U.S. Land-Grant University System: Overview and Role in Agricultural Research Congressional Research Service. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  27. ^ "Accredited U.S. Programs". LCME. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  28. ^ Hernandez-Jason, Scott (November 6, 2019). "Radical excellence: UC Santa Cruz joins Association of American Universities". UC Santa Cruz. Archived from the original on November 6, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  29. ^ "Accredited U.S. Programs". LCME. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  30. ^ "Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering". Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering @ UNC & NC State. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  31. ^ "The U invited to join the Association of American Universities | @theU". Archived from the original on November 7, 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  32. ^ "Three Leading Research Universities Join the Association of American Universities (AAU)". Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  33. ^ O'Connell, The Most Rev. David M. (2002). "From the President's Desk". The Catholic University of America. Archived from the original on June 1, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  34. ^ Peter Schmidt, "Clark U. Leaves Association of American Universities; Others May Follow" (September 10, 1999). Chronicle of Higher Education.
  35. ^ "Iowa State concludes its AAU membership". Iowa State University (Press release). Archived from the original on April 21, 2022. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  36. ^ Jaschik, Scott (April 22, 2022). "Iowa State announces its departure from AAU". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  37. ^ Selingo, Jeffrey J. (May 2, 2011). "Facing an Ouster From an Elite Group of Universities, Syracuse U. Says It Will Withdraw". Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
  38. ^ Lewin, Tamar (May 3, 2011). "American Universities Group Votes to Expel Nebraska". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  39. ^ a b c "AAU Statement on the Research and Development Efficiency Act". Association of American Universities. July 14, 2014. Archived from the original on July 25, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.

External links edit