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AAU Constituent Groups


AAU Presidents and Chancellors.  Each member university is represented in AAU by its chief executive officer.  These 62 presidents and chancellors serve as the AAU Board of Directors.  An Executive Committee of presidents and chancellors is charged with general oversight of the association.  Ad hoc committees and task forces of presidents and chancellors and other member university representatives are formed as needed.

The graduate deans of AAU institutions form the Association of Graduate Schools (AGS), which provides a forum for addressing issues concerning doctoral education and serves as an advisory body to AAU on graduate education policy. Graduate deans have played an active role in AAU since the association’s founding in 1900. In 1948, they created AGS, which is known formally as “The Association of Graduate Schools in the Association of American Universities."

The Chief Academic Officers of AAU universities (CAO) meet annually to discuss a variety of national and institutional issues. Their discussions help shape the association's agenda and policy positions.

Each AAU president and chancellor names one or two institutional representatives to the AAU Council on Federal Relations (CFR). CFR members are typically senior officers of the institution with responsibility for federal relations activity and serve as the day-to-day point of contact between AAU staff and the institution.

 AAU Partners is the organization of partners (spouses) of AAU presidents and chancellors, which meets twice a year at the regular membership meetings to share information and address issues related to the myriad roles of the Partner on campus.

Public Affairs Officers of AAU institutions participate in the Public Affairs Network (PAN), which promotes coordination of public affairs and federal relations activities on campuses, provides information on a wide range of issues affecting research universities, and serves as a forum for sharing information on public affairs strategies.

Senior Research Officers of AAU institutions (SRO)
meet each year to identify issues that relate to the funding, conduct, and regulation of university research.

The Institutional Research Officers of AAU share information and data with one another through the AAU Data Exchange. Their membership activities support decision-making at their respective institutions and their data analyses help inform AAU policy positions and reports.


AAU is a member of the American Council on Education and often coordinates its activities with other higher education organizations, particularly the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A·P·L·U), the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR).

In matters of national science and research policy, AAU is actively involved with a broad cross-section of other interested organizations, including the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and other groups and professional societies.