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AAU Elects University of Southern California President Carol L. Folt as Next Chair

The following is an announcement from the Association of American Universities regarding the election of University of Southern California President Carol L. Folt as chair of the AAU Board of Directors:

The member presidents and chancellors of the Association of American Universities today elected University of Southern California President Carol L. Folt as chair of the AAU Board of Directors. Folt succeeds University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, who had served as AAU’s board chair since October 2021. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert J. Jones was elected to serve as vice chair.

“I’m honored to have been selected by my colleagues, the presidents and chancellors of America’s leading research universities, to chair the AAU Board,” said President Folt. “AAU plays a central role in educating policy makers about the unique role that research universities play in our nation’s well-being and economic health, and I’m delighted in helping to lead such a wonderful organization.”   

As chair, Folt will help guide AAU’s work and serve as a spokesperson for the association, particularly on federal policy issues affecting research universities. She will also represent AAU in discussions with lawmakers, help develop national policy positions, and play a significant role in determining the association’s agenda during the coming year.

Folt, who previously served as vice chair of the AAU board, has been USC’s president since July 1, 2019. She has previously served two other AAU institutions – the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as president for six years and Dartmouth College, where she built a distinguished career over 30 years. She joined Dartmouth as faculty in 1983 and eventually rose through the ranks to assume various leadership roles, including as interim president. A renowned environmental scientist, Folt was also named an endowed professor of biological sciences at Dartmouth in 2007.

“President Folt brings a wealth of experience as a scientist and as a leader of AAU institutions both public and private.” said AAU President Barbara R. Snyder. “She understands the unique role America’s leading research universities play in maintaining the United States’ leadership in science and innovation and in helping tackle some of the biggest problems currently facing our world. Her willingness to take on difficult challenges, even when under public scrutiny, makes her especially suited to serve in this role.”

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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation.

Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.

AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

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