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Six Leading Research Universities Join the Association of American Universities

The Association of American Universities announced today that Arizona State University; the George Washington University; the University of California, Riverside; the University of Miami; the University of Notre Dame; and the University of South Florida have joined the association. The addition of these six leading research universities brings AAU’s membership total to 71 institutions – 69 American and two Canadian universities.

“We are very proud to have these six distinguished universities from across the United States join AAU,” said AAU President Barbara R. Snyder. “We are particularly proud that two of our new members – Arizona State and UC Riverside – are designated as Hispanic-serving institutions because significant shares of their student bodies are individuals from Hispanic backgrounds, and that UC Riverside is also an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution. We look forward to working with all of these universities to continue advancing higher education and laying the scientific foundation that helps keep our economy strong and our nation healthy and safe.”

“I’m excited to invite these six diverse institutions to AAU,” said AAU Board Chair and University of Southern California President Carol L. Folt. “AAU members are distinguished by the quality of their education and research. It is a testament to our higher education system that we have this many leading research universities in every corner of our country. Congratulations to the faculty, staff, and students for this recognition of their hard work and their leadership in research and education. We look forward to our joint efforts to continue to transform lives through higher education.”

“From deep space to deep in the oceans, Arizona State is a university designed for discovery, interdisciplinary research, and innovation,” said Arizona State University President Michael Crow. “As one of the fastest-growing research enterprises in the United States, we are focused on solving society’s greatest challenges, and we are excited to be part of the AAU.”

“We are honored by this acknowledgment of excellence by America’s leading research universities. The George Washington University has a long and distinguished history of academic leadership at the nexus of research, scholarship, policy and service, and the vital distinction of membership in the AAU reflects GW’s rapidly growing impact locally, nationally, and globally. We are proud to join the AAU in the shared mission of advancing research and scholarship that addresses the world’s most urgent and vexing challenges,” said George Washington University President Mark S. Wrighton.

“We are honored that the existing AAU members have invited UC Riverside to join their esteemed ranks,” University of California, Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said. “This achievement is a credit to the faculty, staff, and students at UCR, both past and present, whose commitment to academic excellence is allowing us to deliver on the promise of what a great 21st century university can be.”

“Today is a great day for all of us who love and support the University of Miami. This designation acknowledges a transformational level of activities and outcomes in research, graduate and undergraduate education, and other areas that demonstrate compelling performance across the institution,” said University of Miami President Julio Frenk. “As a group of affiliated institutions with common and complementary characteristics, the AAU offers an invaluable network across higher education and beyond. Whether we are looking at innovation and discovery, the dissemination of knowledge and promotion of understanding, the celebration of our diverse and unique experiences, or the contributions of higher education to evidence-based public policies, best practices, and upward social mobility, our work is rooted in one enlightening purpose: to change people’s lives and our shared planet for the better.”

“Our mission at Notre Dame is to be a preeminent research university, provide an unsurpassed undergraduate education and to have all we do informed by our Catholic mission. We are honored to be invited to join the AAU, heartened by the AAU board’s recognition of our progress as a research university, and we look forward to participating in this august organization,” said University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

"The University of South Florida is honored to accept an invitation to become an AAU member and join the most prestigious association in higher education. This is a historic and momentous achievement for USF. Especially when considering we were founded in 1956, to now officially be recognized by our peers as one of America’s leading research universities is a shining example of our university community’s determination, innovative spirit, and relentless pursuit of excellence. Reaching this milestone only strengthens our ambition to improve lives and positively shape the future of our society,” said University of South Florida President Rhea Law.

Membership in AAU is by invitation only and is based on an extensive set of quantitative indicators that assess the breadth and quality of a university’s research and education. 

Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 71 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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