This winter, Boston University joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), an elite organization of 61 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. BU, one of only four universities invited to join the group since 2000, became the 62nd member. In the Boston area, only Harvard, MIT, and Brandeis are also members.
Hunter R. Rawlings III, president of the AAU, announced on November 5 that President Robert A. Brown had accepted the association’s invitation. Rawlings said the decision to extend the invitation was based on an in-depth review of the University’s research and academic programs.
“Boston University is an outstanding institution,” said Rawlings. “It belongs in the AAU by virtue of the strength of its research and academic programs. AAU universities play an essential role in America’s research enterprise and in educating the nation’s young scientists, engineers, and scholars. Boston University is a welcome addition to the ranks of these leading research universities.”
Brown commented that he is very pleased to have the University join the AAU. “It’s gratifying for Boston University to receive this recognition for the quality of our education and research programs,” he said. “We look forward to participating with the AAU membership in helping guide the future of research universities in the United States as a critical resource for American leadership in higher education, knowledge creation, and innovation.”
Membership in the organization is by invitation only, and is based on several criteria: the quality of programs of academic research and scholarship; undergraduate, graduate, and professional education in a number of fields; and general recognition that a university is outstanding by reason of the excellence of its research and education programs. A membership committee of AAU presidents and chancellors periodically reviews universities for AAU membership; institutions recommended for membership must be approved by a three-fourths vote of the membership.
“Boston University’s admission to the AAU is first and foremost an acknowledgment of the quality and productivity of our outstanding faculty,” said University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Jean Morrison. “They are making fundamentally important contributions in disciplines ranging from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences, engineering, and medicine. But in addition to the strength of our faculty, this recognition is a testament to the exceptional leadership of our president, Bob Brown. The results of his transformative leadership are coming to fruition, and the University’s admission into the AAU is one of the very significant tangible results.”
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