AAU, Higher Education Leaders React to Announcement of New Member Universities

GW and five other universities have joined the Association of American Universities.

June 1, 2023

trustees gate

In addition to the George Washington University, five universities joined the Association of American Universities (AAU) on Thursday: Arizona State University; the University of California, Riverside; the University of Miami; the University of Notre Dame; and the University of South Florida.

AAU membership, which is by invite only, now totals 71 institutions and includes 69 American and two Canadian universities.

Below is a compilation of voices from the AAU and leadership of the new member universities:

“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.”

 —GW President Mark S. Wrighton


“GW is a university on the rise, and the invitation to join the AAU is a testament to the accomplishments of an ambitious community that strives for academic excellence and advances the university in its prominence and impact every day.”

—GW President-elect Ellen Granberg


“The George Washington University’s invitation to join the AAU is confirmation of the visibility and impact of our research enterprise, which continues to grow in preeminence thanks to our acclaimed faculty’s cutting-edge research and scholarship across all disciplines. Our scholars’ teaching and research contributions are driving innovation and transformation within society and making the world a better place.”

—GW Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Christopher Alan Bracey


“AAU membership is an incredible achievement, and it is validation of the strength and influence of our university’s research and education. As chair of the board and as an alumna, I am very proud of our university and community.”

—GW Board of Trustees Chair Grace Speights, J.D. ’82


“Membership in AAU situates GW among the leading research universities that are transforming lives and society. It recognizes the talents of our scholarly community, the breadth and strength of our academic programs and the impact of GW-led discovery and innovation.”

—GW Vice Provost for Research Pam Norris


“We are very proud to have these six distinguished universities from across the United States join AAU. 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 composed of 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.”

—AAU President Barbara R. Snyder


“I’m excited to invite these six diverse institutions to AAU. 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.”

—AAU Board Chair and University of Southern California President Carol L. Folt

“From deep space to deep in the oceans, Arizona State is a university designed for discovery, interdisciplinary research and innovation. 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.”

—Arizona State University President Michael Crow


“We are honored that the existing AAU members have invited UC Riverside to join their esteemed ranks. 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.”

—University of California, Riverside, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox


“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. 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.”

—University of Miami President Julio Frenk


“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.”

—Notre Dame University President Rev. John I. Jenkins


"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.”

—University of South Florida President Rhea Law