The Association of American Universities
) is an organization
of leading research universities
devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research
and education. It consists of 59<!--Do not change this. Syracuse has *not* left the AAU yet. NB. according to AAU website retrieved on July 12, 2011, Syracuse is no longer listed as a member, and the official total number of US universities is 59--> universities in the United States
) and two universities in Canada
The AAU was founded in 1900 by a group of fourteen Ph.D.
-granting universities in the United States to strengthen and standardize American doctoral programs. Today, the primary purpose of the organization is to provide a forum for the development and implementation of institutional and national policies, in order to promote strong programs in academic research and scholarship and undergraduate, graduate, and professional education.
The largest attraction of the AAU for many schools, especially nonmembers, is prestige; for example, in 2010 a spokesman for nonmember University of Connecticut
called it "perhaps the most elite organization in higher education. You'd probably be hard-pressed to find a major research university that didn't want to be a member of the AAU." Because of the lengthy and difficult entrance process, boards of trustees
, state legislators, and donors
often see membership... Read More