HANOVER — Calling it a great day for the college, Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon announced this week that Dartmouth is joining the Association of American Universities.
“AAU membership is an affirmation from our peers that we are delivering on a scholar-teacher model that provides extraordinary learning experiences for all of our students while producing research that is expanding the boundaries of knowledge and solving some of the most pressing challenges of our time,” Hanlon said.
The AAU dates back to 1900 and is made up of 65 member schools that collectively help shape higher education policy, promote best practices, and amplify member college contributions to American society, according to the AAU. Dartmouth is the last of the Ivy League schools to join the association.
AAU membership is by invitation only and is based on an extensive set of quantitative indicators and qualitative judgments that assess the breadth and quality of a university’s research and graduate and undergraduate education programs, according to a Dartmouth statement. Joining at the same time as Dartmouth are the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of Utah.
“Becoming a part of AAU is particularly noteworthy, as invitations to new members are rare and extended only by vote of the current membership,” AAU board chair and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie said in a statement.
Hanlon said the imitation to join the AAU is a validation of Dartmouth’s education offerings for undergraduate and graduate students, and for the cutting-edge research being undertaken by the school. AAU President Mary Sue Coleman said that innovations to join are only offered to top institutions like Dartmouth.
“AAU’s membership is limited to institutions at the forefront of scientific inquiry and educational excellence,” Coleman said. “These world-class institutions are a welcome addition, and we look forward to working with them as we continue to shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation.”
Laurel Richie, chair of Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees, said the membership in at the AAU will allow Dartmouth to continue building on its vision as a leading educational institute.
“For an institution of Dartmouth’s scale and undergraduate liberal arts focus to be recognized as one of the leading research institutions in America is a testament to our faculty’s relentless pursuit of new knowledge,” Richie said.