As this blogger gazed upon the membership list of the big-time schools (below) in the AAU, he could not find any of the three schools he attended in his so-called career. The last of those places, bereft of any prestige, was Texas Technique in Lubbock. That school on the High Plains of Texas has seen a bad luck trifecta with this latest news. First, it was the ill-advised hiring of former U.S. Attorney General Albert Gonzales to teach, not in the law school, but entry-level courses in the political science department. Gonzo had no other options anywhere because of the taint of torture-approval. Next, the year ended with a media mess involving the head football coach and a player's father who just happened to be a talking head (college football analyst) for ESPN. The coach is gone, the player is still on the team with a replacement coach, and the daddy is still blabbing on ESPN. Now, the AAU taps Georgia Tech for membership and Tier I status in the Peach State; the other Georgia school in the AAU is Emory University. The University of Georgia (UGA) probably should be known as Ugh in Athens.
American Association of Universities Member Institutions and Years of Admission
Brandeis University (1985)
Brown University (1933)
California Institute of Technology (1934)
Carnegie Mellon University (1982)
Case Western Reserve University (1969)
Columbia University (1900)
Cornell University (1900)
Duke University (1938)
Emory University (1995)
Georgia Institute of Technology (2010)
Harvard University (1900)
Indiana University (1909)
Iowa State University (1958)
The Johns Hopkins University (1900)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1934)
McGill University (1926)
Michigan State University (1964)
New York University (1950)
Northwestern University (1917)
The Ohio State University (1916)
The Pennsylvania State University (1958)
Princeton University (1900)
Purdue University (1958)
Rice University (1985)
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (1989)
Stanford University (1900)
Stony Brook University-State University of New York (2001)
Syracuse University (1966)
Texas A&M University (2001)
Tulane University (1958)
The University of Arizona (1985)
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (1989)
University of California, Berkeley (1900)
University of California, Davis (1996)
University of California, Irvine (1996)
University of California, Los Angeles (1974)
University of California, San Diego (1982)
University of California, Santa Barbara (1995)
The University of Chicago (1900)
University of Colorado at Boulder (1966)
University of Florida (1985)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1908)
The University of Iowa (1909)
The University of Kansas (1909)
University of Maryland, College Park (1969)
University of Michigan (1900)
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (1908)
University of Missouri-Columbia (1908)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1909)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1922)
University of Oregon (1969)
University of Pennsylvania (1900)
University of Pittsburgh (1974)
University of Rochester (1941)
University of Southern California (1969)
The University of Texas at Austin (1929)
University of Toronto (1926)
University of Virginia (1904)
University of Washington (1950)
The University of Wisconsin-Madison (1900)
Vanderbilt University (1950)
Washington University in St. Louis (1923)
Yale University (1900)
O, well. Texas Technique has Gonzo and an on-going legal battle with its former football coach; the admission of the wrong Tech to the exclusive ranks of the AAU probably went unnoticed in Lubbock. After all, the football stadium will feature new luxury boxes for the season opener with SMU; Gonzo will probably host The Dubster in a sky box for that important game. If this is (fair & balanced) mediocrity, so be it.
[x The CHE]
Georgia Institute Of Technology Wins Rare Invitation To Join The AAU
By Paul Basken
Tag Cloud of the following article
The Association of American Universities (AAU), making its first expansion in nearly a decade, announced Wednesday that it has invited the Georgia Institute of Technology to become a member. Georgia Tech is the 63rd university to join the selective group, which represents the interests of research institutions in the halls of the federal government.
The invitation, eagerly sought and immediately accepted, was described by both the association and Georgia Tech as affirming recognition of the institution as one of the nation's top graduate research universities.
"We're very excited," Georgia Tech's president, G.P. (Bud) Peterson, said in an interview. Membership puts the university in the room during important national policy discussions, he said. "When the president, Congress, industry, business want to try to understand the position of academia, one of the places they often go is the AAU," he said, "and they'll seek advice, guidance, and input from that organization on a whole host of issues."
There is also a prestige factor. "When you look at the member institutions in AAU, these are some of the finest institutions in the country, and Georgia Tech is proud and honored to have been invited to participate," Mr. Peterson said.
The AAU extended the invitation after studying Georgia Tech for several years, said the association's president, Robert M. Berdahl. "Georgia Tech has clearly emerged as a very, very strong research and graduate institution," Mr. Berdahl said. Before Georgia Tech, the two most recent admissions were the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Texas A&M University, both in 2001. (See an interactive timeline and map of admitted institutions.)
AAU affiliation has become a standard thumbnail definition of the prominence of a research institution. The eligibility criteria include objective factors such as the amount of federal grants and the number of faculty awards and research citations. Georgia Tech pulled in $281.2-million in federal research money in 2008, the most recent year for which figures are available, according to the National Science Foundation. That was the second-largest total of any comprehensive American academic institution that was not an AAU member.
Criteria also include a subjective assessment by current members of whether they feel a particular institution is worthy of joining them, with a three-fourths approval vote required for admission.
Georgia Tech made its case by emphasizing the quality of its programs and their breadth, especially the university's emphasis on exploring the ways in which scientific exploration affects public policy, Mr. Peterson said.
That emphasis includes ties between the sciences and the university's schools of public policy and international affairs, Mr. Peterson said. "We have very specific areas that we work in," he said, "and that is really focused on the role and impact of science, technology and engineering on society."
Mr. Peterson came to Georgia Tech last April, after serving three years as chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, another AAU member. He said that he couldn't necessarily identify a specific benefit that the Boulder campus gained from AAU membership, though he cited possible examples as including intensive discussions among members about security options following the April 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, as well as assessments of the economic stimulus measure approved last year by Congress.
Although the AAU doesn't accept applications, Georgia Tech made some lobbying efforts over the years, Mr. Peterson said. "I'd be a little disingenuous if I said that we just ignored this question, quite honestly, and didn't pay any attention to it," he said.
Mr. Berdahl said AAU members have "been watching Georgia Tech for some time," and had intended to wait for the National Research Council to issue a national review of graduate programs before making a final decision about any possible new candidates.
That review, however, has been delayed several times and is still not complete. Mr. Berdahl said that, for Georgia Tech, the AAU "concluded that we had gathered enough data that we didn't think that anything that might appear in the NRC would be contradictory to that and that we couldn't wait longer, and we should go forward." Ω
[Paul Basken joined The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2007 and has been chief science correspondent since January 2009. Basken is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, with a degree in journalism and electrical engineering.]
Copyright © 2010 The Chronicle of Higher Education
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