The Association of American Universities (AAU) today elected Scott S. Cowen, president of Tulane University, as its chair. His one-year term begins today, the final day of the association"s semi-annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
AAU is a nonprofit association of 59 U.S. and two Canadian preeminent public and private research universities. Founded in 1900, AAU focuses on national and institutional issues that are important to research-intensive universities, including funding for research, research and education policy, and graduate and undergraduate education. Tulane University has been a member of AAU since 1958.
“The research, education and civic contributions of the nation"s research universities are vital to America"s continued international leadership and economic prosperity,” Cowen said. “AAU"s work is particularly important at a time when our nation is making fundamental decisions about fiscal policy that could have a significant impact on research universities. I look forward to giving voice to our perspective on these and other issues in the upcoming year.”
Cowen succeeds Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan. Cowen served during the past year as vice chair of AAU. William C. Powers Jr., president of the University of Texas at Austin, was elected today as vice chair for the 2012-2013 term.
As AAU chair, Cowen will serve as a spokesperson for the association, particularly on issues of special concern to research universities. He will represent AAU in meetings with national policymakers and help to develop national policy positions on issues that relate to university research and graduate, professional, and undergraduate education.
In addition to his AAU duties, he recently served on the White House Council for Community Solutions. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also continues to provide leadership in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, particularly in reforming and rebuilding the city"s public school system.