UM joins prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU)

President Julio Frenk speaks on the importance integrity at the State of the U address on Thursday, Sept. 15 at the Shalala Student Center. Photo credit: Cecelia Runner

The University of Miami, since the guidance of former University President Edward T. Foote, has relentlessly strived to secure its position as an academic powerhouse in both the state and the nation. This summer, ‘Canes everywhere can say that mission was finally achieved.

As of June 2023, the University has officially been inducted as one of the newest members of the esteemed Association of American Universities (AAU). This recognition is a testament to the university’s commitment to excellence in research and education, with only 71 universities in the country being extended an invitation to join the prestigious community.

“There are special moments in the life of a university that not only reward our hard work but, more importantly, reaffirm our strategic vision and time-honored mission,” said University President Julio Frenk in a video message to the UM community announcing the achievement.

“Whether we are looking at innovation and discovery, the dissemination of knowledge and promotion of understanding, the celebration of our diverse and unique experiences, the guiding and implementation of evidence-based public policies and best practices—each of these worthy endeavors share the prime directive to promote, protect and preserve our people and our planet.”

Being a part of this association is a mark of distinction, signifying that the University meets the high standards set by the AAU in terms of research output, academic excellence and contributions to society.

Having received over $413 million in grants and funding in the 2022 fiscal year, the University has been a leader in various types of research, including stem cell research, cancer research, climate prediction, humanities, psychology and more.

The Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and UHealth alone received over $175 million in federal grants last year, with the school ranking second in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded programs and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center earning National Cancer Institute designation, according to News@theU. Both the School of Nursing and Health Studies and the psychology department in the College of Arts & Sciences also routinely secure top NIH funding opportunities.

The Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric and Earth Science received over $7.5 million in federal funding in order to aid the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Reefense program in coastal reef protection. Additionally, the Climate Resilience Academy, launched just last year, is made up of 16 researchers who are members of the prestigious National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

President Frenk expressed his pride and gratitude for this recognition, emphasizing the University’s dedication to research excellence and its role as a leading research institution.

“Today is a great day for all of us who love and support the University of Miami and who have invested our efforts and hearts in its continuous quest for excellence,” Frenk continued in the video announcement. “As we approach our Centennial in 2025, we do so with this defining moment firmly realized.”

The AAU’s recent announcement also included the induction of other significant academic institutions, such as UC Riverside, George Washington University and the University of South Florida. This broadens UM’s network, expanding the list of experts, professionals and resources which can lead to more significant discoveries.

Carol L. Folt, the AAU board chair and University of Southern California president, expressed her excitement about inviting these diverse institutions to the AAU, highlighting the association’s commitment to promoting academic excellence.

“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,” Folt said during the induction.

Now officially a member of this esteemed network, the University is focused on enhancing its mission of advancing knowledge and broadening research possibilities for all students and faculty. This commitment ensures that future generations of ‘Canes will have a diverse range of opportunities and resources to continue making an impact on the world around them.

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Caroline Val
Caroline Val is a senior from Orlando, Fla. majoring in journalism and with double minors in political science and French. She began writing for the news section of The Hurricane in the fall of her sophomore year and developed its first ever podcast, Catch Up 'Canes, as podcast editor last year. Born in Miami, Caroline is excited to reconnect with the South Florida community through storytelling, interviews, and writing as co-news editor this year. Val is also a freelance contributor for the Miami New Times, an intern with News@theU, and loves trying all the new restaurants in Miami in her spare time!