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BU Joins Top Research Schools


November 9, 2012

Nashville, Tenn. — Boston University has become the third United Methodist related institution to join the Association of American Universities (AAU), an elite organization of 61 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. BU was invited to become the 62nd member based on its research and academic programs.

"AAU universities play an essential role in America's research enterprise and in educating the nation's young scientists, engineers, and scholars. Boston University is a welcome addition to the ranks of these leading research universities," said Hunter R. Rawlings III, president of the AAU, in a press release.

Boston University has deep roots in the Methodist tradition. In the 1870s, the University launched the first Methodist seminary in the United States.

"The United Methodist education connection has 120 schools, colleges and universities in the United States and we are happy to count Boston University among those," said Dr. Gerald D. Lord, who heads the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. "Boston University is a shining example of how our United Methodist related institutions are making a difference around the world."

Membership in the AAU is by invitation only. In addition to BU, United Methodist-related Duke University became a member in 1938 and Emory University became a member in 1995. Selection criteria includes the quality of programs of academic research and scholarship; undergraduate, graduate, and professional education in a number of fields; and general recognition that a university is outstanding by reason of the excellence of its research and education programs.

"We look forward to participating with the AAU membership in helping guide the future of research universities in the United States as a critical resource for American leadership in higher education, knowledge creation, and innovation," said Robert A. Brown, president of Boston University.

Since arrival at BU in 2005, Brown has made research a priority, recruiting and developing faculty in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, and humanities, according to a press release. In the past year alone, the University hired 53 new faculty members on the Charles River Campus, including 15 for newly created positions, and 48 new faculty on the Medical Campus. In fiscal 2012, BU received $348.4 million in research awards, one of several criteria considered in the AAU admissions process.


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