University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Campus


Fall 2023

Campus Magazine

AAU membership is a ‘point of pride’

By Marc R. Masferrer, University Communications and Marketing

The University of South Florida’s invitation to join the Association of American Universities 
arrived as the Sarasota-Manatee campus is progressing through a transformative expansion that, like AAU membership, will elevate the profile of the only research university with an academic presence in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

The invitation to join the AAU recognizes USF’s dedication to excellence in student and faculty success, and in research and innovation. Only four AAU members are younger than USF.

“This is a historic and momentous achievement for USF,” said USF President Rhea Law.

“Especially when considering we were founded in 1956, to now officially be recognized by our peers as one of America’s leading research universities, is a shining example of our university community’s determination, innovative spirit and relentless pursuit of excellence. Reaching this milestone only strengthens our ambition to improve lives and positively shape the future of our society.”

Sarasota-Manatee campus Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook said AAU membership recognizes USF’s long-held commitment to and success in growing as a research institution over the past decade and a half, including hiring faculty capable of performing high-impact research and obtaining funding and patents for their work, as well as planning for facilities like the Nursing/STEM building. It also recognizes USF’s ability to attract students that meet the AAU’s high admission standards.

“The AAU’s recognition fits perfectly with our campus’s goal of creating a more vigorous, more prestigious academic experience for our faculty and for our students, and for supporting groundbreaking research,” Holbrook said.

Holbrook said the AAU’s invitation was a credit to USF faculty members and the research they have accomplished.

“With its invitation, the AAU is recognizing we are among the leading research institutions in the nation, that we are deserving of acclaim for what we have accomplished and how we are planning to grow our research in various fields, like cybersecurity, the life and health sciences and engineering,” Holbrook said.

USF is joining the likes of Purdue, Northwestern, Caltech and the University of Florida, in the AAU. The elite company will enhance attention, recognition and funding USF already receives and give it a “place at the table” in developing policy for higher education at the federal level. AAU membership also will help USF when recruiting new faculty.

“AAU membership affirms our hard work and USF’s commitment to research that made us a preeminent global research institution,” Holbrook said. “It is a point of pride.”

Return to article listing


About Sarasota-Manatee Campus Magazine

Momentum is published by USF Research and Innovation and the Office of University Communications and Marketing on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. The University of South Florida, a member of the Association of American Universities, is a high-impact research university with campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee.