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UCSB Chancellor to Chair Association of American Universities

Henry Yang assumed the one-year post Tuesday at the organization's fall membership meeting

UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang has been elected chairman of the Association of American Universities, a nonprofit organization representing 60 leading public and private research universities in the United States and two major Canadian institutions.

Yang, who has served on the association’s executive committee since 2005, assumed his new role Tuesday, at the conclusion of the organization’s fall membership meeting, held at McGill University in Montreal. He succeeds Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman in the one-year post.

Founded in 1900 to advance the international standing of U.S. research universities, the Association of American Universities now focuses on issues that are important to research-intensive institutions, such as funding for research, research policy issues, graduate and undergraduate education, federal government relations, policy studies and public affairs. Universities selected for membership in the prestigious association are national leaders in research and education as well as in innovation, scholarship and solutions that contribute to the country’s economy, security and well-being.

“At this critical juncture in our history, the role played by research universities is more important than ever,” Yang said. “We need to speak in a strong and clear voice about the importance of investing in higher education and research and to sustain and enhance the capacities of American universities, which are among the best in the world in education, innovation and research. The services these institutions provide to our communities, states and our global society are invaluable. I am honored to serve as chair of this vital association, and look forward to working closely with my higher education colleagues on these and other important issues.”

The 60 AAU members in the United States award more than half of all U.S. doctoral degrees and 55 percent of those in the sciences and engineering. AAU programs and projects address institutional issues facing member universities, as well as government actions that affect these and other universities.

Membership in the AAU is by invitation, and UCSB became a member in 1995, during Yang’s tenure as chancellor. In addition to his membership on the association’s executive committee, his various roles in the organization have included service on the Graduate Education Committee and Cost of Research Committee.


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