© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

USF is invited to join a top-tier group of research institutions

Green letters reading "USF" and "University of South Florida" on a brick wall. Palm trees and vegetation surround the frame.
Carl Lisciandrello
WUSF Public Media
A sign on the University of South Florida's Tampa campus.

Membership into the Association of American Universities will attract more students and world-class faculty to USF, as well as allow it to compete for federal research funding.

The University of South Florida has been invited to join a prestigious group of research universities in the United States and Canada.

USF was one of six institutions invited into the Association of American Universities on Thursday, according to a press release by the organization. Arizona State University; George Washington University; the University of California, Riverside; the University of Notre Dame and the University of Miami also received invitations.

With the announcement, three Florida universities now make up the AAU’s 71 member institutions. USF is the first public Florida university to be a part of the organization since 1985, when the University of Florida joined.

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

Membership into AAU is by invitation only, according to the release. USF Board of Trustees Chair Will Weatherford said getting an invite is one of the biggest accomplishments in the university’s history.

“To be asked by our peers to join such a highly regarded group of the top research universities is a credit to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and other supporters,” Weatherford said in the release.

The university said the membership will help it meet the state’s workforce needs and drive economic development. It also said it will also attract more students and world-class faculty to USF, as well as allow USF to compete for federal research funding.

“Having an AAU institution located in Tampa Bay will have a major impact on our region and the state of Florida for generations to come,” Weatherford said in the release.

As WUSF’s digital news producer, I strive to serve others by sharing stories on our online platforms.