October 31, 2002

Rawlings Named 'Universities' Chair

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President Hunter R. Rawlings III was elected chair of the American Association of Universities (AAU) at the organization’s fall meeting at Emory University.

He previously served as vice chair on the 11-member executive committee and will succeed Robert Berdahl, president of the University of California-Berkley. Elected as vice-chair was John Casteen, president of the University of Virginia.

Rawlings will serve his term until June 30, when he plans to retire as the University’s president and assume a full-time professorship in the department of classics. Until then, Rawlings says he plans to work with the AAU in strengthening student financial aid, focusing on university research problems and, “helping international students gain access to our universities in the post 9/11 [era].”

“AAU represents the issues of research universities. We work with the federal government in research fields such as the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy,” Rawlings said.

The AAU was founded in 1900 by the nation’s fourteen universities offering Ph.D. degrees. It now includes 63 public and private universities, including two from Canada. The organization meets twice a year on a university member campus in the fall and in the AAU headquarters in Washington, D.C. in the spring.

“[Cornell] has been a leading research university since the beginning and participates in all the activities [of the organization],” Rawlings adds.

Victoria Churchville, spokesperson for the AAU, commends Rawlings on his appointment.

“I think it’s wonderful that Rawlings was elected. [He] is a wonderful leader for the group [and is] innovative and energetic,” she said.

Henrik N. Dullea ’61, vice president for University relations agrees. “It’s a great honor for President Rawlings and a great honor for Cornell,” he said.

Casteen will assume the position of chairperson on July 1, 2003 when Rawlings retires from the position.

Archived article by Mary Chu