News FocusNewsmaker Interview: Hunter Rawlings III

On Teaching, Tuition, and Talent

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Science  16 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6074, pp. 1299
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6074.1299

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Summary

The Association of American Universities (AAU), a group of 61 elite public and private institutions, has traditionally focused on national policies relating to higher education. But under its new president, Hunter Rawlings III, it's also begun to look more closely at what's happening on the campuses of its members. A new initiative aimed at improving the teaching of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, Rawlings says, represents an issue that is vital to both the nation and the AAU membership. In an interview with Science, Rawlings predicted that raising the quality of undergraduate instruction will rank high on the to-do list in an upcoming National Academies report on the health of research universities. He also offered some strong opinions on what those institutions need to do to retain their global leadership despite the current stringent fiscal climate.