You are here: American University Finance Annual Report 2018-2019 From the President and Board Chair

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From the President and Board Chair

American University is an institution on the move. We are a community of strivers and dreamers who think deeply, then act boldly. That’s simply the AU way.

Before women could vote, they attended AU. For over 50 years, AU has held its doors open to exceptional students from DC Public Schools through the Frederick Douglass Scholarship program. Our Washington College of Law is the first law school founded by women, and today we’re an institution committed to achieving excellence through inclusion.

The footsteps of changemakers echo throughout our history and reverberate through our campus today. Presidents came to AU with messages that challenged our thinking and affected the course of history. They charged us to make the world a better place and helped us lay the foundation of who we are as a community and educational institution.

This legacy of bold leadership guides AU today. In January 2019 we unveiled our five-year strategic plan, Changemakers for a Changing World. It builds upon our strengths of scholarship, learning, and community, and reflects our character as changemakers. Less than a year in, we’ve made meaningful progress.

We’ve opened new centers, like the Sine Institute of Policy and Politics, to explore the most pressing issues of our time. Since its launch, the institute welcomed its inaugural leader, hosted its first class of fellows, and convened discussions on state-level policy innovation and the arts and political voice.

We’re ensuring that what we teach aligns with how students learn to lead in a shifting professional landscape. To that end, we’ve partnered with businesses and universities in the DC area to develop a digital-literacy credential that prepares students for the data-driven workforce.

We’re improving how we work at AU, because when our staff and faculty thrive, our students thrive, too. In response to feedback from across campus, we’ve adjusted our fiscal year to better align with peer institutions and federal financial aid.

We’re putting the spotlight on our role as a changemaking university. Two years after setting the standard for higher education by becoming the first university in the United States to achieve carbon neutrality, we’re converting our campus-wide heating system to cut our carbon emissions even further.

And this is only the beginning. In this report, you’ll find stories of AU movers, shakers, and changemakers. We couldn’t be more honored to lead our distinguished university through this next chapter. It’s onward and upward from here, Eagles.


Sylvia M. Burwell

Sylvia M. Burwell

Marc N. Duber signature

Marc N. Duber
Chair, Board of Trustees