You are here: American University President Announcements September 14, 2020

AU Memo Letterhead

Dear AU Community,

The activity across the AU community–in scholarship, in learning, and in community building–is even more notable and exceptional than usual, as we work and learn from many different places. American University is in action–changemakers taking on challenges in our changing world. I know it can be difficult to keep up with all the engaging events and happenings, so I thought I would share some upcoming highlights and important resources with you:

And that’s just this week!

Today also shows AU on the move in the world of higher education. US News and World Report published its annual rankings of 396 national universities. I am proud to report that not only did American University move to #76 overall, but we were highly ranked across a diverse spectrum of educational achievements that reflect the university’s momentum, commitment to the student experience, and high-quality educational programs:

  • #25 for Undergraduate Teaching
  • #35 for Top Innovative Universities
  • #43 for First-Year Student Experience
  • #11 for Study Abroad

To achieve these recognitions in a time of such change is a testament to the incredible work across our community. A key component of the ranking is how AU is viewed by peers at other higher education institutions, and it is one of the most difficult metrics to move. And this year, we increased our standing in the eyes of our colleagues and competitors.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who participated in the university budget briefings last week. The presentation can be viewed on the AU portal (you will need to login with your AU email and password). These sessions provided thoughtful input from the community, and I encourage you to continue submitting your comments to

We are working through the financial matters outlined during the briefings and will provide updates to the community by the end of September. This is a difficult step in the journey through COVID-19. Prudent financial planning, the use of budget reserves, and important initial sacrifices have helped us reach this point with limited impacts on our community. But there are still tough choices ahead. We know there are many questions about specific actions, and we understand the desire for certainty. Please know we are working as diligently and quickly as possible and we will provide additional information to you soon.

Moving forward and achieving new heights is the hallmark of AU Eagles. COVID-19 may have changed how we complete some of our tasks, but more importantly, it strengthened our resolve and ingenuity in fulfilling our purpose.

Be safe and be well.