At least two thirds of the 63-member organization decided that after more than 100 years of membership, the university should no longer be numbered amongst the distinguished institutions in the AAU. This marks the first time an institution has been asked to leave the group.
University Chancellor Harvey Perlman told faculty members in an email sent out Friday that the association’s evaluative metric is biased against institutions like UNL, according to the Omaha World-Herald: “I had hoped our extraordinary accomplishments and steep trajectory would have made us less vulnerable, but the AAU's approach to the review made this result inevitable," he said.
He explained that the university has been ranked lowest of all the AAU schools since 2000 -- largely because the AAU did not include the Nebraska system’s medical college when considering UNL’s research output, nor did it value the large amount of agriculture-related research published by university professors.
In the email, he also said that if the AAU had used a more qualitative metric they would have ranked the university above a number of schools still included in the association.
AAU representative Barry Toiv told the Chronicle that the organization’s process for review was “followed in its entirety”.
Perlman told faculty that the dismissal will not endanger the university’s inclusion in the Big Ten, to be made official on July 1st.