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The Association of American Universities on Thursday announced that it would add six new research universities to its selective membership—institutions with a decided tilt to the West and South. 

They are:

Membership in the AAU, which now numbers 71, has historically been coveted by many public and private research universities as a signal of national and international prominence and excellence. Leaders often strategize about how to shape their institutions to meet the association’s criteria; the University of South Florida, for instance, built its 2012 strategic plan around earning its way into the AAU.

The association’s evolving criteria have resulted in the exclusion of some longtime members, especially, in recent years, some land-grant institutions in the Midwest that favor agricultural research over biomedical and other forms of research.

AAU leaders called out in their announcement that two of the new members, Arizona State and UC Riverside, are Hispanic-serving institutions.