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Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon on Tuesday begins a one-year term as chairwoman of the Association of American Universities, officials announced Tuesday

The nonprofit organization is made up of 62 public and private research universities in the United States and Canada. It works to maintain a partnership between research universities and the government and to advance university research and higher education. Most recently, it conducted and released the findings of the largest national surveys of campus sexual misconduct.

This past year’s AAU’s vice chairwoman, Simon will be the spokeswoman for the organization. She succeeds University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann as chairwoman.

“Research universities today face rising societal expectations for cutting-edge discovery and life-enhancing innovation, and for developing the next generations of talent that will tackle humanity’s big challenges,” said Simon. “I feel truly privileged to chair the association supporting this impressive group of world-renowned research universities.”

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