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Center for University Excellence

The Center for University Excellence (CUE) at American University serves as a hub for national and global dialogue on pressing issues facing higher education and society.

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Center for University Excellence 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Committed to Educational Excellence

The Center for University Excellence at American University cultivates new knowledge for the improvement of a learned society and the broader public good. CUE is an enabling institution that brings university research expertise to pressing problems in the public domain. We emphasize the critical role higher education plays in creating and sustaining inclusive, just, and democratic societies. Our focus is research, discourse, and public engagement with the most pressing questions facing society and higher education today.

For the next several years CUE will pursue the following organizantional priorities:

  1. Promoting college student success and well-being
  2. Shaping integrative and holistic education and support systems
  3. Analyzing the university as a complex organization
  4. Supporting the university as a beacon of democracy engaged in preparing a diverse generation of students to meet contemporary societal challenges

Administratively Adrift book coverAdministratively Adrift

In Administratively Adrift: Overcoming Institutional Barriers for College Student Success, American University Provost Emeritus, School of Public Affairs Professor of Public Administration and Policy, and Executive Director of the Center for University Excellence Scott A. Bass explores the structural weaknesses in U.S. colleges and universities and suggests strategies for reform. The book describes the influences of history, tradition, and internal and external pressures on the American university, highlighting its evolution to its staid and fragmented structure; it distills voices of students, faculty, and staff; and it explores how successful organizations outside of higher education deliver services, with potential applicability for the academy's ability to meet students where they are.
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Scott BassScott A. Bass
Executive Director

Dr. Scott A. Bass is Provost Emeritus and Professor of Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public Affairs at American University (AU). Since his arrival at AU in 2008, Dr. Bass has focused on strategic planning, diversity, inclusive excellence, strengthening the academic infrastructure, intensifying research productivity, and enhancing the total student experience. A sample of his accomplishments during this time include elevating the university to the R2 status; overseeing the hiring of over half of the full-time faculty; increasing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity; dramatically increasing student selectivity; and enhancing academic standards.