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APLU Annual Meeting
About APLU

About Us

APLU is a membership organization that fosters a community of university leaders collectively working to advance the mission of public research universities. The association’s membership consists of more than 250 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations spanning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, Canada, and Mexico.
The association and its members collectively focus on: increasing access, equity, completion, and workforce readiness; promoting pathbreaking scientific research; and bolstering economic and community engagement. Drawing on the powerful collective action of its members, APLU’s advocacy arm helps shape federal policy that maximizes the positive impact of public and land-grant universities.


APLU Vision, Mission, & Core Values

A world in which the transformative power of public higher education is fully unlocked so that its benefits are experienced and shared by all.

APLU fosters a community of public and land-grant university leaders committed to equitably improving the lives and livelihoods of individuals, communities, and society through the continuous advancement of public higher education. This community creates powerful collective action that extends to the association’s advocacy work, which shapes a federal policy landscape that maximizes the impact of its members. APLU’s work centers on:

  • Driving equitable student success, with a particular emphasis on increasing access and degrees among historically underserved students
  • Fostering research and innovation
  • Deepening community and economic engagement
  • Curiosity: The dedication to inquiry, learning, self-examination, innovation, and data-informed transformation that supports and advances public higher education.
  • Collaboration: The recognition that the best answers often come not from individuals but through the sharing of different ideas and perspectives of people with different roles, responsibilities, and life experiences.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging: A collective intention to value difference, ensure access and needs are met for all, and create space for individuals to be included. When this is done well people will feel that they are part of a community. For more detailed definitions and information on APLU’s commitment to DEIB please visit: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging.
  • Excellence: Ensuring we set and consistently meet or exceed high standards of expectations and engagement in support of APLU’s mission and those of our member institutions.
  • Integrity: Being transparent, honest, and accountable in the work performed for our members. We honor the trust members place in us to be a convener, advocate, and voice for public higher education.
  • Public Service: Reflecting the public nature of our members, we work to ensure the benefits of public higher education are accessible to all and aim to solve society’s greatest challenges.

APLU undertakes a wide array of projects and initiatives along with its members and provides a forum for public higher education leaders to work collaboratively and better meet the challenges and opportunities facing public universities.  Rallying the talents, knowledge and expertise among its member institutions is critical to the association’s mission.  The APLU council structure enables university leaders with comparable titles, working in similar positions, to come together to address critical issues and expand their knowledge base within their professional area of expertise.  The association’s commission structure enables individuals, regardless of position and from multiple disciplines across the universities, to come together to address critical issues and expand their knowledge base in areas of common interest regardless of position.

Founded in 1887, APLU is North America’s oldest higher education association with member institutions in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, as well as Canada, and Mexico.  In 1963, the American Association of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities merged with the National Association of State Universities to form the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC).  On March 30, 2009, the association adopted the name, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, or APLU. In 2014, APLU welcomed a select group of public universities from Canada and Mexico as its first international members. 

APLU by the Numbers

  • Annually, APLU member campuses enroll 5.4 million undergraduates and 1.4 million graduate students, award 1.4 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $51 billion in university-based research.

  • APLU’s membership includes 223 campuses and 25 university systems, including 79 U.S. land-grant institutions, and 3 affiliates.

  • The association’s membership includes 23 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), of which 21 are land-grant institutions (19 under the 1890 Morrill Act, two under the 1862 Morrill Act). It also includes 34 Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)

  • Nine Canadian and five Mexican public research universities are members of APLU.

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Featured Publication

2022 APLU Annual Report

APLU Staff Highlights

APLU’s Frederick to Speak at AAC&U Conference on DEI
Alcione Frederick
Assistant Director, Center for Public University Transformation

APLU’s Alcione Frederick will present on engaging students in institutional transformation at the AAC&U conference on diversity, equity, and student success.