US: Prestigious universities group ousts Nebraska

For the first time in its 111-year history, an organisation made up of the nation's leading research universities has voted to oust one of its members, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The ouster by the prestigious and prominent group, the Association of American Universities, was particularly painful to Nebraska since the university was one of its earliest members, admitted in 1909, writes Tamar Lewin for The New York Times.

However the university has, for several years, lagged behind most others on the criteria for membership - primarily competitive research funding and the share of faculty in the National Academies. "We have known we were at risk of this for 10 years, and successfully fought off a similar threat in 2000," the university's chancellor, Harvey Perlman, said in an e-mail to faculty and staff announcing what he called the "disconcerting news".

Nebraska's ouster was reported earlier by The Chronicle of Higher Education, along with a decision by Syracuse University to leave the organisation voluntarily. Syracuse has been a member since 1966, and, like Nebraska, was placed on review last autumn.
Full report on the New York Times site