CONTACT: Barry Toiv
For Immediate Release:
December 16, 2013



Following is a statement by Hunter Rawlings, President of the Association of American Universities, on the Gallup-Purdue Index, announced today by Gallup, Purdue University, and the Lumina Foundation.

We at AAU are encouraged by this thoughtful, research-based approach to evaluating the outcomes of students’ higher education experiences. The Gallup-Purdue Index is an ambitious and challenging undertaking whose goals may be difficult to accomplish. But it contains strong elements that make it superior to many other existing and proposed outcome measures. First, it recognizes the complexity and range of benefits that attaining a college degree confers on an individual, avoiding the myopic notion that financial outcomes like earnings constitute the primary value of a degree. Second, it is based on research and will be guided by leading social scientists. Third, it will be conducted by higher education for higher education and is intended to help colleges and universities evaluate and improve the experience they provide to undergraduates. It thus preserves and respects the values that have made American higher education the best and most diverse in the world.


The Association of American Universities is a nonprofit association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian preeminent public and private research universities. Founded in 1900, AAU focuses on national and institutional issues that are important to research-intensive universities, including funding for research, research and education policy, and graduate and undergraduate education.

Please visit us at and follow us on Twitter at @AAUniversities .