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ORAU Welcomes Seven New Universities to Consortium

April 14, 2006

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) welcomed seven universities as the newest members of its consortium during the 61st annual meeting of the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions held in Oak Ridge.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Penn State University (PSU), San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) have now become the newest ORAU sponsoring institutions. The Council also accepted the applications of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) as associate members.

With these additions, the ORAU Consortium now consists of 96 sponsoring institutions and 13 associate members, representing 28 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and London. Membership in the ORAU consortium allows faculty and students at member institutions opportunities to win members-only grants and internships as well as participate in laboratory research at federal facilities, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

"This prestigious new class of member institutions brings an incredible array of assets in terms of academic reputation, scientific research, human resources, and innovation in educating the next generation of science and technology leaders," ORAU President Ron Townsend said. "I could not be more pleased to welcome such a diverse group of universities to the ORAU family. I expect that the entire consortium will benefit from the contributions of these newest members for years to come."

Located in Pittsburgh, CMU holds the distinction of having 15 Nobel Prize winners affiliated with the university as either faculty or graduates of the school. Many of CMU's programs rank among the highest according to U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings, including a number one ranking in 2006 for the graduate program in computer science, and a number eight ranking for the graduate engineering program.

With its main campus in Baltimore, JHU has also produced more than 30 Nobel Prize winners among its faculty and former students. Founded in 1876 as America's first research university, JHU has grown to include campuses in Maryland, Washington, D.C., China, Italy, and Singapore.

MTSU was founded in 1911 as a teacher training school and has become the fastest growing university in the state of Tennessee. Located on 466 acres in Murfreesboro, Tenn., MTSU has an enrollment of more than 22,000 students and offers 69 undergraduate majors and 70 areas of study in graduate education, a third of which are in science, technology and engineering.

As a top-tier research university, PSU ranked in the top 10 in 2005 expenditures in seven different academic disciplines, spending more than $638 million on research activities. With more than 80,000 students and 20,000 faculty members, PSU is among the largest institutions to join the ORAU Consortium.

SDSU represents the first university in California to join the ORAU Consortium. With nearly 33,000 students and approximately 6,400 faculty and staff, SDSU is the third largest university in the state and features educational programs that include 81 bachelors, 72 master's and 16 doctoral degrees.

While younger than other members of this group of universities, both Texas schools have experienced tremendous growth since each was founded in 1969. UTSA serves the South Texas region with three campuses and offers more than 100 degree programs to 26,000 students. UTD serves the North Texas area and originally grew out of the efforts of the founders of Texas Instruments to improve the level of graduate education for the Southwest Region of the United States. UTD has grown to include 26 Ph.D. programs and a faculty that includes Nobel laureate Alan MacDiarmid.

The addition of MTSU, JHU and CMU comes as a natural outgrowth of a partnership between those schools and ORAU in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math education through a Congressionally mandated Science and Engineering Education Pilot Program (SEEPP). Authorized in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the SEEPP program is designed to help students teachers at every grade level-from kindergarten to college undergraduates, including teacher education-learn about scientific research in the country's leading laboratories and then put those methods back in their own classrooms and beyond.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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