Achievement & Assessment Institute Celebrates 10 years as a Designated Research Institute

The Achievement & Assessment Institute is marking its 10th year as a designated research institute at the University of Kansas. AAI will celebrate the milestone with two events in August and activities throughout the second half of the year.

AAI’s mission is to successfully build partnerships and programs that support the achievement of children, adults and publicly funded agencies. This is done through academics, research, direct-impact programming, developing healthy environments, community engagement and more. AAI provides the tools needed to enhance the capacity of organizations that help communities and offers support to KU faculty whose research relates to key areas of the mission.

“AAI and its centers have been and will continue to be essential partners in building an exceptional learning community at KU. Over the past 10 years, the work done at AAI has consistently embodied the three mission-based priorities of Jayhawks Rising: student success, healthy and vibrant communities, and research and discovery,” said Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, KU provost and executive vice chancellor. “I am excited to see AAI continue its mission of improving lives and communities in the years to come.”

AAI has 12 centers organized into two categories: strategic centers, which are expected to have strategic plans ensuring their long-term viability, and tactical centers, which are contingent upon faculty research agendas and funding. In addition to these two categories, AAI has a number of affiliated faculty at KU and other institutions.

Examples of work by AAI include providing third-party program evaluation to KU researchers for grant applications and awards, providing assistance to students through TRIO and other programs designed to support students on their path to success, and creating learning maps as an organizational structure for KU centers, researchers and professors.

To formally acknowledge and celebrate the influence of AAI and its centers over the past 10 years, KU leadership, AAI staff and partners will come together for a formal luncheon Aug. 3 at the Burge Union. The luncheon will include remarks from KU Chancellor Douglas A. Girod, Vice Chancellor for Research Simon Atkinson and AAI Director Neal Kingston.

An informal private celebration will take place Aug. 4 at AAI’s central office. Staff and faculty from across AAI’s centers will join this this rare opportunity to gather all together on KU’s campus. The celebration will be a day of food, music, games and festivities to thank AAI staff and partners for their hard work. Media are invited to attend both events.

AAI has also released a special 10th anniversary article featuring milestones, examples of collaborative work from the centers and reflections from directors.

Following the August events, AAI will continue to honor the work of improving the lives of children, adults and communities by participating in local volunteer activities throughout the fall semester.

“We have demonstrated in 10 years of time that one can make a successful model of a different approach to a research center. And we have done that because of the people we have,” Kingston said.

“We have a large and phenomenal team, and I am proud of how well we serve our mission and look forward to continuing the great work we do in the next ten years and beyond.”