Research centers and student/faculty support at American University emphasizes researched persuasive writing. All of AUP’s research centers are mission driven, promoting exchange and scholarly faculty research on subjects the University community values: writing and translation, democracy and social justice, genocide prevention and human rights, critical media studies, global diplomacy and leadership and the environment. Research Centers. As part of the five year strategic plan, AU is committed to establishing two or three university-research centers in areas of strategic focus where there is significant potential for further growth. American University School of Public Affairs has a world-renowned collection of research centers and departments. Through empirical research, cultivated research networks, experimental interventions, and public engagement, the Center for University Excellence (CUE) generates knowledge intended to shape both institutional reforms and national and global conversations about the role of higher education and knowledge production in democratic civil society. American University is committed to establishing targeted centers in scholarly areas that bring together thought leaders, policy makers, and industry leaders.