Over the last several years administrations and faculties at research universities have been seizing opportunities presented by rapid changes in technology, education, culture, and economies to transform their work and their institutions. Much of this activity has been precipitated by new energy within the arts as well as the infusion of arts and design practices in other disciplines and methods. The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) advances this new energy in the arts themselves and capitalizes on the expanding applicability of the arts within and across research universities and beyond. We believe such a transformation in research universities is the most effective means to equip students and faculty to address the world’s most pressing, complex, and open-ended challenges with creative confidence as well as disciplinary expertise. The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) generates knowledge, advocacy, and resources that enable universities to integrate arts practices, fostering highly adaptive creators and thinkers. We facilitate such a transformation by providing advocacy, the strength of a national network of leading research universities, and a new body of research and best practices to enable research university leaders to knowledgeably integrate arts practices for the greatest benefits of their institutions.