Her one-year term begins today, the final day of the association's semi-annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
"The contributions and discoveries of research universities are integral to the forward momentum of our country," Coleman said. "I look forward to giving voice to our important work in the upcoming year."
Coleman, who served as vice chair of AAU during the past year, succeeds Jared Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University.
As AAU chair, Coleman will serve as a spokesperson for the association, particularly on issues of special concern to research universities. She will represent AAU in meetings with national policymakers and help to develop national policy positions on issues that relate to university research and graduate, professional and undergraduate education.
Coleman is in her 10th year as president of U-M. In addition to her AAU duties, she is co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a commission established in 2010 by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
U-M is a founding member of AAU. It was one of only three public universities among the 14 institutions that agreed to establish the organization in 1900.
AAU is a nonprofit association of 59 U.S. and two Canadian public and private research universities organized to develop and implement effective national and institutional policies supporting research and scholarship, graduate and professional education, undergraduate education, and public service in research universities.