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Updates from the President

Updates from President Crow: December 26, 2016

  • Welcoming Thousands of New Alumni
  • Joining the Call for Economic Leadership in Washington, DC
  • Two Days in Mexico: Urging Creativity, Teamwork Among Innovators
  • What the Future Holds for the Arizona Economy

W. P. Carey graduates during fall 2016 University Commencement

W. P. Carey School of Business graduates settle in for fall 2016 University Commencement in Wells Fargo Arena.

Welcoming thousands of new ASU alumni

December 12 marked the start of a week full of graduation events across Arizona State University. These celebrations included our Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement ceremonies, which welcomed more than 7,000 master learners to the ranks of our ASU alumni, and numerous academic units and special convocations. Our graduates reflected the full spectrum of our university community, with representatives from around the world, veteran and active duty military members, online students and Starbucks College Achievement Plan partners among them.

In my commencement remarks, I reminded graduates that they are living in the best day in the history of our country - one where liberty, equality and justice are being pursued with positive vengeance - and they have both the responsibility and the abilities to tackle any challenges facing their communities.

I invite you to learn more about our accomplished graduates by reading these profiles and enjoying the energy of this special week by visiting the link below.

2016 National Economic Competitiveness Forum

Joining the call for economic leadership in Washington, D.C

The U.S. Council on Competitiveness is a non-partisan organization comprised of corporate CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and national laboratory directors who work collectively to help advance U.S. global competitiveness with the aim of improving American prosperity. I serve as University Chairman and was asked to play a lead role in the Council's 2016 National Economic Competitiveness Forum and its 30th anniversary celebration, both in Washington, DC.

I had the privilege of joining the Council's leadership in publically announcing its 2016 Clarion Call, an annual report that assesses the U.S. economy, plans for strengthening national prosperity, and the responsiveness of federal policymakers. The ideas I shared there focused on our nation's significant challenges in managing the factors that drive economic competitiveness, including the need for creative destruction and the development of people through lifelong learning that empowers them to function at progressively higher levels.

With the installation of our new presidential administration less than a month away and the start of our new legislative sessions, I hope you will take a few minutes to watch our conversation below and review this thought-provoking publication as you think about what the future success of our country means to you and how we can work together to help realize its highest potential.

ASU President Michael Crow gives remarks at the 3rd Annual International Education Innovation Conference

ASU President Michael Crow gives remarks at the 3rd Annual International Education Innovation Conference in Mexico City.

Two days in Mexico: Urging creativity, teamwork among innovators

I also recently traveled to Mexico City to give keynote remarks at the 3rd Annual International Education Innovation Conference, a gathering hosted by Tecnológico de Monterrey that convenes the academic scholars, administrators, policymakers and thought leaders interested in revolutionizing the future of higher education. There I encountered an audience already enthusiastic about the need for new education models and interested in the scale of innovation it will take to meet global demand. In addition to discussing the evolution of higher education and our approach as an emerging leader in new teaching/learning paradigms, I stressed that the only thing keeping us from the world we all wish to see is educational attainment, and bringing that outcome to fruition will require creative collaboration.

As ASU continues to expand its portfolio of research and academic programs with our higher education counterparts in Mexico and around the world opportunities to relay our vision and approach to the simultaneous pursuit of excellence, access and societal impact are important. As a leading university in innovation, there is growing interest in how we have reconceptualized the structure of our knowledge enterprise and integrated our institutional priorities into every facet of our teaching, discovery and operations. You can watch my full presentation below.

Beyond conveying our efforts, these international conversations are meaningful to talk about the challenges facing the world in meeting the future demand for quality higher education and how we need to work together with the benefit of technology to develop the talent that exists in every corner of the world.

During my brief visit, I also had a chance to sit down with the Salvador Alva, president of the Tec de Monterrey System and several university presidents to share ASU's leadership role in forming and advancing the University Innovation Alliance and to discuss how our respective institutions might work together to advance similar innovations.

Chart of estimated Arizona job loss due to future occupational automation

What the future holds for the Arizona economy

At the invitation of the East Valley Partnership, a non-partisan group of public and private sector stakeholders dedicated to advocating for regional success, I had a special chance recently to offer some facts on the Arizona economy and my thoughts on the opportunities and challenges ahead. To a room of about 500 people, I shared some concerning data that confirms that Arizona's economic health is not at the rate previously believed.

To the surprise of many, Arizona's economy has rebounded from the recession, but only to the extent that it currently mirrors 2006 levels. Furthermore, Phoenix lags significantly behind Detroit, Michigan - one of the most U.S. cities hit hardest by the recession - in terms of recovery.

That is not to say that hope eludes us. To the contrary, both Phoenix and Arizona possess incredible potential in terms of talent, technology and entrepreneurship, all of which can help to make us an economic leader. However, such a turnaround will require a new mindset, a committed, strategic approach and the collective will of our communities. Other cities and states have demonstrated that it is imperative that we make some decisions about the direction and outcomes we want for our state and begin actively taking steps to move forward.

If you would like to learn more, my presentation is available on my website and video of my full talk will be added soon.