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Updates from the President

Updates from President Crow: January 20, 2017

  • State Investment in ASU and Arizona's Future
  • ASU to Lead Deep Space NASA Mission for 1st Time
  • National Recognition for ASU's Online Programs
  • The Future of the Arizona Economy

ASU honors graduates

State investment in ASU and Arizona's future

Last week, I attended Governor Doug Ducey's State of the State address to hear his vision and priorities for Arizona in the year ahead. In his remarks, he recognized the contributions of the state's public universities, specifically highlighting ASU's trajectory as the most innovative school in the nation for two years running, and his desire to work together to boost Arizona higher education. He also announced the establishment of an Arizona Teachers' Academy, an initiative to improve preparation and retention of quality K-12 teachers in our state, which I have endorsed.

It was good to hear this acknowledgement of the significant ways that our postsecondary system helps to move the state forward - socially, economically and culturally. It is also understandably important to see the importance of that broad impact reflected in the Governor's annual budget proposal for the state's universities. ASU's entrepreneurial strategy has helped us to efficiently navigate past funding challenges, but state investment in the success of our students and our knowledge enterprise remains integral.

Governor Ducey released his FY18 budget proposal last Friday, and I was encouraged by its inclusion of commitments to resident students, research infrastructure expansion, and facility improvements. This support will help ASU and Arizona to advance in overall competitiveness, and I invite you to learn more in my budget response below.

ASU SESE Psyche mission team

ASU to lead deep space NASA mission for 1st time

Proof in point, less than a week into the New Year, NASA announced two major exploratory missions with strong affiliations to ASU. 

Led by Lindy Elkins-Tanton, director of ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE), Psyche is the first-ever mission led entirely by ASU, which will make an unprecedented voyage to gather information about a metal planet, yielding game-changing outcomes for planetary science and society at large.

Why is this a big deal? The process of proposing a NASA mission is a complex and difficult multi-year exercise that requires teams to provide detailed and highly technical support about the viability of the project. It also requires an intensely thorough NASA site visit conducted by 30 NASA reviewers. After years of planning and thousands of hours of collaborative work with ASU and institutional partners, NASA announced on January 6 that ASU had been selected to advance missions that will meaningfully augment our knowledge of our solar system. 

To learn more about what goes into proposing a NASA mission, and how ASU's interdisciplinary environment supports that process, I invite you to watch Professor Elkins-Tanton's brief and fascinating KEDTalk below. ASU is home to many brilliant and creative individuals who are working together to change our world and it's important to get to know them.

ASU Online top 5 ranking

National recognition for ASU's online programs

Adding to our early momentum, I am also pleased to share that U.S. News & World Report just ranked ASU's online bachelor's degree program fourth in the nation. The publication assessed more than 1,300 online programs and ASU moved up significantly from its seventh place 2016 ranking. Our online MBA and master's in business programs in the W. P. Carey School of Business also continued their consistently strong track records ranked third and fifth in the nation respectively for the second consecutive year.

This acknowledgement of our national standing in online education is meaningful because it demonstrates our institutional commitment to expanding access to quality higher education opportunities through innovative programs and leading edge technology. Through EdPlus, we are evolving new and better pathways to earning a valuable college degree for students for whom the traditional university experience was not previously possible. With the help of our dedicated ASU faculty and staff, and the creative collaboration of many external partners like Pearson, Knewton and edX, we are helping to empower thousands of future college graduates - nearly 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students this fall term alone.

In 2017, we are looking forward to pursuing additional opportunities in this space to broaden available academic frontiers, and to sharing our progress along the way. As always, your ideas and feedback related to access efforts is welcome.

ASU President Michael Crow addresses the East Valley Partnership Economic Forum, December 2016

ASU President Michael Crow addresses the East Valley Partnership Economic Forum in Tempe, Arizona on December 17, 2016

The future of the Arizona economy

Just before the holidays, I wrote about my presentation at the 2016 Phoenix East Valley Economic Forum, which offered some observations on the current state of the Arizona economy and what the future might hold depending on the collective trajectory we set for ourselves. 

As we delve into a new year of decision-making in our government, business and community sectors, I am compelled to reiterate the vital role that education plays in the development of a healthy and prosperous economy. College attainment remains the strongest indicator of social mobility and a vital factor in the advancement of a robust workforce, a forward-thinking innovation ecosystem, and a well-rounded, productive society. Education is at the core of a thriving economy and without a comprehensive plan to evolve a continuum of quality lifelong learning, no economy can achieve its highest potential.

With that in mind, I hope you will take some time to watch my remarks below and consider what collaborative and strategic steps we might take in order to move Arizona forward by creating a formidable foundation for the knowledge economy of the future.