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Continuing ASU’s commitment to advancing access to quality higher education, it is exciting to share our new partnership with Uber to provide a fully funded path to a university degree for the company’s drivers and their families.
Building off the lessons and successes of alliances like the Starbucks College Achievement Program, this most recent collaboration gives eligible Uber drivers the option of participating in more than 80 ASU Online undergraduate degree programs; take courses via the Global Freshman Academy at ASU; or enroll in non-degree ESL entrepreneurship courses. However, our Uber partnership goes a step further than SCAP by also permitting Uber drivers to convey tuition assistance to a family member.
It is exciting to connect with enterprises that recognize rapidly changing future of work and the increasingly vital role that flexible, personalized education plays in its successful navigation. We look forward to evolving this affiliation and adding additional affiliations in the future.
A recent Arizona Republic article traced the revitalization trajectory of downtown Phoenix and Arizona State University’s significant role in reimagining our local urban center. ASU is proud of its contributions in this redesign, especially the valuable learning and service opportunities we have created for our students and the community at-large, but also the many diverse collaborations that our presence in downtown Phoenix has forged. The vibrant success of downtown has truly been a collective effort.
What is equally exciting to me is the growing momentum and support that empowers our development of new and exciting pathways for learning and progress in our downtown home. Earlier this month, I had the great honor of announcing the newly renamed Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, and thanking Mike and Cindy Watts for their incredible generosity and passion for harnessing all ASU has to offer to create transformational community change. Their $30 million investment will fund scholarships, professorship, student programs, and a new revitalization project dedicated to Maryvale.
ASU is deeply grateful for the chance to partner with the Watts family to expand access to quality higher education and to help our broader community to thrive. It is always inspiring to see how one game-changing idea can create a fertile foundation for other ideas that exponentially improve the lives of others, and I hope you will keep this in mind for potential opportunities.
As recent reports underscore the urgent need for environmental action, these topics remain among our institutional priorities. Our shared concerns brought me together with students, faculty, staff and other administrators on tour Tempe campus for the 2018 State of Sustainability. This special event examined ASU’s progress toward its sustainability goals in education, research and operations, and introduced new goals that call for the continued intensive and comprehensive engagement of our university community. While we acknowledged that there is still much complex work to be done, I appreciated the chance to thank our dedicated team for their demonstrated leadership and excellence, and to accept ASU’s official designation as the nation’s largest fair trade university, a meaningful achievement.
We also just marked the two-year anniversary of the ASU-Conservation International (CI) partnership. Our collaboration aims to make measurable advances in conservation while also training the next generation of conservation leaders. Since its inception, ASU has welcomed six Professors of Practice to engage with ASU faculty and students to produce projects like this Frontiers and Ecology article on the need for cross-sector collaboration to address conservation problems. Another project with the ASU Decision Theater is working to produce a new technology tool designed to reduce and restore global land degradation, and we look forward to continuing to expand this important partnership.
It has always been important to me that the Office of the President website serve as a robust information portal, beyond the standard bio, speeches and photos. As a high-engagement, dynamic unit charged with setting our institutional direction and supporting the rapid and diverse advancement of our knowledge enterprise, we have much to share, and communicating these ideas, activities and achievements requires an equally intuitive site.
With that objective, we recently launched our new website, which was designed to highlight the relationship between our charter and goals and ASU’s evolution; offer easy access to timely and key multimedia content; and facilitate common user needs, including online subscription to this newsletter. I invite you to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with our newest resource and bookmark our site for the latest information about our university leadership.