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It is thrilling to share that Arizona State University has been selected "#1 in innovation" among U.S. schools for the third consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report. Once again, ASU has beat out Stanford, MIT, Georgia State, Carnegie Mellon and Northeastern for this honor, further distinguishing itself as a knowledge enterprise committed to demonstrating leadership in new ways of advancing teaching, learning and discovery. To say that we feel tremendous pride in this repeat accomplishment is an understatement.
At the same time, our university community recognizes that this hard-earned achievement results from the collective efforts of many creative and visionary individuals - both internal and external - who believe that new and better solutions are within reach. For their hard work and dedication, I am deeply grateful. I am also excited to see what the future holds in terms of how ASU will continue working to revolutionize 21st-century higher education.
With every step of progress we take, we create opportunity for our students and the communities we serve, and simultaneously add value to the degrees our students are working to earn. There is no better feeling.
Innovation is important because it helps us to identify and try alternate solutions to complex challenges. Arizona's very significant teacher shortage is one such problem, which will have serious ramifications for our state if we do not work together to prepare more K-12 educators. The Arizona Teachers Academy, as proposed by Governor Doug Ducey last January, looks to our state's public universities to boost teacher numbers and quality through leading edge training and incentives.
Last week, I joined Governor Ducey, the presidents of ASU's sister universities and local education and community leaders to help launch the Arizona Teachers Academy. I had the opportunity to explain how ASU has fully reconfigured its Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College to be among the best and most innovative in the country and how, going forward, ASU will provide a scholarship covering tuition and fees for every year that an academy participant commits to teaching in a Title I school post-graduation. Our first cohort has 80 program participants, and we aim to grow that number significantly in the future.
At ASU, we believe that all learners deserve to have skilled, creative and dedicated teachers. Helping those who teach to excel in their field without the worry of debt is one important way ASU is helping to create a stronger Arizona.
One of the things we are most proud of at ASU is our ability to give students unique opportunities to learn from industry leaders. Last week provided another such chance when I welcomed Gerri Flickinger, Starbucks Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, to our Tempe campus for a conversation about tech trends. Before a full house of ASU students, we delved into issues related to the role of technology in our organizations, education anecdotes and projections about how technology will impact the future of business.
In her remarks, Ms. Flickinger emphasized that technology need not replace human connection, but applied correctly, should serve to enhance the human experience. She added that ASU is a good example of how organizations can achieve that. She also emphasized that strong communication and project management skills and a collaborative mindset are some of the key traits future tech leaders need to develop. Our students also got to pose their own questions during an informal Q-and-A session.
It is always a pleasure to be able to participate in conversations like this one, exposing our students to the people who are setting bold industry trajectories. Our Starbucks partners recognize the importance of inspiring new ideas, and I appreciate being able to work together to reach new learners.
Our charter, accomplishments and partnerships generate a lot of interest from other institutions with an interest in what we are doing and how we do it. I regularly have the opportunity to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world to discuss our work and trajectory. In order to help demonstrate what makes ASU special, and with the help of countless teams across the university, we also develop fairly comprehensive agendas for these visitors. Our goal being to showcase not only the scope of our institution, but also the rapid pace and transdisciplinary nature of our environments.
In the last month alone, visitors to my office have included representatives from Purdue University, Drexel University, University of Hawaii, and Arizona's tribal nations - all with diverse interests related to access, sustainability, educational technology, and meeting student needs. These visits represent a fraction of the level of interest and subsequent inquiries fielded across ASU, and they speak directly to a growing understanding and respect for what our university does. They are also important because of the chance they give us to learn and to evolve new, creative and mutually beneficial partnerships, like the University Innovation Alliance.