Page named university provost

November 19, 2013

Foundation Professor Robert E. Page Jr., vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been named university provost at Arizona State University.

Page succeeds Elizabeth D. Phillips, who has served as university provost and executive vice president since 2006, and is leaving ASU to become executive director of the University of Florida’s Online Learning Institute. His appointment, pending Arizona Board of Regents’ approval, commences Dec. 5. Dean Robert E. Page, Jr. Download Full Image

As its chief academic officer, Page will provide leadership to all ASU campuses and academic programs, fostering global distinction in teaching, research and service to the community. He will guide ASU’s mission to achieve its vision of the New American University by positioning the university at the national forefront of academic excellence and accessibility. Page also will represent ASU to external agencies and constituencies, and engage in its fundraising initiatives.

“Robert Page is the perfect person to help move the university forward on the path set by Provost Phillips toward academic excellence and student-centric education," said ASU President Michael M. Crow. "Since coming to ASU, he has embraced and embodied all of the qualities of the New American University. His own scholastic rigor, combined with his leadership in transcending disciplinary divides to further knowledge, research and educational reform that impact the public good, makes him ideally suited to direct our academic aspirations.”

Recognized as one of the world’s foremost honeybee geneticists, Page joined ASU in 2004 as the founding director of its School of Life Sciences. The school was among the first interdisciplinary academic units developed under Crow’s vision of the New American University.

Page is a highly cited entomologist who has authored more than 230 research papers and articles centered on Africanized bees, genetics and evolution of social organization, sex determination and division of labor in insect societies. His work on the self-organizing regulatory networks of honeybees is featured in his new book, "The Spirit of the Hive: The Mechanisms of Social Evolution," published in June 2013 by Harvard University Press.

Page was named vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in July 2011. In that role, he has been responsible for student academic affairs, faculty development and research promotion, as well as planning and implementation of degree programs for a college with an enrollment of more than 20,000 students. He also has overseen budgeting, planning, fundraising and personnel decisions.

“For nearly a decade, I have been energized and inspired by President Crow’s vision for transforming ASU,” said Page. “Today’s modern universities must become agents of change, capable of profoundly impacting our quality of life by developing students into socially aware, critically-thinking citizens. As university provost, I look forward to continuing the work of Provost Phillips in helping shape the metamorphosis of this great university.”

As founding director of the School of Life Sciences, Page established the school as a platform for discovery in the biomedical, genomic, and evolutionary and environmental sciences. He also founded the Social Insect Research Group and ASU Honey Bee Research Facility, which have attracted top researchers in social insect studies to the university.

Page has a doctorate in entomology from the University of California, Davis, where he chaired the department of entomology five years before coming to ASU. His first academic post was as an assistant professor at The Ohio State University.

An internationally recognized scholar, Page has been honored with election to Leopoldina-the German National Academy of Sciences, the longest continuing academy in the world. He also has been elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Brazilian Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Wiko), or Institute for Advanced Study. His awards include the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, the highest honor given by the German government to foreign scientists.

“The University Senate welcomes the opportunity to work with Dr. Robert Page as the new provost of the university,” said Thomas Schildgen, president of the University Senate. “The senate recognizes his exemplary record of scholarship and publication, his distinguished international research work, along with his successful administrative experience as the key factors that define his ability to advance Arizona State University. The University Senate represents shared faculty governance and will work with Provost Page to advance the mission of the institution.”

Sharon Keeler

Alum solving problems of hospital waste, sustainability

November 19, 2013

During middle school summer camp, Rud Moe backpacked the Appalachian Trail. From peak after peak, he looked out over the forested landscape. And time after time, the view was scarred by muddy pits – the result of logging operations.

Moe also saw areas where new trees had been planted to replace those that had been cut down. “I realized that there are ways humans can manage acquiring the resources we need without ruining the land forever,” Moe says. man's portrait Download Full Image

Moe loved being outdoors in the wilderness. When it came time for college, he looked for areas of study that would bring him back to the outdoors. He considered schools with environmental sciences programs and ultimately turned down the University of Maryland and Colorado University (Boulder) to come to Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability.

“When I first visited, I fell in love with the campus immediately,” says Moe. “I just had a feeling that this was the place I wanted to be.” He enrolled through Barrett, the Honors College, in the School of Sustainability and the School of Earth and Space Exploration.

At the School of Sustainability, Moe learned to look at the big picture when considering problems and their solutions. He graduated in 2013 with bachelor's degrees in sustainability and geology, as well as a certificate in geographic information systems.

Today, the native of Cheverly, Md., is a hospital sustainability specialist for Stericycle, stationed in Memphis, Tenn. Moe helps hospitals manage their waste streams and assists them with waste-related problems.

So much is thrown away in the medical industry because equipment has to be sterilized with alcohol wipes and many procedures require new equipment to be used on each patient. Moe always wondered where all that waste went and whether it was necessary. “Now I have an insider's view and get to take an active role in reducing it.”

He says the School of Sustainability gave him a leg up in landing his position. “Many people, and many I have interacted with here in Tennessee, still have no idea what sustainability means or why it is important,” says Moe. “Having studied it for so many years, I do not have to be trained on any of the basic ideas and motivations behind Stericycle's goals.”

Moe helps the hospitals achieve their goals of reducing certain categories of waste and increasing recycling. He also looks for ways to save money for the hospital and his company. He explains the sustainability connection.

“In the past, most of a hospital's trash was disposed as hazardous medical waste, which requires expensive and environmentally damaging processes, like incineration," Moe explains. "In some cases, dangerous pharmaceuticals are just thrown down the drain and eventually end up in local ecosystems or in our water supply. Stericycle provides hospitals with the training and infrastructure needed to properly sort their waste and increase recycling, which helps the environment, saves the hospitals money and reduces the strain on landfills.”

Moe says that one of the best parts of his job is that he gets to use what he learned at ASU to organize specialists from different departments and ensure that one person's solution is not another's new problem.

Something unexpected prepared him for this role. “Almost all of my classes at ASU included group projects and collaboration, and at the time, it was sometimes a drag,” confesses Moe. “But nothing has prepared me more for this job. Every day I have to interact with new people from different backgrounds, different companies and with different levels of experience. Often we do not share the same views on what is important, but we still have to come together and get work done.”

Moe still doesn’t know what his true dream job is. He hasn’t ruled out being a park ranger. For now, he says, “as long as I can add value and contribute to positive change in the world, I will be happy. I think at Stericycle I already have a good start down that path.”