Remaking the American public university
ASU President Michael M. Crow is lauded by Slate.com as one of the 25 "most innovative and practical thinkers of our time" for his efforts to reshape the American public university, combining inventiveness with practicality.
In an Aug. 9 Slate article, writer William Saletan explores Crow's ideas about how universities can connect more with the real world and why they should be judged less by who gets in and more by what comes out.
"We need to look at every aspect of our institutions and make innovation a key element of design and operations," Crow said. "We ask people to justify the status quo and say to them, if you design something new, we will move to it the resources the new design merits. Sometimes new organizational constructs have the potential to produce new transdisciplinary fields of study."
In the article Saletan discusses Crow's approach to university access, faculty tenure, collaborative research, entrepreneurship and work force preparation, and departmental organization.
"These experiments are still unfolding, but the bottom line looks good," Saletan writes. "Since Crow's arrival, ASU's research funding has almost tripled to nearly $350 million. Degree production has increased by 45 percent. And thanks to an ambitious aid program, enrollment of students from Arizona families below poverty is up 647 percent. ASU is finding ways to serve the broader public within and beyond its classrooms. The question now is how many other universities will follow suit."