New American University

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Arizona State University president Michael Crow will discuss his vision and goals for the university under its New American University charter, which includes goals such as improving freshman retention, maintaining accessibility and improving the graduation rate.

TED: ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY HAS A PLAN FOR IMPROVING THE SCHOOL UNDER THE NEW AMERICAN UNIVERSITY CHARTER. BUT WHAT IS THIS CHARTER AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE UNIVERSITY'S FUTURE? HERE WITH THE ANSWERS IS ASU PRESIDENT MICHAEL CROW. NEW AMERICAN UNIVERSITY CHARTER, WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

MICHAEL CROW: IN THE LAST 15 YEARS, WE HAVE MORPH ASU INTO A NATIONAL PROTOTYPE INTO A NEW KIND OF UNIVERSITY, ONE DEEPLY COMMITTED TO ACCESSIBILITY, WHILE OPERATING AT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE. AN INSTITUTION THAT'S FOCUSED ON RESEARCH TO BENEFIT THE PUBLIC AND SUCCESS OF OUR COUNTRY. LASTLY, A UNIVERSITY FOCUSED ON THE SUCCESS AND TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE OUTCOME OF OUR COMMUNITY OVERALL.

TED: LET'S START WITH INCLUSION. FOR YEARS, COLLEGES HAVE MADE YOU TRY TO GET IN THERE. IF YOU COULDN'T GET INTO A UNIVERSITY OR A COLLEGE, THAT EXCLUSIVITY MEANT THAT MUST BE A GOOD PLACE.

MICHAEL CROW: IT'S NOT A FAILED MODEL. IT'S A MODEL THAT PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES, RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES HAVE RUN AWAY NOW AND ONLY ADMIT STUDENTS WITH A AVERAGES. IT TAKES A B AVERAGE TO GET INTO COLLEGE AND TO DO WELL IN STARTED. THAT'S WHERE WE STARTED. THAT'S WHERE WE ARE. WE'VE MAINTAINED THE HISTORIC INCLUSION MODEL OF A LOT OF PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES THAT MOVED AWAY FROM THAT. WE MAINTAINED THAT AS THE COUNTRY HAS GROWN.

TED: THE IDEA OF INCREASING ENROLLMENT WITH STATES DECREASES ITS COMMITMENT TO FUNDING, TALK ABOUT THAT DYNAMIC.

MICHAEL CROW: SO WE THINK WHAT'S HAPPENED OVER TIME WE HAVEN'T DONE A GOOD ENOUGH JOB OF DESIGNING A PUBLIC ENTERPRISE UNIVERSITY, ONE THAT'S ADAPTIVE, RESPONSIVE, ENGAGED, SCALEABLE. ALL THOSE THINGS. FUNDING WENT DOWN DURING THE RECESSION. WE'RE MAKING A BETTER CASE FOR ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT NOW. WE'RE A STRONGER, BETTER INVESTMENT NOW. OUR RETURN ON OUR INVESTMENT IS HIGHER. WE THINK WE'RE MAKING A BETTER CASE FOR PUBLIC INVESTMENT.

TED: ONE OF THE GOALS IS TONE HANS THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION WHILE REDUCING THE COST OF THE DEGREE. CAN THAT BE DONE IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE?

MICHAEL CROW: WE'VE LOWERED THE COST TO THE STATE TO PRODUCE A DEGREE BY 75% AND LOWERED OUR OVERALL COST TO PRODUCE DEGREES. WE'VE ENHANCED QUALITY AND GRADUATION RATES, THE MARKET VALUE OF OUR STUDENTS. WE'VE ENHANCED THE OUTCOME OF THE INSTITUTION FROM AN ACADEMIC PRODUCTIVITY PERSPECTIVE.

TED: YOU TALKED ABOUT A FUNDAMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY THE UNIVERSITY HAS TO THE COMMUNITY.

MICHAEL CROW: IF THE COMMUNITY IS DESIROUS OF ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS, ENHANCED EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES OF A GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE, CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR, THOSE KINDS OF THINGS, COMMUNITY HEALTH, WE NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THOSE OUTCOMES. NOT JUST BE ANALYTICAL OBSERVERS. WE NEED TO BE ENGAGED IN TACKLING THOSE PROBLEMS WITH EVERYTHING WE GOT. THAT MEANS WE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THOSE OUTCOMES. WE'VE LAUNCHED CHARTER SCHOOLS TO DEMONSTRATE THAT EVERY STUDENT CAN GRADUATE FROM EVERY FAMILY BACKGROUND. WE'VE LAUNCHED RESEARCH PROJECTS. ALL THOSE THINGS NOW ARE A PART OF HOW WE VIEW OUR RESPONSIBILITY.

TED: WHAT ABOUT UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION AND INSTRUCTION? CRITICS WILL SAY THIS RESEARCH AND ALL THIS COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND RESPONSIBILITY IS GREAT, BUT UNDERGRADUATE INSTRUCTION SHOULD BE PRIORITY ONE AT A UNIVERSITY.

MICHAEL CROW: IT IS PRIORITY ONE. WE'VE INCREASED OUR FOUR-YEAR GRADUATION RATE BY 85% IN RECENT TIME. GREATLY ENHANCED THE NUMBER OF DEGREES, THE IMPACT OF THE DEGREES ON STUDENTS IN TERMS OF LATER EMPLOYABILITY.

TED: SOME FOLKS SAY THIS BUSINESS OF BEING A RESEARCH UNIVERSITY AND GRADUATE LEVEL INSTRUCTION AND ALL THIS KIND OF BUSINESS, IT'S NOT WHAT THE SCHOOL SHOULD BE, WHAT THE UNIVERSITY SHOULD BE. THEY WANT TO SEE READ AND WRITE ARITHMETIC ON AN UPPER LEVEL. THEY DON'T WANT TO SEE RESEARCH.

MICHAEL CROW: SINCE THE END OF WORLD WAR II, ABOUT THREE-FOURTHS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH HAS BEEN DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCE IN THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. A HUGE PERCENTAGE OF THAT TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCE IS NOW DRIVEN BY SCIENCE. THE NATURE OF THE ECONOMY SHIFTED FROM THOSE OLD THREE R DAYS. IT USED TO BE READING, WRITING AND ARITHMETIC. YOU STILL NEED TO KNOW THOSE THINGS AND A LOT OF OTHER THINGS. YOU HAVE TO BUILD AROUND THE IDEA OF KNOWLEDGE CREATION, KNOWLEDGE STORAGE, KNOWLEDGE SYNTHESIS, AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER. WE HAVE A UNIVERSITY COMPETING WITH THE GREATEST UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD, BUT BEING ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE QUALIFIED TO ATTEND. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HAVE AN ECONOMY THAT'S AS EFFECTIVE IN THE FUTURE AS ONE WOULD LIKE UNLESS YOU HAVE THE KINDS OF PEOPLE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING KNOWLEDGE-DRIVEN ENTERPRISES AMONG YOUR GRADUATES.

TED: YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT HOW IF YOU'RE NOT PROGRESSING, IF YOU'RE STANDING STILL, YOU'RE LOSING AROUND THE WORLD, NOT JUST THE COUNTRY, BUT AROUND THE WORLD. IS ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY IN PARTICULAR, BUT IS THE STATE IN GENERAL, ARE WE MOVING?

MICHAEL CROW: WE'RE MOVING. WE'VE HAD HUGE SUCCESS IN ARIZONA. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST FANTASTIC PLACES IN THE WORLD TO BE, TO LIVE, TO MOVE A FAMILY FORWARD. ALL THOSE THINGS ARE INTACT. WE'VE HIT A STEP FUNCTION WHERE OUR ABILITY TO COMPETE WITH OTHERS RELATIVE TO ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS NEEDS TO BE ENHANCED BY PRODUCING HIGHER LEVELS OF EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT, MORE DISCOVERY ORIENTED AND KNOWLEDGE-ORIENTED ENTERPRISES TO AUGMENT EVERYTHING ELSE. WE NEED A BROADER ECONOMY RATHER THAN A NARROW AND MORE FOCUSED ECONOMY.

TED: AND REAL QUICKLY, HOW ARE YOU BUILDING THAT OUT?

MICHAEL CROW: WE'RE BUILDING THAT OUT BY LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR FUTURE INDUSTRY, FUTURE BUSINESS. MOST IMPORTANTLY LAYING IT OUT BY PRODUCING PEOPLE CAPABLE OF ADJUSTING TO ANY ECONOMIC CHANGE THAT YOU ENCOUNTER. YOU DRIVE AN ECONOMY BY HAVING PEOPLE IN THAT ECONOMY WHO ARE HIGHLY ADAPTABLE TO CHANGE.

TED: SO BASICALLY IT'S NOT JUST A NARROW FOCUS. IT'S THE WELL-ROUNDED EDUCATION.

MICHAEL CROW: IT'S NOT JUST WELL-ROUNDED. IT'S PRODUCING WHAT WE CALL A MASTER LEARNER. YOU LEARN ONE THING THAT ENABLES YOU TO LEARN 10 THINGS AND ADJUST TO 15 CHANGES. THAT PREPARES YOU TO BE A LEADER IN ECONOMIC ADVANCE.

TED: GOOD LUCK WITH IT. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. WE APPRECIATE IT.

Michael Crow: Arizona State University president

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