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April 09, 2012

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Although no big fan of ASU (I got my doctorate at U of A and taught at NAU for many years), I agree whole-heartedly that Michael Crow is perhaps the most valuable man in Arizona today. While U of A has rested on its laurels and NAU has continued its also-ran slumber, ASU is establishing itself as a forward-looking metropolitan university. That's virtually impossible to do in a state that hates education, but Crow is managing to do it. He's worth every penny of his admittedly generous salary.

Jon, and other older Arizonans on this blog, perhaps you can help me out here. While others in my family have graduated from ASU or UofA, historical knowledge of the University's beginning is still illusive: Was there a stipulation made when Arizona granted the school full university status that only ASU would have to admit all qualified Arizona high school graduates? From what I remember during the admissions process (and not as a graduate of an Arizona high school) all three state schools had the same standards for in-state graduates.

Is there something more to that? What I am trying to get at is, can ASU spinoff one of its campuses to create a school that is non-research based? In turn creating a "flagship" ASU school in Tempe/Dtn Phx which could require higher admission standards for in-state students?

Interesting point regarding the Association of American Universities, but I'm not sure ASU has yet met the criteria for invitation: ASU hasn't been a real research university long enough. I was told by an older cousin, and graduate of ASU, that in the late 80's the UofA was a much better school. I looked up some of the old statistics, which are hard to come by, and it looks like ASU wasn't much of a research institution before the 1990's. In fact, UofA was THE university for research and had the state's top programs. That began to change rapidly in the 90's and early 2000's...

From then on, ASU would nearly equal UofA's endowment and was attracting research dollars that UofA was typically known for. Programs began to gain prominence. Yet, I have noticed much hostility towards ASU from those associated with the UofA, but never fully understood why. I admit, I wasn't raised in Arizona and knew more about the Apple Cup in Washington and East Coast rivalries. The rivalry in this state seems almost as bitter as one would find between Michigan and Ohio State...without all the National Championships. Why all the hostility?

I'm surprised there was no mention that in lieu of offering Obama an honorary degree, ASU created the Obama Scholars Program...the President already has degrees from Harvard and Columbia, did he really need an honorary one from ASU?

PSF, the flagship spinoff is an excellent idea. A flagship university based in Tempe could better compete in many categories including large federal research grants. A second smaller campus could meet the educational needs of Arizona residents with slightly lower high school academic records.

U of A grads project a bit more intellectual depth than ASU grads. Maybe like the respective metropolitan areas they are located in.

Graduated with honors from a top Big Ten engineering school. Know ASU all too intimately. There is no comparison. Two very different worlds.

Smart Cookie, What is the difference between ASU and a Big Ten school other than Michigan or Northwestern? Big, Public Universities rated essentially the same by the best known yearly rankings.

The two biggest sellers at the U of A bookstore are Blue Books and crayons.

That pretty much says it all.

It will be interesting to see how Crow's strategic view of the "Sun Corridor" evolves. Does it turn into a transformative and sustainable model for stuff like transit and high density walkable town centers? Or does the Grady G horizontal growth machine kick back into gear? Underlying all this, our air and water issues need to be addressed head-on. We've lied about them too long!

Good analysis of Michael Crow. Whether or not you agree with his leadership, it has indeed been LEADERSHIP, rather than the "happy talk" that too often serves as its substitute around here.

I was surprised by Crow's stumble with an honorary degree for Obama too, but I now think it was a savvy move that pandered to the Kooks and greased the skids for future lobbying/plans (altho the snub of the President is now long forgotten by the Kooks).

The UofA v. ASU rivalry is the same kettle as Tucson v. Phoenix -- we're just raised that way -- there's no rhyme or reason to it. Wonder if I could mix up some more metaphors on this?

The good news!

Andrew Thomas – Disbarred

Lisa Aubuchon – Disbarred

Crow deserves a great deal of acknowledgement for deciding to set ASU on a research track. As of 2005, UA garnered 75% of all university research dollars in this state -- a statistic that makes me proud as a Wildcat, but also a tad embarrassed as a Tempe native and current Phoenix resident. Meanwhile, ASU continues to dominate in alumni contributions and enrollment in the past two decades. Where the UA has really appeared to lack in recent years is in following up Dr. Likins' successful "Focused Excellence" plan, which was somewhat similar to Crow's strategy at ASU more recently. Aside from those issues, I'm excited by the possibility that both schools can continue growing to be vitally important to Arizona, but in different ways (and if ASU becomes smart enough to let UA maintain a sense of superiority, I'm pretty sure they can do whatever the hell they want).

I liked the positive tone of this editorial.
But I wonder even with all of Crowe's herculean effort did he give us a smaller stone and a less steep hill?

A slow day for this 72 year old.
So some college trivia; In 58 at ASU I failed all classes except pool in the basement of the MSU. Highlight of the week, watching Gary Peter Klahr eat spaghetti. Dorm life, Living under Goodwin Stadium, Aptitude, Helping Clay Freeny with his english.
College testing.
Below the answers to my February 20, 2012 post.

Here U go Will. Today's political word game.

O
I
O
O
U
Bonanno, DeConcini, Arpaio, Napolitano, Babeu

Only one Faux Italian in the group.

Q: What is the difference between ASU and a Big Ten school other than Michigan or Northwestern?

A: My Big Ten engineering school was rated higher than Michigan's and Northwestern's. In fact, we compared favorably with MIT and Stanford. Muck Fichigan. :)

In addition, great culture frequented the campus. We regularly saw the CSO and other world-class talent. We even had a vibrant rock-and-roll scene and a world-class luthier. We also had a world-class agricultural school.

ASU leads the academic universe in strippers and genital warts.

ASU isn't even in our antumbra.

"Underlying all this, our air and water issues need to be addressed head-on. We've lied about them too long!"

That is the nature of a Ponzi scheme.

"...the President already has degrees from Harvard and Columbia, did he really need an honorary one from ASU?"

Obama did not qualify for an honorary degree from ASU: He did not have the prerequisite STD.

cookie, and your school would be??

AzRebel, it would be an excellent one that plays with petaflops while ASU just flops.

High-tech supercomputer soon to be history
http://www.statepress.com/2012/01/12/high-tech-supercomputer-soon-to-be-history/

AZrebel, lets not find out what institute of higher learning "smart cookie" hung out at in order to learn how to talk to a luthier. To know would just invite a boring "mines bigger than yours" word war. Smart Cookies need colleges where they can learn and be safe. Now Wise Guys learn most the important survival skills by the time they are 18 and how to be rolling in it and also how to con smart cookies. A 21 year old Wise Guy can employ all the luthiers he might need. Particularly if a luthier is tall, strong and knows the proper use of the wire. At 60 most Wise Guys that are still living can buy one of them that Universities. And smart cookie no need to worry about ASU or UA as the desert always wins.

AZrebel I forgot to ask you. Can you remind me what a petaflop and Wiffle ball have in common?

"the desert always wins"

I hope that you are not referring to intellectual deserts.

No doubt, the desert will take back what was stolen. Godspeed.

intellectual desert? did you mean Arizona legislators?
Godspeed. I left God in DC at the Atheist rally

Cookie - I'm voting for Illinois. And yes, both ASU and U of A need as many research dollars as they can wheedle out of whatever source they can!

Even if Michael Crow left today we'd still owe him a statue for waking/shaking up Phoenix and the University.

Yes. All Phoenix strippers are diligently putting themselves thru college. A bloom in an otherwise intellectual desert!

As I went to ASU, I don't know what a petaflop is. Please help me!

http://lmgtfy.com/

Forgot -- someone needs to Google "luthiers" for me too! Damn you ASU!

A petaflop is a measure of a computer's processing speed...

Can someone help me out with "luthiers" as well...Smart Cookie perhaps? ;-)

Side note: a couple of new replies to Phx Planner and Soleri in the "Opportunity Costs I" thread on the subject of suburbia, population density, and so forth.

I knew a group of of grad students from both the east coast and left coast who attended graduate school in the middle west at a Big Ten school. It was a horrifying experience for all of them.

Most of the Big Ten students were middle westerners with their mono-cultural upbringing. Future residents of Sun City. The weather was awful. There were no beaches or mountains to be found.

Now compare that to the experience of attending grad school in the Bay Area, Los Angeles or Seattle. A much broader living experience in every respect.

That's my poll and the Big Ten isn't in the running.

"The weather was awful."

That's why some of us were studying, playing gym rat, and attending the symphony. I can't really speak for the Midwest college pub crawlers.

After ejoocatin' ourselves, we went out West to try to share our knowledge with the surfer doods under the Books for Boogie Boards program. There's as much to learn in California hot tub culture as there is in the halls of Higher Academia. Oh, wait, California IS 'Higher' Academia! :)

I remember the first time I heard Michael Crow speak shortly after he arrived at ASU. My reaction was, "This guy is World-Class". That view was reinforced every subsequent time I've heard him speak, and watching what he has done to transform the university. This is a clear demonstration of what a world-class individual can do, and why Arizona needs to attract more like him.

Michael Crow is the Donald Trump of higher education. His idea of improving academia is to turn it into a "business model", which means converting the university into a sausage factory by increasing enrollment (including online enrollment) as much as possible, regardless of how unrealistic this is for many of the new, debt-encumbered students, part of which is the creation of spin-off campuses to attract locals in various parts of "The Valley" insufficiently motivated to make their way to the main campus -- and meanwhile pulling the rug out from under satellite campuses at will (just ask ASU West); raising tuition and fees (e.g., parking, new dorms) to astronomical levels -- not just once but year after year; extracting professors from classrooms for profit-minded work in "public-private" partnerships (i.e., research subsidized by taxpayers and students with profits reaped by corporate marketers) while leaving students even more reliant than usual on teacher's assistants; sucking up to the conservative establishment to obtain and retain private funding; creating a police-state spy network to ferret out student critics by monitoring ASU-based email for keywords indicating criticism; and much, much more. "World-class education."

Whatever you think about Patterson, it's easy to admire this straight-speaking:

* * *

On his blog, Patterson recently imagined himself delivering a welcome address to the 2015 freshmen at Arizona State University's Barrett, the Honors College:

"I will assume that since you are here, you don't aspire to a job at Starbucks. That means that you will spend four years and likely borrow $80,000 in an effort to acquire skills that will allow you to be 'future leaders.' Let's be clear about a couple things. First, many of you are unlikely to acquire the skills that will enable you to pay your $80,000 in loans back. Second, by 'future leaders' we mean 'middle management.' Third, while one or two of you may become Rhodes Scholars or CEOs, some of you will also become homeless or go to prison."

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2012/04/06/20120406governor-could-do-better-regent-choice.html

Emil,
I actually have to nod in agreement to a lot of that. To a large part higher education nowadays is a scam aided by taxpayer-backed federal loans (in a recent podcast, Kunstler described the "meds and eds" urban strategy as deficient because "they are both rackets"). It'd be good to have someone in place who is critical of the current 'business model' to make changes. How about some affordability and a good 'return on investment' (Patterson doesn't strike me as someone who could do much besides talk). Higher education should offer a wide spectrum of training and degrees. Doesn't mean it has to be all under one roof and with uniformly high [overinflated] fees.

Education like many civilizational achievements is undergoing a life cycle: first it's a privilege, then it becomes a public good, then it is turned into a business, and finally degenerates into a racket. It crashes and becomes a privilege once again.

Also, Michael Crow (can't remember the reference) berated sci-fi writers for putting such a 'negative' spin on the future. 'Who is going to go out and invent fusion power if you don't write fantastical Jules Verne stories about it?' was the tenor. As an university administrator he may be very good at what he does, but does he have a clue outside the university-sustainability-high-tech-policy-politicking-funding nexus?

Emil,
Let me put my cards on the table re Patterson. He was a consistent complainer about my columns at the Republic, and the bosses took him very seriously. He was one reason I lost my job. Thanks.

The problem with the Patterson mindset on this issue is several. First, it never pushes into the headwaters of why tuition is so high that it requires such loans: Repeated tax cuts and funding cuts to the state universities by "conservatives." (His peeps).

Second, it avoids identifying the venal private sector driving the student loan bubble and profiting lavishly from it, from for-profit "universities" to Wall Street.

Third, it ignores the "conservative"-created contemporary economy, where wages are stagnant, young people enter the labor force with poor pay and little chance to gain ground in the years ahead, and an anything-goes approach by corporations that degrades American workers and living standards.

Put this into the commencement speech, and you'll have some credibility.

Not many people go to college to become a leader. Patterson is a smiley-faced shock trooper for the Kooks

I tend to agree with the Advocate's view of Crow too. The tuition we pay for my step-daughter rises every year (maybe someone can check here, but she and my wife say that many ASU students attend at no cost or reduced cost due to the tri-state agreement?). She's had more student assistants in a semester than I had in my entire time at ASU. We checked into on-campus housing but it was outrageous! Far cheaper to put her in an apartment off campus that caters to students. Crow has built himself an empire of bricks -- there's always money for new buildings but none for faculty or students.

I can imagine how hard Patterson fought for the consumer against the utilities as head of RUCO. Not a lot of straight-speaking there.

I finally figured it out.

Petaflops: When well endowed actresses go naked for too long supporting PETA, they end up with Petaflops.

Mr. Talton made a number of excellent points but missed mine. My point was not to admire Patterson; nor was it about what he didn't say in the quote I provided; nor about the other things he has or hasn't said. I've quoted Lenin here, when I thought his remarks were insightful and relevant, and the fact that he stole your great-grandmama's dacha is a non sequitur as far as I'm concerned.

The remarkable thing about the Patterson quote, coming as it does from a candidate for the Board of Regents, is how honest it is about the value of a general undergraduate degree in today's market. Many of the students taking out huge loans do so with the false expectation -- fed to them by hucksters like Crow and by others -- that simply having a college degree is a guarantee (or very nearly so) of success and good pay.

It isn't, first because most employers fail to recognize the value of, say, an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies; second, because the value of liberal arts degrees in the marketplace has been debased by the large number of graduates holding such degrees, many of whom attended sausage factories like Crow's and failed to acquire the qualities traditionally associated with a liberal arts degree: literacy, communications skills, the ability to think critically, a broad knowledge of history and how to infer important lessons from it that are relevant to today's world, personal and business relationships, and politics; and fine judgment.

Someone needs to tell these kids the truth: an undergraduate liberal arts degree may be just the thing for you if your goal is improving your mind and if you have an actual interest in the subject matter. It may make you a broader, better person and a superior citizen; but if you're motivated solely or primarily by earnings potential, you may be grievously disappointed, as well as weighted down with a debt that will ruin the chance for a modest quality of life by parasitizing your paychecks and/or blemishing your credit record with an early bankruptcy, at the very time when you need all your money and the best credit you can get to care for a new spouse and family.

Taking out a large loan and going through four years of academia on auto-pilot, because you've been given false expectations by money-grubbing university recruiters or starry-eyed orators, is a bad idea that is likely to end badly. Creating a conveyor-belt university system because that's the best way to increase enrollment and attendance, because more warm bodies is the best way to increase university revenues, is a cruel and cynical trick to play on naive youth.

The term "future leaders", incidentally, alludes to the traditional rhetoric of college recruitment and college fundraising. Patterson didn't invent it, or even misapply it.

The fact remains that most college grads earn more than those without a college degree, as is true for those with some college vs only a high-school degree. Not everyone should go to college but it shouldn't be priced out by tax cuts and other right wing malpractice.

Nice post Emil. As a liberal arts ASU grad I appreciate that. Don't think I could have done it at today's prices tho!

Emil,
student loans are non-dischargeable so bankruptcy doesn't help, and don't those federal loans carry 8.5% interest?

Someone (preferably from a renowned university) has to step forward, be a leader, and cut tuition by a third or so. That would probably prick the bubble and that guy would be remembered long after the top ten univ. admins are gone.

Check out my plan to restructure the Arizona University System to provide greater accessibility, affordability, and accountability to a public university education for many more Arizonans while breaking-up the ASU monopoly within Greater Phoenix.

It does this by merging the ASU West & Polytechnic campuses into an independent, "medium-cost" & moderate research state university that is then housed at the Polytechnic campus location while transforming the West campus into an independent, "low-cost" & non-research state university.

Click on (or copy and paste) the link below to view my website for the details of my strategic plan:

http://PSUandAzTech.blogspot.com

ASU EXPLOITS IT'S STUDENTS. Michael Crow is serving the Mormon agenda LIE of a bloodline of Jesus and using my family name and my volunteering in good faith as a student to give up certain privacies in order to help humanity without any honest disclosure about the fact that they are destroying my life. DELIBERATELY AND SYSTEMATICALLY. The school is run by CIA DRUGLORDS ESSENTIALLY. Wake up people! That is the only reason it would target more poor people. They can't defend themselves... He'll he is probably helping with human trafficking... Scumbag. Pure social filth.

Michael Crow served much as president of Arizona State University. Though their are some critics against him but I think he did a good job and he was serving the university with his utmost sincerity and dedication.

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