Crow, University leaders submit progress reports to Regents

ASU is well on its way to meeting a set of research, academic and community goals laid out by the Arizona Board of Regents three years ago, University President Michael Crow said.

Crow, joined by several panels of ASU administrators and deans, addressed the board Friday at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“We love this assignment, because it’s close to impossible,” he said.

This assignment, laid out in the board’s strategic plan for 2008-20, calls for ASU to increase research expenditures, student retention rates, undergraduate enrollment and the number of transfer students.

ASU Vice President and Chief of Staff James O’Brien said ASU has a broad array of funding sources for research, though it still receives less compared to UA and other institutions with a medical school.

“There isn’t a single particular federal agency, which is the predominant force in our funding,” he said.

The school has focused heavily on recruiting out-of-state students, particularly from California. University Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Phillips said there are not enough in-state students to meet the board’s expectations for degrees produced.

There are other reasons to recruit California students, she said.

“Out-of-state students are wonderful for revenue,” Phillips said.

Some are drawn by Barrett, The Honors College.

Barrett Dean Mark Jacobs explained the honors college as a small liberal arts school with a public research university right outside the front gates.

This allows students to benefit from a wide variety of majors while enjoying the community of a small school, he said.

Philip Regier, the vice president of ASU Online, addressed the growing numbers of students who solely take online classes.

These students are typically older, between 23 and 44, and have some college experience but not a degree. Regier said educating this age group is crucial for Arizona’s economic success.

“That’s the heart of the economic well-being of Arizona moving forward,” he said.

Reach the reporter at julia.shumway@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @JMShumway