Elizabeth Phillips, who strived to make ASU a better place for students during her time as provost, is ready to tackle a new challenge at the University of Florida.
Over the years, Phillips has changed the way the University interacts with students and has helped create more success and raise retention and graduation rates through the coordination of all academic programs and reorganized student service centers.
The University has gone through many changes over the years, most for the better, Phillips said.
“We are a much more unified campus,” she said. “We’re all one ASU.”
Helping to raise retention and graduation rates has been Phillips’ crowning achievement while at ASU.
“It’s exciting to see students learning and graduating and going on to great things,” she said.
Arthur Blakemore, the chair of FSC and an economics professor, said Phillips’s greatest improvements have been on the side of student achievements.
“If you look before and after, there has been major success,” he said.
Phillips said her goal when arriving at ASU was to create the best experience possible for the growing student population.
“We’ve grown quite a bit.” she said. “Faculty and the students are terrific, and I’ve worked hard on student success.”
Student graduation rates have risen during her time as provost, and freshman retention rates are also on the rise.
“The four-year graduation rate has gone up 12.3 percentage points,” Blakemore said. “Retention rates have gone up 7 percentage points.”
A void will be felt with Phillips departing for UF, but Blakemore said he is hopeful the foundation she laid will continue to improve.
“I hope we stay engaged and keep on improving,” he said. “It is very exciting to see the progress we made during her time as Provost.”
Phillips has challenged her peers to take ownership for the issue of increasing student success, said Paul Johnson, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
“Working with Provost Phillips has been a great experience,” he said. “She brought a passion for increasing student success and a vision for how to tackle that at ASU.”
Innovations in learning have expanded over the years, and Phillips was the one who began these endeavors, Johnson said.
“She championed innovations in instructional delivery, expanded our range of learning environment options and established key strategic partnerships with companies having similar interests and expertise in improving learning outcomes,” he said.
Phillips will leave her position in December for UF to become the executive director of the new UF online bachelor degree programs.
Before coming to ASU, Phillips was a psychology professor at Purdue University.
Phillips earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester in 1965 and her doctoral degree in experimental psychology from the University of Texas in 1969. Before arriving at ASU, Phillips served as Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff at the State University of New York.
The next chapter of Phillips’ career will take her across the nation, but she is ready for a new challenge in creating more opportunities for students, she said.
“I love ASU and have been provost I think long enough, so it is a good change,” she said.
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