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As of late, we have been hearing a lot of talk about a dynamic leader with broad, idealistic aspirations. The principles of change and hope for a better future have been alluded to more times than can be counted. At this time in history, the pieces have come together to create a climate in which true transformation is possible.

Thinking about President-elect Barack Obama? That's fine, too, but we were thinking about ASU’s president, Michael Crow.

By the looks of the more than 200,000 in the crowd assembled in Chicago’s Grant Park on Tuesday night, Obama has the support a leader needs. He has droves of fans that fawn over his rhetoric and espouse every goal he lays forth with a jubilant “yes, we can.” American citizens from sea to shining sea have euphorically joined Obama’s cause, delighted to mobilize and perform the footwork behind his vision.

Crow, on the other hand, has a 10-member fan group on Facebook — “Students Suporting the Positive Policies of Michael Crow” — and a largely nameless, faceless crew of other supporters scattered around the Valley. The volume, in terms of size and sound, of his backing pales in comparison to those who clearly vocalize their distrust of his words and his motives and their aversion to his policies and his decisions.

What gives?

While we were compiling information for our series, Evolution of a University, we were struck by something impressive about Crow’s tenure at ASU. As his inauguration as Sun Devil in Chief approaches its six-year anniversary on Saturday, the sheer amount of goals he has accomplished is absolutely staggering. The famed New American University plan — initially set to take 10 years — has already made it three-quarters of the way toward completion. The key objectives Crow set at the onset of his ASU career — better access, academic advancement and world-class research — have been realized or are soon to be realized.

While The State Press has famously disagreed with him from time to time since 2002 and while he has not been devoid of making costly mistakes, Crow is worthy of our respect. Regardless of your positions on what he’s getting done, he is getting things done. And from a high-paid administrator, there’s little more you can ask.

As for where Crow’s ASU will be going from here, we feel optimistic. We support Crow’s plan to direct resources at improving the ASU brand — a venture that stands to constantly improve the value of our degrees even after we leave campus.

Besides, it can’t get worse. In 1999, “The Simpsons” had an episode where the bumbling, impious Homer Simpson was divinely saved, to which Ned Flanders said, "Heaven must be easier to get into than Arizona State."

Especially in the wake of all the improvements made to this University over the years, the “ASU is a joke of a school” mentality must change. But it will require a conscious effort from all facets of the University, from the student body to the athletic department, to changing the external view from the Simpsons to the standard. Though we came to this school for its value over its prestige, we can change our mentality to one of pride. With that, ASU will begin feeling more like an elite part of academia. And we, the future alumni, will reap the benefits.

Like another leader we know, Crow has set the scene for a great shift; it’s our responsibility to finish the job and produce some change we can believe in.

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