Gov. Doug Ducey appointed ASU President Michael Crow to the Arizona State Board of Education last month, a move Ducey called “expanding educational excellence,” to Arizona residents.
ASU spokesman Mark Johnson said Crow is “honored” by the appointment. By Arizona law, one president of one of the three public universities must serve on the state board.
UA President Ann Weaver Hart previously served on the board under Gov. Jan Brewer.
Crow and Ducey have butted heads before. About two weeks before the appointment was announced, Crow denounced the passage of the state budget, which cuts about $99 million from the three state universities. The largest portion of money was cut from ASU.
“This drastic remedy to the state’s budget troubles represents a setback for Arizonans who already are frustrated by the state’s sluggish economic recovery,” Crow said in a statement after the passage of the budget.
Crow said the budget would negatively affect institutions and students, and its effects would not be realized until years into the future.
However, with the appointment announcement, Crow said he hopes to advocate for support to higher education, as well as improving quality in elementary and high schools.
“The mission under ASU’s charter includes making a quality education available to all qualified students, and Arizona students are our first priority,” Johnson said.
Johnson said Crow is looking forward to serving on the board and comes in with goals to improve education on all levels.
“On the school board, he looks forward to helping school districts advance the quality of K-12 education in Arizona, supporting efforts to raise the high school graduation rate, and increasing opportunities for all qualified graduates of Arizona high schools to attend one of Arizona's state universities,” Johnson said.
In a conference with all members of the board, including five nominated by the governor, Ducey, an ASU alumnus, expressed his admiration for Crow and his achievements as ASU president.
“I have marveled at the job Dr. Crow has done at bringing real innovation and vision to a very large, public institution, what is affectionately known by Sun Devils as The New American University,” Ducey said in a press release.
Ducey highlighted examples of ASU’s recent achievements, including high rankings from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Barrett, the Honors College and the W.P. Carey School of Business. He also credited Crow with the revitalization of downtown Phoenix.
“From exemplary programs to the innovations in online learning … we have living proof that good people can make huge contributions both to education and to the quality of life in Arizona,” Ducey told the board. “This board can learn from an innovator's example, and can adopt his commitment to excellence and results for everyone, and from that we will all benefit. He is an incredible resource, and we are fortunate to have him in our great state.”
Reach the reporter at Corina.Vanek@asu.edu or follow @CorinaVanek on Twitter