Michael Crow discusses future goals for ASU at State Capitol

ASU President Michael Crow stood before a room filled with senators, students, professors and community members to discuss higher education funding through in-state tuition, extra funding and the out-of-state market.

"Thank you for the environment that you as legislators have maintained for us to be the No. 1 innovative university," Crow said. "From that, we've been able to achieve much, as in terms of giving a world-class (education) at a very reasonable cost — not compared to family income but in terms of other university costs."

If the senators had money to go toward a single year, Crow said he would allocate it toward the renovation of existing University services, such as the new law school in downtown Phoenix and another update for the football stadium.

Crow discussed the need for metropolitan Phoenix to have not only a national-level, but also a global-level engineering program.

"If one-time only resources were to be made available, ASU would apply those resources to jump-start going from a national level engineering school to a global-scale, top ten engineering school," Crow said. "We need to get that engineering program underway."

Crow discussed the in-state market and the out-of-state market, referencing international students who will pay $30,000 to attend ASU for the quality education if they can afford it.

"We've got to crank the machine even harder," Crow said. "We cannot crank the machine with only revenue from families."

Crow compared university funding and stated that although ASU does not need as much, the university needs more than it is getting.

He said other universities such as Ohio State function as examples to explain the importance of funding of ASU, citing that Ohio State University has 50 employees per 100 students while ASU has 12 employees per 100 students.

The voice of Arizona education goes beyond the rulers of the universities and moves to the student body. Five ASU students stood before everyone in the room to advocate for themselves as students, as well as their peers.

Ryan Boyd, vice president of Undergraduate Student Government Downtown and sophomore, said he appreciated what Crow had to say because the president simplified the numbers for everyone in the room. He was part of a group of USG leaders and ASU students that rallied at the Capitol to discuss funding for universities.

"Crow had a lot of great things to say," he said. "Crow reinforced the point that yes, we are an innovative, rather successful university," he said. "The University has done an amazing job, but we still need help because that operating cost, then the direction (of the cost), will fall apart and people will just not pay anymore."

Corina Tapscott, president of USGD, spoke for students at the hearing. She said there have been many students involved with USGD that have left ASU because of the high cost of tuition.

"Currently you are all supporting 34 percent of our cost of attendance," Tapscott said. "I would just like to echo that it would help a lot if you were helping support 50 percent of our attendance."

Today was one of two opportunities to see the budget from a university aspect and in a public setting. Most likely the next time this will happen is in March 2017, as was the case for last year.

Tomorrow, students and leaders will again rally but this time in front of the Arizona House, even though citizens will not be allowed to speak tomorrow. 

"We appreciate it but we would appreciate it more if (students) could interact more with the legislators," Boyd said.

Reach the arts editor at rsantist@asu.edu or follow @ryanerica18 on Twitter.

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