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ASU named No. 1 in innovation for fifth straight year

ASU placed above Georgia State and MIT by the U.S. News and World Report

20180208 Sparky celebrating

Sparky celebrates ASU's last-second 80-78 win over the USC Trojans on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.

For the fifth year in a row, ASU was named No. 1 in innovation by U.S. News and World Report in its annual list of "most innovative" national universities which was released late Sunday. 

ASU has been named most innovative every year the ranking has existed and sits ahead of Georgia State University and MIT. Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford came in fourth and fifth place this year, making the top five schools the same as last year. 

In a statement from ASU President Michael Crow, he said the University is "honored" to have received this recognition. 

“We are honored to be in this group of outstanding universities that are working to improve the way higher education is delivered, to expand the number of students who are able to attend colleges and universities and to impact society with world-changing research," Crow said. 

U.S. News and World Report determines the ranking by asking deans, provosts, presidents and other university officials from around the country to submit a list of up to 15 colleges or universities they believe are making the most innovative developments. 

The top 15 schools are ranked in order based on the number of nominations they received, according to the ranking methodology. Each college or university must receive seven or more nominations to be included.

Crow also said he appreciated the recognition from other educational leaders across the country. 

"And no matter what the rankings say, we are working every day to ensure that ASU will remain a place where our responsibility, our mission and indeed our fundamental purpose, is to think big and reach for the stars, to aim for impact and to achieve success," Crow's statement said. "Innovation means saying yes, and that’s always what we strive to do.”

Crow also released a video on Sunday night celebrating the news. 

"It's fantastic news, it's a continued recognition of what we've got going on here in Arizona, a place where you can grow new enterprises, a place were you can innovate, a place where you have running room to bring in people with new ideas, bring in people with new tools, bring everything together," Crow said in the video. 

ASU has made this title a symbol of the University for the past five years, including the title on merchandise and advertisements for the school. 

ASU attributed its innovation success to multiple projects and partnerships the University has been working on in the past year. This includes a canine cancer vaccine trial that began in May, the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions' partnership with Maryvale, the University's education partnership with Uber and other projects. 

Read More: Trial begins in canine cancer study led by ASU researcher

In the national university rankings done by U.S. News and World Report, ASU did not place nearly as well, ranking 117 overall. That ranking was tied with ASU rival UA

Crow has criticized ranking systems in the past for not including universities with higher admission rates. 

“Every year ‘elite’ colleges and universities select a tiny fraction of the thousands and thousands of smart, talented and capable students who apply,” he wrote in a 2015 LinkedIn post. “These institutions then show up on highly touted rankings of the most selective schools in the country, as if a razor-thin acceptance rate was in and of itself a sign of achievement and a model of success.”

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