Opinion: Why Michael Crow has been incredible for ASU

Since becoming president, Michael Crow's contributions to ASU have been exceptional

In Michael Crow’s inaugural address back in 2002, he stated that ASU should be “measured not by who the University excludes, but rather by who the University includes." 

To me, this goal is more than just a talking point or an excuse for ASU to accept as many students as possible. Rather, it is a message that college should not be just an institution for the wealthy and well-off — but also for all students regardless of background or socioeconomic status.

Since Crow has been the ASU president, he has made incredible contributions to the University and that mission. Crow has been an advocate for student issues, such as ensuring that in-state tuition at ASU is as low as possible and DACA students are protected.

“The real blame of the cost for high tuition is mostly on the state," said Ethan Clay, a former employee of the ASU Office of University Initiatives and ASU graduate. "The school is an agency of the state, and I don’t believe the blame should be put on the agency but rather where the money is coming from."

The rise of tuition is not the fault of Crow but rather Arizona’s history of low education spending since Crow has been the president of the University. 

When Gov. Doug Ducey signed the 2018 budget after the Red for Ed movement, Arizona ranked 44th in higher education per-student spending. 

“Crow’s done a very good job of raising issues of higher education funding, he’s at the Capitol a lot," Clay said. 

Despite the historical lack of higher education funding, ASU’s in-state tuition is still relatively stagnant over the last few years. During the next school year, the cost of tuition will only increase by about 2.1%. This is in line with Crow's promise to never raise tuition more than 3% per year.

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"In-state tuition is very, very affordable, especially when you look at the private universities out there," Clay said.

When it comes to the message of whom ASU includes, Crow has succeeded in almost every way to bring in as many students from different socioeconomic backgrounds as possible.

According to an ASU Now article, ASU hit over 119,000 students enrolled for the first time in 2019, with over 30,000 being online students. 

With the large online presence, ASU is ensuring that students don’t even need to step foot on campus in order to succeed. 

ASU doesn’t have a desire to stop there either, as they’re seeking to reach 125,000 enrolled by 2025 while also keeping ASU Tempe at a high acceptance rate at 85%

"ASU is so dedicated to the idea that higher education shouldn't just be for the talented wealthy few," Clay said.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the W.P. Carey School of Business ranks 33rd and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering ranks 44th. College Magazine lists the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as 5th in the nation. 

His support for the DACA program started back in 2010, when he helped urge over 2,000 university heads to support the passage of DACA, and Crow has been a supporter ever since. 

Crow has also advocated numerous times for protection for DACA recipients. Crow wrote in an op-ed that if DACA was removed, he would ensure that students who were eligible for in-state tuition before would still be eligible, regardless of what happened. 

Over the last 17 years, Michael Crow has proven to be an advocate for increasing school funding and ensuring that ASU is an open and accepting university for students of all backgrounds — while also still being one of the top universities in the nation. President Crow deserves more recognition for all the accomplishments ASU has made since he's been in the position. 


Reach the columnist at knmoore6@asu.edu or follow @Kellenmoore23 on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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