ASU President Michael Crow spoke to students on the Tempe campus Tuesday about changes he's made at ASU as president and future goals for the University.
Crow discussed how most public universities fall into two groups: "excellence only" universities or "access universities." According to Crow, the excellence only schools are research focused and become exclusive, similar to private universities like the University of California, Los Angeles. Accessible schools, on the other hand, are meant to be available to all students.
Crow said that ASU is one of the few public universities of its scale that manages to be both.
"There’s a tiny, tiny, tiny little set of a handful of public universities that are trying to do both," Crow said. "But none of them are in a massive city like Phoenix."
Crow said that just because the University is accessible to many students does not mean that there is a drop in quality of faculty compared to other public and private schools.
"Our faculty is pound for pound, person for person, as good as the faculty that exists anywhere," Crow said. "You might say 'well I wish they could be a lot better,' and I might agree with you, but it’s not that they’re worse than someone else."
Crow said the goal when teaching students is not to teach them everything, but to create a foundation that students can then build upon after graduation.
"We’re not trying to graduate you (so) that (you) know everything, that’s impossible, we are trying to graduate you so that you can learn anything," Crow said.
Crow also discussed the University's relationship with the Arizona State Legislature, and how the approach for funding changes depending on the economic climate and who is currently serving.
Crow had former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, vice president of government affairs at ASU, address the question as well. Salmon said in the past the University had to split funding equally with UA because UA has more political pull, since it was the first public university in Arizona, despite ASU having more students.
"The Republican philosophy has always been for K-12, for all forms of education, that the money should follow the students," Salmon said when talking about ASU's efforts to get more state funding.
Crow said that for this upcoming legislative session, the University will try to make what he referred to as a "solutions" or "projects" based case for state funding.
One example of what Crow intends to propose is making the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering “the most research productive engineering school in the country.”
"We have evidence from the literature that that would alter the economic future of this valley and this state by producing the kinds of results that would then drive the economy forward."
When asked if he will be voting Republican in the upcoming elections by an attendee, Crow said that he votes "for the best person."
College Republicans President Jeremiah Willett, a senior studying political science, said that the club was excited to host Crow because it is not something other clubs get to do often.
"We wanted to gain some legitimacy from this, get some exposure," Willett said. "It sort of legitimizes us as the premier republican club on campus, as well as maybe one of the best political clubs on campus."
Crow said that he is open to visiting other student groups to talk about what the University is doing.
"I can't go to every student group, but this happened to be a night that I was here," Crow said. "Whoever invites me, if it's a student group, I'm going to go to as many as possible."