ASU President Michael Crow spoke about the upcoming tuition increase and West campus expansion to students at the quarterly forum on the Tempe campus on Monday.
Andrew Kalthoff, president of the Undergraduate Student Government Tempe and senior majoring in electrical engineering, and Florian A. Schneider, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Association and a graduate student studying sustainability, moderated the forum.
Of the greatest concern amongst students was the impending tuition hike.
“Let me just remind everyone that … our tuition model for more than 10 years has made a promise to all students that we wouldn’t raise tuition by more than 3% for in-state students in any given year and by more than 5% for out-of-state students and international students in any given year.”
Crow cited inflation, increased professor salaries and a gamut of expansion projects for the West and Polytechnic campuses as reasons for needing a tuition increase.
READ MORE: ASU president proposes tuition increase for 2023-24 academic year
Crow spoke about expansion projects at the West and Polytechnic campuses that would introduce three new schools on the West campus, inclusing a new business school, forensics school and an engineering school. Other expansion projects include construction for the new School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks on the Poly campus.
In response to a question about his expectations and goals for the University, Crow referenced the mission and goals statement as well as the University’s commitment to being a New American University.
“It is egalitarian access, which means that every family, every financial means, every ethnicity, every religious heritage finding a way into the University.” Crow said. “We’ve made huge progress on that model, huge progress on student attainment, huge progress in diversity.”
The University is the largest producer of Native American graduates, second-largest producer of Hispanic graduates and one of the top five producers of African-American graduates in the country, according to Crow.
“There are over 45 thousand eligible students and that tells us that we’re drawing from families of modest incomes and they’re still finding ways to the University and being successful,” Crow said.
Students also asked about ASU's vision for sustainability. Many of the University's impending projects are sustainability-minded, including transitions to electric or hydrogen ASU transport vehicles.
“You might have noticed the (ASU) vehicles are all white to minimize heat and that they all start with a number. Like ’88. For those of you born after 2000, that’s 1988. Sustainability is also making things last a long time,” Crow said.
Students also shared concerns regarding campus shuttles. JC Porter, director of ASU transit and parking services, said that in the fall, a new fleet of shuttles will arrive to ASU, to hopefully solve current student concerns, alongside an all electric bus.
The University is providing project management to support Rio Reimagined, an initiative that intends to reinvigorate the Salt River in Arizona, which feeds into Tempe Town Lake.
When a student asked why sports revenues weren’t applied to other aspects of University spending, Crow explained that the college teams at ASU take in less revenue than they cost to maintain.
“Tuition dollars don’t even support academic programs, much less athletic programs,” Crow said. “It’s been put in people’s minds that athletic programs are separate from the University – they’re not. That somehow they’re not an area we invest in – they are. That somehow they pay their own way – we try, but few of them do.”
At the end forum, Evan Lis, president of the Undergraduate Student Government of the Downtown Phoenix campus and a senior studying journalism and geography said, “Having a student body that wants to be engaged and wants to probe is a good thing, a healthy thing."
The next student forum with President Crow is scheduled for May 2 at the West campus for inquiring ASU students.
Edited by Sadie Buggle, Jasmine Kabiri and Caera Learmonth.
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