Dr. Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University
ASU President Michael Crow likes to point out that, unlike American businesses, the most highly ranked universities in the country are inevitably the oldest. This speaks to the power and prestige afforded to academic institutions doing things the way they have been done for a long time. To Crow, this is a mistake.
“Universities have become highly bureaucratized, machine-like creatures,” Crow said. “They are rigid social constructs that produce limited tools, and except for the occasional breakthroughs, they are not producing the kind of radical advances we might expect.” They also strive to become more exclusive, and wear their exclusiveness as a badge of honor, he says.Over the past 10 years, Crow has endeavored to build a new sort of university structure at ASU, forging change at a blistering pace, re-examining and reshaping the very idea of what a university should be. He has cut and shuffled academic disciplines that have been around for centuries to create a New American University, an institution for the 21st century and beyond. The changes that occur over the next 10 years will be just as dramatic, and will strengthen Crow’s structural alterations that will create a paradigm-shifting model for higher education.