“No More Excuses”: Michael M. Crow on Analytics
By Michael Crow
Michael M. Crow became the 16th president of Arizona State University in July 2002, with the goal of transforming ASU into what he calls a “New American University”—an institution combining the highest levels of academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact. His view included increasing graduate numbers, graduation rates, and freshman-retention rates while also expanding ethnic and economic diversity.
Today, ASU has established more than a dozen new transdisciplinary schools and large-scale research initiatives and has nearly tripled research expenditures. Enrollment increased 30 percent since 2002, to a record 72,254 undergraduate and graduate students in fall 2011. Minority enrollment as a percentage of the total student population increased 52 percent, to 31 percent of the total student body. ASU awarded 17,090 degrees in 2011, up 51.5 percent from 2002. Undergraduate degrees increased 42.4 percent during that time. The six-year graduation rate for the freshman cohort entering in fall 2004 was 58.7 percent, up 19.3 percent from the rate for the cohort that entered in fall 1995. Freshman persistence in fall 2011 increased to 84 percent, 9 percent higher than in fall 2002. In addition, the number of first-time, full-time, low-income Arizona freshmen increased 647 percent from FY2003 through FY2011.
President Crow attributes much of this success to the use of analytics. Recently, EDUCAUSE President Diana Oblinger talked with Crow about why the university moved toward using analytics, how ASU has implemented analytics, where there could be problems, and what he sees ahead.