University of Transformation: Michael Crow at Arizona State University
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To critique a university president is hazardous. What can one truly attribute to the president when an institution is so large and diverse, has such a long history, and operates through shared governance? Trends in statistics and peer-group comparisons are valuable but hard to tie to the president’s leadership. A million things are said, done, decided, shared, researched, or published every day. Instead of imagining we can understand the whole picture from the beginning, let us start with some details and then widen the focus.
A Fearless Innovator
Arizona State University first came to my attention in 2011 when it strengthened its commitment to free expression, revising its one policy that had unnecessarily restricted student speech. My organization then, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), had written ASU President Michael Crow directly about the policy just a few months earlier, explaining that the policy was inconsistent with ASU’s stated commitment to free...