ASU to launch single-platform financial-management system

Workday will consolidate purchasing, planning and budgeting processes

June 8, 2016

Arizona State University has announced the launch of Workday, a new system that will consolidate purchasing, planning and budgeting processes into a single platform for ASU’s more than $2 billion knowledge enterprise.

The project (, replacing the Advantage system and several others, will start this summer and will be operational in 2018. ASU President Michael Crow ASU President Michael M. Crow gives the opening remarks at the ASU financial-management system project kickoff Tuesday in Old Main's Carson Ballroom on the Tempe campus. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now Download Full Image

ASU President Michael M. Crow said the transition reflects the progress of an institution that, when he took office 14 years ago, handled revenue at a quarter of the current level, half of which came from the state.

“It comes at a moment in our history that couldn’t be better in the sense that we are a rapidly evolving institution,” Crow said during the launch event Tuesday. “What I want is a financial-management system that is reflective of who and what we are and who and how we operate.”

Crow emphasized that, as the state has reduced its financial support for the university over the years, ASU must adjust other aspects of its relationship with the state, pulling further away from the misperception of the university as a traditional state agency.

“We are a servant of the people operating as a public enterprise,” he said.

ASU has earned national acclaim for transforming how education is delivered — including technological advancements and studies across disciplines — as well as for upending decades of conventional wisdom and focusing on expanding access to education rather than elite acceptance rates. Now the university is revamping its financial infrastructure to mirror that adaptability.

The new system consolidates multiple financial platforms into one and takes advantage of cloud storage and mobile apps to modernize accounting across five metropolitan Phoenix campuses and centers that span from California to Washington, D.C.

“We have opportunities to be flexible and innovative and nimble, and that’s what Dr. Crow is really challenging us to do,” said Morgan Olsen, executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer. “That’s where our future is; that’s how we at Arizona State University, the New American University, are going to be successful.”

This project will be staffed and managed by Financial Services, the University Technology office, Purchasing, the Office of Planning and Budget, Knowledge Enterprise Development, and various other subject-matter experts across campus.

“I’m also hoping this financial-management system can allow you all to act with an increased level of teamwork,” said Crow. “This system should allow us to have ways in which we can interact, ways in which we can communicate, ways to have early alerts, ways to team on solutions, ways to surge to certain problems.”

The system was selected several months ago after an extensive evaluation process that sought the best solution for a range of financial-management needs. Though previous programs were functional, vendor support had dwindled and finding staff with skills for outdated systems was becoming harder.

For those who will be using the new system, there will be in-person training and online learning resources to ensure everyone is ready the moment the new system is live.

Processes currently managed in Advantage, SunRise and STAR will be updated by this transition.

The PeopleSoft Student and Human Resources systems will not be affected by the change, and neither will the University’s P-Card and MyASU Trip processes.

For a preview of the system and what it looks like, visit the

ASU Foundation honored 3 years in a row

Named a 2016 Top Company to Work for in Arizona

June 8, 2016

The ASU Foundation for A New American University has been named a 2016 Top Company to Work for in Arizona, an annual award presented by Republic Media and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Formerly known as CareerBuilder Top Companies of Arizona Program, 2016 marks the third year in a row the foundation has received the honor. AZCentral best company to work for logo

Arizona companies were evaluated through questionnaires directed to employees and employers. Competing companies were then ranked on composite scores based on eight criteria including leadership and planning, work environment, and role satisfaction.

“We care about our team,” said foundation CEO R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr. “That’s why we continue to put an emphasis on creating and sustaining the best work environment possible for our employees.  We also want our people to grow, not only professionally, but in terms of personal fulfillment. What they do matters.”

This year, Top Companies recognized the ASU Foundation for its many programs. The foundation promotes a holistic approach to mental and physical well-being through a weekly workplace yoga session and a “quiet,” private meditation room for staff, workplace assessment by an employee led advisory committee that meets quarterly to discuss issues of employee interest and concern, and continual professional development opportunities including a tuition reduction program for ASU. 

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U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon to join ASU as vice president for government affairs

Congressman Salmon will assist ASU in advancing its global strategy.
June 3, 2016

ASU alum will oversee the university’s local, state and federal relations teams

Rep. Matt Salmon, who has represented the 5th District of Arizona for five terms in Washington, will join Arizona State University as vice president for government affairs at the end of the 114th Congress.

U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon

Salmon (pictured left), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, will oversee the university’s local, state and federal relations teams, putting his years of experience as a state and federal lawmaker to work on behalf of an institution that is committed to the economic, social and cultural health of the communities that it serves.

“Matt’s impressive experience, combined with his love for Arizona and his commitment to ASU, will bolster our efforts to make this institution a model for comprehensive public research universities across the nation,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Our relationships with lawmakers and education policy-makers will be greatly strengthened with Matt on our team.”

Salmon graduated from ASU in 1981 and holds a Master’s of Public Administration from Brigham Young University. After a career in telecommunications, he was elected to the Arizona State Senate, where he rose to assistant majority leader and chairman of the Rules Committee before his election to Congress in 1994.

Salmon served three terms before honoring a self-imposed term limit and leaving Congress in 2000, at which time he worked as a consultant to ASU on matters related to education policy. He returned to Congress in 2012 and was re-elected in 2014.

Salmon is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and he speaks fluent Mandarin. Salmon has served as chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and as chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and he has led numerous delegations to China. In his new role, he will assist ASU in advancing its global strategy, including working with the governments of other countries to advance international projects. 

“I have been privileged to have a unique vantage point from which to watch the evolution of Arizona State under the leadership of President Crow,” Salmon said. “Now I look forward to increasing the investment of resources in ASU and the Arizona higher-education system, and enhancing ASU’s partnerships with Arizona cities and countries, the federal government, tribal communities and its international partners.”

Salmon joins ASU at a time when all the traditional sources of support for public research universities are under stress and the university is expanding its efforts to open the doors to education to all qualified Arizonans. In his new role, he will serve as an advocate for higher education and the unique ASU mission and model to help facilitate ASU's acquisition of new resources from international, national, state and municipal partners and investors.

“As a fellow Sun Devil, I’m thrilled to see Congressman Salmon return to his alma mater,” Gov. Doug Ducey said. “While we will miss his leadership in the United States Congress when he retires at the end of this year, I’m excited about the policy expertise, national profile and global relationships he will bring to this new role at Arizona State University.

“His commitment to innovation, higher education and advancing Arizona fits perfectly with Dr. Crow’s vision of the New American University. Congressman Salmon’s experience with state, federal and international affairs will further advance the reputation ASU is earning as one of the leading academic institutions in the world.”

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema also welcomed the news: “I am thrilled Matt will be rejoining the ASU family,” said Sinema, an ASU alumna who represents the 9th District of Arizona in the U.S. House. "He is a critical addition to the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that we need to create Arizona's next generation of leaders."

Sustainability and preschool: The kids are watching you

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Preschool serves working parents and some of the youngest Sun Devils

May 25, 2016

Children at ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Preschool are playing with blocks and making art projects, in addition to learning new ways of thinking about the world around them. These young students have pretty big ideas about recycling, turning off water while washing their hands and packing lunches that don’t generate a lot of waste.

Sustainability education is infused into many activities at the preschool, including lessons on “making the Earth happy” by reducing water use, walking (as opposed to driving) more places and cutting down on the unnecessary generation of trash. For example, the playground has paper cups for children to use for drinking water. To see how many cups the school population generates, students saved paper cups for a week and strung them up as a garland. Even though paper cups can be recycled, bringing reusable water bottles to school is more sustainable. They have collected other forms of waste, such as plastic lids or the many types of packaging used for food, to create sculptures that remind people about making better choices for the environment. Children at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Preschool learn about sustainability and more . Children at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Preschool learn about sustainability and more Download Full Image

“We work to support the development of empathy and positive social interactions for young children," said Allison Mullady, preschool director. "Our staff and leadership team create research questions based on our day-to-day experiences. We seek out partners, create projects and collect data on the ideas impacting our children.

“We know the early years are critical in shaping the brain and developing cognitive and social skills needed later in life,” Mullady added. “This method includes young children’s mind-sets about the future and how to care for our environment. I approached ASU’s Sustainability Science Education team at the Biodesign Institute to see how we could really embed these ideas of sustainability right from the start. We explored how to develop a curriculum that takes abstract concepts and relates them to everyday life.”

The Sustainability Science Education team is creating unique sustainability education experiences for many teachers, including those at the preschool. This team is led by Lee Hartwell, ASU-affiliated faculty and Nobel Prize recipient (in physiology); Annie Warren, director of research and development at ASU’s Biodesign Institute; and Leanna Archambault, associate professor at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

“Children are incredibly observant. Providing unique opportunities to young kids, such as cleaning glitter-infused water with sponges, provides a creative way for them to draw connections to events like oil spills. Exploring these issues at a young age provides a necessary foundation for the critical consumption of knowledge in the future,” Warren said.

The preschool often partners with other entities to enhance the education and opportunities provided to students. A recent “Preschool Yogis” study with the College of Health Solutions allowed staff to review how yoga impacted the children’s self-regulation and problem-solving skills. During an eight-week project, teachers and parents reported an increase in the use of breathing strategies and other yoga techniques among children. The adults reported that the preschoolers reminded each other about the breathing exercises, calmed themselves through yoga and reduced their own stress.

“We have created a culture of use-inspired research," said Mullady. "All of the research we conduct is organic and based on challenges or ideas from our own staff and children. We want the projects to have a direct benefit to the children, a value to families at the preschool and the potential to impact others in the greater early childhood community.”

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Preschool has three classrooms that include a total of 40 children ranging in age from 3 to 5 years. Preschool students are placed in a classroom based on the “best fit” approach in which the staff and director consider many factors, such as age, teachers’ expertise and children’s strengths and needs.

The preschool has a 20-year history on the ASU campus. “Our lead teachers and instructional assistants are full-time ASU employees with extensive experience working with young children," Mullady said. "We also host many students and interns from education programs at ASU and Northern Arizona University. Our goal is to support early care and education through those who are training to become teachers and through a wide range of pre-professionals who can promote early education in their fields.”

In the past year, the preschool hosted more than 100 college students from programs in early childhood, special education, occupational therapy, speech and hearing sciences, nursing, nutrition and health promotion, university service learning, dance, drama and music therapy.

Preschool openings are available to children regardless of whether parents or guardians have an affiliation with the university. Located on ASU’s Tempe campus, the school is open 12 months per year, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A few openings remain for fall 2016. Interested families should contact the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Preschool at or 480-965-9396 to learn more and set up a tour. To learn more about the preschool and the sustainability education happening there, view the video below or visit Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Preschool. To learn more about sustainability education at ASU, visit ASU’s Sustainability Science Education team at the Biodesign Institute.


Copy writer, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College


Young writers can ‘YAWP’ through summer at ASU

Young Adult Writing Program allows grades 3-12 to explore the power of writing

May 13, 2016

“I too am not a bit tamed — I too am untranslatable;
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
— Walt Whitman, from “Leaves of Grass”

Need an enriching, arts-based summer activity for your children? Look no further than ASU’s YAWP. Students in ASU English's youth writing program engage in a "writing marathon" during a 2015 session. Sisters Ziqing Kuang, 10, and Christina Kuang, 7, share a chair in Old Main as they write short pieces about the building as part last year's youth writing program at ASU. The Department of English at ASU offers a two-week summer youth writing camp for students in grades 3-12 on the West, Tempe and Polytechnic campuses. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now Download Full Image

The Arizona State University Young Adult Writing Program (YAWP — formerly “rl txt”) is designed to offer young writers a non-evaluative environment in which to explore the power of writing. The program is accepting applications from kids in grades 3-12 for its two-week sessions beginning in June.

A component of the Central Arizona Writing Project, which is a local site of the National Writing Project, YAWP sessions engage young writers in crafting a variety of writing forms, such as poems, autobiographical sketches, heart maps, short stories, arguments, nature/science observations, craft secrets and daily writing workshops. Each camper chooses a piece of writing for publication in the camp anthology.

YAWP is staffed by veteran K-12 English teachers who have completed the Central Arizona Writing Project's Invitational Summer Institute in teaching composition and critical literacy to become teacher-consultants.

Offering time and inspiration, YAWP sessions support writers in a collaborative atmosphere as they interact with other youth authors and share works in progress.

“This year’s Young Adult Writing Program will take full advantage of our dynamic and innovative university and local writing community,” said Jessica Early, an associate professor in the Department of English and director of YAWP.

“Our young writers will visit and take inspiration from ASU’s Marston Exploration Theater 3-D Astronomy Show, Hayden Library, the ASU Art Museum and many more campus venues. They will also take part in writing workshops taught by our incredible instructional team as well as ASU professors and Arizona novelists, poets and songwriters.”

YAWP 2016 is offered Mondays-Fridays, from 9 a.m. to noon daily, in four sessions on three ASU campuses. Parents choose just one in which their children will participate:

  • Tempe campus: for grades 3-12
    • Session A: June 6-17
    • Session B: June 20-July 1
  • Polytechnic campus: June 6-17 for grades 3-12
  • West campus: June 6-17 for grades 3-8 only

Registration closes May 20. Tuition is $300 and is due at YAWP orientation on May 25 on the Tempe campus. Visit the program’s website for more information or to download an application.

Kristen LaRue-Sandler

senior marking & communications specialist, Department of English


ASU Alumni Association adds 6 new groups to chapter network

May 11, 2016

The Arizona State University Alumni Association recently added six new groups to its chapter network, bringing the total number of groups operated by the association and its alumni volunteers to 160.

At its May 6 meeting, the Alumni Association board approved the creation of an alumni club for Sun Devils who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS); the upgrade of the alumni club in Portland, Oregon, to an alumni chapter; and the establishment of four international connection groups, located in Ecuador, Liberia, Switzerland, and Hamburg, Germany. Leaders from some of the 160 alumni chapters, clubs and connection groups sponsored by the ASU Alumni Association gather on the steps of Old Main during a recent conference. Download Full Image

These groups will join a network that now includes 45 geographically based groups within the United States, 23 academic affiliates focused on graduates of specific degree programs at the university, 20 special interest chapters or clubs representing alums of registered student organizations, and 72 international connection groups, representing Sun Devil alums worldwide.

The primary goal of chapters is to keep alumni connected to ASU, whether it be through their academic program, their current geographic location, or the registered student organizations or university sponsored student groups in which they participated. Chapters sponsor a range of activities for their members, including networking events, Sun Devil game-watching celebrations, outdoor recreational activities, and service-oriented volunteer projects. Many chapters give back to the next generation of ASU students by providing mentoring services, by hosting Sun Devil Send-Offs for incoming ASU students, or by awarding scholarships.

To learn more about the association’s chapter network, including how to organize a new group, visit

Planning an event? Then you'll want to attend this one

May 9, 2016

The ASU Office of Special Events is inviting the ASU community to visit with more than 70 vendors who supply the university with event coordinating services such as catering, equipment and audio/visual rentals, hotels, and promotional items, among other services.  

The fifth annual Spring 2016 ASU Event Coordinators Vendor Showcase is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 17, at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, Maroon Gym, on the Tempe campus. Download Full Image

"There are more events than ever before being coordinated at ASU, and more employees than ever are being asked to assist their departments, schools and colleges to hold events," said Tye Thede, director of special events, in the Office of University Affairs. "We want to show the university community all the vendor options we have when planning events so they can produce the best event possible."

Get ahead on planning your next event and RSVP to the event.  ASU employees who coordinate events are also always invited to visit Event Assist @ ASU for event planning resources and information.

Questions? Tye Thede can be reached at or 480-965-9755.

Sun Devil Campus Stores to hold ASU employee sale

Faculty and staff can enjoy 30 percent off ASU apparel, gifts; select technology on sale too

April 14, 2016

To thank all ASU staff and faculty members for a great year, the Sun Devil Campus Stores will be hosting a one-day sale exclusively for ASU employees on Friday, April 29. 

Employees can enjoy 30 percent off all ASU clothing and gift items on all campuses, as well as the newest store, the Sun Devil Marketplace located in the College Avenue Commons. Poster for faculty/staff sale at bookstores Download Full Image

There will also be a special technology one-day discount on select Dell laptops and Apple products.

The technology special is limited to in-stock items, so a reservation is recommended on desired models to assure stock levels (no deposit necessary). Apple reservations can be made at 480-965-1385 or

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Uplifting the community

Celebrate Global Youth Service Day w/ ASU by building gardens, little libraries.
April 13, 2016

ASU students to install garden boxes, little libraries for Global Youth Service Day

Uplifting the community is a powerful way of giving back. On April 16, Arizona State University students will be celebrating Global Youth Service Day by giving back to the Phoenix community.

ASU’s Public Allies ArizonaPublic Allies Arizona is a chapter of the Public Allies program run through ASU’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. program is collaborating with longtime partner Neighborhood Ministries as well as Hope House Farms to build, deliver and install garden boxes and “Little Free Libraries” in Phoenix neighborhoods. 

Program coordinator Jeffrey Hawkinson said the day’s activities align with the nonprofits’ goals of discovering and creating innovative programs to build community wealth. It is also a way for the organizations to promote intergenerational involvement.

“The goal of Global Youth Service Day is to get an intergenerational group together to address challenges that communities are facing. Bringing teams together is a good symbol of all the organizations come together,” Hawkinson said.

Everyone is invited to join the day of service at Neighborhood Ministries’ campus in downtown Phoenix. In addition to building garden boxes and the little libraries, volunteers can also help organize carnival games for the Neighborhood Ministries’ annual summer camp.

The little libraries and garden boxes are targeted to help specific Phoenix communities deal the issues of education and nutrition.

The libraries, which will stocked with books collected through book drives, will be placed in high-traffic areas — or places where youth tend to gather.

“With our first little library we couldn't keep books in it for a whole month. Families were just grabbing them and taking them home. That's a wonderful problem to have,” said Marco Perez, an alumnus of the Public Allies Arizona and current Neighborhood Ministries member.

Volunteers will be delivering 4- by 6-foot garden boxes to families who have elected to receive them through the Neighborhood Ministries. Families can decide where they want the boxes placed and can even plant donated seeds with the volunteers. 

“Education and nutrition are important pillars of any community. However, in poorer communities these two pillars are often very weak. With regards to food, there is often limited investment from grocers, and transportation to and from can be an issue as well,” Perez said.

Approximately 100 to 150 volunteers are expected to donate their time to the service day, according to Hawkinson. There will be Public Allies members and alumni, Neighborhood Ministries members, Hope House members, community members and ASU students. 

To register for the Global Youth Service Day, visit

Top photo by Robin Filipczak (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Reporter , ASU Now

ASU offers new graduate certificate in Computer-Assisted Language Learning

April 8, 2016

The ability to understand and implement these new technologies in the classroom is no longer a desired qualification — it’s a requirement in today’s rapidly evolving digital world.

The certificate will be through the School of International Letters and Cultures (SILC), and co-directed by the English department. Andrew Ross, the head of SILC’s Learning Support Services, and Bryan Smith, associate professor of English, will direct the new program. The two have spent two years developing the courses and gathering all the resources to produce a unique certificate in CALL. A new graduate certificate in Computer-Assisted Language Learning will be available to students this fall, focusing on how to apply technology in foreign language teaching. Download Full Image

“This is intended to be a supplement [to their graduate degree] to demonstrate their ability to think creatively, with a strong theoretical background in computer assisted language learning,” Ross said. “Very few other colleges offer this type of program, or they’re often folded into another PhD program.”

The certificate will serve the needs of both SILC and English graduate students, including those in EFL (English as a Foreign Language) and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).

Fifteen total credit hours will be required, made up of three core courses, one elective course and the Capstone culminating experience. Elective topics range from corpus linguistics to computer-mediated communication to instructional design. During their Capstone, students will apply their knowledge in a culminating project such as a research study, creating CALL-based learning materials or developing a specific tool. At the completion of the certificate, students will have a comprehensive e-portfolio of their work to add to their resúme. 

The certificate will focus on aspects of second-language acquisition, understanding the field of CALL research, and how to implement technology for language learning in an integrative way.

Smith specializes in applied linguistics and has done extensive research on Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). Smith and Ross run the annual AZCALL conference, a one-day event bringing together students and faculty involved with CALL to share their work and ideas. He believes students who have a CALL credential will be at a clear advantage in the job market over those who do not.

“Most importantly, our students will leave the program having the cutting-edge knowledge of how technology is shaping how languages are taught and learned across the globe,” Smith said.

The certificate will be available beginning in fall 2016. For more information, view the plan of study or contact Andrew Ross and Bryan Smith.

Murphy Raine McGary

Communications specialist, School of International Letters and Cultures