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ASU provides forum for higher ed, national media

October 02, 2008

The 21st annual national higher education media dinner, hosted by Arizona State University and moderated by ASU President Michael Crow, was held at the Penn Club in New York on October 2 and featured nearly 30 members of the national media, who joined a discussion with a dozen college and university presidents from across the country.

“This was once again an important opportunity to exchange views on the current state of higher education and the challenges our colleges and universities face,” says Crow. “It’s important to maintain a dialogue with our peers and keep our style of education out front.”

The two-hour discussion featured questions about higher education from some of the country’s top news outlets, including The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, Time, Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Nature, and more.

Much of the conversation, at times spirited and covering a variety of topics, centered on the country’s current economic woes and how higher education is dealing with the challenges.

“What the media is interested in is how this country’s colleges and universities are dealing with finances – short term and long term – access, design, and if there is real logic to our system,” says Crow. “This is a format that provides for the sharing of experiences in a larger group discussion that facilitates a real diversity of constructive ideas and collaboration.”

University presidents who joined Crow in answering questions and sharing ideas and programs were David Skorton (Cornell University), John Casteen III (University of Virginia), Mark Emmert (University of Washington), William Powers Jr. (University of Texas), Debora Spar (Barnard College/Columbia University), Alice Gast (Lehigh University), John Bassett (Clark University), Daniel Curran (Dayton University), Robert Holub (Chancellor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst), Shirley Kenney (State University of New York-Stony Brook), Jolene Koester (California State University-Northridge), and Joel Seligman (University of Rochester).