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Crow honored for academic leadership by Carnegie Corporation

portrait of Michael Crow
December 09, 2013

Crow among most innovative leaders in higher education

Carnegie Corporation of New York has announced four recipients of its prestigious 2013 Academic Leadership Award, and ASU President Michael M. Crow is among them.

Each winner, an exceptional president of a U.S. college or university, will be awarded a $500,000 grant to be used in support of each of their academic initiatives.

The 2013 honorees are:

• Richard H. Brodhead, President, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

• Michael M. Crow, President, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.

• John L. Hennessy, President, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

• Beverly Daniel Tatum, President, Spelman College, Atlanta, Ga.

Established in 2005, the Academic Leadership Award builds on Carnegie Corporation’s long tradition of developing and recognizing leadership in higher education. The award honors university presidents who are not only resourceful administrators and managers, but also have a keen interest in the liberal arts and a commitment to excellence and access, curricular innovation, reform of K-12 education, international engagement and the promotion of strong links between their institutions and their local communities.

At a time when we all recognize that education is crucial to the future of our society, economy and democracy, the quality of the leadership of higher education institutions is of paramount importance,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “I’m very proud that Carnegie Corporation, since 2005, has singled out 16 exemplary college and university presidents in the United States.”

The award is distinctive because it does not give money directly to the honoree. Rather, the $500,000 grant is given to each institution to be used at the discretion of the honoree to further each winner’s academic priorities. 

Crow has served as the president of Arizona State University since 2002. He has become nationally known for his commitment to innovation and to reinventing the research university model to emphasize access and excellence. In his inaugural speech, President Crow described a “New American University” measured, in large part, “not by who we exclude, but rather by who we include and how they succeed.” This has been the guiding principle of Crow’s administration.

Improving access:
Under President Crow, ASU has improved access, as measured through new student enrollment. Thirty-nine percent of the fall 2013 freshman class were students of color, which represents a 165 percent increase in minority representation in the entering freshman class since 2002. Overall, total minority undergraduate enrollment has increased 137 percent during the same period.

Socially embedded:
Crow's administration has assumed major responsibility for the economic and cultural well-being of the community with the construction of ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, supported by a $223 million bond issue approved by voters in 2006. The new campus, which includes the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, is credited with helping to revitalize the city.

K-12 education:
ASU is committed to improving K-12 education with the 2010 restructuring of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College to refocus efforts on excellent teacher preparation and on research that contributes directly and fundamentally to improving the practice of K-12 education. Under a program called iTeachAZ, undergraduates spend their entire senior year in residence at a school – far more classroom time than the accreditation requirement – and are working in 31 school districts statewide.

The Academic Leadership Award reflects another dimension of Andrew Carnegie’s vision: that education is a fundamental element in strengthening the bonds of our society and our democracy. Recipients have been heads of distinguished institutions, small and large, public and private, from both coasts and in between. While each university and its constituents present a distinct set of challenges, what unites these leaders is their firm belief in the value of a high-quality college education for all, and their vigorous outreach to the wider community.

The awardees represent some of higher education’s most effective leaders. They have demonstrated true dedication to helping students achieve their aspirations, now and far into the future.

Carnegie Corporation solicits nominations from previous winners, as well as from the leaders of national organizations representing higher education. The nominations are carefully reviewed, with particular scrutiny given to a candidate’s long-term record of accomplishment and innovation. 

Past winners of the Academic Leadership Award are:

• Henry S. Bienen, Northwestern University

• Robert J. Birgeneau, University of California, Berkeley

• Leon Botstein, Bard College

• Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University

• Jared L. Cohon, Carnegie Mellon University

• Scott S. Cowen, Tulane University

• Matthew Goldstein, The City University of New York

• Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania

• Freeman A. Hrabowski III, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

• William E. Kirwan, University System of Maryland

• Eduardo J. Padrón, Miami Dade College

• Don M. Randel, University of Chicago