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Crow: Innovation isn't enough

August 13, 2007

ASU President Michael Crow, in a column in Newsweek, is arguing that American universities need more than innovation for the country to keep a competitive edge.

Crow, writing in a column published in international editions and online, says the American university "has proved capable of almost anything, from developing advanced economic theories to creating new life forms." But, other countries are beginning to follow the same model - and making great strides.

"From the European Union to China, India to Mexico, many national leaders understand that the university is the critical catalyst for America's adaptability, economic robustness and emergence as a great power," writes Crow. "That is bad news for the United States. The past two decades of American university development have been characterized largely by self-satisfaction arising from steady progress by the top 20 or so research universities."

Crow writes "that the success of the higher-education system must be measured by more than just innovations. Its long-term performance depends on its ability to provide learning to a broad cross sections of citizens, to advance national proficiency in math and science and to create an adaptable work force, as well as to develop a national appreciation for discovery, entrepreneurship and the creative process."

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