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Crow shares ASU vision in Ireland


July 23, 2007

As part of a multiple-country trip earlier this month, ASU President Michael Crow made a stop at Dublin City University (DCU) in Ireland to share his thinking behind the New American University model and to announce a trans-Atlantic strategic alliance with the Irish institution.

Crow was a keynote speaker at the European Access Network (EAN) annual conference in Galway, Ireland, where he gave a presentation on how ASU is achieving excellence, access and impact simultaneously – a revolutionary model for higher education in America.

“Our ideas, plans and strategies were well-received by leaders heavily involved in the redesign of the European Union university system,” Crow says.

Over the past few years, under the Bologna Agreement, universities from 46 European countries have been considering alternatives to their structure and addressing the importance of access. At the EAN conference, ASU was featured as the American university model for excellence and access.

“ASU’s ability to attract large-scale research funding from local government and philanthropic sources was very impressive, as it has provided President Crow with the necessary resources to drive real cultural change and innovation in the university environment,” says Declan Raftery, director of DCU’s Office of the Vice President for Research. “ASU’s vision of not wanting to be a ‘traditional’ university and compete with the elite private universities was very refreshing.”

Before attending the EAN conference, Crow confirmed an alliance with Dublin University that will provide collaboration in research projects, academic exchanges and the development of new approaches to higher education.

“Dublin University is a rapidly evolving university that is our comprehensive partner for ASU linkages with European universities,” Crow says.

Both universities are at the cutting edge of technology, and are developing a wide range of research projects with commercial and social potential, and both are leading the way in new thinking about higher education.

“It was great to have President Crow outline the strategy of ASU, as it enabled us to see the great similarity that DCU has with ASU in terms of its positioning as a ‘different’ type of institution to the traditional universities,” says Gordon McConnell, head of strategy and administration for DCU’s Office of the President.

Crow’s visit also was an opportunity to further learn from the Irish model for economic growth.

“The Irish have gone from last to first in the EU in terms of economic performance, and we have been modeling some of their policy designs in Arizona,” Crow says.

Most notably, Arizona recently launched the Science Foundation Arizona, which was closely based on a similar idea in Ireland. ASU was instrumental in launching the program with Arizona leaders, and it will serve as a new funding source for research and teaching efforts at the university.

Before visiting the Irish, Crow and Mariko Silver, special adviser to the president and director of strategic projects, landed in London to meet with several university officials, including Sir Crispin Tickell, adviser at large for ASU; Sir Derek Roberts, chancellor emeritus, University College London (UCL); Malcolm Grant, UCL’s chancellor and president; Michael Batty, a professor of spatial analysis and planning and director of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL; and Paul McMillan, a professor of solid state chemistry at UCL and a professor of chemistry at the Royal Institution.