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Downtown Phoenix campus ends the year on a high note


December 22, 2006

ASU expanded its presence in the Valley of the Sun in August, with the opening of the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. Beating the expected enrollment of 2,500, nearly 2,800 students attended classes downtown while more than 6,000 enrolled within the three colleges that relocated downtown.

ASU Downtown Phoenix campus“Thanks to the diligence of our deans and faculty we provided more than 6,000 students with a rigorous academic experience,” says Mernoy Harrison, provost of the Downtown Phoenix campus. “The common message from students has been that they appreciate the focus on academics.”

Since the campus opened, Harrison says overall feedback from students, faculty, staff and the community has been positive.

“Community members say ASU students are making a positive impact on the downtown area, and students are enjoying the services we offer on this campus – particularly the academic support at the Student Success Center,” Harrison says.

The hope for a revived city core became a reality when these students, along with 600 staff and faculty, began populating the area.

“The first semester has gone reasonably well, especially when considering the speed in which we had to get the campus ready after the bond passed in March,” Harrison says.

Between March and August, the Downtown Phoenix campus team hired 80 new staff, moved more than 430 faculty and staff from the Tempe campus, and engaged the 150 students living in Residential Commons.

The first phase of the Downtown Phoenix campus opened in August with the relocation of the College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation, the College of Public Programs and University College. These schools have settled into their new home downtown and soon will be joined by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Eight/KAET-TV, Phoenix 's PBS affiliate, in 2008.

ASU and the city of Phoenix already have begun planning for the second phase of the Downtown Phoenix campus, which includes a student activity center at Arizona Center, a new building for the journalism school, a student housing complex, a civic space and public hall, and a full-service student union at the Post Office.