University Innovation Alliance receives grant to study academic advising

September 21, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) was selected as one of the winners in its First in the World competition to encourage innovation among institutions of higher education. Arizona State University is a founding member of the UIA.

Georgia State University, on behalf of the UIA, has been awarded $8.9 million to conduct a four-year research study on its 11 member campuses to evaluate the effectiveness of advising in increasing retention, progression and graduation rates for low-income and first-generation students. ASU is a founding member of the University Innovation Alliance ASU is a founding member of the University Innovation Alliance. Photo by: University Innovation Alliance Download Full Image

Many of the UIA's programs and initiatives had their start at ASU.

"ASU is proud of its role as a leader within the Univeristy Innovation Alliance," said ASU spokesman Kevin Galvin. "The more that institutions of higher education can work together, share ideas and best practices, and offer support to one another, the better we will all be at serving our students and communities."

The project will study 10,000 students who are exposed to an intensive menu of proactive, analytics-based advising interventions at the UIA universities. Through quantitative and qualitative research and analysis, the study will examine the benefits, especially for at-risk students, of introducing systematic, proactive advising.

“This grant illustrates why the alliance is so important. Over the next four years, our 11 institutions will produce groundbreaking evidence illustrating the impact of predictive analytics on student success that will have national significance,” said Dr. Tim Renick, vice president for enrollment and project lead at Georgia State University.

As part of the study, students at each of the 11 universities will be selected by random assignment. In addition to advising services typically offered, they will receive intensive, proactive advisement to help them establish individualized academic maps; real-time alerts prompted by a system of analytics-based tracking when they may be struggling; and timely, targeted advising interventions to get them back on the appropriate academic path.

Launched just one year ago, the UIA is a consortium of public research universities established to help more students from all socioeconomic backgrounds graduate from college. This year, all institutions are implementing or scaling the use of data analytics and advising to improve student retention and college completion.

The 11 member schools of the University Innovation Alliance are Arizona State University, Ohio State University, Georgia State University, University of California-Riverside, Iowa State University, University of Central Florida, Michigan State University, University of Kansas, Oregon State University, University of Texas at Austin and Purdue University.

Watergate whistleblower to speak, teach at ASU

September 22, 2015

John W. Dean, the former counsel to President Richard Nixon and a key figure in the Watergate scandal, will explore the famed cover-up’s influence on American politics and journalism during a lecture at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dean will be interviewed by Cronkite faculty member and former Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr., who was the newspaper’s deputy metro editor during Watergate and helped supervise coverage. The discussion, “Uncovering Watergate’s Legacy and Impact on Journalism,” will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. John Dean Download Full Image

“I'm looking forward to this extraordinary opportunity to explore John Dean's views on the lessons of Watergate for himself, the nation and American journalism after his four decades of reflection, remarkable scholarship and several books about it,” said Downie, who currently serves as Cronkite’s Weil Family Professor of Journalism.

Dean has been appointed to ASU’s Barry Goldwater Chair of American Institutions for the fall and spring semesters. Established in 1977, the Goldwater Chair supports the appointment of scholars who have distinguished themselves in the fields of political science, history, economics, law or public policy. Dean will give several classroom and public lectures throughout the fall and teach courses in philosophy and law this spring.

“ASU is very excited to have Mr. Dean as the first Goldwater Chair with an interdisciplinary appointment,” said Arthur Blakemore, vice provost and professor at ASU. “He offers an exceptional opportunity for students to encounter someone with intimate knowledge about a historical event of great importance and controversy. His appointment provides opportunities for ASU students university-wide to gain his unique perspective across a spectrum of disciplines, topics and applications.”

Dean served as counsel to President Nixon from 1970-73. At the Senate Watergate Committee in June 1973, Dean implicated Nixon, administration officials and himself in the cover-up. During his testimony, he also mentioned the existence of Nixon’s infamous “Enemies List,” which included the names of major political opponents to the president.

Dean pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for his role in the scandal and testified during the trial of several of Nixon’s top White House aides. He served four months in prison.

Following Watergate, Dean went on to become an investment banker, lecturer and author. He has written numerous books, including “Blind Ambition” and “Lost Honor,” which both recounted his days in the Nixon White House and Watergate. His most recent book, “The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It,” is based on his review of hundreds of recorded conversations from the Nixon White House tapes. His other books include profiles on politicians such as former Presidents Warren G. Harding and George W. Bush, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater.

Dean was a visiting scholar and a lecturer at the University of Southern California and has recently been teaching a nationwide continuing legal education series for attorneys that examines the impact of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct on select historic events of the Watergate scandal.