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Jan 25, 2013 02:50 AM EST

ASU President Outlines Goals to Establish Univ as a Leader in R&D

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In an attempt to establish itself as a leader in higher education as well as in research and development, Arizona State University President, Michael Crow, promised to increase research funding to $700 million per year from $385 million and to confer degrees to 25,000 students a year by 2020.

Currently, 18,000 students graduate every year.

One of the goals featured in the presentation - 2013 and beyond - at the Tempe Center for the Arts is to establish the university as a global center for interdisciplinary research. An example of an existing global center is Johns Hopkins University, which had $2.1 billion in medical, science and engineering research in fiscal 2011. 

"You can tell me, 'That's crazy. You can't be the leading place.' I actually know what's going on in other places, and this is an attainable goal," Crow said. 

In order to achieve this goal, appropriate funding from government agencies, corporation partners and private foundations must be obtained.

"Research is important, so our life can be made better, happier and easier," Crow said, azcentral reports. Besides solving societal problems, the President said that research projects and assignments can also lead to creation of more jobs.

The next goal involves expanding online degree programs in ASU Online department. By 2020, the university aims to have 20, 000 online students and thereafter increase the number gradually every year.

Crow said that online degree courses encourage more students to complete their education on time. It will help them to get better jobs, salaries, health care benefits, which will in turn help the state's economy. The President assured that this initiative will not convert all the traditional classes to online.

Crow's vision for ASU, "New American University," promotes access to a quality teaching, research environment, sustainability and local and global partnerships to solve society's major challenges.

Since Crow's presidency in 2002, ASU has enahnced its research profile, inaugurated a downtown Phoenix campus, extended laboratory space, established the country's first school of sustainability and tore down the "silos" between departments for better collaboration.  

Despite the progress, ASU continues to face several challenges including state funding cuts, high tuition fees and dilapidated buildings. 

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