Sun lovers and knowledge seekers can turn to Arizona State University (ASU) for a well-rounded college education. The research university offers a wide variety of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs, with more than 250 majors through some 17 schools teaching a range of disciplines including nursing, journalism, and engineering. It has an enrollment of about 70,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students on its four campuses in metropolitan Phoenix; most students attend the Tempe campus. The university has a student-teacher ratio of 23:1. ASU was founded in 1885 as a teachers college and has become widely known for its extensive research programs.
ASU offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees online through some of its colleges, including the W. P. Carey School of Business, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. ASU also partners with Pearson eCollege to administer online courses; Pearson also monitors and analyzes student performance trends.
The university's extensive research programs cover a variety of fields in life science, medicine, and physical science categories. In addition, subsidiary Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) manages technology ventures for ASU. AzTE manages the university's intellectual property (much of which is the result of its research programs) and facilitates startup businesses, which have led to the formation of 55 companies and attracted $200 million in funding between 2002 and 2012.
ASU reported revenues of nearly $1.9 billion in 2011. Its primary sources of revenue are tuition and fees (about 40%), state appropriations (20%), and grants and contracts (20%). ASU is one of many schools that have seen appropriations drop as states attempt to cut their budgets. Between 2008 and 2011, state budget restrictions have caused a 22% reduction in funding to ASU, and the university is experiencing additional cuts in 2012. As a result, the institution has enacted cost-reduction programs including personnel cuts.
The school's roughly $1.7 billion budget is largely spent on instruction and academic, institution, and student support efforts. Other large pieces of the budget pie range from scholarships and fellowships to research and public service.
The university is working to become a top research university in interdisciplinary fields of science and technology. As part of that goal, ASU is seeking to expand its AzTE entrepreneur business through additional technology discoveries and startup formations. It also seeks to help stimulate the Arizona economy by reaching out to local businesses and encouraging startups that will maintain a presence in the state.
ASU is also working to improve graduation rates, increase graduate enrollment, and enhance individual learning programs. The university is also working to increase the quality of its academic programs and its student facilities. – less