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ASU has reinvented the learning, living and research environment. By fusing traditional disciplines to birth new colleges, schools and departments and adopting leading-edge technology platforms, ASU students have the flexibility to control their learning clock-speed and pursue knowledge in unprecedented ways. ASU has forged groundbreaking academic and discovery partnerships across education, industry, government and the community, which provide valuable opportunities for learners of all ages. And ASU has expanded its educational, research and residential infrastructure across five physical campuses and one virtual campus, to enable all students capable of university-level work to benefit from the New American University.
What is the outcome? A new learning setting that primes ASU’s students to become master learners who, with the support of exemplary faculty and staff, are capable of tackling society’s most complex and important challenges. With efficiency, tractability and cooperation in mind, ASU has reorganized itself at every level to inspire the boundless exchange and development of ideas.
Unorthodox actions, like merging the departments of plant biology, microbiology and biology into a single School of Life Sciences, demonstrate ASU’s willingness to take risks in service to its students. This restructuring into a truly interdisciplinary unit allowed scientists, economists, philosophers and others to come together to create a new and rich academic landscape, which in turn inspires students to think and learn in different ways.
Innovative efforts like the Biodesign Institute, the Julie A. Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, the ASU Decision Theater, Changemaker Central are also samplings that exemplify ASU’s institutional commitment to convening individuals from diverse disciplines to think through and develop solutions to real world problems. Whether enabling the discovery of an Ebola vaccine, identifying new strategies to combat climate change, helping policymakers to better understand the implications of urban growth or empowering students to take action to change the world, ASU is an environment where anything is possible.
The common trait that defines ASU students, faculty and staff is action. While ASU recognizes and honors tradition, it embraces the need for continuous improvement and the ongoing generation of new and better ideas. It also calls for the energy, creativity and drive to actively pursue those ideas to fruition.
As science, engineering, law, communication, art, business and other disciplines grow and change, so must the institutions who teach them. Recognizing that knowledge is ever-changing (and sometimes rapidly obsolete), ASU has opted to shun academic rigidity in favor of embracing limitless possibility. ASU’s multi-faceted partnership with the Mayo Clinic; the national diversification of its Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; and its forward-thinking curricula of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College stand as strong paradigms for what it means to be a New American University.