|President of Arizona State University|
|Assumed office |
July 1, 2002
|Preceded by||Lattie F. Coor|
Michael M. Crow
October 11, 1955
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Education||Iowa State University (BA)|
Syracuse University (PhD)
Michael M. Crow (born October 11, 1955) is an American academic and university administrator. He is the 16th and current president of Arizona State University, having succeeded Lattie F. Coor on July 1, 2002. He was previously Executive Vice Provost of Columbia University, where he was also Professor of Science and Technology Policy in the School of International and Public Affairs. He is also chairman of the board for In-Q-Tel, the Central Intelligence Agency's venture capital firm.
Michael Crow was born in San Diego, California on October 11, 1955, the eldest of four siblings. His mother died when he was 9 leaving his widowed father, a sailor in the United States Navy, to raise the children on his own. As is common with military families, they moved many times during Crow's childhood. Crow was a Boy Scout who earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1969. By the time he had graduated from Warren Township High School, he had attended 17 different schools. He attended Iowa State University on an ROTC scholarship, graduating in 1977 with a BA in political science and environmental studies. Following his graduation he worked for five years at research centers in Iowa and Illinois focusing on energy and policy research.
After earning his doctoral degree in Public Administration (Science and Technology Policy) from Syracuse University in 1985, he worked as an advisor to the Office of Technology Assessment at the U.S. Congress and was a Research Fellow on the Technology and Information Policy Program at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He concurrently began his teaching career, first at the University of Kentucky and then at Iowa State University. He joined the Iowa State faculty in 1988 as an Associate Professor and Director of its Institute for Physical Research and Technology. By 1991, he had become an Institute Professor there and had also worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Energy and Columbia University.
Crow left Iowa State in 1991 to take up an appointment as Professor of Science and Technology Policy, at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. He was a protégé of Jonathan Cole, Provost and Dean of Faculties at Columbia, and his administrative career progressed rapidly. Within two years, Crow was appointed Executive Vice Provost, Columbia's third highest administrative post. At Columbia, he was instrumental in developing the university's digital on-line education strategy and in creating the Columbia Earth Institute. In 1999, Crow was asked by Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet to become chairman of the board for In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital firm.
In 2002, Crow was appointed the 16th and current President of Arizona State University. In 2006 he was made a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and in 2008 received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Iowa State University.
As President of ASU, Michael Crow has sought to redefine the role of ASU as the "New American University". These changes have generated praise as well as considerable controversy and criticism, much of it centered around the business-style changes he has imposed on academia.
According to the Wall Street Journal, these include a tendency toward top-down determination of research directions, and an emphasis on revenue generation. Since his tenure began at ASU, there have been several lawsuits against the university brought by professors alleging that the normal academic procedures for determining professorial tenure and the allocation of research resources were being bypassed. Newsweek pointed out that Crow's shift toward a corporate CEO style of academic management with an emphasis on bringing in corporate partners and radically restructuring old departments into interdisciplinary institutes was already evident when he was Vice-Provost of Columbia University in the 1990s. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2006 that during his tenure there Crow "led Columbia into the top ranks of universities by royalty income, bringing in more than $100 million a year"
He was also a key figure in establishing Columbia's interdisciplinary Earth Institute, and in 1999 served as its interim president. Professor Graciela Chichilnisky, whose research group was under the umbrella of the Institute brought a lawsuit against Columbia in 2000 in which she alleged that following a dispute with the university, Crow had ordered the dismantling of her offices and a funding freeze on her research group. (In June 2008, Chichilnisky settled with the university for an undisclosed amount.)
Crow is married to Dr. Sybil Francis, who holds a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona which she co-founded with Lattie Coor in 2002. The couple have one daughter and reside in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Crow also has a son and daughter from a previous marriage.