Raymond Van Der Riet: ASU puts Arizona first

September 1, 2018


The closing line of the Aug. 27 “Our View” editorial noted that Arizona State University’s “education efforts ought to focus on Arizona first.” It’s a view that we share, exemplified by the scale of our spending and investments in Arizona. Indeed, in FY 2016, the economic impact of the university community and its engagement throughout Arizona looked like this: 47,650 jobs, labor income of $2.4 billion, and gross product of $3.58 billion.

So it’s in this context that we humbly suggest that the rising quality of ASU and the expansion of opportunities for our students does not mean choosing between focusing on Arizona and expanding beyond our borders. In fact, it’s our responsibility to do both to provide students the best possible set of learning experiences and thereby increase their chances for success after graduation.

The decision to invest in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner Building, funded by ASU’s non-profit investment entity Enterprise Partners, will allow the university to offer classes there, host events, launch new initiatives, form new partnerships, explore new ideas, pursue research, find real-world solutions — in short, provide our students and faculty the ability to expand their knowledge and enhance their educational experiences. While benefits will accrue to the city of Los Angeles, we have little reason to doubt that ambitions beyond our borders also reap significant benefits at home.

Raymond Van Der Riet

Director, ASU Havasu

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