The following was emailed as a "Letter to the Editor" of the Arizona Republic on 22 November 2006. It was written in response to a column by Laurie Roberts that discussed the salaries awarded to the presidents of Arizona universities.For whatever reasons, we seem to be oblivious to the fact that we are more than a half-decade into the 21st century. Fortunately for the Valley of the Sun and the state of Arizona, ASU has Dr. Crow morphing it into a 21st century university. Our next few decades of are well defined: our future is biotechnology, nanotechnology and robotics. These futures are being enabled by the fact that we are entering into the next era of computing, which is the era of high-performance computing and 21st century informatics. A harsh reality is that becoming competitive in 21st century technologies takes a lot of money and long-term thinking. Dr. Crow "sees" this and he has ASU moving in the right direction. Here is a recent example: During late-September of this year, ASU's High-Performance Computing Institute, which is part of the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, was included in a $59 million grant to collaborate with the University of Texas at Austin to build a supercomputer. Today (22 November 2006), DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) announced that two computer companies, Cray and IBM, have been awarded $500 million to design and develop supercomputers. I doubt Google and PayPal, two 21st century informatics companies, would have established engineering offices in the Valley of the Sun if they didn't believe ASU had a chance to be a competitive university in the 21st century. I doubt Dr. George Poste would have taken responsibility for leading the Biodesign Institute at ASU if he didn't believe in Dr. Crow's ability to be a 21st century leader. I doubt the mayor of Tempe would proclaim his city as the "smart place to be" if he thought ASU's only future was to be a top-ranked party school. Chances are we can find somebody to be the President of ASU for one-third of Crow's salary, but doing such a thing would only confirm that Arizona really is one of the dumbest states in the U.S.
Creator: Gerald D. Thurman
Created: 22 November 2006