ASU Polytechnic campus as an Independent State University
Check out my website which advocates restructuring the Arizona University System to provide greater accessibility, affordability, and accountability to a public university education for many more Arizonans while breaking-up the ASU monopoly within Greater Phoenix.
My plan does this by merging the ASU West & Polytechnic campuses into an independent, "medium-cost", and moderate research state university that is then housed at the Polytechnic campus location while the West campus then transforms itself into an independent, "low-cost", and non-research state university.
Click on the link below to view my strategic plan for the details of my university system restructuring plan:
Here is a website from a group of business and community leaders advocating for the vision of Florida Polytechnic University (which recently separated from USF Polytechnic to become a new state university):
Arizona has too few public universities (3) for its population size (16th most populous) and its costly & heavy research universities (ASU & UA) are educating too many undergraduate students. The West & Poly campuses provide a large enough venue to educate tens of thousands of undergraduate students across dozens of degree programs at a lower per unit cost to both the students of Arizona and the State of Arizona, thereby requiring ASU & UA to issue enrollment caps to reduce their undergraduate enrollments and to increase their graduation rates.
The "medium" cost structure at the Poly campus is the result of being a masters-level university (merger of ASU West & Poly) having less research intensity with lower operating expenses than ASU & UA. Not all programs at Poly will be the same as Tempe (fewer overall with a different curriculum and instructional style), but Poly as a whole serves as a reliever institution to ASU & UA. The distance (and travel times) between Poly & Tempe is too far for full-time faculty to teach at both locations. It won't make much sense for ASU to host the same programs at Poly because ASU does not want to compete with itself, especialy since both campuses are within driving distance of one another.
Although Poly & Tempe campuses are about 30 miles apart, the population in the East Valley (for example) is almost the same as the entire state of New Mexico (which has a few state universities). Greater Phoenix is the largest metropolitan area that only has one free-standing state university (in contrast with Los Angeles, Chicago, San Antonio, Dallas, San Diego, Austin, Denver, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, etc.). Many other fiscally conservative (and smaller sized) states have more than 3 public universities each.
There are no reasons why Poly can't offer many more complete degree programs today, as a part of ASU. Perhaps a better question to ask is why these degree programs don't already exist at poly.
In fact, ASU could probably offer these programs cheaper at Poly than an independed university could, by having specialized faculty teach at both locations. These programs (especially Aerospace and Electrical Engineering) are expensive to offer, they would never see effective economies of scale if they were duplicated 30 miles from each other, and good professors to staff them will want research opportunities and competitive salaries. After a short while, the mission of offering a "medium cost" education is out the window and we're back where we started. What I don't see in the plan is how Poly would offer the same types of programs as ASU but do it at a lower cost. Are the professors supposed to accept smaller salaries? Are the students at Poly not going to start demanding their own sports teams and other expensive accomodations currently available through ASU?
I believe you've probably researched this thoroughly, especially since it seems you did your graduate research in this area, but short of trusting you I haven't seen anything that actually describes where the cost savings would come from and how we would create several duplicate programs without increased costs to the state.
Which is precisely the reason why Poly needs to become a free-standing state university so that it can offer many more complete degree programs, including those that are offered at ASU's Tempe campus (e.g., mechanical, aerospace, civil, & electrical engineering; supply chain mgt., etc.) while maintaining local control, thereby allowing ASU & UA to provide enrollment caps at their overcrowded main campuses.
An independent Poly allows it to BOTH compete and collaborate with ASU and satisfies the bigger issue of Arizona not having enough public universities (only 3) and capacity to educate its current and growing population size (6.4+ million)
I can certainly see many benefits, but what I don't necessarily see one way or the other is whether the benefits of this approach outweigh the benefits of the other approach. Perhaps that is the kind of thing an iMesa committee can review in more detail.
Poly's engineering offerings are pretty limited. Just a general degree in engineering or a hardware and software engineering degree. Most engineering programs are at Tempe (mechanical, aero, electrical, etc...) and new programs would need to be started and would need to seek accredidation at Poly (I think....I could be wrong....).
The advantage of a free-standing state university at the Polytechnic campus location is that it would better serve the higher educational needs of the entire state of Arizona (including the CIty of Mesa) while providing a stronger substitution effect to ASU (& UA) by being sufficiently far away from ASU Tempe yet still located in an urban area.
It would not lose ABET accreditation because the new state university would keep its engineering programs and acquire its own general accreditation and ABET accreditation.
My original comment that this was an inappropriate forum for this was posted before I had read the rest of the proposals and saw how many of them dealt with similar "out of jurisdiction" issues. So, you are correct in noting the inconsistency between my apparent viewpoints between this thread and the MCC thread.
With that said, I still don't see the advantages to this idea over the other idea. MCC is in a struggling area and could use the new investment. Poly sees plenty of new investment and is in a thriving area as it is. Your concern in the other thread that MCC is running out of space is incorrect, as there is plenty of space for new buildings where single-story buildings exist now, and plenty of dead retail space that could be acquired for future expansion (the decrease in retail space in this area also being a goal **** out by previous reports commissioned by the City of Mesa pertaining to the revival of the Fiesta District).
So, I am wondering, what are the advantages to this plan over the other, for the City of Mesa? I certainly didn't come up with the other plan, and I don't have anything invested in it. I would gladly endorse and "cheer lead" for this idea if the advantages over 4-year degrees at MCC were more clear. It seems, after an admittedly crude first glance, that 4 year degrees at MCC, easy access to ASU Tempe, and our current research campus at ASU Poly would serve most of Mesa's residents well, in the absence of private colleges which we have failed to attract.
I think NAU, ASU and UA should offer full degree programs at all community colleges. Community colleges and state universities recieve public funds, I dont understand why ASU, NAU and UA need to offer MBA's in a private building. its a waste of money. Use the resources we have such as community college building. A Classroom is a Classroom. I dont think Community colleges should go by itself and start offering 4 yr degrees or Polytech needs to be seperated out.. the reason being it will lose its funding and its accreditation. Most Engineering companies won't even hire people or pay less to people who graduate from non abet schools, especially boeing, general dynamics, lockheed and such.. no matter how smart they maybe.. there is a monopoly in abet accreditation and engineers at these companies seem to terrorized abet grads with development path. However State funded schools and federal funded loan recieving schools need to participate and offer full degree programs at community colleges where they dont have a campus and all ASU campus need to offer mba and phds for non traditional students (evening classes) especially polytechnic which is so underserved between mesa, gilbert and queen creek close to 750,000 people i bet you there is atleast 1000 people who would love to do their mba's and phd at that campus..
So, it is somehow appropriate to post about MCC (from another thread) even though it is owned and governed by the County but the state-owned ASU cannot be discussed here? I disagree and that lack of leadership at the local level is part of the reason why the university system is in such dispair and need of reform!
I like the idea of this. Mesa officials could work with state authorities to develop some type of State University in the East Valley. Why can't Mesa develop something in-between MCC & ASU? A lower cost university would be something that would interest many citizens of Mesa and the East Valley. You could develop a unique University that takes the strengths of other education institutions. Offer online & condensed (7 1/2 week) courses that allow the working adult or working student to stay focused at lower costs and lower overhead. Campus facilities could be centrally located or regionally located in the East Valley. Consider a Medical section near Banner Desert or location of old Mesa Lutheren hospital; Supply Chain/business by Williams Gateway or Fiesta District...etc