ASU’s overpaid King Crow issues threats

Budget cut would be equivalent of wiping out funding for 6,000 students

Arizona State University President Michael Crow is resorting to intimidation, stating that the state’s largest university may have to limit enrollment if Arizona’s legislature imposes a 10 percent cut this fall.

Crow said a 10 percent cut to the university’s budget, or $50 million, would be the equivalent of wiping out funding for 6,000 students. University officials are considering enrollment limits as one option for dealing with the loss of revenue.

“That’s not an option we want,” Crow warned.

Implicit in the threat he suggested that officials have not yet determined how much they would have to limit enrollment if the cuts occurred.

The move would be a sharp departure from ASU’s policy, which is to admit every student who meets the university’s academic qualifications, according to the daily.

Seeing Red AZ is indeed Seeing Red on this menacing tactic of Crow’s. But, we also have a suggestion or two to rein in the budget cuts:

1. Crow and his wife, Sybil Francis, should take a pay cuts.

2. Defund the programs, (so beloved by the open border advocates at the Arizona Republic) Crow has put in place to provide scholarships for illegal aliens at the state university.

Those two efforts alone might loosen up enough cash for King Crow to manage. Since all other government agencies are belt-tightening in the wake of Gov. Napolitano’s budget crisis, why does Crow caw that he should be exempt by threatening Arizona’s students?


11 Responses to ASU’s overpaid King Crow issues threats

  1. Ajo Joe says:

    Has anyone noticed that “King Crow” is out of control? Who put the crown on his head–other than the AZ Republic?

  2. Marianne says:

    How dare this elitist threaten us! Turn his outrageously high salary and bonus packages back and get his wife off the payroll for her entertaining prowess, and we might find some extra money to educate AZ’s citizen students–not the illegals to whom Crow is so eager to provide assistance.

    This is maddening!

  3. RA says:

    Seeing Red AZ has some good points in their assessment of this picture and some of the things that are wrong with it.

    Michael Crow is overpaid in his current role and with his present performance. Crow’s base salary at $720,000 is twice that of the mean average salary paid to chief executives of US public universities. In addition, the never-refused bonuses, courtesy of the Arizona Board of Regents plus the compensation afforded his spouse bring the Crows’ total annual compensation to at least $1,130,000/year. In comparative perspective, Mark G. Yudof was recently hired as president of the far larger and decidedly more competitive 10-campus University of California system at compensation valued at $828,000 a year.

    Second, Crow’s appalling attitude toward the will of the citizens of Arizona – and willingness to aggravate the existing illegal immigration problem by offering even more incentives promoting illegal immigration – have no place in a state public institution. The aid program alluded to should be ended immediately – particularly if there is a finding that public funding was used at any point or is still being used without public knowledge.

    Third, there are a number of graduate programs at ASU that enroll large proportions of foreign graduate students – in some departments the ratio is more than 85%. In some instances the levels of foreign graduate enrollment and related discriminatory assessment practices militate against students who are citizens of the US. George Borjas quotes a previous study in remarking, “…the average per-student subsidy is … $9,200 in public universities” in the US, and goes on to remark: “This subsidy is so large that the foreign-student program may actually generate a net loss for the U.S.” (George Borjas, “Rethinking Foreign Students,” 2002). Therefore, if ASU subsidies are in line with national average subsidies, every 1,000 foreign students enrolled at ASU are actually subsidized to the tune of $9.2 million per year. Perhaps ASU needs to reconsider what its mission actually is supposed to be, by law at the time of its establishment, in light of the prospective cuts and trim accordingly.

  4. ASUGraduate says:

    As a recent ASU graduate who has gone on to an exceptional and competitive graduate program, it is upsetting to see posters (who are likely Arizona residents) dismissing the education I obtained. Your comments (on the linked Crow article) and this one are part of the reason that the excellence of an ASU education is undervalued. I felt that the resources I utilized while at ASU were absolutely world-class, and I don’t regret for a moment my decision to attend school in Tempe.

    Yes, Michael Crow makes a lot of money. Many people are upset by this fact, but let us try and keep a sense of proportion. So what if Michael Crow takes a $300,000 or more pay cut? As harsh as it sounds, it is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the amount of funding the state is going to cut. Even if Michael Crow worked for ASU without salary, it would mean almost nothing relative to the operating budget of the university (and the proposed budget cuts).

    What many people don’t realize is that ASU is a much more well-regarded institution as a result of Michael Crow’s initiatives. ASU is now ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide, and has climbed in USNews rankings in the past few years. Many don’t realize that the model of accessibility is a smart one- ASU will never be an Ivy League institution, and neither will any other university who has not been a member of that club since the inception of American Education as we know it- so why pretend? Instead, ASU has focused on being a large university with resources that benefit students who are willing to take advantage of them. Anecdotally, I can tell you that as I interviewed at schools traditionally thought of as “Top 10” I was told by multiple interviewers that they had observed ASU’s resurgence as an institute strong in bioscience and technology and were impressed with the progress that was being made. While I know this isn’t the type of data that you can put in a formal report, it’s the kind of information that doesn’t show up in USNews rankings and press bulletins put out by ASU. Again, this is something many believe is a result of Michael Crow’s initiatives.

    I’d also like to point out that ASU’s tuition (and the tuition of other universities in AZ) is extraordinarily inexpensive when compared to the national average. I might be the minority on this issue, but I feel the constant complaining about tuition increases show a very severe misunderstanding of the economics of education and the nation at large. Given yearly inflation rates, how can people expect that the price for all goods and services increase, while the rate of a public school education stays the same?

  5. Jason says:

    Your opinions are your opinions, ASU grad. However, the AZ Constitution declares a university education should be as close to free for Arizona residents as possible. I assume at the time it was drafted, there was no question that referred to citizens rather than the illegals Crow is willing to solicit private funds to educate over AZ’s students.

    Michael Crow is a man with big plans that far surpass the huge and out of sync salaries he and his wife are getting with his ASU gig. He is a raw politician and the valley’s liberal newspaper treats him like a reigning monarch. He and Phil Gordon are two peas in the Republic’s pod. It will be intriguing to watch Crow’s next steps.

    Glad you think all is peachy over at ASU. A lot of us disagree with your assessment. Were you not bothered by the continual hikes in tuition and student fees at the acquiescing hands of the Board of Regents? Did you pay your own way or have Mom and Dad foot the bill? Many of us didn’t have assistance and were struggling to make ends meet as we continued our studies , tried to eat and put gas in our cars. Glad to know it all was such a breeze for you. It wasn’t for me.
    Another ASU grad

  6. Chuck says:

    ASU grad sounds like a Crowlet.

  7. ASUGraduate says:


    While I appreciate that you’ve decided that “mom and dad” paid my tuition, I survived on part-time work and student loans, like the majority of the ASU student body. This conversation certainly didn’t go need to escalate to the level of proving who “worked harder”. I shouldn’t need to apologize for valuing my college education. And no, the tuition hikes didn’t bother me THAT much. I understand that for a university to function, money has to be poured in. I want my education to be seen as valuable, and so I’m OK with paying slightly more to make my school a better place. To some extent, that’s belief and pride in a state and a school who I truly want to see succeed. Again, at some point I’m willing to pay more to get a better return- this isn’t Europe and things aren’t socialized, I don’t expect everything to be free. My point is every constitution has some variant of the same provision- as close to free as possible. Arizona is nearly as close as it gets to sticking to that; I encourage you to look at the tuition charged for other state schools around the country.

    I don’t agree with the plan to provide funding to illegal aliens. I have no defense for that.

    What I take offense to is the constant objections to new building projects, new collaborations, and new endeavors undertaken by the university by Michael Crow. Prior to the last few years, ASU had absolutely no ambition. None. They were content with just being the other big university in Arizona. There are plans in place (some have been completed already) to make this an even better institution. Has anyone commenting even been to ASU in the past year? Even aesthetically, the university is a better place. I encourage you to tour the Biodesign institute, understand where some of this money is going before being so quick to complain.

    It’s OK to not like Michael Crow for being a “raw politician” or how much he is paid. It’s another thing to deny that things have not improved during his tenure.

  8. SherriAZ says:

    ASU is fast pricing a college education out of the reach of middle class students. Soon it will be an elitist school, although the illegals will still get a free ride so the liberals can feel good about themselves. We have trained our kids to get as much done at the community college level prior to considering ASU because the tuition is so outrageous thanks to Michael Crow and his millionaire lifestyle.

  9. Jason says:

    ASU Graduate:
    I have been to the campus frequently since I graduated. My work takes me there often. Having gleaming, new buildings and a “world-class” competitive edge is great, as long as there is ample funding and the state is not billions of dollars in the hole. Families have to reign in their spending, government agencies are obliged to do so, as well. Only Michael Crow gets a pass and continues to spend when it is exceedingly inappropriate to do so. Amazingly, no one reigns him in. As long as he is given a free hand to construct his empire as he chooses, we are not the winners you seem to think. Crow is not only pompous, he is out of control.

    Self-supporting students are having a very difficult time, regardless of your experience and the fact that you were willing to pay more to get your fine education. We are not all so indulgent. Some of us had to go without basics in order to earn our degree.

    Many families are doing exactly what SherriAZ says, for the reasons she outlines.

    With that, I’m concluding my end of this discussion.

  10. RA says:

    While I do not deny that “ASU Graduate” is entitled to his or her own opinion on the subject, I wish to point out that the admonition to “let us try and keep a sense of proportion” is precisely what I am urging – and that by two separate standards (UC system president pay AND national industry and position statistical norms) Michael Crow’s compensation has outstripped the bounds of reason. Even UC President Yudof has been drawing flak for his inflated salary, and Crow is being paid more for administering both fewer campuses and fewer people, at an institution that isn’t even in the same ballpark as the UC system. Let me repeat these objective facts – Crow is paid more than the president of the entire 10-campus UC system, and more than twice as much as the national mean for university presidents.

    It is not Crow’s accomplishments that have generated all the new plant investment at ASU – it’s the Board of Regents and the Arizona Legislature’s previously uncharacteristic and misplaced generosity with taxpayer funds that have made all that possible.

    Michael Crow enlists help for many of his “new endeavors” and “new collaborations.” Sometimes credit is not given where credit is due and there are literally hundreds of ASU employees who have been either shorted or delayed payment at least once since Crow took office. This is a remarkable achievement even by “big university” standards. A man who can pocket more than $15,000/week and deny his employees a few hundred dollars each – especially if their efforts have helped him personally – is a man without honor no matter what station he occupies.

    There are other problems with ASU which are not of Mr. Crow’s manufacture, but they have assuredly already had a negative impact on Arizona’s economic development and future prospects. I blame consistently poor decisions on the part of the Board of Regents over several decades, which managed to leave the fifth largest city in the nation without a medical school until two years ago or so. Another problem is the well-documented existence of the “culture of cheating” that seems to thrive at ASU without widespread reproach (see the relevant AZ Republic article from 2005 and multiple other sources). Other issues include inculcated liberal racism and faculty overly focused on self-aggrandizement at the expense of students.

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