Tag Archives: arizona state university

ASU HR, McCarthy Nordburg

ASU HR Department Gets 17KSF of Tenant Improvement

McCarthy Nordburg announced the completion of the new Arizona State University HR Department to a second generation office building. The 17,000 SF second generation tenant improvement project addressed the tenant’s desire for an open collaborative space that incorporates ASU branding throughout. The reception area is the central hub for visitors and employees to gather. Jennifer Sasek and Jill Gibney were the design team from McCarthy Nordburg, Jokake Construction was the general contractor and Target Commercial Interiors provided the furniture.

Rugby, SL ONLINE

Inaugural Rugby Bowl Comes to WestWorld of Scottsdale in 2014

Getting bored with regular old basketball and football games? Brush off that Dorito dust from your hands and hop on your Harley — ’cause there’s a new extreme sport in town.

From the extreme-sport loving producers of The Polo Party and The Hottest Race on Earth comes a new event that puts quite the twist on a traditional spectator sport.

We’re talking about The Rugby Bowl: Spikes & Spokes, which goes down on April 12, 2014, at 1:10 p.m. at WestWorld of Scottsdale. Event spokespeople tell us one of the world’s most popular sports — rugby (the game of football played without helmets or pads and the newest Olympic sport) — meets the rolling thunder of motorcycles.

Hundreds of the hottest bikes in Arizona will growl along the field, while the nationally-ranked team from Arizona State University will take on the No. 1 ranked team and defending college champions from Brigham Young University.

Tickets are now on sale at TheRugbyBowl.com.

“The ASU Rugby Program is very proud to be part of the First Annual Rugby Bowl and showcase our talents. Our rugby season gets going just as the American football season ends, so it is a great way to continue the enthusiasm whether one is just getting to know rugby or is already an old pro,” said ASU Head Rugby Coach Gary Lane.

Expect top-notch entertainment and hospitality. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with kick-off starting at 1:10 p.m. on Saturday, April 12th. Rugby fans who arrive on motorcycle will receive free general admission. Fans can choose from a general admission ticket, tailgating option or relax in one of several tents including a shaded mid-field VIP tent, a reserved Arizona State University tent or non-alcoholic reserved Brigham Young University tent. A VIP Sky Box option is also available for large parties and groups. Those interested in corporate sponsorships should contact Jennifer Moser at info@TheRugbyBowl.com.

Rugby fans will also enjoy cuisine from a variety of the Valley’s favorite food trucks, as well as some great local brews from an on-site shaded Beer Garden. Then stay for the on-site after party with entertainment by The Keltic Cowboys.

microchip technology

Phoenix Joins Initiative to Promote Global Trade

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council announced the region has been selected as one of eight metro areas in the country to join a new exchange network created by the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase. The Exchange is a network of metropolitan areas committed to promoting greater global trade and economic competitiveness. As part of the inaugural Exchange, Greater Phoenix will be required to design and implement a regional export plan in 2014.

In Greater Phoenix, the Global Cities Initiative will be led City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and a core leadership team including the following representatives:

> Joe Stewart, market manager – AZ & NV Middle Market, Chase
> Dennis Hoffman, professor and director, L. William Seidman Research Institute at the
W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University
> Barry Broome, president and CEO Greater Phoenix Economic Council

“A strong trade and export strategy is critical to our region’s economic vitality, so I’m honored to lead this initiative for Greater Phoenix,” Mayor Stanton said. “I look forward to working with my fellow mayors and business and community leaders to build a regional export plan that capitalizes on our unique assets and advances a stronger and healthier economic platform by expanding our global trade and investment strategies.”

Other participating groups include the Arizona Export District Council, Canada-Arizona Business Council, Intel and the Arizona Commerce Authority.

Brookings selected metropolitan areas to join the network after an extensive application process that evaluated regions’ readiness and capability to pursue the Exchange’s curriculum and commitment to fulfill its goals. Greater Phoenix joins Atlanta; Greenville, S.C.; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Fla.; Milwaukee; Phoenix; Sacramento, Calif.; and Wichita, Kan., in the Exchange’s inaugural class, which will work together over the next four years to establish new metro-to-metro relationships and to share best practices in global economic development.

“For the Exchange, we selected metro areas that are committed to expanding their global economic reach by working together to identify regional competitive strengths and increase exports,” said Brad McDearman, Brookings fellow. “The eight metro areas selected for this round represent a growing group of U.S. metro areas that understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”

Over time, the network will expand to include additional U.S. and international cities working together to strengthen their local economies through increased engagement with the rest of the world. This builds on the Global Cities Initiative’s work, which equips metropolitan leaders with the information, policy ideas, and global connections they need to bolster their regions’ positions in the global economy.

“I’m delighted Greater Phoenix will be a part of this new network – it’s exactly the kind of innovative planning that is needed to ensure our community’s long-term economic success,” said Joe Stewart, market manager – AZ & NV Middle Market, Chase. “We have a long history of helping businesses connect to global markets and now the Exchange brings additional resources to help our region’s leaders design strategies to further create jobs and grow our economy through greater global engagement.”

The Global Cities Initiative supports the region’s existing efforts to implement the Brookings Metropolitan Business Plan (MBP), where business, university, political and civic leaders have adopted several core strategies to leverage  the region’s assets in a way that secures economic strength for Greater Phoenix through the 21st century. The Global Cities Initiative will serve to fulfill the MBP’s global export and foreign direct investment strategy. Further details about the MBP will be announced in early 2014.

“It’s fantastic that Greater Phoenix is participating in this initiative – a reflection of our unified commitment to attract and retain export-based businesses that are ultimately responsible for regional economic growth and prosperity,” said Dennis Hoffman, professor and director, L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. “A strong research university is an important attractor for businesses seeking talent and knowledge capital that can help them succeed in global markets, and I am pleased to represent ASU in this initiative.”

Metro area leaders play a critical role in promoting trade and developing infrastructure. Regional economic development leaders representing both the public and private sectors can help local firms access new markets and align existing export services because they know their regions best. These leaders are also best equipped to coordinate regional assets—such as skills training, innovation capacities, and freight and logistics—to better support global trade.

“In Greater Phoenix, we are already making exports and foreign direct investment a central and consistent part of our broader regional economic development strategy. Adding this partnership with the Global Cities Initiative will only strengthen our results,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “I look forward to the collaboration involved – not only within our own regional leadership but also with the other participating metro areas – to advance and diversify our region’s economy and solidify our future prosperity.”

In December, the Greater Phoenix Exchange team will join those of the other accepted metropolitan areas at Brookings in Washington to participate in their first working group session, where they will learn how to develop an export plan as part of a global economic development strategy. Throughout the four-year Exchange, participating metros will periodically convene for in-person working groups and will continually engage in curriculum via conference calls and webinars.

Coinciding with the work of the Exchange, Greater Phoenix will host a forum in 2014, bringing together regional and national experts on trade. Greater Phoenix is the only metro participating in the Global Cities Initiative to host such a forum. Its proximity to Mexico and trade relationships position the region as the ideal host of a conversation on global trade and exports.

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8 ASU grads lead companies on Fast 500 list

Eight Arizona State University alumni are CEOs of companies named to Deloitte’s 2013 Technology Fast 500™ list, according to information released by Deloitte on Nov. 12.

The ASU alumni whose companies made the list include:

  • Sean Barry ’93 B.S., of Bridgevine, Inc.
  • Thomas  R. Evans ’76 B.S., of Bankrate, Inc.
  • Diana P. Friedman ’84 M.A., ’89 M.B.A., of Sesame Communications
  • Brian Gentile ’92 M.B.A., of Jaspersoft Corporation
  • Chet Kapoor ’90 B.S.E., of Apigee Corporation
  • John McDermott ’83 B.S., of Endologix, Inc.
  • Tim Miller ’89 M.B.A., of Rally Software Development Corp.
  • James Triandiflou ’92 M.B.A., of Relias Learning

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 is the pre-eminent technology awards program in United States and Canada. Combining technological innovation, entrepreneurship and rapid growth, Fast 500 companies – large, small, public and private – span a variety of industry sectors, and are leaders in hardware, software, telecom, semiconductors, life sciences and clean technology.

For more information on the Technology Fast 500 list, visit www.fast500.com.

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ASU Polytechnic Students Take $2 Challenge

More than 30 students at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa, located at 7001 E Williams Field Rd, will abstain from modern-day luxuries and challenge themselves to live on two dollars a day and in cardboard-box houses from Nov., 12-15, 2013.  Students will convene outside the Student Union and begin building their homes at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 12th.

The Two Dollar Challenge, a national experiential learning exercise and poverty action program, is designed to give students an opportunity to step out of their daily lives and more tangibly reflect upon the daily and prolonged challenges of living in poverty while raising awareness and funds to support economic development organizations.

This Challenge is distinct from your average charity drive for three reasons. First, it asks students to restrict their consumption and live by other rules designed to simulate poverty. This experience gives students a glimpse of how nearly half of the world’s population lives every day. Second, the Two Dollar Challenge participants will raise funds for the cause of their choice. Third, through the experience and accompanying discussion students are educated about the complexity of world poverty. Student groups can become immediate actors in the eradication of global poverty and gain the experience to become passionate leaders in the field for the future.

“This is our second year partnering with Esperança and our students are looking forward to the challenge,” said Mark Henderson, engineering professor and co-founder of GlobalResolve at ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation.  “During the three day Challenge, the students will clean dorm rooms, hold car washes and do other odd jobs to make money to purchase food and live.  It will be an eye-opening experience for them to see what poverty feels like.”

The students will also be holding a shoe drive to help fund Esperança’s programs.  Esperança is a nonprofit that improves health and provides hope for families in the poorest communities of the world through sustainable disease prevention, education and treatment.  The general public can drop off their gently used shoes at the Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus in Mesa anytime during the three day challenge, Nov., 12-15, 2013.

“We’re excited to be a part of ASU’s Two Dollar Challenge,” said Tom Egan, executive director, Esperança.  “We offer programs and services in five countries and our volunteers are always surprised by the living conditions.  People in Bolivia and Nicaragua don’t always have access to clean water and food, they are disease stricken and don’t have stable homes to live in.  The Two Dollar Challenge is an opportunity for us to bring awareness to poverty locally, as well as nationally and internationally.”

prevention trial - brain scan images

ASU student ‘brains’ behind concussion tutorial

For decades, the devastating effects of repeated concussions on the health of professional athletes was a well-kept secret – until it exploded into a national controversy. As investigative journalists reported scientific evidence of the long-term impact of head injuries on NFL players, the focus soon shifted to high school athletes. How could we protect their health and safety?

Arizona was an early adopter of protection for high school athletes. In 2011, the state legislature passed a law requiring coaches to remove high school athletes from play if they even so much as suspect a concussion. The law requires that the athlete must obtain written clearance from a medical professional, like a physician or athletic trainer, in order to return to the sport.

State legislators also called for preventive measures that would make it mandatory for high school coaches, students and parents to complete concussion-education programs. To comply with the law, the Arizona Interscholastic Association deemed that every high school athlete in the state must complete Barrow Brainbook. This interactive, online training was developed in part by Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

But the real brains behind Barrow Brainbook belong to Arizona State University educational technology doctoral student Robert Christopherson.

“Over 180,000 high school athletes in the State of Arizona have benefitted from the knowledge of Robert Christopherson,” said Dr. Javier Cárdenas, neurologist and brain injury expert who is director of St. Joseph’s B.R.A.I.N.S. Clinic. “Robert’s expertise in educational technology is the primary reason Barrow Brainbook has not only successfully taught high school athletes about concussion dangers, but has become the most successful concussion education program in the country.”

When he began his research, Christopherson noticed immediately that most available concussion education programs targeted coaches and parents, but few addressed the athletes themselves. From the start, he said the directive from Cárdenas was empowering youth to assess the situation and be part of the decision-making process. Today, Barrow Brainbook remains the only concussion education program in the nation directed at high school athletes.

To engage the young athletes, Christopherson considered social media for two reasons. First, research showed that student behavior online and in classrooms was becoming increasingly similar. Second, it was important to deliver concussion instruction close to where the head injuries happen. Teaching the athletes on the football field was not an option, so the researcher had to come up with an equally effective venue.

“So we decided to make a pseudo-Facebook,” he explained. “We created an environment that looks like Facebook, has a lot of the same social network interactions and includes characters that represent those people who influence the athletes most – peers, role models including NFL players and college athletes, and doctors.”

housing.prices

Phoenix Housing Market Affected by Government Shutdown

The government shutdown may have dampened interest in buying Phoenix-area homes this fall. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows the latest data for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of September:

* The median single-family-home price was up about 33 percent from last September, to $199,000.
* However, demand is waning, and that may be at least partly due to the recent government shutdown creating economic uncertainty.
* Meantime, housing supply continues to rise, with more people willing to put their homes on the market as prices go up.

Phoenix-area home prices have been rising since hitting a low point in September 2011. The median single-family-home price rose 32.7 percent — from $150,000 to $199,000 –from last September to this September. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 22 percent. The median townhouse/condo price went up 30 percent, to $117,000. However, the price gains are expected to slow down.

“Since the beginning of July, the Phoenix-area housing market has cooled dramatically,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “The main change is a steep fall in demand, which we can see in the 12-percent drop in single-family-home sales activity just between August and September alone. Going forward, we anticipate a much slower rate of price appreciation than the furious pace we have witnessed over the last two years.”

Orr says the recent government shutdown may be at least partly to blame for the hard brakes on the housing market.

“The sudden weakness in owner-occupier demand since July is unusual and unexpected,” says Orr. “Poor consumer sentiment and concern over the government shutdown seem to have accelerated the decline. We also have no government information available yet on new-construction permits because of the shutdown.”

On the positive side, the number of available homes for sale continues to rise, after the area experienced a very tight supply for months. Active listings, not including those already under contract, went up 32 percent from Oct. 1 of last year to Oct. 1 of this year. More people appear willing to put their homes up for sale as prices rise.

“If the current trend continues, supply will exceed demand by the end of the year,” says Orr. “We now expect a balanced market to prevail during November. This is great news for buyers since they will experience less competition and be in a strong position to negotiate.”

The luxury market continues to perform well, thanks to the rising stock market and a big increase in the availability of jumbo loans. Sales of $500,000-plus, single-family homes grew an incredible 51 percent from September 2012 to September 2013.

However, cheap homes are tough to find, with fewer foreclosures coming onto the market. Foreclosure starts – owners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – dropped 61 percent from last September to this September. Completed foreclosures declined 63 percent. Orr expects foreclosures to keep falling over the next several years, thanks to tight underwriting standards.

Institutional investors and out-of-state buyers continue to lose interest in the Phoenix area, since better bargains can now be found elsewhere. The percentage of homes and condos bought by investors in September was down to 22.7 percent, from the peak of 39.7 percent in July 2012. Also, the percentage of Maricopa County residences sold to owners from outside Arizona was only 16.4 percent, the lowest percentage since January 2009.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed and downloaded at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

JohnCreer

John Creer to lead ASU real estate activities

John P. Creer was named Assistant Vice President for Real Estate Development at Arizona State University (ASU). Creer comes to ASU from Coldwell Banker Commercial in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he has worked as a commercial real estate broker since August 2011. Morgan R. Olsen, ASU’s Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, announced Creer’s appointment.

“With his nearly 30 years of experience in commercial real estate development, consulting, property and asset management and venture capital, John Creer possesses the expertise to lead the university’s complex real estate activities,” Olsen said. “His skill set will be of great value to our Real Estate Development Office as ASU continues the development of the athletic facilities district and other strategic real estate initiatives.”

Creer’s most recent professional accomplishments with Coldwell Banker include brokering transactions with national and regional companies such as UPS, US Bank and Obagi Medical Products, Inc. He is a licensed real estate broker in Utah and is a licensed real estate agent in California. Creer holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, with an emphasis in corporate and partnership taxation from the University of Utah.

“I’m excited to work with Dr. Olsen and the real estate team to develop and maximize the value of real estate assets to benefit Arizona State University,” Creer said. “President Crow and Dr. Olsen have created a refreshing atmosphere in a public institution that is on the leading edge of public-private partnerships. I believe my public and private development experience will bring an added dimension to ASU’s growth trajectory in relation to its real estate development initiatives.”

Prior to his Salt Lake City relocation, Creer worked for Grandview Advisors, LLC, Vanir Construction and the Trammell Crow Company on professional service contracts with the Los Angeles (California) Unified School District. One of his notable ventures with his partners at Grandview Advisors was the development of a master planning process and protocol to support a $7-billion, voter-approved capital investment program for 585 public school sites across the Los Angeles area.

Earlier in his Los Angeles work, Creer was responsible for the development and execution of a $2.3 billion master plan for 41 new San Fernando Valley K-12 school sites. He managed a $200-million charter school development program and started an asset management division to monetize underutilized real estate owned by the school district through public-private partnerships.

Previously in his career, Creer was chief financial officer for a Los Angeles venture-backed technology transfer company. He formerly served as managing partner of a Salt Lake City commercial development firm and was the chief financial officer of a Salt Lake City technology start-up company. Creer also performed various development, leasing and property management roles for a Salt Lake City commercial and industrial real estate development firm.

“With his wealth of knowledge and history of success in a broad range of real estate development ventures, I’m confident that John Creer can build on our achievements in the real estate arena,” Olsen said. “We are pleased to welcome him as part of the ASU Business and Finance team, and look forward to working with him in meeting the university’s complex real estate needs and developing new revenue streams to support ASU’s evolution as a New American University.”

Visit https://cfo.asu.edu to learn more about the office of ASU Business and Finance.

stem.cell

TGen-led study finds link to Parkinson’s disease

The absence of a protein called SMG1 could be a contributing factor in the development of Parkinson’s disease and other related neurological disorders, according to a study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The study screened 711 human kinases (key regulators of cellular functions) and 206 phosphatases (key regulators of metabolic processes) to determine which might have the greatest relationship to the aggregation of a protein known as alpha-synuclein, which has been previously implicated in Parkinson’s disease. Previous studies have shown that hyperphosphorylation of the α-synuclein protein on serine 129 is related to this aggregation.

“Identifying the kinases and phosphates that regulate this critical phosphorylation event may ultimately prove beneficial in the development of new drugs that could prevent synuclein dysfunction and toxicity in Parkinson’s disease and other synucleinopathies,” said Dr. Travis Dunckley, a TGen Assistant Professor and senior author of the study.

Synucleinopathies are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by aggregates of α-synuclein protein. They include Parkinson’s, various forms of dementia and multiple systems atrophy (MSA).

The study — SMG1 Identified as a Regulator of Parkinson’s disease-associated alpha-Synuclein Through siRNA Screening — was published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

By using the latest in genomic technologies, Dr. Dunckley and collaborators found that expression of the protein SMG1 was “significantly reduced” in tissue samples of patients with Parkinson’s and dementia.

“These results suggest that reduced SMG1 expression may be a contributor to α-synuclein pathology in these diseases,” Dr. Dunckley said.

TGen collaborators in this study included researchers from Banner Sun Health Institute and Mayo Clinic Scottsdale.

Tissue samples were provided by the Banner Brain and Body Donation Program. The study was funded by the Arizona Parkinson’s Disease Consortium, which includes Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, Sun Health Research Institute, Barrow Neurologic Institute, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Arizona State University, and TGen.

The study is available at: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0077711.

customer.service

Getting Better Customer Service

How can your favorite businesses improve your customer experience and offer better types of service? Business leaders from around the world will gather in Phoenix next week to learn how to gain an advantage and win your loyalty. The 24th annual Compete through Service Symposium will feature speakers from Cisco, Disney Institute, FedEx Services, HP, IBM, Vanguard and other household names.

Some of the topics being covered this year: How services can help differentiate your business, lessons in innovation, how to use smart analytics, and how to create “wow” through the smallest things to make a difference for your customers.

This event is hosted by the prestigious Center for Services Leadership at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The center was created in response to the unique challenges faced by companies as services have become a driving force in economies around the world, with less growth happening in products and manufacturing. The center’s member firms include Boeing, FedEx, GE, IBM, Mayo Clinic, Michelin, PetSmart, State Farm Insurance Company and other household names. The center also offers online courses, a list of which can be found at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/research/services-leadership/online-courses.

WHEN: Wednesday to Friday, Nov. 6-8, Full schedule available at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/symposium

WHERE: Marriott Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 50 E. Adams St., Phoenix, AZ 85004

JohnCreer, ASU-website

John Creer Joins ASU Real Estate Development Office

John P. Creer was named Assistant Vice President for Real Estate Development at Arizona State University (ASU). Creer comes to ASU from Coldwell Banker Commercial in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he has worked as a commercial real estate broker since August 2011. Morgan R. Olsen, ASU’s Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, announced Creer’s appointment.

“With his nearly 30 years of experience in commercial real estate development, consulting, property and asset management and venture capital, John Creer possesses the expertise to lead the university’s complex real estate activities,” Olsen said. “His skill set will be of great value to our Real Estate Development Office as ASU continues the development of the athletic facilities district and other strategic real estate initiatives.”

Creer’s most recent professional accomplishments with Coldwell Banker include brokering transactions with national and regional companies such as UPS, US Bank and Obagi Medical Products, Inc. He is a licensed real estate broker in Utah and is a licensed real estate agent in California. Creer holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, with an emphasis in corporate and partnership taxation from the University of Utah.

“I’m excited to work with Dr. Olsen and the real estate team to develop and maximize the value of real estate assets to benefit Arizona State University,” Creer said. “President Crow and Dr. Olsen have created a refreshing atmosphere in a public institution that is on the leading edge of public-private partnerships. I believe my public and private development experience will bring an added dimension to ASU’s growth trajectory in relation to its real estate development initiatives.”

Prior to his Salt Lake City relocation, Creer worked for Grandview Advisors, LLC, Vanir Construction and the Trammell Crow Company on professional service contracts with the Los Angeles (California) Unified School District. One of his notable ventures with his partners at Grandview Advisors was the development of a master planning process and protocol to support a $7-billion, voter-approved capital investment program for 585 public school sites across the Los Angeles area.

Earlier in his Los Angeles work, Creer was responsible for the development and execution of a $2.3 billion master plan for 41 new San Fernando Valley K-12 school sites. He managed a $200-million charter school development program and started an asset management division to monetize underutilized real estate owned by the school district through public-private partnerships.

Previously in his career, Creer was chief financial officer for a Los Angeles venture-backed technology transfer company. He formerly served as managing partner of a Salt Lake City commercial development firm and was the chief financial officer of a Salt Lake City technology start-up company. Creer also performed various development, leasing and property management roles for a Salt Lake City commercial and industrial real estate development firm.

“With his wealth of knowledge and history of success in a broad range of real estate development ventures, I’m confident that John Creer can build on our achievements in the real estate arena,” Olsen said. “We are pleased to welcome him as part of the ASU Business and Finance team, and look forward to working with him in meeting the university’s complex real estate needs and developing new revenue streams to support ASU’s evolution as a New American University.”

WPCarey-School-Sign

W. P. Carey School Dedicates New McCord Hall

One of the nation’s largest and highest-ranked business schools dedicated a brand new, state-of-the-art facility today. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University held a ceremony to mark the official opening of its 129,000-square-foot McCord Hall.

“We believe we’ve built the most advanced learning environment available for graduate business students,” says W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Amy Hillman. “Every detail was designed to teach students in a way that makes them better contributors to today’s work environment. The building has an emphasis on collaboration, discussion-based learning and flexibility.”

The new building is being added to the school’s two existing structures, which were renovated during this project. Together, they will ease overcrowding for the 10,000-plus students who attend the W. P. Carey School. McCord Hall will be home to the school’s graduate and executive-education programs, including the Top 30 nationally ranked MBA programs.

The impressive facility features modern architecture, technologically advanced tiered and flat classrooms, a multipurpose event space, a new graduate-level career center, team rooms, study areas, outdoor assembly areas, a lounge for honors undergrads, and a health-conscious café. McCord Hall is also environmentally friendly, with less water and energy use than similar buildings and a solar array that returns power to the campus grid. The project totaled $57 million, and the return on investment is expected to be great.

“We estimate the project has already had an economic impact on the gross state product of $64 million and the creation of 880 jobs,” says Professor Dennis Hoffman, director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Of course, the value of the construction does not include the added value that will accrue from the human capital produced in McCord Hall’s learning environment, allowing students to acquire knowledge and skills to compete in today’s economy.”

ASU President Michael Crow and Hillman presided over the dedication ceremony at the university’s Tempe campus. Philanthropist Sharon Dupont McCord and other building donors also took part. McCord and her late husband, Bob, are the major donors behind the facility’s name. More than $17 million in gifts and pledges from area companies and families, as well as other various sources, are helping to fund the building. Student support has been robust.

To learn more about the W. P. Carey School of Business, visit wpcarey.asu.edu. For more information about McCord Hall, go to http://building.wpcarey.asu.edu/. Donations to the building campaign can still be made at asufoundation.org/wpcbuilding. The W. P. Carey School’s full-time MBA, evening MBA, online MBA and undergraduate business programs are all currently ranked Top 30 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

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GPEC announces Board of Directors for FY 2014

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) today announced the appointment of its Board of Directors for the 2014 fiscal year, as approved by the Executive Committee.

Alliance Bank of Arizona CEO James Lundy will continue to lead the Board of Directors as chairman.

“As the economy continues to improve, GPEC’s team of results-driven board directors will work to ensure the region not only maintains its trajectory but also pushes toward a more diversified and sustainable economy that is less dependent on growth industries like real estate and construction,” Lundy said. “I’m honored to work with this talented group of professionals and look forward to a productive year.”

Rounding out the Board’s leadership is SCF Arizona President and CEO Don Smith and Empire Southwest Executive Vice President Chris Zaharis as vice chairs, APS Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Tammy McLeod as secretary and Bryan Cave, LLP Partner R. Neil Irwin as treasurer.

New Board Directors include: Steve Banta, CEO of Valley Metro; the Honorable Denny Barney, District 1 Supervisor for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; Scott Bradley, Area Vice President for Waste Management; Mark Clatt, Area President for Republic Services; the Honorable Vincent Francia, Mayor of the Town of Cave Creek; Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, President of the University of Arizona; Bill Jabjiniak, Economic Development Director for the City of Mesa; the Honorable Michael LeVault, Mayor of the Town of Youngtown; Rich Marchant, Executive Vice President, Global Operations for Crescent Crown Distributing; Ryan Nouis, Co-Founder and President of Job Brokers; and Eric Orsborn, Councilmember for the Town of Buckeye.

“GPEC’s success is largely driven by its strong Board of Directors, all of whom reflect the region and state’s most accomplished professionals,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Every single one of them truly cares about our market’s success and serves as a community thought leader when it comes to competitiveness.”

Mayors from GPEC’s member communities and the organization’s Nominating Committee are responsible for nominating and appointing Board Directors. The one-year terms are approved during GPEC’s Annual Board meeting.

GPEC FY 2014 Board of Directors:

James Lundy – Chairman
CEO
Alliance Bank of Arizona

Don Smith – Vice Chair
President and CEO
SCF Arizona

Chris Zaharis – Vice Chair
Executive Vice President
Empire Southwest

Tammy McLeod – Secretary
Vice President and Chief Customer Officer
Arizona Public Service Company

R. Neil Irwin – Treasurer
Partner
Bryan Cave, LLP

William Pepicello, Ph.D. – Immediate Past Chair
President
University of Phoenix

Barry Broome
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Richard C. Adkerson
President and CEO
Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

Jason Bagley
Government Affairs Manager
Intel

Ron Butler
Managing Partner
Ernst & Young LLP

Brian Campbell
Attorney
Campbell & Mahoney, Chartered

Michael Crow, Ph.D.
President
Arizona State University

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Midwestern University

Derrick Hall
President and CEO
Arizona Diamondbacks

Sharon Harper
President and CEO
The Plaza Companies

Ann Weaver Hart, Ph.D.
President
University of Arizona

Don Kile
President, Master Planned Communities
The Ellman Companies

Paul Luna
President and CEO
Helios Education Foundation

Rich Marchant
Executive Vice President, Global Operations
Crescent Crown Distributing

David Rousseau
President
Salt River Project

Joseph Stewart
Chairman and CEO
JPMorgan Chase Arizona

Hyman Sukiennik
Vice President
Cox Business

Karrin Kunasek Taylor
Executive Vice President and
Chief Entitlements Officer
DMB Associates, Inc.

Gerrit van Huisstede
Regional President Desert Mountain Region
Wells Fargo

Andy Warren
President
Maracay Homes

Richard B. West, III
President
Carefree Partners

John Zidich
Publisher & President
The Arizona Republic

Chuck Allen
Managing Director, Gov’t & Community Relations
US Airways

Steve Banta
CEO
Valley Metro

Denny Barney
County Supervisor-District 1
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

Jason Barney
Principal and Partner
Landmark Investments

The Honorable Robert Barrett
Mayor
City of Peoria

Timothy Bidwill
Vice President
Vermilion IDG

Scott Bradley
Area Vice President, Four Corners Area
Waste Management

Norman Butler
Market Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mark Clatt
Area President
Republic Services

Jeff Crockett
Shareholder
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Wyatt Decker, M.D.
CEO
Mayo Clinic Arizona

George Forristall
Director of Project Development
Mortenson Construction

The Honorable Vincent Francia
Mayor
Town of Cave Creek

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D.
Chancellor
Maricopa Community Colleges

Barry Halpern
Partner
Snell and Wilmer

G. Todd Hardy
Vice President of Assets
ASU Foundation

Lynne Herndon
Phoenix City President
BBVA Compass

Linda Hunt
Senior VP of Operations and President/CEO
Dignity Health Arizona

William Jabiiniak
Economic Development Director
City of Mesa

The Honorable Robert Jackson
Mayor
City of Casa Grande

The Honorable Linda Kavanagh
Mayor
Town of Fountain Hills

The Honorable Andy Kunasek
County Supervisor, District 3
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

The Honorable Michael LeVault
Mayor
Town of Youngtown

The Honorable John Lewis
Mayor
Town of Gilbert

The Honorable Marie Lopez Rogers
Mayor
City of Avondale

The Honorable Georgia Lord
Mayor
City of Goodyear

Jeff Lowe
President
MidFirst Bank

Paul Magallanez
Economic Development Director
City of Tolleson

Kate Maracas
Vice President
Abengoa

The Honorable Mark Mitchell
Mayor
City of Tempe

Ryan Nouis
Co-Founder & President
Job Brokers

Ed Novak
Managing Partner
Polsinelli Shughart

Eric Osborn
Councilmember
Town of Buckeye

Rui Pereira
General Manager
Rancho de Los Caballeros

The Honorable Christian Price
Mayor
City of Maricopa

Craig Robb
Managing Director
Zions Energy Link

The Honorable Jeff Serdy
Councilmember
City of Apache Junction

Steven M. Shope, Ph.D.
President
Sandia Research Corporation

James T. Swanson
President and CEO
Kitchell Corporation

Richard J. Thompson
President and CEO
Power-One

Jay Tibshraeny
Mayor
City of Chandler

John Welch
Managing Partner
Squire Sanders

Dan Withers
President
D.L. Withers Construction

The Honorable Sharon Wolcott
Mayor
City of Surprise

GENERAL COUNSEL
Bryant Barber
Attorney at Law
Lewis and Roca

Amy-Hillman

W.P. Carey dean wants the world to know about school

Amy Hillman, a renowned management professor and noted researcher, replaced Robert Mittelstaedt as dean of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business in March and became the school’s first female dean.

Az Business sat down with the leader of the W. P. Carey School, ranked in the top 30 among the best graduate business schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, to talk about her goals as dean and how her background as a researcher impacts her leadership.

Az Business: What is your biggest challenge as dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business?
Amy Hillman: Keeping the school nimble as an organization. Technology is playing a transformative role in higher education. The skills and expertise needed to succeed in an organization change as a result. We have to stay close to our corporate partners to make sure we stay on the leading edge of business education.

AB: How has the transition from second in command to dean been so far?
AH: Great. In the second-in-command position, I focused internally. We have amazing students, faculty and staff, and we work with some great partners within ASU, outside of the business school. Now, I also get to spend time with alumni, corporate partners and donors. In addition, I interact a lot more with other business-school deans. It’s a full circle.

AB: What are the W. P. Carey School’s strengths?
AH: We have hard-working students, dedicated staff, a supportive community, and a really desirable and unusual faculty combination. It’s not that hard to find good teachers or good researchers, but our faculty members are both, and that’s much more difficult to achieve. They are world-class researchers on the cutting edge of new knowledge in their fields, as well as excellent teachers. Therefore, what they discover one day, they teach in class the next. Add to this, they care about the students’ success in school and future careers. We have a dynamite combination. That’s why we’re currently ranked Top 30 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for all of our marquee programs — undergraduate business, full-time MBA, part-time MBA and online MBA.

AB: What makes you an effective dean for the W. P. Carey School?
AH: I love my work. I value relationships, but also performance. It also doesn’t hurt to be a management professor with real-world managerial experience. We have a lot of stakeholders to manage.

AB: How has your background prepared you to educate the entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future?
AH: In addition to my decades of work as a management professor and then executive dean, I also originally got my MBA because I needed skills to be a better manager in retail, before I ever went into academia. What I learned one night in my classes, I would apply the next day on the job. I also come from a family of entrepreneurs, so innovation and practicality loom large. I think this helps me stay focused on what we need to do to advance the practice of business.

AB: What are your goals as dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business?
AH: I’d like to build stronger — deeper and broader — corporate relations, increase lifelong value to our alumni, make our student experience a personal one, and make working at the W. P. Carey School of Business rewarding and fun. I’d also like to make sure the W. P. Carey School is no longer a “best-kept secret.” More people need to know all we do and how well we do it.

AB: What’s been the biggest change in education since you entered academia?
AH: I’d say one of the biggest changes to education as a whole — not specifically to business education — is the questioning of the value of education. This is unimaginable in developing nations like China. I was recently there with our executive MBA students in Shanghai. One of our speakers at an event was Nobel Laureate Ed Prescott, a W. P. Carey School of Business faculty member. Young kids wanted to have their pictures taken with him for his intellectual achievement. Sadly, I see too many people here in the United States who believe education isn’t the main driver of economic achievement.

AB: How has your background as a researcher impacted the way you educate the business leaders of the future?
AH: As a researcher, I’m strongly influenced by data, not anecdotes. So let’s analyze what’s happening before we jump to conclusions based on our personal observations. That said, most business research questions are big, complex ones without “one right answer,” so we need to train our students to look for patterns among data, but at the same time to embrace uncertainty. Make the best decisions with incomplete information. That’s the real world.

education.business

Educators say executives can increase workplace value

Despite signs of what most people view as a recovering economy, more than half of Arizona’s workforce stresses over job security.

A recent University of Phoenix survey revealed that 61 percent of working adults worry about losing their jobs in the current economic climate and 20 percent anguish over it at least once a week.

“In a challenging economic environment, workers should be doing more to position themselves as leaders in their organizations, but the survey finds that many are holding back at work, and this can have a negative effect on performance and productivity,” said Dr. Sam Sanders, college chair for University of Phoenix School of Business and a former human resources executive with more than 20 years of hiring and employee relations experience. “Those who understand the big picture and how their own skill sets help their companies achieve goals should have more confidence and can have an advantage in the workplace.”

To separate themselves from others and to create more job security, many executives are strengthening their skill sets through education.

“The trends in executive education is for shorter duration programs than those that preceded the recession, with emphases on acquiring skills that lead to promotions or career advancement and new market opportunities,” said Dr. Kevin McClean, interim dean, Ken Blanchard College of Business at Grand Canyon University. “Another key ingredient is the opportunity to network. These objectives are not really different from those that motivated people to pursue executive education in the past.”

Executive trends

Some of the shifts that educators are incorporating into graduate business programs include more emphasis on leading in turbulent times, developing organizational talent, innovation and creativity, and flexible, participative strategic planning.

“Executives are being asked to take on more responsibility and act more holistic in understanding the interdependencies of people and functions in organizations,” said Dr. Kirk Wessel, dean of Angell Snyder School of Business at Ottawa University. “This is being reflected in curricula.”

Educators are also being asked to help prepare executives and business students to deal with increasingly more complex business issues.

“For example, rather than teaching executives innovation or risk, we are talking about ‘risk-bound innovation,’” said Dennis Baltzley, Ph.D., senior vice president of executive education at Thunderbird School of Global Management. “Leaders want to know how to create an environment of innovation, while creating a ‘boundary’ of risk management. We must innovate, but more than ever, a bad decision can be fatal.”

Baltzley said Thunderbird is also seeing a dramatic interest in global global leadership.
Our customers want to know how to lead effectively across borders, cultures, different business models and philosophies,” Baltzley said. “Since 2008, growth has been slow in the U.S. and other mature markets. This led many businesses to leap into emerging markets with the promise of double digit growth whether they were ready or not, and most were not as ready as they would have liked.”

Paul Melendez, assistant dean of executive education at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, said he is seeing four specific trends:
* Customization: Executive education is becoming much more tailored to specific organizations, with programs, content, and learning customized to the unique needs of the organization. While many business schools still offer one- or two-week open-enrollment programs, organizations are finding it more beneficial to develop a program that is tailored to their executives.
* Consulting: The natural extension of customized programs is a consulting model where education and problem-solving are combined into a program. “We have helped organizations develop their culture, strategically plan, and develop a wide variety of business improvement plans through programs that also provide education for leaders,” Melendez said.
* Strategic partnerships: Eller Executive Education has developed strategic partnerships with Miraval and Canyon Ranch to offer programs that join cutting-edge leadership and management principles and with world-class health and wellness programs which they have dubbed “integrative leadership.”
* Privatization: A year ago the university spun Eller Executive Education out of the UA to allow greater operating flexibility. “As a result, we are now providing many more custom program for private, governmental, and non-profit organizations,” Melendez  said. “We have seen a number of other state business schools also privatizing their executive education organizations.”

Increasing your stock

Michael Bevis, director of academic affairs at University of Phoenix, said more executives have started to approach their careers in the same way they approach business management by focusing on building their personal brands.

“When you think about a company brand, it isn’t just about what you are communicating, but how that brand addresses the needs of the intended audience,” Bevis said. “One of the things I work on with executives and other business students at University of Phoenix, is developing a personal business plan that starts with the personal mission statement. You wouldn’t run a business without a plan and the same should be true about your career. If you are not setting goals, measuring progress and making sure your knowledge stays current and relevant, your personal brand — like that of a company’s — can become stagnant.”

So what programs are out there for executives to utilize to strengthen their brand?

* University of Phoenix: Within the MBA programs, concentrations allow executives to grow specific skills. It is common for executives or business owners to have specific knowledge about an industry or certain aspects of business management, but skills or knowledge gaps in other areas. Concentrations can help professionals hone certain skills, such as people management, finance or marketing.

* Thunderbird School of Global Management: Thunderbird offers a range of options from its short programs — less than a week — to its more in-depth MBA offerings. “We have a Global MBA Online that allows you to learn global business from anywhere in the world and an Executive MBA that’s on-campus, but provides a schedule suited to the working professional. “ Baltzley  said. “We also offer online certificate programs which are designed specifically for working professionals looking to improve their marketability and gain a leading edge over their competition.

* W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University: “Our executive-education programs, such as our leadership development workshops and our certificate programs in real estate, supply chain management, and service excellence, can give executives deeper skills and expose them to new ideas,” said Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “However, if they want to move into leadership roles beyond their current functional areas, then the MBA is the best option, though short non-degree courses that develop leadership skills are also helpful.”

* Eller College of Management: Eller Executive Education offers a variety of week-long programs and year-long programs for leaders of different types of organizations. “We are also launching a program in early 2014 that is specifically oriented toward CEOs of mid-sized to large companies,” Melendez said.

* DeVry University: Keller Graduate School of Management offers seven specialized master’s degree programs and 13 graduate certificate programs.

* Ken Blanchard College of Business: GCU offers very practical programs that include a master’s in leadership, a masters in accounting, and a masters in public administration.

* Angell Snyder School of Business: Case teaching methodologies teach executives to think critically about all internal and external factors that come into play in developing effective organizational strategies, irrespective of the industry.

Moving forward

The most important message that educators have for executives who may be worried about maintaining their position in the current economic climate is to stay current on trends in your industry, keep your brand current by understanding how your skills and experience fit into the big picture of an organization.

“This past year, we were asked repeatedly how to be effective in managing a diverse, multicultural, and geographically dispersed workforce, and how to stay relevant in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world,” Baltzley said. “Without question the term ‘VUCA’ has come of age and has several implications for executives who want to remain relevant today.”

To stay in the game, Baltzley has three pieces of advice for executives:
1. Get your head into what it means to think globally. If you think your company is domestic and American, and it will never go global, you are wrong, global is coming to you. In fact, global is probably already there, in the form of complex supply chain issues or direct competitors, so you better get prepared.
2. A term coined in the late 1970’s is important here – “Permanent Whitewater” – That is, if you think the whitewater is going to slow down, or that a calm patch is just around the corner, you are mistaken. You have to prepare yourself for leading in constant change in scale and speed.
3. Check your personal leadership style. Are you able to influence people very different than yourself? Do you enjoy variety, the unknown, surprises? Is your self-confidence and personal energy level pretty high? Do you like to test yourself, take some risks? If you can’t answer “yes” to most of these, you have some work to do to become a more adaptive leader.

credit

Study: Young Credit Card Users Are MORE Responsible

If you think young people don’t know how to manage money and pay down their credit cards, then you should think again. A new study from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond shows young borrowers – 18 to 25 years old — are among the least likely credit card users to have a serious default on their cards. Not only that, they’re also more likely to be good credit risks later in life.

“Young credit card users actually default less than middle-age borrowers,” says Assistant Professor Andra Ghent of the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Also, those who choose to get credit cards early in life are more likely to learn from any minor defaults and move on, avoiding major credit card problems in the future. Plus, they’re more likely to be able to get a mortgage and become a homeowner at a young age.”

The new research by Ghent, as well as Peter Debbaut and Marianna Kudlyak of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, is now a Federal Reserve working paper. In it, the researchers analyzed consumer data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax to determine whether young borrowers are worse credit risks than others and to estimate the effect of individuals choosing to get a credit card at a young age.

The results demonstrate that part of the Credit Card Act of 2009 may not have been necessary. The act made it illegal to issue a credit card to individuals under 21 unless the person has a cosigner or submits financial information indicating an independent means of repaying the debt. It also includes a provision banning companies from recruiting credit card users within 1,000 feet of any college campus or at college events.

“Letting students apply for credit cards may actually make sense,” says Ghent. “These students are the people who want credit, need to build up a good credit history, and have a steeply sloped income profile. If they don’t have a student loan, then a credit card may be the only way they can establish a decent credit history.”

The researchers found that while people in their early 20s are more likely to experience minor delinquencies (30 or 60 days past due), they are much less likely to experience serious delinquency (90 days or more past due). In fact, someone age 40 to 44 is 12 percentage points more likely to have a serious delinquency than a 19 year old.

However, the Credit Card Act of 2009 has clearly had an impact on how many young people are getting credit cards. Individuals under 21 are 18-percent less likely to get a credit card following passage of the act, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

“You can’t learn by just watching credit card use,” adds Ghent. “You have to get a card, pay it down every 30 days, and experience, in order to learn. It’s also hard to get a mortgage if you can’t get a credit card to build up your credit history.”

The full study is available at http://www.public.asu.edu/~aghent/research/DebbautGhentKudlyak_July2013.pdf.

asu

ASU freezes tuition for Arizona undergraduates

Arizona State University will not increase tuition for Arizona undergraduate students for the academic year that begins in fall 2014. This applies to both current students and those entering that year. No determination has been made yet regarding tuition levels for out-of-state students or for graduate students, whether in-state or out-of-state.

“ASU is focused on providing an exceptional education,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Our commitment to the people of Arizona is to use innovation and operational efficiency to make access to such an education available to all who are able and willing to do the work.”

ASU will deliver a formal proposal to the Arizona Board of Regents in the spring as part of the regular process for setting tuition. The university is making this announcement early in order to give Arizona undergraduate students and their families as much planning time as possible.

Phoenix-Area Housing Market

Phoenix-area Housing Supply Increasing

Over the past two years, the tight supply of homes for sale in the Phoenix area has helped to dramatically drive up prices. However, a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows change on the horizon. The data for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of August, reveals:

* The median single-family-home price is up 28 percent from last August, to $192,000.
* However, supply is finally starting to increase to help meet demand, and may be in balance by the end of the year.
* The luxury market is powering back, but might be derailed if the economy is pounded by the government shutdown and other events in Washington, D.C.

Phoenix-area home prices have shot up since hitting a low point in September 2011. From last August to this August, the median single-family-home price rose 28 percent – from $150,000 to $192,000. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 22 percent. The median townhouse/condo price rose 31 percent.

“We predicted the price-increase slowdown that happened over the summer months,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Now that temperatures are cooling, prices will start rising again, at least for the near term. However, they’re likely to go up at a less furious pace than the last two years.”

Orr says increases in the amount of homes for sale are helping to stop the price boom. As of Sept. 1 this year, the area had 29 percent more active listings (not under contract) than at the same time last year. As supply has been going up, demand has gone down, with sales of single-family homes 12 percent lower this August than last August.

“Although demand still exceeds supply, they are fast moving toward each other,” says Orr. “If the current pace of change continues, they are likely to be in balance before the end of the year. The seller is no longer holding all the cards in the Greater Phoenix housing market, and if their offers are countered aggressively, some potential buyers may walk away because they now have more alternatives.”

The types of transactions happening in the market are also noticeably shifting. Luxury homes over $500,000 grew their market share from 15 to 21 percent of the money being spent over the past year, while the lowest-priced homes (below $150,000) fell from 25 to 14 percent of the market.

“Access to finance at the high end of the market is very good, and we are seeing interest rates for jumbo loans even lower than the rates for conventional loans,” Orr explains. “However, if the stock market is negatively affected by events in Washington, then this will have an impact on the luxury housing market in Arizona.”

Investors continue to lose interest in the Phoenix market, with better bargains available in other parts of the country. The percentage of residential properties purchased by investors fell from the peak activity of 39.7 percent in July 2012 down to just 23.7 percent this August. The rates of all-cash buyers and out-of-state buyers are also dropping. In fact, the percentage of Maricopa County residences sold to non-Arizona owners in August was only 17 percent, the lowest percentage since January 2009.

Prices in all areas of Maricopa County are up over last year, and cheap foreclosures are tough to find. Foreclosure starts – owners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – declined 61 percent from last August to this August. Completed foreclosures went down an incredible 73 percent.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed and downloaded at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/realtyreports. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

Test

Andy Landeen joins Ryley Carlock

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite added attorney Andrea (Andy) Landeen to the firm’s Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy, Lending and Commercial Litigation practice groups, where she will continue her practice of representing lenders and other creditors in pre- and post-judgment litigation.

“We’re very excited about what Andy brings to the firm as well as our creditors’ rights and bankruptcy team,” said Scott Jenkins, Jr. who leads the firm’s lending, creditor’s rights and bankruptcy group.  “With Andy’s diverse experience, she will help us better serve our expanding client base.”

Prior to joining the firm, Andy also represented debtors in litigation in involving commercial real estate transactions arising from judicial and non-judicial foreclosures, as well as representing sub-contractors and materialmen in construction defect and/or mechanics’ lien dispute in both state and federal courts, and the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

“I am so excited to join Ryley Carlock & Applewhite not only because of the culture of professionalism, teamwork and commitment to excellence for which the firm is known, but also because of the balanced approach and high regard this firm has towards its attorneys as well as its clients.  I look forward to working with my team and growing with the firm.”

Landeen attained her law degree, cum laude from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University and her undergraduate summa cum laude from Smith College.

WPCarey-School-Sign

W. P. Carey School Honors Top Business Leaders

Three top business leaders will be honored for their innovation and achievements, when they are inducted into the W. P. Carey School of Business Homecoming Hall of Fame this month. They include the head of a famed jewelry company, a high-profile business founder from China, and a corporate leader at one of Arizona’s biggest companies.

On Oct. 17, they will join previous Arizona State University alumni inductees from such diverse organizations as the American Red Cross, Motorola, the U.S. Air Force, Wells Fargo Bank, XM Satellite Radio and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“These stellar inductees represent strength, leadership and accomplishment in the business world,” says W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Amy Hillman. “They demonstrate how far our students can go and have gone in making their mark on the global economy.”

The 36th annual W. P. Carey School honorees are:

> Eddie LeVian, chief executive officer of the Le Vian Corporation, who has made Chocolate Diamonds® a red-carpet staple in Hollywood. LeVian earned a business degree from the W. P. Carey School in 1979 and took his innovative marketing ideas back to his family’s fine jewelry business in New York. The company’s sales have more than quadrupled over the past decade, and the LeVian family is active with many charities, raising $75 million in the past decade alone.

> Canglong Liu, a high-profile business leader in China, who founded one fertilizer factory in 1979, which grew into a conglomerate of major companies, including the Sichuan Hongda Group, now with 30,000 employees and 60 subsidiaries around the world. Liu is chairman of businesses that focus on finance, minerals and real estate. He is also a member of the national committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the standing committee of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. The Hongda Group has given $8 million to AIDS prevention and research in China. Liu received his MBA from the W. P. Carey School’s prestigious executive MBA program in Shanghai in 2007.

> MaryAnn Miller, chief human resources officer and executive leader of corporate communications for Avnet, a Phoenix-based Fortune 500 company with more than 18,000 employees and customers in 80 countries. Avnet is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology in the world. Miller has more than 30 years of experience in human resources and operations management, and is responsible for leading the company’s human resources, organizational development and corporate communications worldwide. She is also a member of the Avnet Executive Board. She received her MBA from the W. P. Carey School’s executive MBA program in 2001.

About 200 alumni, business leaders and students are expected to attend the Homecoming Hall of Fame event on Thursday, Oct. 17 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. A reception starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony.

Space is limited. For more information on tickets or sponsorship, go to www.wpcarey.asu.edu/homecoming or call (480) 965-2597.

Manufacturing Companies

GPEC, ASU earn Department of Commerce Grant

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and Arizona State University (ASU) this week were awarded a $170,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The initiative, called the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” (IMCP) seeks to accelerate manufacturing sectors and job creation in cities across the country.

The funds will be used to develop a plan to implement an Innovation and Commercialization Center for Advanced Manufacturing (ICCAM) in Greater Phoenix that advances the region’s manufacturing sector and improves its competitiveness for domestic and foreign investments, advances research commercialization and prepares workers for advanced manufacturing jobs. The ICCAM will focus on new growth opportunities, like advanced sensor and control technologies, and applications that leverage historic regional strengths like aerospace, semiconductor, electronics, precision and control technologies.

“This grant is crucial to the ICCAM’s success as we seek to support and grow high-tech manufacturing technologies and their respective supply chains by providing access to applied research, product development and design services, as well as access to global markets,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “Creating a strategic plan to develop these technologies is important for retaining, upgrading and growing the region’s key industry clusters.”

“This award is further recognition of the significant opportunities for growth in the manufacturing sector in our region and our state” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, Senior Vice President for ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “ASU is committed to ensuring the continued expansion of manufacturing in Arizona and has implemented several programs and initiatives, with community partners and organizations such as GPEC, which will encourage startup and established manufacturing, ensure students become more involved in manufacturing and spur the overall growth of this sector as a driver of Arizona’s economy.”

Together, GPEC and ASU will assemble a project team to implement the project in two phases over a one-year period. Phase I will focus on finalizing the ICCAM’s technical parameters, refining its programs and services and developing performance metrics. Phase II will center on developing implementation strategies, identifying investment sources, building coalitions and finalizing a full implementation plan through the program’s launch.

Pending support from Congress, the ICCAM project will be eligible to compete for future large scale IMCP grants that are 50 to 100 times the size of the implementation strategy grants. This would allow the region to execute on its proposed strategy for advancing manufacturing in Phoenix and beyond.

privacy

How Personal Employment Information Is Shared And Sold

In today’s competitive business world, employers constantly are seeking ways to increase efficiency and reduce cost.  One obvious option in this effort is outsourcing, and employers certainly should be free to delegate functions to third-party vendors when it makes sense to do so.  But what are the implications when outsourcing requires an employer to share with a vendor private information about the employer’s workforce?

For attorneys who counsel either businesses or individuals, it’s important to know what rules and limitations apply to the increasingly popular trend of outsourcing employee verification services.  The issues associated with this trend are far-reaching and beg the question:  How can we better regulate and improve this beneficial type of outsourcing, for employers and employees alike?

The key to answering these questions begins with an understanding of the dual role credit reporting agencies play as database sponsors in the employee verification industry.  For example, in addition to compiling consumer credit scores, credit reporting giant Equifax also is in the business of compiling other information that is equally personal; namely, confidential details about workers’ current and former employment.  In fact, Equifax might even be selling information as personal as your compensation level, the name of your healthcare provider, whether you’ve ever filed for unemployment benefits, and your paystub history.

What is “The Work Number”

The Work Number, a subsidiary of Equifax, provides various financial and employment verification services.  The Work Number uses its ever-expanding database to confirm employment and income information for commercial verifiers, social service verifiers, and potential future employers.  The Work Number’s database currently contains the employment and salary records of over one-third of U.S. adults, and it includes detailed employee information about weekly paystubs, healthcare providers, medical and dental insurance, and unemployment compensation claims.

The Work Number built its database with the cooperation of thousands of U.S. businesses.  The Work Number markets itself to these willing participants as a means for busy human resource departments to outsource the time consuming task of verifying a range of information on former and current employees.  This service is so attractive that participating businesses actually pay for the ability to send The Work Number all employee information typically needed in the verification process.  The Work Number fields verification inquiries on the employer’s behalf, freeing up employer staff time for other tasks.

While providing employers with a valuable service, The Work Number simultaneously funnels this information it receives from its clients to its parent company, Equifax.  In turn, Equifax sells the information to third parties such as debt collectors, student loan issuers, and financial institutions.

Although Equifax’s sharing of the personal information garnered by The Work Number under in its role as a verification service provider is indisputable, the extent of such sharing is in question.  In an interview with NBC News, Equifax spokesman Timothy Klein denied that salary information is sold to debt collectors.[i]  Klein’s statement is in conflict, however, with Equifax CEO Richard Smith’s 2009 NYSE Magazine interview, in which he stated “[W]e can provide information about a debtor’s location, income, and employment.  That can help prioritize which accounts to pursue first.”[ii]

Because employer use of The Work Number has become so prevalent, the District of Columbia has issued new guidelines for low-income housing compliance, which include a provision governing the treatment of applicants whose employment and earnings can be verified only via The Work Number.[iii]  Likewise, the current Code of Mississippi Rules actually includes The Work Number’s email address, phone number, and website address in a statutory provision that instructs applicants for State-funded childcare on how to provide income and employment verification.[iv]  Considering The Work Number’s fast-paced growth and the privacy concerns it poses for consumers, it makes sense to consider what safeguards, if any, are in place to protect us.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The most obvious consumer protection tool implicated by Equifax’s practices is The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  The FCRA regulates instances in which “consumer reports” or “investigative consumer reports” are requested from a “consumer reporting agency.”[v]  For purposes of the FCRA, a “consumer reporting agency” includes any entity that regularly assembles credit or other information about consumers and furnishes that information to third parties via any means of interstate commerce.[vi]  Thus, Equifax and The Work Number are considered consumer reporting agencies for purposes of the FCRA.  “Consumer reports” include any communication of a consumer’s personal characteristics which will serve as a factor establishing the consumer’s eligibility for credit or insurance or for employment purposes.[vii]  By contrast, “investigative consumer reports” include reports regarding the consumer’s personal characteristics gathered during personal interviews, but do not include specific factual information about the consumer’s credit record.[viii]  Due to the more personal nature of information contained in an investigative consumer report, stricter guidelines are in place regarding disclosure of investigative consumer reports compared to ordinary consumer reports.  To the extent Equifax and The Work Number provide third parties with consumers’ personal and financial information, Equifax and The Work Number furnish consumer reports.

There are three types of recipients of the information provided by Equifax and The Work Number: prospective employers, financial institutions and creditors, and third party purchasers.  The FCRA applies differently to each recipient type.

Prospective Employers

The Work Number markets itself as a means for prospective employers to verify employment information of job applicants.  Thus, as its core business, The Work Number provides sensitive information to prospective employers.  Because the FCRA applies whenever employers request consumer reports from a consumer reporting agency like The Work Number, the FCRA is implicated by The Work Number’s information transfers to prospective employers.

The FCRA addresses issues such as what types of employers can obtain consumer reports, how they must obtain the report, what they must do before taking adverse action in response to the report, and what they must do after taking adverse action.[ix]  The Work Number contends that FCRA guidelines are met when it provides prospective employers with employment information.  Such guidelines include providing job applicants with written notice that information obtained from a consumer report may be used when making decisions concerning their employment.[x]  This notice must appear in a document containing only this disclosure.[xi]  Additionally, the consumer must provide written authorization of the procurement of the report.[xii]  To the extent The Work Number provides employment verification to prospective employers and meets these guidelines, it is within its rights to do so.  What the FCRA fails to address, however, is how other information in The Work Number’s database, such as salary and insurance information, is used for non-employment purposes.

Financial Institutions and Creditors

In addition to providing potential employers with consumers’ employment information, The Work Number also concedes to providing creditors and financial institutions with employment information from its database.  In an interview with NBC News, Equifax spokesman Timothy Klein admitted that pay rate information is shared with third parties.[xiii]  These third parties typically include mortgage, auto, and financial services credit grantors.  Klein said The Work Number provides such information to financial institutions and credit grantors in compliance with the FCRA, but denied that salary information is sold to debt collectors.[xiv]  The Work Number asserts that consumers give such third parties the right to access this information at the time the consumer applies for credit.

Section 1681 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act states that generally, a consumer reporting agency, like Equifax or The Work Number, may only furnish a consumer report to such third parties when the consumer reporting agency has reason to believe the third party “intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the consumer … and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer.”[xv]  Even assuming Klein’s assertion is true that consumers grant these third parties access to such information, other provisions in the FCRA raise the question of whether this authorization is sufficient.  Subsection (c)(1)(A) of the FCRA requires that “the consumer authorize[e] the agency to provide such report to such person.”[xvi]  This language suggests that a much more personalized authorization transaction may be required than Klein alluded to in his statement.  Namely, it appears that the consumer must furnish the specific consumer reporting agency in question with authorization to provide the report to the specific financial institution or creditor requesting the report.  Interestingly, although in certain circumstances a consumer may authorize all reporting agencies to give all creditors this information by executing a general waiver at the time he or she applies for credit, another subsection of the FCRA indicates the consumer may have an additional line of defense.  Pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(B)(iii), a consumer may elect to have his name and address excluded from lists provided by consumer reporting agencies in connection with credit transactions not initiated by the consumer.[xvii]

Unfortunately, the rules delineating when reporting agencies like Equifax and The Work Number can give creditors and financial institutions other information from The Work Number’s database are unclear.  It is not clear when, how, and with regard to whom the consumer must provide authorization for a reporting agency to share this information.  However, given that consumers must be clearly notified in writing and provide authorization prior to issuance of a consumer report when such report will be used for employment purposes, a strong argument can be made that this same proactive and consumer oriented approach should apply to all sections of the FCRA.

Equifax Information Sold to Third Parties

In addition to providing information to prospective employers, financial institutions, and creditors, Equifax also sells some of this information to interested third parties.  For example, Equifax heavily markets The Work Number’s services to student loan issurers.  Thanks to The Work Number’s information, student loan issuers have seen a 5.5% increase in Right Party Contact and a 7.3% increase in Collections Resolution.[xviii]  Additionally, Equifax provides information from The Work Number to financial firms.  In these transactions, the information is packaged as a “portfolio monitoring” service which allows financial firms to market their products to a specially selected group of consumers.  The Work Number’s information is also marketed to these firms as “proactive managing of risk.”  In this context, the firms analyze information from The Work Number for early warning signs about when someone might soon run into financial trouble.  The marketing campaign for these services touts “Using The Work Number to stay abreast of employment changes can expand your ability to mitigate risk while maximizing product and service potential.”[xix]

Strangely, the FCRA seemingly fails to address this type of information transfer at all.  While the FCRA provides guidelines for when a consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report, how and when a consumer report may be furnished for employment purposes, how and when a consumer report may be furnished in connection with credit or insurance transactions, and what added protections are afforded medical information, there is a lack of guidance regarding the sale of such information.  Nowhere does the FCRA expressly prohibit the sale of consumer information to third parties with a business interest in the information.  This is further complicated by the fact that Equifax owns The Work Number.  As a credit bureau, Equifax proceeds under the comparatively lax rules governing credit reporting agencies, which are distinct from those governing data brokers.  Thus, by virtue of Equifax’s affiliation with The Work Number, it can behave as a credit bureau, selling credit information to lenders.  The problem, however, is Equifax has access to a much greater wealth of consumer information than a credit bureau otherwise would, thanks to its affiliation with The Work Number.

The good news, however, is that the FCRA actually may address the problematic affiliation between Equifax and The Work Number.  Section 1681s-3 of the FCRA relates to affiliate sharing.[xx]  This section prohibits an entity that receives information which would be a consumer report from another entity under common ownership from using that information to make a solicitation for marketing purposes, unless the consumer is provided an opportunity to prohibit such solicitations after a clear disclosure has been made to the consumer explaining that information may be communicated amongst such entities for purposes of solicitation.[xxi]  However, even this provision of the FCRA might not be as helpful as it seems.  Although it may prohibit Equifax from using information it obtains from The Work Number to solicit business, that is only half the battle.  Equifax still could continue to sell the information it gathers by its own efforts to third parties.  The information might simply be less comprehensive.

Possible Solutions

In light of these revelations, the first question on many consumers’ minds is how to address this sharing or sale of private information, which appears to be lawful under the guidelines currently in place.

From an individual’s perspective, preventing sensitive information from ending up in The Work Number database seems like a futile proposition.  A job applicant, for example, could attempt to condition a prospective employment relationship on the employer’s agreement not to share any of the applicant’s personal or employment information.  However, given the current job market, most employees would have very little negotiating power, and most employers are unlikely to oblige, especially given the economy gained by utilizing The Work Number.  If an individual is unsuccessful in this negotiation, he or she can always turn down a job offer.  While doing so will keep the employee’s personal information safe for now, the applicant has cut off his nose to spite his face and remains unemployed.  It seems then that the only plausible way to regulate these information transfers is to address them before the consumer even gets involved.

Congress Should Revisit the Fair Credit Reporting Act

The most effective means by which to provide much-needed regulatory reform is to take legislative action.  Specifically, Congress should revisit the FCRA, taking into consideration the flaws and gaps that Equifax is exploiting.  One approach could include amending the FCRA to require a consumer’s written authorization before such information is sold.  Specifically, implementing the same comprehensive authorization guidelines currently in place regarding consumer reports used for employment purposes could serve as a model.  Under this approach, the consumer reporting agency would need to provide consumers with clear, conspicuous written notice of the possible sale of their information prior to the information being sold.  Such notice would need to be in a stand-alone document, and the consumer’s response, either authorizing the sale or not authorizing the sale, would also need to be in writing.

Another possible approach includes implementing stricter rules governing the flow of consumer reports out of credit bureaus, perhaps mirroring the already stricter guidelines governing disclosure of investigative consumer reports.  Additionally, Congress could amend the FCRA to clearly delineate exactly what information can be included in consumer reports.  Part of the current problem appears to involve the crossover between the personal and employment related information contained in The Work Number’s database with the credit information expected to be in the hands of a credit bureau, like Equifax.

John Balitis is a director and attorney with the law firm of Fennemore Craig in Phoenix where he co-chairs the firm’s Labor Relations and Employment Practice Group.  He represents businesses in all aspects of employment law. Kristin Penunuri is a student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  She is a legal writing intern at Fennemore Craig in Phoenix.


[i] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[ii] Id.

[iii] D.C. Mun. Regs., Title 14 § 5402 (2012).

[iv] Miss. Admin. Code, Title 18, Subtitle 7, Rule 2 § 102 (2012).

[v] Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 (2006).

[vi] Id. at § 1681a (2006).

[vii] Id.

[viii] Id.

[ix] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[x] 15 U.S.C. § 1681b (2006).

[xi] Id.

[xii] Id.

[xiii] Sullivan, supra note 9.

[xiv] Id.

[xv] 15 U.S.C. § 1681b (2006).

[xvi] Id.

[xvii] Id.

[xviii] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[xix] Id.

[xx] 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-3 (2006).

[xxi] Id.

 

 

How To Learn More About Your Work Number

Consumers who want to know what, if any, information about them resides with The Work Number may do so by visiting The Work Number website (www.theworknumber.com) and requesting an Employment Data Report (“EDR”).  Processing this request involves logging in and completing an EDR request form that is available in .pdf format.  Alternatively, interested consumers may contact The Work Number by telephone at (866) 604-6570.

If an EDR contains information that is inaccurate or objectionable to the consumer, he or she may submit online comments via The Work Number website.  The website suggests that The Work Number will embed the comments so that they are visible to subscribers that obtain the consumer’s other information from The Work Number.

 

Michael Crow (current)

TREO Luncheon features university presidents

Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO) will feature state university presidents, Dr. Ann Weaver Hart, of the University of Arizona and Dr. Michael M. Crow, of Arizona State University, at its 8th Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, September 25th at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson.

Strong economies are defined by well-paying jobs, held by individuals possessing knowledge and skills that are in demand. Post-secondary education most often provides these skill sets. While US citizens have traditionally been among the best-educated in the world, the nation now ranks 12th in the number of 25- to 34-year olds with college degrees. Businesses often cite the difficulty of finding qualified workers as a barrier to growth. Talent is always the number one factor in site selection decisions.

What is being done in the Sun Corridor to address talent development? Join TREO for a higher education update and a frank discussion on educating the next generation for jobs of today and the future.

When: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Where: Westin La Paloma Resort, 3800 East Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Luncheon and Presentation
Registration: http://conta.cc/12e195U

 

asu

ASU welcomes record freshman class

This fall, Arizona State University welcomes a freshman class that sets new records on many levels.

Testament to the outstanding reputation of the university, 38,701 students applied for admission as first-time freshmen. At the end of today’s registration for classes, ASU will enroll 10,149 academically distinguished students, who also strive for excellence outside of the classroom, from around the globe.

Incoming Sun Devils include a concertmaster of a chamber orchestra, a global humanitarian who raised more than $250,000 for orphans in North Korea, and a member of the Running Start Young Women Political Leadership Program in Washington, D.C.

“ASU is increasingly becoming the school of choice for Arizona students, as well as for students from outside the state and other nations,” said Elizabeth D. Phillips, executive vice president and provost. “The message is carrying far and wide that Arizona State University is a place that embraces and champions excellence and opportunity for all academically qualified students. Come to us with your dreams, and your commitment to work hard, and we will help you make those dreams a reality.”

The new Sun Devil class is academically strong, with an average high school GPA of 3.4 and average SAT score of 1116. Forty-nine percent are New American University Scholars at the Dean, Provost and President Scholarship levels, the most prestigious scholarships for first-time freshmen.

Among this year’s class are 5,747 Arizona residents, 63 percent of whom will graduate in the top 25 percent of their high school class.

For Brandon Deatherage, of Phoenix, ASU was his only choice. While he is just beginning his college years, he has his eyes set on becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon.

“I chose ASU because I’m a pre-med student and I heard they teamed up with Mayo Clinic, so that’s pretty motivating,” said Deatherage.

Rayann Chee, of Cedar Creek, was considering Dartmouth College when she was there for a business program last summer. When it came down to choosing where to apply, however, she chose ASU to carry on her family’s Sun Devil tradition — her mom attended ASU, her aunt graduated from ASU and her grandmother got her doctorate degree from ASU.

A Gates Millennium Scholar, Chee is majoring in criminal justice and is a student in Barrett, The Honors College. She is one of 1,000 talented students nationwide to receive the prestigious scholarship, which covers unmet financial need through graduation and can be used at any US university. Her dream is to help reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency on her reservation.

ASU continues to honor its longstanding commitment to socioeconomic diversity and access to education, with more than 31 percent of admitted Arizona residents reporting they will be the first in their family to graduate from a four-year college and 25.6 percent coming from low-income families.

The freshmen class includes the largest number of non-resident students, 4,244, a 29 percent increase from last fall’s incoming freshmen. With non-resident students representing all 50 states and 71 different countries, the largest number, 1,314, come from California. ASU is increasingly becoming the school of choice for students from the Golden State, seeing a 13 percent increase in enrollment since last year.

Melanie Abramoff, from Agoura Hills, Calif., considered the University of Southern California, but only applied to ASU. She said she “fell in love with” the Downtown Phoenix campus after she visited.

“I wanted to be part of the Cronkite journalism and mass communication program,” said Abramoff, who aspires to work for the Food Network or Entertainment Tonight. “They have excellent teachers, and they’re hands-on and looking out for the best interests of their students.”

Collectively, this year’s freshmen make up ASU’s most diverse class to date in terms of their racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. 39.6 percent of the class is racial and ethnic minority.

More international students will call ASU and the Phoenix-area their home than ever before, with nearly 900 new freshmen hailing from outside of the United States – a 66 percent increase from last year’s class of 529 international freshmen. ASU has set the record for number of new international students each of the last five years, in part a reflection of the institution’s recognition as a top 100 university in the world by both the Center for World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

ASU continues to attract vast numbers of students interested in studying in the high-demand STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. The top 10 majors of choice for newly admitted students include biological sciences, mechanical engineering, biochemistry, computer science, biomedical engineering and health sciences. Rounding out the top 10 are business — the most popular major — psychology, and journalism and mass communication.