Welcome to the Office of University Initiatives Blog, an online journal that allows our office to share and reflect on our work at ASU.

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Welcome to the Family

Submitted by Jessica Eldridge on July 17, 2013 - 12:00am

As Trevor and I settle in as University Innovation Fellows, we would like to express our gratitude to all who have welcomed us into the ASU family and shared advice for our upcoming year and beyond. These individuals are true changemakers, transforming the New American University through innovation, creativity, and diligence. Their invaluable insights are summarized below.

Saying Thank You

Submitted by Melanie Reilly on July 12, 2013 - 12:00am

On the first day I arrived at the Valley of the Sun United Way office as a Fellow, Barb Perry, a talented Senior Development Officer, stressed the importance of saying thank you. She shared that a person — a donor, a volunteer or a partner — must be thanked twelve times before feeling appreciated. Anyone who has worked with me has most likely heard me say the words “thank you.” Still, I’d like to reiterate my appreciation for the many individuals who have made my Fellowship successful.

Final Fellows' Forum - Dr. Elizabeth Langland

Submitted by Terah Crews on July 5, 2013 - 12:00am

I want to take a moment to thank Dr. Elizabeth Langland for hosting myself and my colleagues at ASU-West for this year’s final Fellows’ Forum.

Dr. Langland recently stepped down as Vice-Provost of ASU’s West Campus and Dean of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences. During Dr. her tenure, ASU-West went through several transformations. It emerged from the 2008-09 budget crunch stronger more organized and better equipped to develop as campus integrated and yet distinctive from the rest of ASU.

Delved into '12

Submitted by Jacqueline Smith on June 28, 2013 - 12:00am

In 2012 I committed to building supportive communities in 12 settings and reporting the efforts on this blog.  Since making that post my days have been filled with learning and collaboration but regrettably, not much blogging.  Now, days before the end of the fiscal year, a time of accounting and reflecting, I will fulfill my pledge.

Former University Innovation Fellow, Chris M., taught me that IDEO uses a “How might we…” framework to invite ideas during brainstorming sessions. I apply it below to showcase the core questions the drove our community building processes.

Pragmatism and Higher Education

Submitted by Terah Crews on June 17, 2013 - 12:00am

As I close out my fellowship, I find that whether through casual conversation or discussions of job prospects, I am increasingly asked to sum up my experience at and perception of ASU.

This university and its grand vision to change the way we think about public higher education, has many detractors and supporters. In recent weeks, I have heard many critiques of ASU. When I push people on those critiques though, I am always surprised at how easily critical opinion of ASU can be boiled down to tradition and idealism.

Developing Community Leaders: A Summary of the Student United Way's 2012-13 School Year

Submitted by Melanie Reilly on April 18, 2013 - 12:00am

The Student United Way at ASU held their final meeting of the school year this week. The group’s President presented this video, which summarizes their incredible achievements during the 2012 – 2013 year:

The Student United Way @ ASU Helps Children Succeed

Submitted by Melanie Reilly on April 15, 2013 - 12:00am

Throughout the spring semester, members of the Student United Way at ASU dedicated hours of volunteerism to ensure that children and youth succeed in school and in life. Their efforts culminated with an education-themed carnival for over 160 children at the Tempe Ladmo Boys and Girls Club, on Friday, April 12.

Frank Rhodes Lecture with Susan Davis: Enabling Ecosystems of Entrepreneurship to End Poverty

Submitted by Janelle Knapp on March 14, 2013 - 12:00am

The Frank Rhodes Lecture on the Creation of the Future presents:

Susan Davis

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
4:00-5:30 p.m.
Old Main, Carson Ballroom
ASU at the Tempe campus

Please RSVP by March 22 at


    Introduction by ASU President Michael M. Crow

    Reception to follow in Old Main

    Open to the public

    Culture of Philanthropy

    Submitted by Melanie Reilly on February 7, 2013 - 12:00am

    A culture of giving leads to a lifetime of impact.

    A strong culture of philanthropy stems from offering stakeholders ample opportunities to engage with the mission in firsthand and meaningful ways. Stakeholders can include donors, partners, volunteers and staff. And when an organization designs experiences with these stakeholders and the mission in mind, a culture of giving erupts. This culture becomes a collective understanding that there is work to be done, and we all have a job to do.

    Shared Value and Measuring Social Impact

    Submitted by Melanie Reilly on January 14, 2013 - 12:00am

    In “Measuring Shared Value,” Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter issues a warning to companies across the country: “if companies do not rigorously track the interdependency between social and business results, they miss important opportunities for growth, innovation and social impact at scale.” Porter proposes a solution—shared value strategies. The idea of shared value goes beyond corporate social responsibility. Despite common corporate citizenship activities, the public often views for-profit companies as prospering at the expense of society.