Ex-ASU president looks to mold state’s future - East Valley Tribune: News

Ex-ASU president looks to mold state’s future

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Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 11:13 am | Updated: 2:04 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Retirement isn’t what it used to be for many people, and former Arizona State University President Lattie Coor is no exception.

He’s moved downtown — to ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus, to be exact — to head up The Office for Arizona’s Future.

He’s the chairman and chief executive of what he calls a "do tank." His executive director is Sybil Francis, a longtime public policy analyst and the wife of Michael Crow, the man who took over Coor’s former job at ASU.

Coor has more than 30 years’ experience in government and Francis spent most of her 20 years in Washington, D.C., as a congressional and presidential adviser.

The two intend to parlay their experience into a plethora of statewide issues.

"Arizona’s agenda for the past 50 years has centered around growth," Coor said.

"It is now time to identify and actively pursue the qualities we most seek in the Arizona of the future."

The center has set two initiatives. One is lowering the high school dropout rate. And the other sounds wildly lofty — developing a vision for Arizona’s future.

Coor and Francis said their three-person staff will bring local experts together to address the issues.

They officially opened the center to the public on Wednesday. However, Francis and Coor have spent several months finding sponsorships and meeting with 20 different interests in the educational field to discuss the state’s dropout rate, one of the highest in the nation.

Although Coor did not interact with many high school dropouts while at the helm of the state’s largest university, it is an area that interests him.

One of their first steps is to get a better handle on the scope of the problem, Coor said. He noted that 57 percent of the state’s dropouts do so for "unknown" reasons, which could include moving out of state.

The center has already outlined six preliminary points as part of its vision for the future, including the pursuit of a knowledge-based economy and creating opportunities for everyone.

For more information, call the center at (480) 727-5005 or visit www.arizonafuture.org.

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