September 26, 2004

University of Phoenix?

Comments to this Crooked Timber post remind me of something that's been bothering me--what major universities are there in Phoenix, Arizona? It's the sixth largest city in the U.S., yet I don't know of a single major school that's based there. University of Arizona is in Tucson, Arizona State is in Tempe, and University of Phoenix doesn't count (sorry, Bill Tozier).

I don't know anything about Arizona geography, so maybe Tempe is effectively Phoenix. Still, this seems odd.

Posted by Matt Weiner at September 26, 2004 02:00 PM

Shouldn't Tempe count as being more or less in Arizona, at least by west coast standards. It's only 13 miles away, and that's mostly freeways.

One could say the same thing about San Francisco after all. San Francisco State is good (and USF has a nice medical school) but in the city of SF there aren't the world-class universities you'd expect from a city that size. Of course once you notice that Stanford and Berkeley are within easy driving distance (well, maybe not easy in morning rush, but driving distance) it looks a little less surprising.

Posted by: Brian Weatherson at September 26, 2004 03:17 PM

Shouldn't Tempe count as being more or less in Arizona

For "Arizona" read "Phoenix", and of course the answer is "Yes", because of how sprawling Phoenix is. So ASU is in Phoenix. It's on its way to being one of the biggest State Universities in the country.

The U of A is in Tucson rather than any other Arizona city, the story goes, because when the territory's institutions were being handed out Tucson's delegation were poor bargainers and came back with the University rather than -- as they had been told to do -- the State Prison (which is in Yuma).

Posted by: Kieran Healy at September 26, 2004 03:40 PM

Yep, that's the ignorance of Arizona geography for you. ASU counts, then, and I noticed that there is an ASU west campus in Phoenix itself--I don't know if that's a separate institution like the different California and Wisconsin campuses.

UCSF is a world-class medical school and biological sciences institute, though it doesn't have any liberal arts or anything like that--don't know if that's what you meant by USF.

Phoenix still seems to me somewhat light on universities and colleges for its size, though maybe the fact that ASU is one of the biggest universities in the country will make up for that.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at September 27, 2004 02:39 PM

USF and UCSF are distinct educational entities. Although the name might suggest otherwise, I'm pretty sure the former is a private university--Jesuit, if I recall correctly. I don't know that it's academically notable in any area (UCSF, as you note, is pretty good in the life sciences).

Posted by: bza at September 27, 2004 04:37 PM