None of Arizona’s Three Universities Ranked Within Top 100 of Best National Universities

None of Arizona’s Three Universities Ranked Within Top 100 of Best National Universities

By Corinne Murdock |

Of nearly 400 national universities, none of Arizona’s three public universities broke the top 100 on the latest rankings of national universities. The lowest-ranked school was Northern Arizona University (NAU) at 288, followed by Arizona State University (ASU) at 117, and then University of Arizona (UArizona) at 103. 

This data came from the U.S. News 2022 college rankings.

NAU tied for their 288 ranking with 10 other schools, barely eking out a ranking at all. After 288, U.S. News ranked each school without specificity in a range of 299 to 391. Among those not given a specific ranking were University of Phoenix and Grand Canyon University.

The 10 schools tied with NAU were Dallas Baptist University in Texas, East Tennessee State University, Long Island University in New York, Marshall University in West Virginia, Middle Tennessee State University, Portland State University in Oregon, South Dakota State University, University of Hawaii at Hilo, University of Puerto Rico – Rico Piedras, and University of Texas at Arlington.

NAU averaged a six-year graduation rate of 55 percent, with those who didn’t receive a Pell Grant doing better (61 percent) than those who did (50 percent).  

NAU’s median starting salary for alumni is $48,100, and average an acceptance rate of 82 percent. 

ASU tied for their 117 ranking with four other schools: Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in New York, University of South Carolina, and University of Vermont. 

ASU averaged a six-year graduation rate of 69 percent, with those who didn’t receive a Pell Grant doing better (71 percent) than those who did (59 percent). 

ASU ranked 1 for most innovative school, 10 for best undergraduate teaching, tied at 54 for top public schools, tied at 70 for best colleges for veterans, 139 for best value schools, and tied at 179 for top performers on social mobility.

ASU’s median starting salary for alumni is $54,400, and average an acceptance rate of 88 percent.

UArizona tied for their 103 ranking with 13 other schools: Clark University in Massachusetts, Creighton University in Nebraska, Drexel University in Pennsylvania, Loyola University Chicago in Illinois, Miami University in Ohio, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Saint Louis University in Missouri, Temple University in Pennsylvania, University of California Santa Cruz, University of Illinois Chicago, University of San Francisco in California, University of South Florida, and University of Tennessee Knoxville. 

UArizona averaged a six-year graduation rate of 64 percent, with those who didn’t receive a Pell Grant doing better (68 percent) than those who did (59 percent). 

UArizona tied at 46 for most innovative school and for top public school, tied at 62 for best colleges for veterans, ranked 122 for best value school, and tied at 143 for top performers on social mobility.

UArizona’s median starting salary for alumni is $55,600, and average an acceptance rate of 85 percent. 

The top ten national universities were, in order: Princeton University ranked at 1; Columbia University, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology tied at 2; Yale University ranked at 5; Stanford University and University of Chicago tied at 6; University of Pennsylvania ranked at 8; and California Institute of Technology, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, and Northwestern University tied at 9. 

The remaining three of the eight Ivy League schools — Brown University, Cornell University, and Dartmouth College — fell outside the top 10 but ranked within the top 20. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Democrats: January 6 Disqualifies Arizona’s GOP Candidates From 2022 Midterm Election

Democrats: January 6 Disqualifies Arizona’s GOP Candidates From 2022 Midterm Election

By Corinne Murdock |

A Democrat-backed nonprofit wants State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05), and Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) disqualified from the upcoming midterm election for organizing the January 6 protest. 

Arizona State University (ASU) law professor and legal expert Ilan Wurman told “The Conservative Circus” that the lawsuit not only misinterprets constitutional law but represents the bad habit of both parties to weaponize the Constitution.

“Just after the Civil War, this clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted to prevent individuals who had been office holders, federal and state office holders, who had taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, who then seceded from the Union, unconstitutionally seceded from the Union, and then took up arms against the government of the United States. By the way, that is an insurrection,” explained Wurman.

The nonprofit, Free Speech for People, invoked the Fourteenth Amendment to argue that Finchem, Biggs, and Gosar were responsible for the U.S. Capitol intrusion because they helped organize the preceding protest.

The lawsuit against Finchem, Biggs, and Gosar is part of a national campaign to “ban insurrectionists from the ballot” under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment: the “14Point3 Campaign.” Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14) and Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC-11) also face lawsuits under the campaign. Last month, a federal judge in North Carolina ruled in favor of Cawthorn. 

Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment reads as follows:

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.” 

The nonprofit behind the lawsuit, Free Speech for People, also filed another lawsuit last month against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) concerning the debunked Russiagate collusion.

Finchem called the lawsuits “desperate.”

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

ASU Cancels Conservative Events After Faculty Oppose Them In Survey

ASU Cancels Conservative Events After Faculty Oppose Them In Survey

By Corinne Murdock |

UPDATE: Shortly after the publication of this story, AZ Free News received word that the events in question were restored. A follow-up email submitted late Monday afternoon explained that the events were restored because, “Under the leadership of President Michael Crow, Arizona State University is committed to intellectual diversity.” 

Human nature remains constant, as evidenced by the relatability of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” to Arizona State University’s (ASU) latest actions. As fond as Plato and other ancient philosophers were of challenging their own and others’ ideas and beliefs through the dialectic, so it appears ASU shares a similar fondness for avoiding such interactions. 

According to an email obtained by AZ Free News, ASU history department leadership forced the School of Philosophical and Religious Studies (SHPRS) to cancel two events funded by its Political History and Leadership (PHL) Program after asking history faculty in an unprecedented survey whether two guest speakers should be permitted to come. The two events featured speakers engaging in conservative rhetoric: Bret Weinstein, the controversial former Evergreen State College biology professor featured in a documentary by conservative radio talk show host and writer Dennis Prager on cancel culture, “No Safe Spaces,” and Katie Pavlich, a conservative commentator and University of Arizona (UArizona) alumna. 

“For the first time since the conception of SHPRS, the head of the history faculty sent out an online survey to the history faculty asking them to vote on whether or not to bring these PHL funded speakers to campus,” read the email from PHL Co-Director Donald Critchlow. 

Weinstein doesn’t consider himself a conservative; he has long considered himself a “deep progressive.” He was scheduled to speak in mid-October, while Pavlich was scheduled to speak sometime next spring. 

AZ Free News reported January 19 that ASU canceled another PHL event featuring Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) and former Utah congressman and Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz. As reported at the time, ASU offered three different reasons for canceling the event to different parties. Several of the featured speakers were told that the event had to be canceled due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. However, others were informed that the event was canceled due to controversy over Biggs and Chaffetz being guest speakers.

The final reason given to AZ Free News for the event cancellation came from ASU. University spokesman Jerry Gonzalez told AZ Free News that a faculty member broke ASU’s scheduling protocol.

“The event at the Desert Botanical Garden was canceled due to a breach of scheduling protocol by a faculty member in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies,” said Gonzalez. “The university welcomes the opportunity for this event to be rescheduled following the required protocols.”

About a week later on January 25, after the report by AZ Free News was shared on a national level, the email revealed that ASU’s history department implemented new, unspecified procedures for requesting guest speakers to come on campus. It was after PHL followed the new procedures that the head of the history faculty, Catherine O’Donnell, sent out the survey about the two speakers. After receiving the survey results, O’Donnell recommended SHPRS Director Richard Amesbury cancel both events featuring Weinstein and Pavlich. In turn, Amesbury directed PHL to cancel the two speakers.

Included in the closing portion of the email was a quote from ASU’s Statement of Freedom of Expression:

“Without a vibrant commitment to free and open inquiry, a university ceases to be a university,” read the statement. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Phoenix Antifa Member Involved in BLM Riot Called for Death of Investigative Reporter

Phoenix Antifa Member Involved in BLM Riot Called for Death of Investigative Reporter

By Corinne Murdock |

A Phoenix-area Antifa member, Arizona State University (ASU) graduate, and certified nursing assistant (CNA), Marysa Leyva, made death threats against prominent investigative journalist Andy Ngo, who rehashed details about Leyva’s Antifa involvement and criminal history.  

Leyva’s comments were associated with claims that Ngo was behind the shooting that took place at an Antifa meeting in Portland, Oregon earlier this month. Ngo reported that Leyva resides in the Portland area, consistent with the location listed in one of her Twitter account bios. 

Levya’s Facebook profile listed her current residence as Mesa.

As Ngo reported, Leyva’s original account, @antifash_m, was suspended for violating Twitter rules. Leyva then made her backup account, @BirdAppFugitive, private after Ngo discovered it; sometime that same week, that secondary account was also suspended. Leyva’s bio describes the account as a slander account for Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel, who is under investigation by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and the State Bar of Arizona for her sobriety and absence at work. 

Leyva was one of 15 individuals who received controversial and later dropped street gang charges for her involvement in the August 2020 Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest, which included assisting a criminal street gang, aggravated assault on an officer, rioting, unlawful assembly, resisting arrest, and obstructing a public thoroughfare. As AZ Free News reported, ASU graduate student Sarra Tekola was among those charged. Leyva told ABC15 Arizona that although the felony charges against her were dropped, the ordeal caused her to lose her patient care technician job with Tempe St. Luke’s emergency room. 

“We were like, this is just so outrageous,” said Leyva. “How are they ever going to prove this in a court of law? We know Phoenix Police Department is bad, but man, they, like, really were just seeing how much they could get away with.”

Leyva also tweeted that the survival of the five officers who were ambushed by a shooter earlier this month while trying to rescue an infant was a “missed opportunity.”

According to the Arizona State Board of Nursing, Leyva’s nursing license was issued December of last year, and won’t expire until March 2024.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

ASU Offers Murky Reasons For Canceling Fundraiser For Conservative Program

ASU Offers Murky Reasons For Canceling Fundraiser For Conservative Program

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona State University (ASU) decided to cancel a prominent conservative program’s first annual fundraiser scheduled for next month, and there are conflicting explanations behind their decision. The event was arranged to honor prominent community leaders Dan and Carleen Brophy; 100 percent of the event proceeds were to go to the program. 

Three different reasons for the event’s cancellation were given to different parties involved in the event. The first two related to technicalities: the uptick in COVID-19 cases, and one unnamed faculty member’s failure to follow ASU rules. The third had to do with a more contentious topic: the featured speakers. 

ASU’s decision means that the program, Political History and Leadership (PHL), may not obtain funds it anticipated from the event, which was to take place at the Desert Botanical Garden. Each guest would have paid $250 for attendance, and tables of eight would’ve pulled in $2,000.  The PHL Program is part of the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies.

AZ Free News learned that ASU informed several of the featured speakers that the event was canceled due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. 

Scientists hypothesize that COVID-19 likely functions as a seasonal disease. Last year, the case counts for February were nominal after the holiday spike.

AZ Free News also learned that ASU President Michael Crow wasn’t aware of the event or its cancellation, and that ASU would reschedule. However, emails obtained by AZ Free News indicated that the ASU administration was responsible for canceling the event.

ASU spokesman Jerry Gonzalez told AZ Free News a slightly different story. Gonzalez said that a faculty member broke the university’s scheduling protocol. When we asked which protocol was broken, ASU said it didn’t have any more information to provide.

“The event at the Desert Botanical Garden was canceled due to a breach of scheduling protocol by a faculty member in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies,” said Gonzalez. “The university welcomes the opportunity for this event to be rescheduled following the required protocols.”

AZ Free News also inquired of the ASU Foundation, which was in charge of receiving the program funds earned from the event and approving any event planning. They didn’t respond to any of our emails. 

A third potential reason surrounding the event cancellation had nothing to do with logistics. Some reported that they were informed that the event was canceled due to controversy over the choice of guest speakers: Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) and former Utah congressman and Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz. 

In a press release, Arizona Free Enterprise Club President Scot Mussi derided ASU based on the claim that they canceled the fundraiser over Biggs and Chaffetz.

“It is outrageous that Michael Crow and ASU would cancel an ASU Foundation Fundraiser because they oppose the views and philosophy of the featured speakers attending the event. It is becoming clear that woke cancel culture has taken over every office at the University,” said Mussi. “ASU doesn’t have a problem with liberal activists and public officials appearing at the school for various events. It is well known that Democrat politicians, including US Senator Kyrsten Sinema, have in the past or currently work for the University at taxpayer expense. It only becomes a problem when the speaker is a conservative. If Michael Crow is going to surrender to the ‘cancel culture’ mob, then he is no longer fit to be ASU President and should resign.”

Those registered for the PHL event will receive full refunds.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.