February 2022

LA Times: Is Austin, Texas, Becoming the Next Silicon Valley?

WASHINGTON — When Tesla announced last fall that it was moving its corporate headquarters from California to Texas, officials in Sacramento seemed more surprised than concerned.
After all, Tesla was expanding its sprawling Fremont, Calif., assembly plant, which already employs thousands of people. It’s building a battery factory in the Northern California town of Lathrop.

And real estate brokers say the company is leasing more office space in Palo Alto, where its corporate headquarters had been located since 2009. Tesla was founded in nearby San Carlos in 2003.

Yet the decision by the electric vehicle pioneer’s chief executive, Elon Musk, to move Tesla’s headquarters to the Texas state capital of Austin may signal gathering clouds on the horizon of California’s economic future.

Musk, in his characteristically flamboyant style, said its Texas operations could scale up to 20,000 employees. Its Austin-area factory has the potential to produce three times as many vehicles as the Fremont facility, said Ives of Wedbush.

Over the next 18 to 24 months, Ives said, Tesla is likely to move the R&D and design operations now in Palo Alto to Austin.

Read the full article

January 2022

Arizona Online ranked No. 7 in nation, No. 4 for vets by US News & World Report

In its seventh year of operation and sixth year of rankings eligibility, Arizona Online scored its second consecutive top-10 finish among the best online bachelor’s degree programs, ranking tied for No. 7 out of 361 ranked programs overall and tied for No. 6 among public universities. Arizona Online’s overall score of 95 out of a possible 100 is the university’s best score to date in these rankings.

Arizona Online also earned a No. 4 ranking overall (No. 3 among public universities) for its bachelor’s program offerings for veterans, a one-spot jump from last year and a four-position increase from 2020.

“The University of Arizona strives to provide top-notch educational opportunities for all students throughout the world,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “Our consistently excellent performance in these rankings confirms our place among the nation’s best online education providers and exemplifies our longstanding commitment to educational flexibility and accessibility.”

all USNWR rankings graphic
The Eller College of Management’s MBA program, offered through Arizona Online, rose three spots in the rankings, tying for No. 7 overall and tying for No. 6 among public universities. Arizona Online ranked No. 5 overall in the best online MBA programs for veterans and tied for No. 8 overall in business. Arizona Online also scored strong marks in the business subspecialties of business analytics (tied for No. 6), marketing (tied for No. 10), general management (tied for No. 11) and finance (tied for No. 15).

Arizona Online’s information technology graduate programs – which include information systems, computer science, computer engineering and software engineering – tied for No. 5 overall and were ranked No. 2 among public universities and No. 2 for veterans. These programs are offered through the Eller College of Management, the College of Science and the College of Engineering.

The following Arizona Online programs also performed well:

Master’s in nursing (No. 29 overall and tied for No. 5 for veterans)
Psychology (tied for No. 11 overall)
Engineering (tied for No. 30 overall and tied for No. 20 for veterans)
Master’s in education (No. 41 overall – a five-spot jump from last year – and tied for No. 20 overall in the educational administration and supervision subspecialty)
“It is incredible to witness the growth of Arizona Online over these last seven years,” said Liesl Folks, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Our top priority is to provide all of our students with quality education and keep the building of meaningful relationships with our students at the forefront of the Arizona Online experience.”

In fall 2021, Arizona Online enrolled more than 7,300 students in undergraduate and graduate programs – an increase of more than 1,000 students from the previous year. Many Arizona Online students are adults who work full time, parents who seek the flexibility of online courses or active military personnel who require the ability to study from wherever they are stationed or deployed.

According to a June 2020 survey of Arizona Online students, 93% of students would recommend Arizona Online to others.

“We are delighted to be recognized once again by U.S. News & World Report as a leader and an innovator in providing high-quality online learning experiences to our students,” said Craig Wilson, vice provost for online, distance and continuing education. “Our sustained presence in these rankings is a testament to our talented and hard-working students and faculty. I am proud of the Arizona Online team that consistently embraces challenges associated with providing our students a solid education in a world environment that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.”

U.S. News & World Report ranks programs based on student engagement, student services and technology, faculty credentials and training, and expert opinion.

Read the full rankings

October 2021

Tucson Named 20th Best City in the U.S. 2021

Arizona’s second city is ascending fast, with bold city leadership and placemaking.

Fast-growing Tucson is buoyed by its sense of place, ranking #10 in both our Weather and our Parks & Outdoors subcategories. The city is poised to ascend up future national rankings, due to a torrent of new investment in all manner of green and common space. Its new Sun Link LRT is sure to improve quality of life, creating a focus on fewer cars and more walkability that’s designed to pull the sprawling population together, closer to downtown. Urban innovation that taps its outdoor bounty by increasing access to it is not a hard sell for a town where almost 25% are aged between 20 and 34. You can thank the University of Arizona (ranked #42 nationally in our University subcategory) for the city’s youthful bounce. The desert city is also blooming economically. House prices are rising fast as the post-pandemic migration from larger urban centers powers Tucson to a Top 5 ranking in our Change in Home Prices category. Citizens are also hanging in despite the pandemic’s economic impact, ranking #21 in our Change in Family Income subcategory. All this places the city in the Top 10 in our overall Prosperity category. Good thing, too, given that the local shopping ranks an impressive #17 nationally.

October 2021

Economic Impact in Arizona

Fall 2021 Biz Tucson Magazine