RAPID CITY, S.D. and TEMPE, Ariz. (April 23, 2015) – The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and Arizona State University (ASU) have entered into an agreement to promote cooperation on research and other joint projects. A memorandum of agreement signed by the universities will encourage and promote cooperation in research, long distance learning, student success and other services particularly, though not exclusively, relating to sustainability, energy and natural resources. “We have complementary strengths and a similar set of values,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. “It makes sense for us to collaborate more closely.” Under President Crow’s leadership, Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American research university, creating an institution that is committed to excellence, access and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it. ASU educates more than 67,000 undergraduates and more than 15,000 graduate students. ASU has established more than a dozen new transdisciplinary schools and large-scale research initiatives such as the Biodesign Institute; the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability; incorporating the School of Sustainability; the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College; and important initiatives in the humanities and social sciences. During President Crow’s tenure the university has tripled research expenditures and completed an unprecedented infrastructure expansion. “Our strengths in mining, extractive metallurgy and materials, energy and the environment complement ASU’s broad and deep research strength,” said Heather Wilson, president of South Dakota Mines. “There are things we can do together that neither of us can do alone.” SD Mines is a specialty engineering and science university located in the Rushmore Region of South Dakota. It offers 16 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. SD Mines is one of just five universities nationwide offering degrees in metallurgical engineering, mining engineering, geology and geological engineering, making its graduates and its research a valuable resource for mineral and energy industries. SD Mines is surrounded by three of the richest energy regions in the United States: the Bakken, the Powder River Basin and the Denver Basin. In the past two years, SD Mines has added Ph.D.s in physics and civil engineering and an undergraduate minor in petroleum systems and has launched a Shale Research Initiative and an Energy Resources Initiative. With a 98 percent placement rate and an average starting salary of over $65,000 a year, SD Mines has been rated as the best return on investment for a public college education in America.