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School’s In

24 Aug Posted by in Academics, Business | Comments Off on School’s In

As most participants recognize, school years are amusing constructs. It’s so good to see the students leave in the spring (and for Provosts, not bad to see faculty disperse as well), but always exciting to watch things ratchet up again in late August. I’ve always checked myself to make sure I’m still at least a bit excited and even slightly nervous before my first class, as indications that it’s not yet time to pack up for good. The week of welcoming new faculty, joining some ceremonies for the new students, and then having the first class is one of the prime periods of the year.

This particular year is also an interesting time for pulse-taking because we had so many uncertainties about admissions. Mason seems to have done well, though with some on-the-whole pleasant problems attached. We’ll have at least 400 more student FTEs than we anticipated, our new Honors College is much larger than predicted (and resisted efforts by other institutions to embrace our students in their waitlists), the percentage of fulltime enrollments is up slightly, and to our surprise the in-state out-of-state ratios seem to be holding even, which means of course we’ve enrolled more students in each category. Dorms, and we have more beds than ever before, are quite full.

It is always a bit risky to speculate on the causes of good enrollment results, for one risks overstating, but the University’s drawing power must get part of the credit. When one adds the enrollment picture to our research expansion, as we were telling our Board last week, aside from the budget the University’s vital signs look very strong. A good way to launch an exciting few days.