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Dr. Stearns  // Posts published by Dr. Stearns

21 May Posted by in Academics, Observations | 4 comments

Lyrics

Lyrics

I performed the following takeoff on Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Am I Alone” and “Anxious for to Shine” (from Patience) at the School of Music’s Young Masters Concert on May 4, and then as an encore at the celebration on May 12: Am I alone and unobserved? I am. Then let me confess, I am an […]

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18 May Posted by in Administration | Comments

Transitioning

Transitioning

When this blog appears I will have only about a month to go as Provost. There are still a few things to do, but obviously with this end in sight and with the University winding down after Commencement the mood will shift. I have long noted that faculty can relax a bit when many of […]

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04 May Posted by in Administration, Students | 1 comment

Students’ Role

Students’ Role

As I wind up my service as provost, I think, obviously, about various ventures that have had incomplete success. Interest in involving students more fully in University governance is a case in point. I hasten to add that I’m not sure that we have a problem here that needs to be fixed, but there are […]

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Academic Reorganization: A New Policy School

Academic Reorganization: A New Policy School

Changing the structure of any big organization is a complex process. Academic reorganization may be particularly challenging, because our procedures are broadly if imperfectly consultative, which means that top down directives don’t work. Extensive faculty involvement and input are essential. I’ve been involved in several restructurings at Mason (and there were many others in the […]

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20 Apr Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Students | 1 comment

Smelling the (Student) Roses

Smelling the (Student) Roses

A couple of events at the end of March, and the prospect of the usual frenzied end of semester, prompt these musings.  (I know end of March was a while back, but in this season I like to keep a backblog log.) The events were, first, a gathering of an international honors society and then […]

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13 Apr Posted by in International | 3 comments

To Russia with Love?

To Russia with Love?

I’m due to take an annual trip to Moscow in a few weeks. Recent events have predictably raised some questions, and while I’m now pretty comfortable with my own answers, the issues have wider relevance.  And of course, each individual has to make his or her own choices. The question is, whether Russia’s takeover of […]

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Teaching Load

In consultation with the Deans and others, we have decided to clarify a few minimal standards concerning teaching loads. Three preliminaries, and then then rest of the blog simply sets forth the policy. First, as noted below, different units have different specific policies, and it would be counterproductive to pretend to unify them too closely. […]

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23 Mar Posted by in Observations, Students | 7 comments

First Generation

First Generation

Amid the various criticisms of higher education, some of them warranted, others off the mark, one development may not have received the attention it deserves: the expansion of the numbers of college students whose parents had not themselves attended college. At institutions such as George Mason, the changes are genuinely interesting, and arguably encouraging. I […]

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16 Mar Posted by in International | 7 comments

Going More Global

Going More Global

This academic year should chart as a milestone in Mason’s continuing efforts to expand and diversify its programs in global education. The new Strategic Plan sets truly ambitious goals in the global arena – and we’re far from meeting all of them. I confess some concern that, given the sheer number of strategic targets, global […]

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Mason Korea

Mason Korea

I had the great pleasure of participating earlier this week in the official opening of Mason Korea, in Incheon. I have written about the project before, but it’s terrific to see it become reality – hence a special, off-cycle blog. The operation is part of the Songdo Global University campus. It sits in a truly […]

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