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Faculty  // Browsing posts in Faculty

Mason Songdo

Mason Songdo

We’re moving into a new phase of Mason’s Korea project – at last, an active implementation phase – but the preliminaries were sufficiently complex and prolonged that it’s worth commenting again on key highlights of the project. We’re now committed to opening two programs for freshman in March of next year – in Management and […]

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Teaching Spaces

Teaching Spaces

This is not one of my usual categories, but it may be time for some radical proposals, based on things we already know. To wit, a number of faculty are already usefully combining class sessions with online, in hybrid offerings that, properly arranged (and this is a registrar challenge in part) can relieve pressure on […]

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25 Aug Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Policies | 8 comments

Tenure, Again

Tenure, Again

Recent developments make it clear that some renewed discussion of tenure is desirable—but the same developments point in dramatically different directions. A challenging Bloomberg View blog (Mark Bauerlein, August 5, 2013) really lays out the case against old fart faculty. Data do suggest that a large number of tenured faculty are continuing to work, and […]

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18 Aug Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Students | 8 comments

Student Writing

Student Writing

Here’s a neat way to try to keep ourselves educationally honest, as we deal with the many challenges to America’s university system: continue to pay real attention to student writing. I’ve never been one of the direst lamenters of student writing, which might be a sign of relaxed standards (measurable also by authoring so many […]

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Administrative Bloat

Administrative Bloat

Among the various critiques of higher education, and particularly of the policies of administrators like me, you can imagine that the phrase “administrative bloat” is my favorite. It’s been tossed around by concerned faculty for quite a while, and now periodically enters into the more contemporary discussions of college costs. In my comments on this […]

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04 Aug Posted by in Faculty, Policies | 9 comments

Shared Governance

Shared Governance

We’re having a somewhat unexpected (to me) conversation with our governing board (Board of Visitors) about shared governance. It’s no secret that the Board, like most Boards, does not have a lot of academic background, and the strange ways that universities lurch along are not fully familiar to them. In the case of shared governance, […]

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The Distance Challenge

The Distance Challenge

This will be an important year for distance education at Mason. We’ve been expanding distance offerings and enrollments fairly rapidly over the past four years, well above our overall expansion rate. This year we’ll be putting more whole programs on line, with a different pricing structure and, probably, a new marketing structure as well. The […]

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China Connections

China Connections

As I embark on my fifth trip to China, a few thoughts on Mason’s links to this vital global player. In the first place, Mason’s Chinese activities vividly illustrate the fruitful combination of planning and serendipity. We have long identified China as one of our clear partner areas—and we’ve built faculty, curricular and linguistic capacity […]

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Revisiting the Global Problem Solving Consortium

Revisiting the Global Problem Solving Consortium

I’ve written on this before, but the project is gaining momentum so an update may be in order. The idea of the consortium stems from several impulses: first, improving levels of global awareness for students; second and more specifically, turning universities more explicitly toward exploring and possibly even alleviating various global problems; and third, as […]

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09 Jun Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Students | 1 comment

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

One of the most challenging aspects of higher education, particularly in the current skeptical climate, is figuring out what value we add. The pressure to improve assessment, now at least two decades old, is actually quite justifiable, but hard to satisfy without resorting to the kind of testing we don’t want in colleges—testing that would […]

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