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Policies  // Browsing posts in Policies

28 Jul Posted by in Observations, Policies | 1 comment

In Praise of (a certain amount of) Messiness

In Praise of (a certain amount of) Messiness

A big university like Mason inevitably has accumulated, even in our case of a relatively short life, a number of organizational peculiarities and anomalies. Not everything is located in tidy boxes. It’s certainly appropriate recurrently to look at the resultant anomalies. If, particularly in the current fiscal climate, organizational untidiness costs unnecessary money, or results […]

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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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02 Jun Posted by in Faculty, Policies, Research | Comments

Rewarding Innovative Faculty

Rewarding Innovative Faculty

A faculty member recently wrote to ask how the University rewards “disruptively” innovative faculty whose contributions lay outside formal research. I had to think about this one, among other things because adducing individual examples would not always be appropriate. But it’s a good question, and I think I have elements of an answer. I leave […]

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Inclusiveness

Inclusiveness

As many of my readers know, we have a new strategic vision for the University that includes a number of interesting elements. One feature, which I’ve written about before, implies a commitment to growth which we’re now trying to translate into more specific strategic planning. A related feature involves inclusiveness. Our President notes publicly that […]

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21 Apr Posted by in International, Policies | Comments

Challenge and Opportunity in the Global Agenda

Challenge and Opportunity in the Global Agenda

I’ve written before about the uphill aspect of expanding global goals in American higher education: the fact that U.S. faculty are less enthusiastic about global agendas than counterparts elsewhere, the lack of any formal government pressure or encouragement (again, a marked contrast to the situation in China, Russia and elsewhere). Elements of the situation are […]

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Big Mason or Bigger Mason

Big Mason or Bigger Mason

As a University, we’re about to turn from the process of crafting a new strategic vision, to an actual planning process based on that vision. One of the most interesting planning targets has to be size of student body. The President’s Vision statement clearly implies growth, but there are no specifics attached. It’s time to […]

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23 Feb Posted by in Faculty, Policies | Comments

Promotion and Tenure

Promotion and Tenure

At the Provost’s level, this is promotion and tenure decision season at George Mason, and given how large P and T looms for all participants some comments seem inescapable. Obviously, I have no particular cases, past or present, in mind in these comments, but some general remarks could be useful. This is also, not coincidentally, […]

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06 Jan Posted by in Observations, Policies | Comments

College Sports

College Sports

These comments will surprise no likely reader, I admit in advance. They belabor the obvious. But sometimes it seems to me we need to dwell on the obvious in hopes that — despite all indications to the contrary — reality can be redone. It’s long been clear that the position of sports in American higher […]

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The Vanishing Race

The Vanishing Race

For some years educational institutions have been experiencing a fairly steady increase in the percentage of students who choose not to declare race. We had thought this trend might be modified by new census categories that allow multiple race identifications, but it has not. Now the trend is affecting faculty, bigtime. This year about 200 […]

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14 Oct Posted by in Observations, Policies, Region | Comments

Budgets and Tuitions

Budgets and Tuitions

A recent visit from a legislative official—seemingly a nice, responsible guy and a friend of Mason—brought comments about his bafflement about how higher education costs keep soaring, tuitions keep rising, there must be a storehouse of waste and inefficiency. I was, frankly, nonplussed—not at the comments, which are now common enough, but at the source, […]

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