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May, 2013  // Posts published in May, 2013

26 May Posted by in Faculty, Observations | Comments

Faculty Senates

Faculty Senates

One of my jobs as Provost is to maintain, insofar as possible, good relations with the Faculty Senate. Let me stress immediately that while I think this is an important goal, in terms of maintaining a vigorous academic community, it is not usually a hard one. Senate leadership at Mason has usually been most cordial […]

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19 May Posted by in Observations, Students | 4 comments

Changing the World

Changing the World

This is an adaptation of some brief graduation remarks I recently offered, so meant to be in the spirit of the season. I watch a good bit of college basketball, and in the process see a lot of university ads. They’re mostly fairly awful, and it would be a service to have a good faith […]

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12 May Posted by in Observations | 1 comment

Good Things

Good Things

Ends of semester are always a bit tense, particularly in the spring. People are tired, a subset of students (and others) get weird, it’s obviously past time for a break. This spring, we probably have even more distractions than usual, including a constrained budget situation and some clear challenges in the coming year. But—and this […]

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When It’s Time to Leave Academic Administration

When It’s Time to Leave Academic Administration

What follows involves a delicate topic, probably insufficiently discussed because of its delicacy.  But this issue deserves airing, and ultimately some wider discussion toward informal guidelines. I’ve had occasion, as a dean and now provost, at two different institutions, to watch the complex dance of administrator departure. The phenomenon is complicated enough to warrant some […]

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