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The Vision Series

The Vision Series

April 30th is the last in the Visions Series lectures for this year, with a discussion in Fairfax of Obama and presidential powers by Mark Rozell of the School of Public Policy.

We’ve been running this series for four years now. The goal is to get Mason faculty, from the whole spectrum of disciplines, to discuss some significant aspect of their work to a non-specialist audience. The inspiration came from the realization that while we host all sorts of guest speakers, we didn’t have a good forum for the many talents in our own ranks.

On the whole, the program has worked well. Attendance varies a bit, not always predictably, but it’s often quite good and rarely bad. I think the faculty involved, though it’s a volunteer assignment, are flattered to be invited. Certainly I’ve enjoyed learning more about the work presented. Audiences mix some students (I wish we did better here), faculty colleagues (from various units, not just that of the speaker), and local community, including many from our Learning in Retirement centers. Feedback is generally quite positive.

We’ve been running programs in Prince William now for two of the years, where a sense of intellectual community is still a-building. Programs for the first time in Arlington, this year, have drawn really good crowds.

Obviously we’re in this for the long haul. We have (I think) a really interesting set of speakers on tap for next year, for all three venues. I appreciate the opportunity to help organize something that is purely for intellectual stimulation, with no other agenda. I should also note the creative help of Rick Davis in putting the programs together in recent years.