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techcontact  // Posts published by techcontact

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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10 Mar Posted by in Faculty, International | 3 comments

Global Information: A New Mason Register

Global Information: A New Mason Register

One of the perennial challenges in trying to build a global university involves developing and sharing appropriate levels of information about what’s already happening. We had the experience a few years ago of rounding up about 35 faculty interested in Africa, from various disciplinary standpoints. Not only had many of them not met before, as […]

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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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02 Jan Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Students | Comments

Mason Students

Mason Students

Writing the first blog of the new year is a bit of a challenge. Obviously one wants to make it interesting. On the other hand, we emerge from a week where — professionally — not a lot has been happening (for which we are profoundly grateful). So let me talk a bit about aspects of […]

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25 Nov Posted by in Academics, Observations | 1 comment

Rankings

Rankings

The recent news that yet another institution has provided inaccurate data for the US News and World Report survey—however inadvertently—is yet another reminder of the importance of not taking any of the surveys too literally. Several cases of inaccurate submissions, both for the main US News ranking and for the law school version, suggest how […]

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18 Nov Posted by in Academics, Students | 1 comment

University Life

University Life

Recently, the President decided to shift the reporting status of University Life to the Provost. The move did not reflect a sense of huge problems to be solved. Rather it reflected a desire to improve further what is already a fairly constructive coordination of academic and co-curricular efforts in dealing with students. For my part […]

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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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30 Sep Posted by in Observations | 1 comment

Emails

Emails

I was intrigued and frankly astounded a week ago to read in the Post the report on many companies that are shutting down email systems at night and on weekends, to try to promote better, less work-haunted lifestyles and prevent burnout. It’s always intriguing to learn about concerns and systems so strikingly different from one’s […]

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22 Sep Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Students | Comments

Grade Early, Grade Often

Grade Early, Grade Often

This is the time of year when faculty in many types of courses need to be sure they have developed a basis for early assessment of students so that, where problems exist, they can be conveyed to students directly and to relevant advisors with enough time to do something to remedy. My own experience after […]

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08 Sep Posted by in Faculty, Region | Comments

Mason’s Vision Series

Mason’s Vision Series

We’re about to launch the new round of our now well-established Vision Series. I’ve written on this before, but a renewed note is appropriate. We conceived of the series now five years ago as an opportunity for faculty from all sorts of fields to present their work to a general audience. Our hope was that […]

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