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techcontact  // Posts published by techcontact

29 Mar Posted by in Academics, Observations | 2 comments

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning

One of the really interesting, and quietly rewarding, aspects of American higher education over the past two decades has been the emergence of active lifelong learning communities. At Mason, we are fortunate in having the Osher Lifelong Learning Center (OLLI), which operates extensively on our Fairfax and Loudoun sites, and also a vigorous group in […]

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28 Mar Posted by in Academics | Comments

Students as Scholars

Students as Scholars

The end of March sees the long-awaited visit of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation team. With it comes also the next phase in the unfolding of our Quality Enhancement Plan, focused on expanding opportunities for research and creative activity for undergraduates — under the Students as Scholars mantle. As the campus community […]

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22 Mar Posted by in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Full Professors

Full Professors

Every year at this time I hold a session at each of our main campuses to talk with interested faculty about criteria for promotion. It’s the point at which I’m wrapping up the provostial consideration of this year’s cases, so it’s a natural extension to talk about procedures more generally. Attendance at the sessions is […]

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Assessing Programs

Assessing Programs

A few years ago Mason committed to a once-every-seven-year evaluation of all degree programs not assessed through an external accreditation mechanism. We’re in the season where reports are beginning to come in, which prompt some comment on the overall effort. The commitment emanated both from a sense that we owed it to ourselves to look […]

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28 Feb Posted by in Academics, Business | Comments

Regulatoriness

Regulatoriness

I’ve written before about widespread faculty concerns about excessive regulation, from requirements for sexual harassment training to safety or human subjects’ rules, with all sorts of things in between. We decided to tackle this difficult subject by getting a task force together, with faculty and support unit representatives, and holding a faculty forum. Discussions were […]

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21 Feb Posted by in Academics | Comments

Doctoral Mason

Doctoral Mason

One of the quiet transformation stories of George Mason over the past two decades, and particularly the past decade, is its emergence as a broad-gauged doctoral institution. In 2000, Mason had 13 PhD programs; now it has 31. Also in 2000, there were 1,166 PhD students, and in that year 117 PhD degrees were awarded; […]

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15 Feb Posted by in Academics, Observations | Comments

Seeing Visions

Seeing Visions


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Publics and Privates

Publics and Privates

It’s widely acknowledged that the boundaries between public and private universities blur increasingly. The most obvious movement results from that steady reduction of state support in the public domain. The schools involved turn more and more to private fundraising, tuition increases, (though some differences remain in this category), and other devices long familiar to the […]

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02 Feb Posted by in Academics, Business | Comments Off on The Issue of Overregulation

The Issue of Overregulation

The Issue of Overregulation

Somewhat impeded by a weather-induced late opening, we went ahead this week with an open forum on issue of possible overregulation, with the task force assigned to this topic in attendance. Participants raised concerns about a few aspects of research and safety regulation, the requirements on sexual harassment training, and some accounting requirements (to take […]

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24 Jan Posted by in Academics, Guidelines | Comments

Adrift?

Adrift?

The recent study, widely publicized, on the apparent failure of college education to effect much improvement in the capacities of many students has created an understandable stir. There is certainly reason to worry about students who may slide through without much effort and without much gain. A historian might note of course that the problem […]

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