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techcontact  // Posts published by techcontact

20 Jan Posted by in Academics, Observations | Comments

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity

It’s too bad of course to add some comments about cheating and other academic misconduct to the greetings associated with an opening of a new semester. But the fact is we need to pay more nuanced attention to the issues involved than many of us are accustomed to. It’s really unfortunate, and sometimes really annoying, […]

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College and Careers

College and Careers

In his speech at our fall convocation, Jim Trefil told a great story about two college roommates meeting in reunion in Chicago not too long ago. One had a distinguished career in science and science policy, the other was head of a major literature department. As they greeted and congratulated each other, they also noted […]

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04 Jan Posted by in Observations | Comments

Conversations to Consider

Conversations to Consider

...I was stimulated during the hiatus to think about some conversations that academic institutions like George Mason might carry forward during the new year and beyond. There's nothing terribly original about any of them, but I do have a sense that all three topics are somewhat underplayed or incompletely digested, and a further and fuller exploration would be interesting and, from a policy standpoint, highly desirable.

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21 Dec Posted by in Observations | Comments Off on Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

Two aspects of the upcoming break strike me as particularly interesting. One is a regular visitor: the desirability, for all of us, of getting some time off and a real change of focus. For me, with lots of kids and grandkids coming, there will be a real reorientation, and I hope that something similar is […]

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13 Dec Posted by in Academics, Business | Comments Off on Hi-Tech Hi-Touch

Hi-Tech Hi-Touch

Hi-Tech Hi-Touch

There’s an intriguing dilemma as we think about next steps in higher education, that is too rarely recognized in planning documents (partly because it risks being too complicated). We all know that students today are more tech-savvy than ever, and their expectations about technology infrastructure mount apace. Educational planners, for their part, eagerly point to […]

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08 Dec Posted by in Business | Comments Off on Bonus Budget Blog

Bonus Budget Blog

Bonus Budget Blog

I think Virginia higher education faces an interesting dilemma over the next few months, in terms of policy and presentation. Might be good to get a word in early. The Commission on Higher Education is coming out strongly for new investment in Virginia’s colleges and universities, in return for more enrollment, a commitment to efficient […]

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06 Dec Posted by in Academics, Business | Comments Off on Faculty Facts

Faculty Facts

Faculty Facts

One of the tantalizing aspects of fairly regular blogging involves the topics I’d like to write about but can’t, for the sake of prudence. In this holiday season, I don’t think I’m risking real imprudence, but I’ll get a bit closer to the line than I sometimes do. The issue is Faculty Senates, particularly ours. […]

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29 Nov Posted by in Business, Guidelines | Comments Off on Sign In — Please?

Sign In — Please?

Sign In — Please?

An interesting little discussion has arisen recently over possible new requirements for faculty traveling abroad. Not resolved yet, the discussion expresses ongoing concerns about risk, on the part of various well-intentioned folks talking about campus safety and human resources goals. It also, however, seems to me to illustrate a clear opportunity to resist good intentions […]

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18 Nov Posted by in Academics | Comments Off on Curses

Curses

Curses

This is not a big ticket item, but an interesting sign of change. Last fall, when we got the usual nonsense about the characteristics of this year’s freshmen (that they have always have had Internet, etc.), one point made was their universal lack of training in cursive writing. I took that one with a grain […]

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12 Nov Posted by in Academics, Business | 1 comment

Distance Ed

Distance Ed

We recently had a very encouraging Faculty Forum on the subject of Mason’s expanding efforts in distance education. Faculty and staff interest was high. Facilities to allow colleagues in Arlington and Prince William to participate by teleconference worked fairly well (obviously, given the subject, there were ample opportunities for embarrassment here). I have had expressions […]

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