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techcontact  // Posts published by techcontact

02 Nov Posted by in Academics | Comments Off on Civics

Civics

Civics

As we variously ponder the election results, and rejoice that at least another election season and its advertisements have passed, it may be useful to ponder briefly a university role in civics education. George Mason University actually has a surprising number of faculty members interested in civics. Several have authored civics materials for use in […]

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20 Oct Posted by in Academics, Business | 1 comment

Political Wings

Political Wings

It’s fairly well known that George Mason harbors several groups of relatively conservative (politically conservative) faculty, including several devoted to free market principles. This is hardly unique among American universities, though the fact that it comes in for some remark is interesting, suggesting a perception among some liberals that proper universities should be uniformly in […]

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14 Oct Posted by in Academics, Business, Guidelines, Policies | Comments Off on Regulation Nation

Regulation Nation

Regulation Nation

We’ve got an interesting problem, and not an easy one. Numerous faculty and department chairs believe that we, as a University, have become over-regulated. They are certainly correct that rules have proliferated, and also that they emanate from a variety of offices (business affairs, safety, assessment, equity, ITU, etc) that do not really talk with […]

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08 Oct Posted by in Academics | Comments

Everybody Speaks English

Everybody Speaks English

The word is that the administration of SUNY Albany has essentially closed all modern language programs except Spanish and (after current students finish up) fired the faculty. The other programs were French, Russian, and Italian. It’s already been clear, in school districts as well as some colleges, that cutting global education, including languages, is a […]

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04 Oct Posted by in Academics, Business | Comments Off on How Many Students?

How Many Students?

How Many Students?

We’ve just set up a group to ponder, over the next couple of months, how big Mason should get over the next few years, taking into account budget, new program possibilities, demography and so on. The question is prompted by several factors: we’ve overshot enrollment targets for the past couple of years (though not much […]

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23 Sep Posted by in Business | Comments Off on Evaluation Time

Evaluation Time

Evaluation Time

This is the season when throughout the University administrative officials are filing performance reports with their supervisors, who then do their own report which they discuss with the subordinate. It’s an interesting, potentially valuable process — even the performance report itself can be used to improve communication as well as assessment. Inevitably, the process is […]

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17 Sep Posted by in Academics | 2 comments

Educating for Peace

Educating for Peace

In a couple of weeks I’m giving a talk on educating for global citizenship, at a Buddhist-linked institute devoted to promoting peace. The center urges that everyone take on a personal responsibility for world peace — that the goal can’t be left to policymakers alone, which seems obvious enough — and I’m looking forward to […]

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13 Sep Posted by in Academics, Business | 2 comments

McCollege

McCollege

Not a new theme, but we’re hearing more and more recently about how to make college faster. To the extent that a goal is to reduce economic burdens on students — less money for residence halls, maybe a bit less on tuition, earlier opportunity to start earning money — the conversation is well worth having. […]

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02 Sep Posted by in Business, Policies | 1 comment

Signs and Buildings

Signs and Buildings

Here’s a problem not unique to Mason, not a big deal but also not easy to resolve. How does one reconcile a policy of making it clear that no single unit “owns” a building with appropriate external indications of where major units are? Mason has very few external signs that highlight units. We do have […]

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23 Aug Posted by in Academics, Business | Comments Off on School’s In

School’s In

School’s In

Advance notice: this is not a particularly profound piece. A few commentators have recently noted recurrent bursts of substance in my blog, which is kind of them; but I need a pass on this one. For this is simply a few musings about the beginning of fall semester. I’ve been in this racket a long […]

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