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Uncategorized  // Browsing posts in Uncategorized

Toward More Education on Global Problems

Toward More Education on Global Problems

Next week Mason hosts a conference with representatives from universities in China, Korea, Russia, India, Turkey, Kenya and Brazil, with the goal of agreeing on some concrete programs that will improve undergraduate opportunities to explore global issues ranging from environmental change to violence to poverty and hunger. The idea, which I blogged about some time […]

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Obamaschool

Obamaschool

The President’s appeal for accessible higher education at the University of Michigan (a higher cost school than Mason), deserves a reasoned response and discussion. The goals are splendid, but without being defensive, there are also problems attached. I hope we can give the issues wide airing. I was pleased that the President acknowledged that the […]

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Regulatory Excess

Regulatory Excess

Last year we faced a crescendo of faculty concerns about excessive, unnecessary or unexplained regulations. Focus was particularly on human subjects review, which has since been substantially modified. But there was a general sense that things were spinning out of control. So we came up with a statement about proper procedures: try, whenever possible, to […]

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Administrative Juggernaut?

Administrative Juggernaut?

I had the pleasure this week of listening to a talk by Ben Ginsberg, whose book on the decline of the faculty is legitimately creating some stir. Professor Ginsberg highlights the fact that in American higher education, the number of academic administrators, and the budgets attached, have grown more rapidly than those of students or […]

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Adjuncts

Adjuncts

It doesn’t seem inappropriate, I hope, to launch the new year with a fairly specific topic. This weekend I have the pleasure of helping to greet our new adjunct instructional staff. For several years, thanks particularly to Human Resources and the Center for Teaching Excellence, we’ve been meeting formally with new adjuncts and providing them […]

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Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth

I hope you’ll tolerate a seasonal blog rather than one that’s specifically university focused, though I hope universities can be involved in the process I briefly outline.  It’s the last blog of the year, so time to stretch one’s self. The theme is peace.  I’ve been intrigued – and disappointed – that the withdrawal of […]

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Measuring Success

Measuring Success

This is a short comment, appropriately jolly for the season. One of the most satisfying developments at Mason over the past decade plus involves the increasing number of venues in which we can identify student success. I hasten to add that Mason has always attracted many good students, so I don’t mean to overdo the […]

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Getting Real on Budgets

Getting Real on Budgets

I know I’ve written about budget issues before (they have to be a preoccupation in my job, so I don’t feel abashed about inflicting periodically on others). Besides, it’s the season — the governor will announce his budget on Dec. 19. I know there’s sincere interest in “doing something” for higher education, so we will […]

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Student Voice

Student Voice

I wonder if it’s time to consider a great voice for student representatives on various university committees. Higher education tried this in the wake of the 60s, but then it withered, at least in many places, as student passions cooled and the difficulties of consistent representation from people with other distractions and a relatively short […]

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Assessing

Assessing

By coincidence I’ve had the chance within a two-day span to discuss assessment both with a student group, the President-Provost Student Advisory Committee, and with a higher-ed class being taught by one of our leading assessment staff members. Students were intelligently concerned about how we do and use course and teacher evaluations. They wondered why […]

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