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Welcome to the Provost's Blog at George Mason University. This is the official blog of Dr. Peter N. Stearns and it is a forum for insight, a look behind the scenes at the university and thoughtful discussion.

George Mason University Provost, Dr. Peter N. StearnsThe Provost serves as a member of the President’s Executive Council and as senior staff to the Board of Visitor’s Faculty and Academic Standards Committee. The Provost oversees two Vice-Provosts, the Deans of nine colleges and schools, the directors of one academic institute, selected special support programs, and research and outreach centers.

In the accomplishment of these duties, the Provost serves as Chief Academic Officer, with special attention to areas such as curriculum and faculty recruitment and evaluations. As part of the senior management team for the university, the Provost works with deans and directors on strategic issues. In this role, he provides academic leadership and vision, and develops academic policy recommendations.

Contact: Provost Stearns, Phone: 703-993-8776

22 Jun Posted by in Observations | 12 comments

Mason Goals

Mason Goals

This is the last blog I’ll write as Provost. I hope to continue blogging more occasionally, on various topics that reflect an appropriate distance from central administration. My thanks to those who’ve followed my blogs over these several years (both of you? Are there more?). I’ve appreciated the interest and reaction. I am actually turning […]

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15 Jun Posted by in Administration, Faculty | Comments

Penultimate: Going Back to Faculty

Penultimate: Going Back to Faculty

My last blog as provost shows up next week (as will be noted then, I intend to keep blogging more occasionally, on my new History Department website), but I thought it would be interesting to muse briefly about going back to faculty. I have intensely enjoyed being Provost (much of the time), but it is […]

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08 Jun Posted by in Observations | Comments

Politics

Politics

One of the interesting aspects of serving in higher administration, in a public university, involves the obvious need to seem, and be, fairly even-handed politically. I may not have done this as well as I should, having fairly pronounced and obvious liberal views (if not worse), but at least I don’t seem to have gotten […]

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01 Jun Posted by in Administration, Observations | 1 comment

BOV

BOV

Unless something goes radically awry, I’ve now experienced my last meeting of Mason’s Board of Visitors. Not surprisingly, preparing for, encountering and recovering from BOV meetings is a key aspect of upper administration work. I won’t deny that there is usually some tension involved. Even when issues are fairly simple – and that’s been largely […]

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25 May Posted by in Academics | 3 comments

Liberal Education

Liberal Education

Know what I haven’t heard much about this year? liberal educational values, that’s what. I don’t mean they’ve been abandoned, even by academic leaders whose main focus seems elsewhere. But they sure have dropped out of most of the headlines. And this could be a problem. I am entirely in favor of reevaluating our delivery […]

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21 May Posted by in Academics, Observations | 4 comments

Lyrics

Lyrics

I performed the following takeoff on Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Am I Alone” and “Anxious for to Shine” (from Patience) at the School of Music’s Young Masters Concert on May 4, and then as an encore at the celebration on May 12: Am I alone and unobserved? I am. Then let me confess, I am an […]

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18 May Posted by in Administration | Comments

Transitioning

Transitioning

When this blog appears I will have only about a month to go as Provost. There are still a few things to do, but obviously with this end in sight and with the University winding down after Commencement the mood will shift. I have long noted that faculty can relax a bit when many of […]

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