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Academics  // Browsing posts in Academics

Teaching Load

In consultation with the Deans and others, we have decided to clarify a few minimal standards concerning teaching loads. Three preliminaries, and then then rest of the blog simply sets forth the policy. First, as noted below, different units have different specific policies, and it would be counterproductive to pretend to unify them too closely. […]

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Mason Korea

Mason Korea

I had the great pleasure of participating earlier this week in the official opening of Mason Korea, in Incheon. I have written about the project before, but it’s terrific to see it become reality – hence a special, off-cycle blog. The operation is part of the Songdo Global University campus. It sits in a truly […]

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09 Mar Posted by in Academics, Students | Comments

Honors College in an Accessible University

Honors College in an Accessible University

Here’s an issue I admit I hadn’t thought of but should have; and it’s quite interesting. How should we consider an Honors College in a University that proudly proclaims its desire to be as accessible as possible to qualified students, to seek to include rather than exclude? Our Honors College, which predates our new Strategic […]

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02 Mar Posted by in Academics, Research | 3 comments

Public Intellectuals and “Significant” Research

Public Intellectuals and “Significant” Research

A recent (Feb. 15) New York Times op-ed on the increasing public irrelevance of much social science research, by Nicholas Kristof, has legitimately won wide attention. Kristof argues that academics themselves must bear much of the blame for the fact that so many really intelligent academic thinkers have little or no role in the crucial […]

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09 Feb Posted by in Academics | 4 comments

What Are Universities For?

What Are Universities For?

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to give a short talk on the subject of the purpose of universities, to a fairly general audience of people interested in George Mason but not for the most part academics (though some colleagues were there too). I won’t claim my thoughts were terribly profound or original, […]

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26 Jan Posted by in Academics | 3 comments

Innovation in Higher Ed

Innovation in Higher Ed

As many readers know, the tone of innovation discussions in higher education seems to be changing a bit, compared to last year. Whereas the most vigorous voices a year ago were talking boldly of disruption and defending radical departures like MOOCs, today the bloom has faded a bit. Intelligent discussions about realistic uses of MOOCs […]

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Transitions

Transitions

This will be my last semester as Provost.  At the end of June I will return to faculty (I’m not retiring at this point, just changing roles).  Presumably my successor will be selected by March, and I’m told that the search pool is very good.  So for me and in some ways for the University, […]

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15 Dec Posted by in Academics, Observations | 1 comment

Teaching Social Problems: Do We Measure Up?

Teaching Social Problems: Do We Measure Up?

As some of my readers know, Mason has taken a lead in organizing several international universities around key global problems. We’re also participating in the United Nations compact, which calls attention to issues in the environment, corruption, labor rights, and human rights. While we’re still working on our agendas in these arenas, we can take […]

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International Students

International Students

As we near a decision about a project to increase significantly the number of international students at Mason, at both graduate and undergraduate levels, a word on the most commonly asked, and perfectly appropriate, question. Why do this? Note that my answer applies to our strategic commitment to grow the numbers, regardless of the current […]

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17 Nov Posted by in Academics, Students | 2 comments

Study Time

Study Time

Amid the various discussions of higher education and all sorts of innovative strategic planning (including here at Mason), I wonder what has happened to a concern that surfaced a couple of years ago, about the average out-of-class time that college students put into their studies. The data were worrisome, in suggesting a several-hours-per-week reduction over […]

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