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Faculty  // Browsing posts in Faculty

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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30 Mar Posted by in Faculty | 2 comments

Faculty and Staff Morale

Faculty and Staff Morale

I’ve been asked to present a conference paper in October at an educational leadership conference, on the subject of academic personnel morale. By then I’ll be back on the faculty, and it will be interesting to see what my morale is; but that’s another and less interesting topic. I want to venture some remarks now, […]

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02 Feb Posted by in Administration, Faculty | Comments

Enrollment Shifts

Enrollment Shifts

At Mason, and nationally, student choices are changing. The shifts offer both promise and problem, and they deserve some systematic attention. First, of course, there is a steady increase in students interested in science, engineering, and health professions. This is probably a largely good development, though it stresses faculty and facilities that are relatively expensive […]

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Wellbeing

Wellbeing

This offering features some musings about wellbeing, and specifically the commitment in our Strategic Plan to make Mason a “wellbeing university”, possibly the first ever (though discussions of wellbeing in colleges are gaining ground elsewhere). The musings go in several directions, all reflecting my relative unfamiliarity with this goal (in contrast to our other strategic […]

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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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10 Nov Posted by in Facilities, Faculty, Students | Comments

Offices and Faculty Availability

Offices and Faculty Availability

This blog is about an interesting problem, to encourage further discussion. It is NOT the harbinger of some drastic new policy – just an invitation to discuss, think out of the box, etc. (Does anyone think inside boxes anymore?) The issue is a double one: providing offices for faculty and making sure faculty are appropriately […]

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27 Oct Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Students | 3 comments

“Commodity Courses” and the Joys of Teaching Freshmen

“Commodity Courses” and the Joys of Teaching Freshmen

Folks who like to talk about disrupting conventional higher education – and some who offer active alternatives – often focus on the entry-level courses as particular targets for rethinking. They point out that lots of these courses are taught in large lecture formats, with passive learning at best and, not infrequently, high rates of student […]

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Partially Disrupted Universities

Partially Disrupted Universities

As I look at some key aspects of our current draft strategic plan, and also reread some recent literature on higher ed, I am struck not by the need or desire for total innovation (which is what some of the disrupt language suggests) but on the demanding combination of old and new goals. So a […]

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Mason Songdo

Mason Songdo

We’re moving into a new phase of Mason’s Korea project – at last, an active implementation phase – but the preliminaries were sufficiently complex and prolonged that it’s worth commenting again on key highlights of the project. We’re now committed to opening two programs for freshman in March of next year – in Management and […]

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Teaching Spaces

Teaching Spaces

This is not one of my usual categories, but it may be time for some radical proposals, based on things we already know. To wit, a number of faculty are already usefully combining class sessions with online, in hybrid offerings that, properly arranged (and this is a registrar challenge in part) can relieve pressure on […]

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