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Faculty  // Browsing posts in Faculty

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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Academic Reorganization: A New Policy School

Academic Reorganization: A New Policy School

Changing the structure of any big organization is a complex process. Academic reorganization may be particularly challenging, because our procedures are broadly if imperfectly consultative, which means that top down directives don’t work. Extensive faculty involvement and input are essential. I’ve been involved in several restructurings at Mason (and there were many others in the […]

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20 Apr Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Students | 1 comment

Smelling the (Student) Roses

Smelling the (Student) Roses

A couple of events at the end of March, and the prospect of the usual frenzied end of semester, prompt these musings.  (I know end of March was a while back, but in this season I like to keep a backblog log.) The events were, first, a gathering of an international honors society and then […]

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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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