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Policies  // Browsing posts in Policies

01 Dec Posted by in Observations, Policies | 5 comments

An Entrepreneurial University

An Entrepreneurial University

Mason has long prided itself on being entrepreneurial, and this remains a strength. The new Vision statement and its Mason “IDEA” highlight the characteristic. For what it’s worth, I have always relished the notion, and have always hoped that I could both support and capitalize on the entrepreneurial spirit. So, a few thoughts about being […]

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Quality

Quality

I had a great discussion recently with Deans about aspects of our strategic planning. They, and some of their faculty, grew legitimately concerned that in our enthusiasm for growth and innovation we did not place enough emphasis on the quality of our outcomes. I do think the reminder is salutary, though I don’t think it […]

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25 Aug Posted by in Academics, Faculty, Policies | 8 comments

Tenure, Again

Tenure, Again

Recent developments make it clear that some renewed discussion of tenure is desirable—but the same developments point in dramatically different directions. A challenging Bloomberg View blog (Mark Bauerlein, August 5, 2013) really lays out the case against old fart faculty. Data do suggest that a large number of tenured faculty are continuing to work, and […]

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04 Aug Posted by in Faculty, Policies | 7 comments

Shared Governance

Shared Governance

We’re having a somewhat unexpected (to me) conversation with our governing board (Board of Visitors) about shared governance. It’s no secret that the Board, like most Boards, does not have a lot of academic background, and the strange ways that universities lurch along are not fully familiar to them. In the case of shared governance, […]

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28 Jul Posted by in Observations, Policies | 1 comment

In Praise of (a certain amount of) Messiness

In Praise of (a certain amount of) Messiness

A big university like Mason inevitably has accumulated, even in our case of a relatively short life, a number of organizational peculiarities and anomalies. Not everything is located in tidy boxes. It’s certainly appropriate recurrently to look at the resultant anomalies. If, particularly in the current fiscal climate, organizational untidiness costs unnecessary money, or results […]

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The Distance Challenge

The Distance Challenge

This will be an important year for distance education at Mason. We’ve been expanding distance offerings and enrollments fairly rapidly over the past four years, well above our overall expansion rate. This year we’ll be putting more whole programs on line, with a different pricing structure and, probably, a new marketing structure as well. The […]

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Rewarding Innovative Faculty

Rewarding Innovative Faculty

A faculty member recently wrote to ask how the University rewards “disruptively” innovative faculty whose contributions lay outside formal research. I had to think about this one, among other things because adducing individual examples would not always be appropriate. But it’s a good question, and I think I have elements of an answer. I leave […]

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28 Apr Posted by in Academics, Policies, Students | 2 comments

Inclusiveness

Inclusiveness

As many of my readers know, we have a new strategic vision for the University that includes a number of interesting elements. One feature, which I’ve written about before, implies a commitment to growth which we’re now trying to translate into more specific strategic planning. A related feature involves inclusiveness. Our President notes publicly that […]

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21 Apr Posted by in International, Policies | Comments

Challenge and Opportunity in the Global Agenda

Challenge and Opportunity in the Global Agenda

I’ve written before about the uphill aspect of expanding global goals in American higher education: the fact that U.S. faculty are less enthusiastic about global agendas than counterparts elsewhere, the lack of any formal government pressure or encouragement (again, a marked contrast to the situation in China, Russia and elsewhere). Elements of the situation are […]

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03 Mar Posted by in Academics, Observations, Policies | Comments

Big Mason or Bigger Mason

Big Mason or Bigger Mason

As a University, we’re about to turn from the process of crafting a new strategic vision, to an actual planning process based on that vision. One of the most interesting planning targets has to be size of student body. The President’s Vision statement clearly implies growth, but there are no specifics attached. It’s time to […]

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