President’s Blog

We’re putting less of our collective money where out mouths are

Posted: May 16, 2017 at 4:40 pm, Last Updated: May 16, 2017 at 4:41 pm

With Kirk Heffelmire When it comes to higher education, we putting less of our collective money where our mouths are. According to a recent report from New America 62% of American adults believe that “a higher education system is good for society” and only 26% believe it is “mostly a private benefit for individual graduates”. The very existence […]

Immigrant Scientists

Posted: May 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm, Last Updated: May 15, 2017 at 12:53 pm

In my latest op-ed in El País (Spain’s leading newspaper) I argue that Spain should celebrate, not lament, the fact that more and more of its scientists go abroad every year. The country’s meager investment in R&D should be cause of great concern (Spain invests 1.2% of its GDP, vs. the OECD average of 2.4% and South […]

Higher ed arithmetic

Posted: May 9, 2017 at 5:35 pm, Last Updated: May 9, 2017 at 9:07 pm

Some aspects of higher education are maddeningly complex, but other aspects are as simple as basic math. Public universities’ expenditures equal roughly what they get from the state plus what they charge students in tuition. If universities get less money from the state, they have to charge students more. You can buffer some of the cuts […]

Why our partnership with NOVA is so important

Posted: May 9, 2017 at 8:30 am

From: President2President , Chapter 10: Pathways to Success: Easing the Transition to Four-Year Universities with Comprehensive Guidance and Institutional Support, by Ángel Cabrera For many, community college is the only viable gateway into higher education. Unfortunately, the road ahead is patchy at best. Most students who begin at community colleges will never transfer to a […]

Washington Economic Roadmap continues to unfold

Posted: May 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm

With Kirk Heffelmire One of our primary roles at Mason is to drive the local economy through innovation and entrepreneurship, continually reassess the economic landscape, and identify a prosperous path forward for the region. In early 2015, with the support of the 2030 Group and other local business and civic leaders, Mason economist Stephen Fuller […]

At Mason, graduation success doesn’t vary by ethnicity

Posted: May 3, 2017 at 12:10 pm, Last Updated: May 3, 2017 at 12:12 pm

A report released last week by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows what we’ve unfortunately come to expect: that completion rates for Black and Hispanic students are much lower than for White and Asian students, with rates that fluctuate by as many as 25 percentage points. See story here from Inside Higher Ed. Those national […]

Nuance, imagination and empathy

Posted: April 21, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Dr. Rick Davis, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA), included this paragraph in his “Dean’s Gazette” last August. At the time, you may recall, the United States was experiencing an unusually harsh presidential campaign. The occasion served to remind our community of the essence of our values. I missed this when it was […]

America’s loss of international students is Canada’s gain

Posted: March 30, 2017 at 8:32 am

With Kirk Heffelmire As American universities face a softening of international student demand, Canadian universities are reporting significant increases in undergraduate applications from abroad over the past year. This is obviously not good news for us. As reported here recently, there has been a relative decline in the U.S. share of international students over the past 15 […]

Remembering Robinson Professor Roger Wilkins

Posted: March 28, 2017 at 9:55 am

Dear Colleague, This week, we lost one of our brightest stars. I’m saddened by the news that retired Robinson Professor Roger Wilkins has died. Wilkins’ life was the kind of story you couldn’t possibly imagine. He was a champion of the civil rights movement who served Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. His […]

Why open borders are crucial for innovation

Posted: March 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Washington Post op-ed: American innovation has been the envy of the world for the last century. Our ability to discover scientific breakthroughs, invent disruptive technologies and build successful companies that make those advances broadly available has been unparalleled. This creativity is the product of a culture that is uniquely open to new ideas, that encourages […]