President’s Blog

The two-way value of international students

Posted: January 23, 2018 at 4:31 pm

The international flow of students is invaluable for students themselves and a good deal for the United States. Last week, I was on a panel on Capitol Hill discussing the recent Open Doors report and the importance of international education, an event hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives Caucus on International Educational and Cultural […]

Discussing higher ed investment with the Virginia Senate Finance Committee

Posted: January 17, 2018 at 2:30 pm, Last Updated: January 17, 2018 at 2:46 pm

I appreciated the opportunity Tuesday to speak to the Virginia Senate Finance Committee about the accomplishments and needs of our public universities. I started by thanking the committee for the support received in recent years by the General Assembly to higher education, including major investments in capital projects, salaries, financial aid, and research. The rest […]

Helping Virginia become the best-educated state

Posted: January 10, 2018 at 10:47 am, Last Updated: January 10, 2018 at 2:38 pm

George Mason University last year accounted for 57 percent of the four-year public university undergraduate enrollment growth in the commonwealth according to a new report from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). In addition, U.S. News & World Report recently cited Mason as one of the top 25 colleges nationally in operating […]

Why did Google choose Zurich?

Posted: December 7, 2017 at 10:00 am

Earlier this week I wrote an op-ed for Spanish daily El País (“Bringing Zurich to Spain“, in Spanish), where I argue that the presence of world-class universities is becoming an increasingly important factor in how innovative companies choose where to establish their operations. For instance, while Zurich may not be as vibrant and culturally rich […]

A Perfect Mess

Posted: December 4, 2017 at 5:47 am

Should the goal of a university system be to provide a reasonable, uniform level of quality for all students, or to let universities pursue their own path, knowing that some students will have access to world-class excellence while others will be stuck with subpar education? Explicitly or not, the Spanish system seems to pursue the […]

Midterm strategic plan update

Posted: November 29, 2017 at 7:26 pm, Last Updated: November 29, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Strategic plans collecting dust on shelves are as common as they are useless. So are static plans built on a presumption of a predictable future and offering little room for interpretation, innovation and adaptability throughout the organization. In this, I have always agreed with Canadian management professor Henry Mintzberg. Effective strategic plans assume that the future […]

Making students safe for ideas

Posted: November 21, 2017 at 2:26 pm

In “The Partisan Divide,” our rector, Tom Davis, (also a Schar School professor and former Congressman) describes an ever-polarized Congress void of politicians willing to compromise and reach across the aisle. This divide is not limited to our government. We increasingly live in ideological bubbles, surrounded by people who will not challenge our beliefs. We […]

Tribute to a trailblazer: Hazel Johnson-Brown

Posted: November 15, 2017 at 9:09 am, Last Updated: November 15, 2017 at 9:12 am

Prof. Hazel Johnson-Brown was a pioneer in life, in the U.S. Army and at George Mason University. Her uniform, as the first Black woman to reach the rank of general, is on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mason is embarking on a year-long campaign to raise funds to honor […]

To eradicate sexual violence, stop blaming the victim

Posted: October 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm

On Oct. 13, Professor Walter Williams, an eminent scholar in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, wrote a syndicated column that included comments about sexual assault which many found offensive. Since then, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has removed the column from its website and has acknowledged that the column fell short of its editorial standards. […]

College presidents come together to support Dreamers

Posted: October 16, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Colleges and universities across the country are speaking up in support of protecting undocumented students who were until now protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Below is an op-ed written with three other college presidents in our area– John DeGioia (Georgetown), DeRionne Pollard (Montgomery College), Scott Ralls (Northern Virginia Community College). […]