President’s Blog

Mason is going global

Posted: February 12, 2018 at 4:58 pm

An increasing number of Mason students are taking advantage of study abroad opportunities to develop their global competence, a crucial learning outcome in the 21st century. This year we are on track to send over 300 more students abroad than had traveled abroad last year. That’s more than a 30 percent increase. But much work […]

Doctor Honoris Causa – Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Posted: February 10, 2018 at 4:55 am, Last Updated: February 11, 2018 at 8:50 pm

It was an incredible honor to be back in Madrid this week to receive my alma mater’s Honorary Doctorate in company of family, friends, and old professors. PDF’s with Prof. José Manuel Páez’ laudatio and my speech (both in Spanish) are available here. The text version of my speech is reproduced below (a summary in […]

The immense value of education

Posted: February 6, 2018 at 7:21 am, Last Updated: February 7, 2018 at 7:07 am

This week I will be heading to Spain to receive an Honorary Doctorate from my alma mater, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). To say that I am greatly honored to be recognized this way by the very school that gave me wings is the understatement of the year! Since I received the news, I’ve been […]

Students to tell our story in Richmond

Posted: January 24, 2018 at 3:18 pm

When meeting with state lawmakers, I am never bashful about rattling off some of the university’s achievements: Largest public university in the state One of the top 115 research institutions in the country No disparity in graduation rates among ethnic groups Largest share of community college transfers in the state Among the lowest student loan […]

The two-way value of international students

Posted: January 23, 2018 at 4:31 pm, Last Updated: January 24, 2018 at 3:43 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 […]