President’s Blog

Aug. 13 message to the Mason community

Posted: August 18, 2017 at 11:49 am, Last Updated: August 18, 2017 at 11:50 am

  My message Sunday to the Mason community following the incidents in Charlottesville. Dear Patriots, Like most of you, I am deeply disturbed by the white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville this weekend. It is heartbreaking that three people ended up losing their lives and others suffered injuries as a consequence of these events. The choice […]

The power of collaboration

Posted: July 18, 2017 at 1:51 pm

We are fortunate in Virginia to have autonomous state universities governed by their own separate boards. Other states govern their universities as a system under one shared board and chief executive. While both structures have their advantages, I’ve always preferred the superior agility, entrepreneurship and responsiveness of Virginia’s decentralized organization. Criticisms of our system tend […]

Global trade matters

Posted: June 22, 2017 at 8:05 am

One of the points that I emphasized last week at The Global Entrepreneurship Export Exchange (E3)  in Washington D.C. is that universities have an integral role to play in educating and developing a new kind of global leader, one who can help build bridges of understanding and partnerships to drive economic prosperity and solve some of […]

Mason’s longest-serving president, George Johnson, passes away

Posted: May 30, 2017 at 5:59 pm, Last Updated: May 31, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Dear Colleague, I am sad to report that George Johnson, our university’s fourth and longest-serving president, died today. It is hard to exaggerate the impact that Dr. Johnson had on this university. As Til Hazel, the rector who recruited him to Mason in 1978, just told me, “George created the foundation for this university. Without him, […]

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 23, 2017 at 11:58 am

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 […]