Strategic Direction

Charting a new course, envisioning a new horizon.

Photo by Sierra Guard / George Mason University

Strategic Direction

Dear Fellow Patriots and Friends of Mason,

University President Gregory Washington

2022 marked our 50th anniversary as George Mason University. In our first half century as a university, Mason has grown remarkably, into the largest, most diverse, and most innovative public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia, ranked America's No. 1 young university. Yet, even as we celebrate all we and our predecessors have accomplished, we must turn our attention to the next half century and beyond, because a new and very different world is fast emerging, and the future of higher education belongs to those universities that can best adapt. Mason has the raw materials, community goodwill, and vision to become a university of choice in the world to come. What we need is a plan. Those we educate today and tomorrow will face multiple existential threats that are unprecedented in the human experience. But they will also benefit from opportunities and human advances that will be without precedent, all while leading America's first-ever society without an ethnic majority. Indeed, the world we are entering will be fundamentally different than the one we are leaving. To adequately prepare future generations, society needs universities that are poised to be, as we say at Mason, All Together Different.

This plan is a blueprint to give Mason the capacity to be such a university. It contains the often underappreciated but vital steps necessary to meticulously create university infrastructure and human capacity to lead in the unfolding world. This plan will give Mason the operational capacity to fulfill its aspirations to:

  •  welcome 5,000 more students onto our campuses, and an additional 5,000 online;
  •  recruit hundreds of next-generation faculty and staff, as up to 40 percent of our personnel retire over the next decade;
  •  increase our national leadership in academic disciplines beyond current national rankings; and
  •  tackle the world's intertwined grand challenges so that we may leave a healthier planet and people, thriving economies, and more just societies to the generations to come.

Our ability to offer accessible and affordable education, with minimal achievement gaps, is a distinctive and defining characteristic of Mason. We prepare learners for the future through inclusive and high-quality education and by committing to a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment. Mason has the highest graduation and admissions rates among a diverse group of ethnicities and is the first to have accomplished this both regionally and nationally. We pride ourselves on meeting the challenges that others won't in a new model that emphasizes success and flexible planning, strategic partnerships, and an enhanced focus on mental health and well-being.

Our future depends on considering how all our Mason community stakeholders can make a lasting impact in shaping the future. This involves making a concerted effort in equipping our students, faculty, and staff to succeed, and collaborating with business, alumni, and community partners to not only build a lasting connection to Mason, but to also drive economic and social impact. Everyone and anyone should see themselves reflected in this plan. Okay, fellow Patriots. Let's get to work.

Graphic: Our core beliefs lie at the heart of our organization, and they are what we hold in common to drive our collective decisions as an institution. They inform our core values, shape our vision, and catalyze our mission.
  • We believe in inclusivity over exclusivity.

  • We believe in advancing our mission by being willing to take risks, not avoiding them.

  • We believe our best work is only possible when we apply our diversity of origin, identity, circumstance, and thought.

  • We believe talent is equally distributed among people, but opportunity is not. At Mason, education is opportunity’s great equalizer.

  • We believe we grow wiser and stronger from examining our full truths, no matter how complicated, messy, or discomforting they might be.

  • We believe we are strong enough to work, live, and study together, even when we disagree.

  • We believe no problem is unsolvable

Read Mason's Strategic Direction Plan

Strategic Direction cover page. Graphic reads 'All Together Different'