President's Blog

Message from the President

Dear Colleague,

On August 17, 2012, the Board of Visitors adopted a resolution that charged me with the creation of a new Strategic Vision for the University in collaboration with the faculty and key internal and external stakeholders.  The new Vision will be the basis for a new academic strategic plan and a new comprehensive campaign.  During our board meeting last week, I shared with the board the process we will follow to produce this Vision and the structure of the outcome I plan to bring for their consideration (and, hopefully, their enthusiastic endorsement!).  Here are the highlights.

In terms of outcome, I envision a short, one-page document that will include (a) a concise and memorable mission statement, (b) a set of values describing “The Mason Way” of doing things, (c) a profile of the attributes we wish to see in all our graduates and therefore have embedded in every one of our programs, which we’re referring to as “The Mason Graduate”, and (d) a set of aspirational and inspirational commitments for the next decade.

My goal is to have this document presented to the board in March 2013.  In order to meet that deadline, I have asked Professor Sarah Nutter to chair a consultative process to gather input from multiple stakeholders and through different channels.  Based on the conversations we’ve had with Visitors, Trustees, Deans, Students, Faculty and Staff throughout the summer, Sarah has formed a number of working groups that will address critical areas for our future, plus a steering committee that she will chair and that will coordinate the activity of the working groups.  The provost and I will be ex-officio members of all the working groups and the steering group will report directly to me.

I am pleased to announce that the following individuals have agreed to chair the vision working groups:

  • Professor Peter Pober will chair the Mission, Values, The Mason Graduate working group, which will identify core components to be reflected in a mission statement, a set of core values and a definition of the signature Mason Graduate.
  • Wayne Sigler, VP Enrollment Management, will chair the Student Value and Affordability working group, which will analyze cost drivers, tuition policy and ROI for our students.
  • Dean Vikas Chandhoke will chair the Research working group, which will explore the role and nature of research in the university’s future.
  • Associate Provost Michelle Marks will chair the Regional Strategy working group, which will explore how our geographic footprint can support our strategic vision and our role as partners in economic development of our region.
  • Professor Peter Mandaville will chair the Global Strategy working group, which will explore how global engagement can best create value for students, faculty, and the university as a whole.
  • Associate Dean Roy Hinton will chair the Online and Executive Education working group, which will explore how the university can expand our reach through new and existing programs and better use of technology.
  • Senior Associate Dean Debbie Boehm-Davis will chair the Program Innovation & Growth working group, which will seek to identify means of improving existing degree programs and developing new areas of excellence.
  • Vice President Marc Broderick will chair the Funding and Resources working group, which will explore how to maximize our revenue sources, including the launch of a new fund-raising campaign.

Each of these groups will analyze internal and external reports and will reach out to various constituencies inside and outside the University.  We are currently setting up a website (please check within a week or so) which will be used to post updates from each of the groups and the overall process, and which will include a mechanism for broad participation by members of our community.  I encourage you to participate in this process and provide your input to the working groups by writing to the chairs or by submitting your ideas through the website.

As I have met with various members and groups within the Mason community, I have been impressed by your thoughtful comments and your commitment to the University’s future. Thank you in advance for your collaboration in this important process as we together define a vision for George Mason University’s Next chapter.

Thank you for all you do to carry out our mission.

Ángel Cabrera