In February 2021, Mason celebrated its fifth year as a research-intensive (R1) university. As we reflect on where we started and all that has been accomplished since then, there is great pride in our academic and research achievements. These accomplishments would have not been possible without the contribution of our outstanding faculty and also our graduate students. With over 10,800 students enrolled in our graduate programs, and many more students having completed their master’s or doctoral degrees, Mason has become a significant producer of advanced degrees and contributor to a specialized workforce in the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.
Despite our ongoing successes, Mason has been impacted by a rapid and significant growth, which has led to significant challenges that could compromise the continued success of our initiatives that advance learning, support research and also promote scholarly study and professional development opportunities. Such challenges ultimately can affect graduate students’ achievement of their personal and career goals. In recognition of these challenges, we would like to undertake an initiative that will provide an opportunity to reimagine graduate education that can help us to recruit and retain high-caliber students, provide them with experiences of academic and research excellence, and maximize their chance of success at Mason and in their future career. Currently, Mason has over 134 graduate degree programs with 93 Master’s degrees and 41 Doctoral degrees, plus 95 Graduate Certificates programs across many disciplines. This broad portfolio of academic graduate programs produces many opportunities for our students while also creating significant challenges that inhibits graduate education effectiveness and efficiency, cross-disciplinary and experiential learning, and support for career and professional development.
To address this, we are pleased to announce the Graduate Education Reimagine Task Force. The Task Force will be composed of representatives from each college/school, the Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, Graduate Student Association, and possibly others. Laurence Bray, Associate Provost for Graduate Education will serve as the Chair of this Task Force.
The charge for this group is to consider the current context for and state of graduate education at Mason. The group also is asked, among other critical issues, to consider the benefits and challenges of the prospective creation of a Graduate School at our university that could facilitate consistent and equitable expectations, opportunities both within and across academic unites and enhance structures that support graduate students.
Specifically, the following areas are to be considered:
- Identify and review Mason’s current graduate education opportunities and associated challenges;
- Utilizing R1 institutions’ models and best practices, review and consider strategic solutions to could help to overcome these challenges;
- Suggest operational and structural enhancements that could facilitate the implementation of the proposed solutions;
- Provide recommendations on what graduate education structure would best align with the University’s mission, vision, overall structure, strategic objectives, and funding allocations, including the prospective forming of a Graduate School at Mason.
The primary goal of the group to create a White Paper that can be presented to the Provost and the President by early fall 2021 that addresses the issues raised, and other associated issues that may be identified.
|Laurence Bray (Chair)||Associate Provost for Graduate Education||Grad. Ed.
|Laurence Chalip||Professor, Director, School of Sports, Recreation and Tourism Management||CEHD
|Associate Professor, Bioengineering, Provost Faculty Fellow||Grad. Ed.
|Julie Choe Kim||Director, Graduate Student Life
|Dawn Anderson Kelley||Assistant Director, Grad. Admissions (CVPA)||OGAL|
|Kevin Connor||Master’s student, Business Administration
|Aurali Dade||Interim Vice President for Research
|Carey Drews-Botsch||Professor, Chair in Global & Community Health||CHHS
|Jill Deering||Assistant Dean, Student Affairs (Schar)||GAGAA
|Thomas Flores||Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Programs||Carter
|Nuno Garoupa||Associate Dean, Research and Faculty, Director of Graduate Studies, Professor of Law
|Deborah Goodings||Professor and Associate Dean
|Pallavi Rai Gullo
|Director, Grad. Academic & Student Affairs||Grad. Ed.|
|Andy Hoefer||Assistant Dean, Honors College
|Lisa Kahn||Associate Dean, Research & Graduate Studies
|Kim MacVaugh||Policy and Government Librarian
|Marguerite Rippy||Associate Dean, Graduate Academic Affairs
|Graduate Education Manager||Grad. Ed.|
|Ellen Rodgers||Associate Dean, Student and Academic Affairs (CEHD)||Grad. Council
|Cristiana Stan||Associate Professor, Atmospheric, Oceanic & Earth Sc.||Faculty Senate
|Jenna Strahm||Senior Marketing Associate (CEHD)||GRAC
|Iosif Vaisman||Director, School of Systems Biology||COS
|Thys Van Schaik||Associate Dean, Academic Affairs||Schar
|Paige Wolf||Associate Dean, Graduate Programs||S-BUS
|Susan Woodruff||Coordinator, Academic Program Development||SCHEV
|Steven Zhou||Doctoral student, Psychology (CHSS)
GAGAA: Graduate Admissions and Graduate Academic Affairs
GAPSA: Graduate and Professional Student Assembly
GRAC: Graduate Recruitment Action Council
OGAL: Graduate Admissions Operations Liaisons