Board of Visitors creates new committee to promote research

President Cabrera and Rector Clemente speak at a BOV meeting. (photo courtesy of Alexis Glenn.)
President Cabrera and Rector Clemente speak at a BOV meeting. (photo courtesy of Alexis Glenn.)

The Board of Visitors research committee met for the first time on Nov. 8 as an integral part of the 2014 strategic plan for George Mason University.

“This committee was established because of BOV interests in promoting research, though several Mason administrators actively cooperated. The goal certainly is to highlight the importance of research and work to expand it,” Provost Peter Stearns said  in an email.

The notes provided for the upcoming BOV meeting on Dec. 5 stated that increased research is important in building on Mason’s reputation.

The university plans to improve and expand research in a number of categories such as music, globalization research and public health. There is also hope for increased research in doctoral and professional programs.

At the same time, the university would like to maintain “existing centers of excellence,” including areas of  public policy and law and biomedical research. According to the BOV notes, outside funding should increase by about seven percent a year over the next seven years.

However, according to Stearns, it is currently unclear where the funding will come from. The university is looking to nonfederal resources for funding, citing corporate sponsors as a possibility.

The Nov. 8 meeting mostly discussed the current role of the research offices. In future meetings they will discuss in more depth the function, goals and vision for the research committee.

“More research is arguably desirable because it leads to social good, including economic development; [it] enhances University reputation and attracts top faculty; [it] contributes to student opportunities,” Stearns said.

With the opportunity to attract better faculty and more involved students, Mason hopes to  be on its way to reaching the goal of becoming one of the top 100 nationally ranked universities in research.

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