Merten on the selection of Cabrera [WGMU]

George Mason University’s sitting president Alan Merten told WGMU that his successor Angel Cabrera “fits in the mode” of Mason’s accomplishments over the last 40 years, and that he is “encouraged” by Cabrera’s background that is “in many respects” similar to his own.

WGMU General Manager Alex Romano spoke briefly with Merten immediately following the Board of Visitors vote and press conference that introduced Cabrera to the Mason community. During the press conference, Merten said the outgoing president of Thunderbird School of Global Management has the “approach, the intelligence and the energy level to take [Mason] to the next step.” (He also congratulated Cabrera “on having the sense to accept the offer.”)

Cabrera received a bag of Mason goodies from Merten during the Dec. 15 press conference. (Dakota Cunningham)
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During the quick interview with WGMU, Merten reiterated praises from his statements during the press conference as well as talked about being “encouraged” by the “cloning” of some of Cabrera’s background in comparison with his own. Both Merten and Cabrera have a business and management background, along with some background in engineering.

Cabrera’s challenge, according to Merten, will be to get with faculty and administration and lay out the vision for the next five or 10 years. He thinks he can accomplish that task, he told WGMU.

“He understands where we are. He understands what we can be,” said Merten.

Merten, who will continue to serve Mason in the capacity of President Emeritus, told Cabrera Thursday morning before the announcement that he’ll “help him in whatever way he can,” according to the interview.

“I’m here to help,” said Merten.

WGMU also interviewed Student Body President Ally Bowers following the press conference. Bowers was the only student to serve on the Presidential Search Committee, which worked through over 400 names and applicants for the position, according to Tom Hennessey, the president's chief of staff. Listen to Bowers’ on the selection process and the choice of Cabrera.