Mason retains interim vice president as permanent head of University Life

International Week at Mason is one of the many events put on by University Life. (Photo courtesy of Jake McLernon)
International Week at Mason is one of the many events put on by University Life. (Photo courtesy of Jake McLernon)

After a semester-long search and review process, George Mason University has decided to keep interim Vice President Rose Pascarell as the permanent head of University Life.

University Life is a division of the Mason administration that creates and manages programs that are meant to broaden the college experience outside of the classroom. Pascarell is replacing Sandy Scherrens, who had held the position for eight years.

“Part of what University Life does is provide lots of those opportunities for students to stretch themselves,” Pascarell said. “At the core we should help students make meaning of this experience beyond the classroom.” 

Pascarell says that the programs University Life promotes will help students find connections between what they learn in class and their lives at Mason, and help encourage them to be more active at Mason.

“We know that students who are more engaged are more academically successful,” Pascarell said.

Three finalists were considered for the position: Cornel Morton from California Polytechnic State University, Timothy Quinnan from San Diego State University and Pascarell. During the review process, each applicant gave a public presentation where they outlined their vision for University Life at Mason. Both the Provost and the President of the university made the final choice.

Pascarell says her next steps are to meet with each unit in the University Life division, and listen to students discuss their Mason experience. Pascarell’s first goal is “to continue to cultivate campus conditions so students can be their most successful.”

According to Pascarell, the biggest challenge she faces is the role of the economy in student life in college. 

“The economy has had an impact on students’ ability to be full-time students without having to work,” Pascarell said. “It has had an impact on student access to higher education.”

Additionally, she believes that the changing role of technology will play a big role in how the university helps students enrich their college experience.

“It’s an exciting challenge, because part of it is providing more access to students who can’t be here everyday of the work week,” Pascarell said.

Pascarell had served as associate vice president of University Life for the last six years. The university has yet to find her replacement.

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