Faculty and Staff
Join us for the 2023 Celebration of Success
Join Dean Fernando R. Miralles-Wilhelm on Monday, December 4, 2023 in the atrium of Exploratory Hall from 2 to 3:30 p.m. as we recognize faculty and staff for their service during the 2023 calendar year.
News & Recognition
For you to know
New resources on mental health and student accommodations now available
Accessibility, wellness, and mental health for our faculty, staff, students, and community members are top priorities for George Mason University. We are committed to educating the Mason community about inclusivity, accessibility, and mental health; providing resources for faculty, staff, and students; and connecting those in need with clinical care. Community support for students with disabilities is core to Mason’s values of including a multitude of people and respecting differences. View the two new important resources now available.
Mason offers three free therapy sessions to all faculty and staff
Individuals within the George Mason University community are not immune to mental health struggles and have learned that finding the right place for treatment can be difficult. As such, all faculty, staff, and contractors have the opportunity to receive three free hour-long telehealth intervention sessions with the university’s Center for Community and Mental Health (CCMH).
Institutional Biosafety Committee protocols now managed in RAMP
George Mason University’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) protocol review process was integrated with the institution’s Research Administration Management Portal (RAMP) on Oct. 9. RAMP is an enterprise-wide application that supports Mason’s growing research programs. All new IBC protocols, renewals, and modifications to existing protocols must be entered into RAMP. The RAMP Safety module can be accessed here. Training on how to navigate the application and submit a protocol can be found under the training section of the RAMP website and is available through MasonLEAPS.
Reminder: be flexible with students and health concerns
During the height of the pandemic, George Mason University requested that Mason faculty take students at their word when reporting they contracted COVID-19 and respond with compassion and understanding, as well as flexibility in accepting late assignments. COVID cases continue to be reported and faculty are again asked to follow this guidance. As COVID is contagious, students who have tested positive should not be required to attend any on campus course-related activities such as presentations or exams. Faculty are asked to be innovative in working with those individuals in a case-by-case manner.
The Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning continues to collaborate with units across campus to support you in whatever modality your teaching occurs this semester. We invite you to review our updated Syllabus Guidance information this spring. Even if you are familiar with most of Mason’s start-of-semester policies and procedures, we encourage you to take a few minutes to check this page for overviews and for links to updated course policies, technology guides, and resources.
Stearns Center First Year Five
The First Year Five is program for new faculty run by the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning. George Mason University has a deep commitment to inclusivity in all aspects of university life, and faculty’s work in designing and teaching courses is a fundamental aspect of that dedication. Stearns Center, with support from the ARIE Project, the Inclusive Excellence Council, and the Diversity Office, invites new faculty to join this endeavor, increasing their own capacities as teachers while building a network of like-minded peers across the university, starting in their very first weeks at Mason.
Career Influencer Network
The Mason Career Influencers Network is a nationally recognized model for providing career development support to students through their relationships with professors, advisors, success coaches, supervisors, community directors, and many other roles at the university. Learn how to join.
Student Evaluations of Teaching
The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning invites faculty to visit the Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET) website to learn more about the SET process and find answers to frequently asked questions.
Faculty Study Leave
Some projects require extended time away from the university. Mason and the College of Science understand the importance of field research, writing, and study.
In the fall and spring semesters of each academic year, eligible term and tenured faculty at Mason are provided an opportunity to apply for a study leave to advance their scholarly research, teaching, and/or creative activity, including the development of innovative teaching approaches and methods. Leaves are for one semester at full pay and full benefits or an academic year at half pay that can be supplemented with sponsored project funding.
Addressing the Mental Health Crisis on College Campuses
Addressing the mental health crisis on college campuses: Practical strategies for higher education leaders
During the 2020–2021 school year, more than 60% of college students met the criteria for at least one mental health problem. In another national survey, almost three quarters of students reported moderate or severe psychological distress. The number of students seeking help at campus counseling centers increased almost 40% between 2009 and 2015, and continues to rise. Compared with past generations, we are seeing more students on campus today have accessed mental health treatment before college. Stigma around mental health issues also continues to drop, leading more people to seek help instead of suffering in silence. However, campus resources can be limited.
View these slides and watch this webinar to learn about strategies that can be applied by university leadership, administration, faculty, staff, frontline college health professionals, department level, campus level, student body, campus community, parents, etc.
Employee Health & Well-Being
Mason’s Employee Health and Well-Being program is committed to providing occupational and individual health services to George Mason University employees in a convenient and affordable manner. Employee Health and Well-Being, started in the spring of 2022 will offer a variety of well-being focused services and resources to support Mason faculty and staff in their occupational role and personal health goals.
FAFSA Simplification Act
The FAFSA Simplification Act passed by Congress is introducing several changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the 2024-25 aid year. These changes affect all current and prospective students. The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) and Integrated Enrollment Marketing (IEM) are working together with several other departments to provide details about these changes to students, faculty, and staff as they become available.
The extent of these changes is still being determined but are known to include:
- Updates to how aid is calculated
- The implementation of a revised, streamlined application
- The introduction of the “contributor” role
As a result of these updates, the 2024-25 FAFSA will not open on October 1, as it usually does. It is projected to become available in December 2023.
The central resource for this information is the FAFSA Simplification page. This page will be updated throughout this year’s FAFSA process and can be linked to in all communications about the 2024-25 aid year.
Mason Alert is George Mason University’s emergency notification system that is used to send emergency notifications and timely warnings to the university community via text, email, telephone call, and digital signage.
Visit the Mason Ready Faculty and Staff page for information and resources to help you prepare yourself, colleagues, students, and office for an emergency at George Mason University. If you have any questions about emergency preparedness, please contact the Environmental Health & Safety Office (EHS).
Mason's Low-Cost/No Cost Textbook Options
To be in line with Mason’s mission of inclusive support of students, the university has taken steps to help reduce those costs and ease students’ financial burdens, improving the likelihood that they possess course materials. Mason Libraries not only adds curriculum-relevant materials to its collections, such as course-adopted e-books available to unlimited simultaneous users (with support from VIVA in AY2022-23), but it also promotes the adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) – freely-accessible textbooks, modules, videos, tests, assessment tools, and software – that can be implemented across the colleges.
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