Skip to main

Dean’s Blog: Time to plug in

Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

You’ve recently come to hear the phrase, ‘plug in’ to refer to types of electric cars. Another meaning of this phrase is to be ‘in the know’ or to engage with some activity or organization. Ironically, the end result is the same; both meanings bring a charge and impetus for movement for something or someone.

Now it’s your time…to plug in.

In the coming week, during the [State of the College Address} on October 19, 2022, I will be sharing our accomplishments and ambitious, exciting next steps as a college and as the science community at George Mason University. You can register and ‘plug in’ to better understand ways to engage and where we are aspiring to go. This week prior to the address, I delivered this information to the college’s Advisory Board, seeking their ideas and input. And then to the Provost’s team on the academic and financial front, to make sure all were aware and aligned on our efforts.

Over the past year, among the enrollment and research growth goals, the college has focused on three main priorities – transparently building infrastructure for success through 1) improving faculty and staff compensation, while 2) retaining our students and employees, and 3) establishing a new path forward with our AJEDI* strategic plan to build a culture and community where inclusive excellence = academic excellence. *(AJEDI stands for Access, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion).

At the State of the College Address, I will share our progress thus far.

I will also detail ways our stakeholders can plug in to share their thoughts, innovative ideas for change and growth, and ongoing feedback on our progress. Although this is a busy midpoint of the year, you will want to carve out time to be there if you can.

For example, in the coming year, starting this fall, we are undertaking the development of our college’s strategic plan. Our efforts will plug in directly to the university’s overarching strategic plan to engage university resources to help us amplify and reach our goals. Ways to plug in and be part of this effort have already begun to emerge.

Last week, in the college faculty meeting, the strategic plan was one of the brainstorming topics. People who attended the meeting discussed their ideas with members of the college leadership team to indicate opportunities and concerns. Thanks for plugging in.

Over the past few weeks, I asked members of our community to consider serving on one of the two committees to drive the college’s strategic planning process. Thank you to those who volunteered to help as well as those who nominated their peers. I’ll introduce you to those two teams at the State of the College Address.

And a huge thanks to those of you who have worked with Paula Danquah Brobby, the Director of our college’s efforts to help build out the components of our AJEDI strategy. You will hear some details at the State of the College address and there will be a faculty meeting on November 3 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Exploratory Hall 3301 to plug in and learn specific ways you can engage.A date for staff to learn about AJEDI efforts will be selected and announced soon.

If AJEDI endeavors are important to you, consider plugging into all (or at least part of) the Mason-hosted Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence (ARIE) Conference on October 24. This full day virtual or in person event at Mason Square in Arlington provides a forum for higher education, industry, government, nonprofit, and other changemakers tocritically discuss anti-racism and inclusive excellence in the academy; share effective practices and resources to advance anti-racism and inclusive excellence; and amplify the visibility and impact of research, scholarship, and creative activities conducted by national scholars.

The ARIE conference is an opportunity to learn, change, and grow together—ultimately preparing us to work better together. And by plugging into some or all of these efforts and events I’ve mentioned, you can be both better informed and also help shape the college’s dialog and priorities going forward. We can’t do it well without your ideas and support.

Please plug in.


Visit the dean's blog for more insights from Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm.