George Mason University is seeing a steady increase in research awards, fall enrollment numbers and in its number of graduates, based on reports to the Board of Visitors at their May 4 meeting.
The value of awards to George Mason University researchers is up 35% from this time last year, “a leading indicator for continued long-term growth for our research expenditures,” Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Economic Impact Andre Marshall reported at the BOV research committee meeting.
Through three quarters of the 2022-23 fiscal year, the value of awards has climbed to $200 million, up from $147.9 at this point last year. The value of proposals of $536.6 million is up from $488.4 million, and the number of proposals has increased to 972 from 950.
A majority of the board approved a $300 tuition increase that would be rolled back for in-state undergraduates if state leaders approve Mason’s budget requests. The BOV will approve an amended budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year once Virginia finalizes its spending plan. The BOV committee and full board meetings were livestreamed on GMU-TV. Complete meeting materials can be found here.
Also included in the meeting was the presentation of the annual Jack Wood Awards for Town-Gown Relations.
Provost Mark Ginsberg, in his report to the Academic Programs, Diversity and University Community committee, outlined good news about Mason alumni, students about to graduate, and students headed to Mason this fall.
A Mason Career Plans Survey found that 87% of Class of 2022 graduates reported a positive career outcome and that 86% of graduates are employed in Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia, “which is a testament to the economic impact of our university on our community,” Ginsberg said. Survey respondents report a median salary of $72,000.
Ginsberg noted that Mason is on track this spring to graduate its largest class in its history, with nearly 11,000 students earning degrees and certificates. Area employers are eager to hire them as well. About 100 employers are expected at the 2023 Just-in-Time Hiring Fair on May 22 in Dewberry Hall.
“This is an event that other universities do not do this late in the season,” said Saskia Campbell, executive director of University Career Services. “It is because we have such high demand from our employers and graduates that we are able to host an event that late in the season. The indicators are very good.”
And on May 1, Mason had its largest number ever of prospective incoming students making deposits to attend the university, up about 320 from last May. Fall enrollment also is ahead of May 2022.
“We anticipate, if all things come as we expect, we will have the largest incoming class the university has ever had in our history this fall,” Ginsberg said. “We are clearly an outlier in the most positive of ways.”
He also gave an update to the board about plans for a medical school for Mason, sharing three possible pathways that venture could take.
The BOV continued its May tradition of honoring graduates from the university’s Early Identification Program, which works with Northern Virginia middle and high schools to find economically disadvantaged scholars and provide pathways for those students to become the first members of their family to attend college and earn a degree.
The BOV this year saluted 23 graduating EIP students, including criminology, law and society major and Honors College student Noel Quezada, who shortly after graduation will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. EIP Director Khaseem Davis said the program also is celebrating 120 high school graduates in EIP.
“I can't imagine my life without this one-of-a-kind program made up of the most sincere hearts,” Quezada said in his remarks to the board. “As EIP alumni, we will be ever indebted to the program and the opportunity this has given our families and [it’s] given us a place we can call our second home.”
“It is always good to have a reminder of why we are here and what is important,” Mason President Gregory Washington said. “Every time one of our students gets up and speaks, it becomes very clear what the purpose of all of this is and quite frankly you just want to make sure they have everything that they need and deserve in order to be successful.”