The Board of Visitors met Wednesday to discuss tuition and room and board hikes in addition to George Mason University’s expansion into South Korea. The board also honored several Mason faculty members including President Alan Merten.
Visitor Mark McGettrick introduced a number of motions that were passed by the board. These included a 3.8 percent increase in tuition in summer 2013 and an overall increase of 3.24 percent in room and board rates for the same year.
Also discussed at the meeting was Mason’s expansion into South Korea, a project known as the Songdo initiative. Before Mason can become a part of the Songdo international campus in South Korea, it must receive certain financial data from South Korean officials. The board expects to receive the information sometime in April, in time before the board’s last meeting.
A new master’s degree in commerce was also approved. The degree will be part of the school of management.
The Mason Medal was awarded to Merten and Visitor Lovey Hammel for their services to Mason. Emeritus status was conferred upon Thomas Hennessey, university chief of staff for the Office of the President.
Peter Pober, chair of the Faculty Senate, was honored with a plaque and was personally thanked by Rector Ernst Volgenau for his years of service.
Pober served as chair of the Faculty Senate and faculty representative to the Board of Visitors starting in 2009 and will continue to serve until the end of this semester. Volgenau will also be leaving his position as rector of the Board of Visitors at the end of this semester.
In Pober’s report to the Board of Visitors, he stated that there was some unrest concerning faculty salaries.
Compared to their peers, Mason faculty is in the third percentile in regard to salary.
Pober also commented on the fact that in addition to the upcoming departure of Provost Peter Stearns, several deans will also be leaving their positions.
Visitor Kimberly Dennis reported that the number of alumni donors has increased since last year.
“We had just under 5,000 last year,” Dennis said. “This year we have over 6,000.”
At the conclusion of the open session of the Board of Visiors with Ted Marchese, an independent consultant on search and transitions, volunteered to speak on the importance of a smooth transition for president-elect Ángel Cabrera.
The board’s next and final meeting before the end of the semester will be on May 9.