Andrew Flagel is the dean of admissions at George Mason University. He also teaches in the Department of Communication, is an avid Mason basketball fan and a featured speaker. This week, we sat down with Flagel to discuss life and the finer points of Mason admissions.

Q: How long have you been at Mason?

A: This is my 10th year. I came in as a dean in 2001.

Q: How would you describe your experience so far?

A: I have been fortunate. It has been an institution that has been changing and there is never a dull moment. There is always something spectacular being developed.

Q: What exactly does the dean of admissions do?

A: I am both blessed and cursed that I get to manipulate teenagers. I get them excited to come here, but I also have to tell some of them no. My job changes from day to day. I do speeches, pep band events and develop relationships with Northern Virginia Community College. I also do a fair amount of collaboration with the faculty here on various projects.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: That I truly believe in what I get to do each day and that I get to work with people who are more talented than me. This includes faculty and staff. It can be a challenge to keep up.

Q: How selective do you think Mason is?

A: We are now one of the most selective in the country and we will become more so because of the experience we have here. There is a great discussion of what the university will become in the next phase; Mason has not followed in everyone else’s footsteps. We will continue to be selective and it is the result of the incredible development of the institutions that we have here. Personally, I think it is odd that an institution would build its reputation on exclusion. We have built our reputation by being successful by building ourselves up.

Q: When you look at a college application, what are you looking for?

A: The academic record is the most important because it shows trends in grades and classes taken. I am looking for academic talent but at the same time, there is no magic formula. There are a variety of factors that change from year to year.

Q: Do you think your application would have gotten you into Mason now?

A: I would not have gotten in here. I would be a solid wait-list candidate.

Q: In one sentence, what do you think is Mason’s biggest appeal?

A: Location, location, location! It is our location paired with the traditions of the institutions here. Not many places have such a strong connection between global diversity and the campus.

Q: The Mason campus is rapidly expanding. Do you expect the student body to expand with it?

A: The construction and remodeling meets the needs of the students we have. We are creating the capacity for growth as well.

Q: Do you have any words you would like to say to prospective students?

A: I am not going to create a cure for cancer or write a great sonata, but the students we bring here will. Come to Mason and change the world.