Mason Core Director
- George Mason University
- Fairfax, VA
As part of George Mason University’s institutional commitment to graduating students who are scholars and citizens who are prepared to act in a diverse, global world, the Office of Undergraduate Education invites applications for a newly created position, the Director of the Mason Core.
George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.
About the Department:
The Office of the Provost is the primary central administrative unit for the university’s academic programs. Its range of interests includes curriculum, instructional personnel, assessment, accreditation, international initiatives, and oversight of the overall academic mission. The Office of Undergraduate Education, within the Office of the Provost, provides more than 25,000 undergraduate students with a quality, engaging undergraduate education and gives them the tools to be Engaged Citizens and Well-Rounded Scholars who are Prepared to Act in a Diverse, Global World. Undergraduate Education manages the Undergraduate and Mason Core Curricula, Academic Advising, Fellowships, and Undergraduate Studies. Undergraduate Education supports our Mason Impact activities, including undergraduate research through the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), and Civic Engagement through the Office of Community Engagement and Civic Learning (CECIL).
The Mason Core curriculum, required of all undergraduate students, is designed to provide students with a broad, shared learning experience that meets state and regional accreditation requirements, facilitates transfer, and builds on Mason’s unique identity as Virginia’s accessible public research university within a global network. Just over a third of undergraduate degree requirements are met within the Mason Core. The Mason Core is divided into three sections: Foundation, Exploration, and Integration. Foundation courses establish key knowledge and skills needed for academic success. Exploration courses provide a breadth of learning across the university. Integration courses include upper-division courses that are designed to integrate knowledge and skills learned from Foundation and Exploration courses with major-specific knowledge, and give students the knowledge and skills needed for success as alumni. Courses in each category are guided by specific student learning outcomes that are assessed on a regular basis.
The Mason Core University Standing Committee is a model of shared governance. The Committee, in collaboration with the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, manages the Mason Core curriculum. The Mason Core Committee consists of the faculty elected by the Faculty Senate and appointed by the Provost’s Office, a Student Senator, and the Associate Provost. Representatives from the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning (OIEP) serve as ex-officio members.
About the Position:
The Director of the Mason Core will provide leadership for our Mason Core curriculum. George Mason University has been enhancing the Mason Core to more clearly reflect our commitment to educating our students for success in a diverse, global world, and to provide a transformative, experiential education for every student. Mason, situated in the American South and the namesake of a slaveholder, is one of the most diverse and globally connected universities in the world. We are uniquely positioned to confront the past and teach students how to create a more equitable future.
The Mason Core Director will be responsible for supporting our faculty and students as we transition from a vision of an Enhanced Mason Core to implementation. The Mason Core Director will report to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and will supervise the Mason Core Curriculum Specialist.
- Serve as an ex-officio member of the Mason Core Committee and as proxy co-chair when needed;
- Develop, in collaboration with the Mason Core Committee, a shared vision for the Mason Core and take the lead on communicating that vision to students, faculty, and the broader Mason community;
- Manage the process of course designation, including a major initiative to update the portfolio of courses for the new and updated requirements;
- Collaborate with the Stearns Center to provide faculty development around courses in the Mason Core, with an emphasis on transitioning to the updated curriculum requirements;
- Work with advisors to help students understand the purpose of the Mason Core and develop a plan to complete their course requirements;
- Increase the success of under-represented students in Mason Core classes, aligned with campus-wide student success initiatives to improve retention and graduation and reduce time to degree;
- Collaborate with Admissions, Advising, and ADVANCE to improve the transfer process;
- Collaborate with University Libraries to increase the use of free, low-cost, and open educational resources in Mason Core classes;
- Collaborate with OIEP and the Mason Core Assessment Committee to support the Mason Core assessment process and use Mason Core assessment to improve the program;
- Serve on the Mason Impact leadership group to scaffold high-impact practices in the curriculum;
- Serve as a member of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education’s senior leadership team, and collaborate with other areas (Advising, Curriculum, Fellowships, Mason Impact, University Studies, CECIL, OSCAR) to meet the mission of Undergraduate Education;
- Participate in the national scholarly conversation about inclusive education and general education, including presenting and publishing on the outcomes of the enhanced Mason Core; and
- Teach at least one class in the Mason Core each year.
Successful candidates will demonstrate:
- Ph.D. or Ed.D. in any field; or equivalent combination of education and experience;
- Significant (generally at least five years) undergraduate-level teaching experience;
- Some (generally at least two years) experience with management of college- or university- wide curriculum; and
- Knowledge of the theory of, and enthusiasm for the value of, university-level liberal arts and general education.
Expected Qualifications- Successful candidates should be able to provide evidence of the following:
- A record of teaching excellence as an instructional faculty member, including expertise teaching undergraduate courses that meet general education requirements and address anti-racism, diversity, equity, globalization, internationalization, and/or social justice;
- Success working with faculty on teaching and learning, particularly in college-wide or interdisciplinary programs;
- A strong commitment to inclusive educational excellence and to new ideas and approaches for strengthening teaching and student learning;
- Knowledge and understanding of current curriculum support approaches specifically around the development, implementation, and assessment of general education courses;
- Expertise in promoting quality course design in undergraduate curricula;
- Commitment to supporting faculty and students from historically under-represented groups;
- Ability to take initiative to meet the mission and goals of an academic initiative;
- Communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to build and maintain collaborative relationships; and
- Flexibility, mission-orientation, organization, inquisitiveness, creativity, high ethical standards, and ability to thrive in our busy, diverse, and collaborative environment.
Successful candidates may demonstrate:
- Experience implementing institution-wide curricular change;
- Experience with high-impact practices;
- Expertise in developing undergraduate courses that address anti-racism, diversity, equity, globalization, internationalization, and/or social justice; and
- A record of research directly related to anti-racism, diversity, equity, globalization, internationalization, and/or social justice.
Special Instructions to Applicants
For full consideration, applicants must apply to position number FA74Jz at https://jobs.gmu.edu/; complete and submit the online application; then upload a cover letter, current CV, and a list of at least three professional references with contact information. Review of applications will begin 6/17/2022, and continue until the position is filled.
George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.
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