President Merten Gives Spring Faculty Address

Posted: March 27, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch

“Despite the difficult and unusual times in which we live right now, George Mason continues to move ahead,” President Alan Merten said yesterday in remarks to faculty and staff at his annual spring address in the Johnson Center.

The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences awarded last fall to Vernon Smith and the recently held dialog between students from George Mason and the University of Baghdad were cited by Merten as unique examples of “what we do here at George Mason and how we do things.”

“It is efforts like these, along with many outstanding efforts by a number of individuals, that define and distinguish our institution,” he said.

Merten noted that a review is currently being conducted to determine how many members of the surrounding community and region, excluding students and employees, utilize George Mason during the course of a calendar year. Preliminary estimates show more than one million people take advantage of the university’s three campuses each year.

Regarding the university’s budget situation, Merten expects the Board of Visitors to again raise tuition for the upcoming 2003-04 academic year. In the past three years, George Mason has lost $28 million in state support. Its two hikes in tuition as a result of those cuts have recouped only $18 million, and the university has enrolled 3,000 more students during that time.

Merten assured the audience that he and others within the administration will continue to fight for the university and work closely with the Governor’s Office and with members of the General Assembly.

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