Colonial Academic Alliance Office Based at Mason

Posted: April 4, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The main office for the Colonial Academic Alliance, an academic partnership of the 12 institutions that comprise the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), is now located on George Mason’s Fairfax Campus. Mary Frances Forcier has also been appointed its new director.

The alliance was created by the CAA presidents in 2002 and is administered by the provosts of the member institutions. The alliance’s programs extend to all aspects of university life outside of intercollegiate athletics. Current programs include an annual undergraduate research conference, the establishment of “visiting academic status” for traveling CAA athletic teams, the coordination of study-abroad programs, and data sharing to improve the academic performance of the member institutions. Future programs may include increased academic exchanges for students, faculty, and staff, as well as sharing scientific and information-technology resources.

Mary Frances Forcier
Mary Frances Forcier
Photo by Evan Cantwell

“I’m delighted that Mary Frances Forcier accepted the CAA position,” says Provost Peter Stearns. “We had several excellent candidates, and she stood out among them in her potential for building a strong program. Having the position based at Mason, though reporting to the whole alliance, will obviously position us to take an active role in academic coordination–as we already have in helping to promote the annual CAA undergraduate research conference. I expect Ms. Forcier to challenge us to keep pace with her ideas.”

Forcier previously served in public relations and publications management roles at the college, university, and independent-school level. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University and a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, where she is currently completing a PhD in history.

“The 12 institutions that make up the CAA are an incredible resource,” Forcier notes. “Collectively, they enroll more than 200,000 students and nearly 10,000 full-time faculty, including three Nobel Prize-winning professors. By working together through the alliance, we can improve the quality of teaching, learning, and research at all of our member institutions.”

In addition to George Mason, other CAA members are the University of Delaware, Drexel University, Georgia State University (to join in July 2005), Hofstra University, James Madison University, Northeastern University (to join in July 2006), Old Dominion University, Towson University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and the College of William and Mary.

“The 12 CAA institutions strongly believe that by cooperating with each other, each individual institution will enhance the educational and professional offerings for all their students, faculty, and administrators,” says CAA Commissioner Thomas Yeager. “The creation of a full-time office with Mary Frances as its administrator will rapidly accelerate the programs that can be offered for this creative alliance.”

Forcier’s office is located in West Building, Room 259. She can be reached at 703-993- 4797 or>/a>.

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