Faculty Senate Hears Report on Proposed Krasnow Reorganization

Posted: March 8, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Under a new proposal for reorganizing the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, the institute would have two new departments – molecular neuroscience and social complexity – and would “collaborate in degree granting” with the College of Science and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, according to Krasnow Director James Olds.

Olds outlined the reorganization, which is based on the structure on Mason’s Institute of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, at the monthly Faculty Senate meeting on Wednesday.

Currently, the Krasnow Institute does not have academic departments or grant degrees, although as a “transdisciplinary” entity, the institute has many researchers with appointments in other university schools and colleges. Olds described the work of the institute as being “at the intersection of neuroscience, cognitive psychology and computer science.”

As part of the reorganization, a new neuroscience advisory council would be formed. The council would be composed of the chairs of the Departments of Psychology and Bioinformatics, as well as the new molecular neuroscience department, Olds said. The provost would hold “a deciding vote” on the council.

In response to a question, Olds said the reorganization would not involve a financial outlay since the administration of the new departments would be handled with existing Krasnow resources.

In other Faculty Senate business, Board of Visitors members Sidney Dewberry, rector, and Ernst Volgenau gave a report on the BOV’s “world-class university” initiative, saying the group would be developing a vision statement and “criteria, objectives and actions” for attaining world-class status for Mason. Acknowledging that financial resources were a stumbling block, Volgenau said he hoped the university could set aside funds specifically to help meet the goals of the initiative.

The senate also heard a report from Carrie Meyer, associate professor of economics, on the Green Campus Committee. Meyer noted some university efforts toward “greening” the Mason campuses, including a commitment from Facilities that two new buildings, Academic II on the Arlington Campus and the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering on the Fairfax Campus, would incorporate green goals.

Other positive aspects, Meyer said, include a $1.2 million reduction in energy expenses over the past few years, a new Parking and Transportation Department focused on energy-saving options, a green “living/learning floor” in student housing, and a cooperative spirit among faculty, staff, students and administration.

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