The Mason Office of Distance Learning within the Office of the Provost searching for a Vice Provost for Digital Innovation and Learning, a new administrative title within the university.
According to Mason Provost and Executive Vice-President David Wu, like any other position similar to this one, there is a search committee that has been put together and they conduct a national search for this position. In this particular case it is co-chaired by Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education Janette Muir.
Wu said the Office of the Provost has been getting a good number of applications and they expect that the position will be filled by the beginning of the 2015 fall semester.
The Office of the Provost has posted on several online hiring websites like Indeed.com and Higheredjobs.com explaining what the job is and what the responsibilities are.
“The Vice Provost will lead Mason’s institutional transformation toward a digitally savvy, comprehensive global research university at the forefront of educational innovation,” the Higheredjobs.com post said.
Wu said this position will be different from other administrative positions in that it will bring in a new dimension in terms of digital learning and innovation.
“In the past we had a position, which is a director for distance education, [but] that is a much narrower defined position,” Wu said.”[This new position is] really about looking at the whole digital media and learning environment as a whole and how do we incorporate that into our mainstream educational process.”
Wu continued that the new Provost position was created in response to the needs of the students in terms of technological education.
“The world is changing so we need to change along with the world, so to speak, and this is a bit of a missing link. We have some dimension of it but we haven’t embraced it to the full extent as we need to,” Wu said.
Wu continued that learning is more than just a transfer of knowledge, it’s learning how to learn and students finding the information for themselves and technology allows students to do that. He said that’s why technology is so important and the reason this position is now in existence.
Wu added that technology allows the students to be more interactive when learning.
“One concept would be allowing the student in the classroom to have direct access to the web and using that as a backdrop for the discussion to take place and that they may bring out a film or bring out a particular picture or article and using that to have a discussion,” Wu said.
Wu said students are Mason’s first priority and they value running the university to give students what they need.
“When you leave here, [we want] you to feel that you really got that value of your education,” Wu said. “This is something we work very hard to [do, to] deliver that promise.”