George Mason will be the university needed by a region and world driven by new social, economic and technological realities. (Vision Statement, 2000). Our location is key: The nations capital region is the epicenter of the worlds political web, its information and communications network and its new economy. Through it, George Mason will reach out to the world. George Masons historic strengthsinnovation, responsiveness, flexibility, and interactivity with its communitywill continue to shape our direction and our culture.
Because of the unique nature of this region, George Mason is an integral part of a diverse set of communities that reach far beyond immediate geographic boundaries: Northern Virginia, the Greater Washington area, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nations capital and the worlds capital. The university's relationship with its communitiesthe degree to which we both draw upon and contribute to their strengthswill be a key factor in our continuing success.
By 2007, George Mason will be closing in on our target enrollment of 30,000 students at our three campuses in Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William, and through activities in Loudoun County. Reaching this target calls for an aggressive yet selective increase in enrollment between 2001 and 2007. The university will grow by nearly 1,000 students each year, an approximately 4 percent growth rate. The student population will expand at both the graduate and undergraduate level, with headcount enrollment split roughly 35/65 between the two. We will expand graduate programs to meet the growing workforce needs of the region, while the undergraduate population will increase to meet the accelerating demand for access to college in Virginia.
The needs of this dynamic region will drive programmatic developments. We will give major emphasis to academic and research programs in policy, information technology, the sciences, and the arts, with significant attention also to conflict resolution, management, nursing, and education. Research efforts, involving a mix of applied and basic research, will focus on partnerships with industry and government, and the level of external funding will have doubled to at least $90 million a year. We will accentuate liberal arts education at the undergraduate level, including an innovative and focused core curriculum. All curricula will share a commitment to global education and research and to ensuring that students graduate with competence in current technologies.
We will undertake a major building program over the next six years, resulting in three new academic buildings at the Fairfax campus, a new research building, a student services building bringing together all student enrollment operations, and possible public-private partnerships to create research park-like space on the west side of the campus. Additional housing units will add space for another 2,000 students, bringing the total to 5,000 students in residence. Major campus expansion will occur at the Prince William Campus, with one additional academic/research building, an arts center and expanded research space. At the Arlington campus, we will complete Arlington II, and begin planning for Arlington III. Publicly funded development at this campus will be supplemented by the development of adjacent land owned by the George Mason University Foundation.
While George Masons students will continue to improve in quality as measured in traditional ways, they will increasingly match the culture of the institution in being innovative, entrepreneurial, curious and diverse in race, culture and age.
The Commonwealth of Virginia will continue to be the primary source of funding for George Mason, but private support will increase significantly. This plan is based on the premise that our endowment will grow by over 50 percent to $60 million and annualized giving will exceed $20 million annually.
The goals for George Mason over the next five years are ambitious. They
depend on a number of factors beyond simply adding new programs or even adding