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George Mason president delivers new vision

Nick Anderson, The Washington Post

George Mason University’s new president staked out a position Friday somewhat unusual for the leader of a school deemed an up-and-comer: He’s explicitly not trying to make it the best in the world.

What we’re going to try to become is the best university for the world,” GMU President Angel Cabrera said. “That’s our goal.”

Cabrera, who took the helm of Virginia’s largest public university in July, rolled out what was billed as a new vision for GMU in an inauguration ceremony for the university’s sixth president at Patriot Center in Fairfax.

The vision is heavy on concepts such as innovation, research and engagement with the world, but somewhat light on details. Cabrera said those would come later in a strategic plan.

Still, for a youthful university, a vision statement is more than a routine public relations exercise. It is essential to figuring out where the school is headed. GMU became independent from the University of Virginia in 1972 and now has 33,000 students spread over three campuses in Northern Virginia and other locations.

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