First-Year Applications to GW on Track to Record High in 2021

Faculty Senate heard updates on enrollment, fall planning, Commencement and new personnel.

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April 12, 2021

The George Washington University has received its most-ever first year applications during the 2021 admissions and enrollment cycle, Provost M. Brian Blake told the Faculty Senate on Friday. The university has received over 27,000 undergraduate applications and has extended offers of admission to about 13,000 students, putting GW on track to meet enrollment goals set by the Future Enrollment Planning Task Force.

“I’d like to thank our faculty and staff, who have limited enrollment decreases by continuing to provide a high-quality academic experience,” Dr. Blake said. “Students have really talked about how well the classes have been delivered and how committed the faculty are to making sure that their material is covered.”

Dr. Blake said enrollment for GW’s graduate programs and summer 2021 courses are also high, with many graduate programs continuing to admit students on a rolling basis. Virtual “Inside GW” days will take place over the coming weeks to engage prospective students, and some small, socially distanced groups will also tour safely in person.

GW President Thomas J. LeBlanc said the university remains on track for in-person opening to the fullest extent possible this fall. While testing expectations and public health guidelines remain in flux, he said, “We are preparing as broadly and flexibly as possible to be able to support our community as we go back to in-person.”

The president and provost marked the appointments of new women’s basketball coach Caroline McCombs and Corcoran School of the Arts and Design director Lauren Onkey. They also discussed ongoing preparations for the upcoming university-wide virtual Commencement on May 16. Students are receiving biweekly communications on the ongoing Commencement preparations, and the first wave of graduation boxes will go out to the class of 2021 starting in late April.

The Faculty Senate heard reports from its committees and also honored parliamentarian Steve Charnovitz, an associate professor of law, who has held the position continuously for 13 years—the longest any GW parliamentarian has served—with a resolution of appreciation.

“Professor Charnovitz has won the highest level of respect and gratitude from his colleagues, administrators and the members of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, where he also serves as parliamentarian with great distinction,” said Miriam Galston, vice chair of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, reading from the resolution.

The senate confirmed Sarah Binder, professor of political science in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, as its next parliamentarian. GW Law associate professor Joan Schaffner was approved as chair of the Dispute Resolution Committee.

The senate also approved as members of the Executive Committee Hugh Agnew of the Elliott School of International Affairs; Miriam Galston of GW Law; Harald Griesshammer of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences; Shaista Khilji of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development; Ellen Kurtzman of the School of Nursing; Kim Roddis of the School of Engineering and Applied Science; Jim Tielsch of the Milken Institute School of Public Health; Arthur Wilson of the GW School of Business, chair; and Robert Zeman of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Chris Bracey, vice provost for faculty affairs, also provided an update on the school bylaws revision process.

This was the final Faculty Senate meeting of the 2020-21 term. The new term begins in May.

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President Thomas LeBlanc also recognized the one-year anniversary of the pandemic during Friday’s Faculty Senate meeting.