The 122-year old tradition of Mount Vernon College as an independent institution of higher learning for women will end as of June 1999. After that date, MVC will become the George Washington University at Mount Vernon College. For the students of Mount Vernon, this decision finally will put to rest some of their anxieties about the future of their college.
But they now have a entirely new set of unanswered questions to worry about. No longer will they deal with administrators and faculty on a personal basis. Welcome to GW.
The merging of the two schools is the best option for both. For Mount Vernon, it will not face total obliteration, and its infrastructure will continue to get desperately needed improvements. However, most MVC professors will be “phased out” of their jobs.
For GW, the merger and acquisition of a significant amount of new land means many new possibilities and options, both for the University and its students. The challenge for the University is to develop plans that best deal with the needs of its students, while at the same time keeping in mind the long and independent tradition of Mount Vernon. The students of MVC must be carefully integrated into the GW community. MVC should not simply be viewed as GW’s latest piece of real estate to be exploited as much as possible.
The best way to ensure the transition is as smooth and painless as possible is to maintain open lines of communication between the University and MVC students. This is where the anxiety starts. GW does not have the best track record of listening to its students. A tendency exists to rule by decree rather than by seeking consensus and approval. To the MVC students who have known their administration on a friendly level, do not be surprised to discover a lack of compassion from the folks here at Foggy Bottom. The key is for the University to be sympathetic to the needs of its newest students.