Donald Parsons

Donald Parsons: GW needs to reconsider expensive new center

Though few have read it, including apparently some top administrators, the University’s “Strategic Plan for Academic Excellence” is often held to be a guiding star for all University activity. If one regularly reads the output of Rice Hall, one might imagine that no leaf falls in Foggy Bottom that was not preordained by the Strategic […]

Donald Parsons: Knapp era begins in earnest

One need not love the Henry James novel Golden Bowl to appreciate that small events can carry great meaning. We have had such an event at GW. A distinguished group of 11 faculty members argue clearly and passionately against the main proposition of one of my recent opinion pieces in The Hatchet. Now the piece, […]

Donald O. Parsons: Close the engineering school

The administration’s attempt to buy out almost 50 percent of the School of Engineering and Applied Science faculty begs the question of whether the buyouts should be extended to all faculty and the operation closed down. The most remarkable aspect of the buyout is its breadth – one half of the faculty. As The Hatchet […]

Donald Parsons: Transforming GW’s School of Public Health

In the heat of the health care debate last fall, The Hatchet reported that “Josef Reum, interim dean of the SPHHS, was tasked by the Board of Trustees to get involved in the debate”. A later Hatchet piece reported that SPHHS has been chronically out of compliance with the Board of Trustees’ requirements (Faculty Code) […]

Donald Parsons: A better way to spend $10 million

The Board of Trustees recently approved spending $10 million of the University’s money to do preliminary planning on the Cologne Cathedral (“Cologne Cathedral on 23rd St.?” Feb. 2, p. 4), otherwise known as the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC). If nothing else, the University should finally learn whether the price tag on the new building […]

Donald Parsons: Cologne Cathedral on 23rd Street?

Like many European commercial centers, Cologne began building a cathedral of extraordinary ambition in the Middle Ages, only to see it remain unfinished for centuries. A work crane hovered over the incomplete south tower and the city for four centuries. GW is proposing a similar “business model” for its monolithic science and engineering building, with […]

Donald Parsons: GW’s lost decade

In a welcome departure from past GW practices, the administration, specifically Senior Vice President Robert Chernak of Student and Academic Support Services, has engaged in a continuing public dialogue with faculty over perceived undergraduate admissions woes, indicating that focus may now be returning to academics and to attracting the best students to GW. Faculty concerns […]

Donald Parsons: ‘Elite’ students at GW

Last spring, The Hatchet caused a stir with the front-page headline, “Intelligent students decrease,” (April 17, p. 1). The story was based upon a Faculty Senate report titled “The Decline of Elite Freshman Enrollments at GW,” undertaken by the Educational Policy Committee that I chaired. The Hatchet headline, though not the article itself, suggested that […]

Donald Parsons: GW’s Great White Whale

A university headed by an English professor needs no reminder that the Pequod and all but one on board were doomed by an obsession. The obsession in GW’s case is the inclusion of a massive, precariously funded science building in the Campus Plan. The need for new science facilities is great. For decades the sciences […]