As part of George Mason University’s commitment to maintaining broad-based representation and input throughout the reaffirmation of accreditation process, the Office of the Provost conducted a search for a faculty member to serve on the Reaffirmation Leadership Team. This week Provost S. David Wu announced that Oscar Barton, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Volgeneau School of Engineering, will serve as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Faculty Fellow.
Barton brings extensive leadership and accreditation experience to the team. In addition, he has demonstrated experience in working with both faculty and administration to advance university initiatives. As part of the Reaffirmation Leadership Team, Barton will represent the faculty, working closely with the director of accreditation and the other committee members to provide input, strategic direction, planning, and leadership throughout the reaffirmation process.He will also share in the leadership of the Quality Enhancement Plan topic selection process.
Every 10 years, Mason’s accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges must be reaffirmed. The university is now gearing up for the next reaffirmation, which will be finalized in 2022. Reaffirmation includes the development of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is an institution-wide self-study and preparation of a five-year initiative to enhance student learning and/or student success.
Barton joined Mason in 2014 after completing a 22-year career at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was one of only three African Americans to obtain the rank of tenured full professor and the first within the academy’s Division of Engineering and Weapons. As the department chair, he oversaw the accreditation of two engineering programs and the creation of the nuclear engineering program, the first in the history of the academy.