Kelly to Help Steer University to Greater Student Success

Kelly to Help Steer University to Greater Student Success

T. Mills Kelly, faculty member in the Department of History & Art History, has been named a Presidential Fellow by George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera.

The focus of his fellowship is student success, which links directly to the university’s strategic plan.

“Student success is at the core of everything we do here at Mason,” says Kelly. “One of our most challenging goals in the new strategic plan is to substantially increase our six year graduation rate by 2024, and my work this year will be focused on that strategic goal.”

Kelly is not new to this mission, having worked previously with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as its associate dean for enrollment and development. His challenge is to find ways to continue to improve on Mason’s already strong six-year graduation rate.  

Although Mason graduates nearly 70 percent of its students within six years, Kelly is tasked with finding ways to improve those statistics. He plans to do so by considering best practices at universities throughout the United States, and by working to see which of these best practices will fit at Mason. By examining all of the factors that play into a student’s success and by innovatively using available information to better inform Mason’s students about their progress, he reasons, the university will be able to facilitate their development into successful, career-ready graduates.

He looks forward to the challenge. 

“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” he says, “both because I will be working closely with President Cabrera, Provost Wu, and the executive leadership team, but also because I think I have a lot to offer the university when it comes to connecting our academic and student services efforts.” 

Kelly is only the third named Presidential Fellow at Mason; he follows in the footsteps of Sarah Nutter, dean, School of Management, and Phillip Auerswald, associate professor of public policy, who is finishing his presidential fellowship term this summer.