George Mason University Korea’s
New Campus Dean
Professor Robert MATZ
An expert on English literature and an avid fan of Shakespeare, Professor Robert MATZ started his career at George Mason University. After 25 years of service, he has been appointed Dean of GMUK Campus this year. Meet Dr. MATZ and find out more about his ambitions and plans for the future.
Q. Congratulations on becoming the new dean of George Mason University Korea (GMUK). Please tell us how you feel?
I’m really excited to be the dean and very happy to be working here at Incheon Global Campus (IGC) with its great international vision and energy. More than anything, it will be an amazing experience for me to share George Mason’s education and vision with students in Asia.
Q. How did you first start at George Mason University?
George Mason University was where I first started my career. I have been working here for 25 years now. George Mason welcomes people and helps them to grow. That is one of the reasons that made me want to stay here. The university’s location was great, too. Being close to Washington D.C., it offered excellent cultural benefits, such as access to the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian museums. As for me, I was delighted to live close to the Folger Shakespeare Library, which covers everything related to Shakespeare and the English Renaissance. I could even hop on my bicycle and head to the Folger library.
Q. You’ve been working at George Mason since 1993. What was your main field of study?
My field of study is English Renaissance literature. In this field, I have focused on two areas: sex and gender in the Renaissance period, and English Renaissance literary theory. In this second area, I study how people in the English Renaissance understood the role and value of literature.
Q. How is George Mason different from other universities? What is the background of George Mason University in the U.S.?
There are two things. First, we communicate on a more equal footing instead of placing ourselves in a strict hierarchical system; I believe that this openness has helped boost the university’s growth, which can be seen in how George Mason encourages research by students and pursues diversity. In addition, George Mason’s geographical location has played a vital role, as it is close to Washington D.C. and is located in Northern Virginia, an economically thriving region. Mason’s strong leadership is yet another factor.
Q. What is your future plan and vision as the new GMUK dean?
As GMUK continues to enjoy growth, I am going to make sure that it offers a great environment and pay more attention to students, faculty, and staff. To ensure quality classes, we are going to engage in dynamic exchanges of research with faculty on the home campus so that GMUK students may enjoy greater benefits and hone their competitiveness. GMUK will also work with other IGC universities in partnerships and exchanges to ensure that our students enjoy their campus life more than ever.
Q. Can you send a message of encouragement to GMUK students working hard to make their dreams come true?
You will run into unexpected obstacles and variables during your college life. If you ever experience any difficulties, don’t hesitate to look around and ask for help. George Mason is always there to help you.