Matz to return to English Department after five years at the helm of Mason Korea


Robert Matz, dean of the George Mason University’s Korea Campus, will conclude his term at the end of the Spring 2024 semester and return to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as a faculty member of the Department of English.

Robert Matz stands at a podium, speaking into a microphone, while wearing full graduation regalia.
Dean Robert Matz at Mason Korea's Spring 2023 Commencement. Photo courtesy of Mason Korea

During his time as dean, Mason Korea student enrollment grew at average rate of 12% annually, from 566 students in Spring 2019 to 906 this fall. New degree programs, a new pathway program, development of the visibility and reputation of the campus, and improved retention drove this growth. The number of U.S. students studying at Mason Korea more than doubled during his tenure as well.

Dean Matz’s hard work has transformed the campus, with significant impacts on student enrollment and success, the campus’ capacity for research, and the development of community relationships,” said Provost Mark R. Ginsberg.

Some of Dean Matz’s most notable accomplishments include the establishment of an enhanced faculty governance structure at Mason Korea and his work with faculty and staff, both in Korea and the United States, to increase coordination and cooperation between Mason’s campuses.  

“It has been an absolute privilege to work these past several years at Mason Korea,” Matz said. “I look forward to my final two semesters here and to celebrating the 10th anniversary of the campus’ founding this coming spring.”

Throughout his time at Mason Korea, Dean Matz’s priorities focused on student success through experiential learning, undergraduate student research, and the growth of University Life opportunities.

Under Matz’s direction, Mason Korea established an Industry-University Collaboration Foundation—the South Korean corollary to a U.S. Office of Sponsored Programs—and began offering executive education programs, which allowed the campus to accept South Korean government funding for faculty research.

Matz also built relationships that led to a partnership with the City of Incheon to establish lifelong learning projects for members of the community. In addition, philanthropic support of Mason Korea increased from $30,000 annually in 2019 to $150,000 in 2022. 

A search for the next dean of Mason Korea will begin soon, Ginsberg said.