Brian Platt, associate professor and chair of Mason’s History and Art History Department, has been named a Presidential Fellow for the 2018-19 academic year. Platt is the seventh Presidential Fellow, succeeding associate professor Jaime Lester.
Platt will assist Mason President Ángel Cabrera on projects related to faculty engagement. His top priority, he said, is to facilitate communication between the faculty and the administrative sides of the university.
“This presidential fellowship will provide me with an excuse to find out more about the work that my colleagues across the campus are actually doing, so that I can work with the university’s administrative offices to better support it,” said Platt, who looks forward to building better relationships between faculty and university administration.
Platt said he also hopes to see changes in the administrative operations of the university, so that faculty get the sense that the university really understands and values what they do.
“This is an ambitious undertaking, given the size and complexity of our university bureaucracy,” said Platt. “But it would be rewarding for me if, at the end of the year, we would have some practices in place that would encourage the administration to consistently put faculty perspectives at the center of its policies and procedures.”
Platt is a specialist in Japanese history, with a research focus on the 18th and 19th centuries. He has taught courses on Japanese and Asian history, as well as comparative courses on issues such as modernization, memory, gender and national identity.