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EMExecutive spotlights are in-depth Q&A’s which ExecutiveBiz conducts with numerous chief and top-level executives in GovCon.
The access afforded by these interviews helps provide insight as to how companies are acquiring new business, what the future holds and the personal side of corporate leaders.
This past week, ExecutiveBiz published a spotlight with Alan Merten, the former president of George Mason University.
In the interview, Merten discussed the growth of the University, his efforts to build the brand of the University and the role of IT in education.
Merten said the school used to be known for only a few specialties. 
“In the early days of George Mason, they recognized George Mason had to be a partner with the information technology community, both the government and the contractors, and then the support of the attorneys. Information technology, public policy and economics were basically the three pillars of George Mason in the early days,” he said.
The University has grown in both size and reputation since then and includes some very well known professors from industry and government.
“Our students today in public policy can walk into a class and the professor is Michael Hayden. Or they can walk into an economics class and the professor is Steve Pearlstein. These are people who are very successful in the non-academic world teaching academic things but through a perspective of the world of work,” he added.
Merten said that in order for IT to continue to grow and for workers to stay in the U.S., immigration policy must be altered. 
“We have immigration policies that force them to leave. We want to attract them from around the world, particularly in the sciences and technology sectors, and we want them to stay here. They used to stay here and now our policies encourage them to leave. We’re losing something by doing that. We have to change immigration policies for people who come to the U.S. for education,” he said. 
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