George Mason in the News

Posted: April 13, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason recently received.

Friday, April 6, Washington Post

Battle to Win Top Colleges’ Nod Escalating

“The latest data show that the frantic competition to get into the most selective colleges is only going to get worse. The U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics says the number of graduating high school seniors will peak at 3.3 million in 2011 and decline only slightly to 3.2 million by 2016. Most educators predict that the percentage of those students going to college — now about 67 percent — will increase and make the application process even more stressful. Andrew Flagel, dean of admissions at George Mason University, even predicts that the retired boomers, seeing education as a jolly pastime, will be shoving aside some of their children and grandchildren to take up university spaces. ‘We can already see the rapidly increasing market for university-based retirement communities,’ he said.”

Friday, April 6, USA Today

Controversy over Bush’s Gambit Grows

“Bush ranks fourth among modern presidents in granting recess appointments, bypassing the Senate 165 times to get his nominees in place, according to the Senate historian’s office. Ronald Reagan holds the record with 243 appointments. The Constitution authorized recess appointments so presidents could fill key vacancies during long periods of congressional inactivity, which was the norm in early U.S. history. ‘The question is whether this is the politically wise thing to do,’ said Mark Rozell, a separation of powers specialist [public policy professor] at George Mason University. ‘It makes for a more difficult relationship with certain members of the Senate,’ he said.”

Monday, April 9, Washington Post

Professor Helps Sell GMU’s New Image

“George Mason University’s men’s basketball team had barely crashed the NCAA Final Four in 2006 when Mason President Alan Merten and his staff went to work to capitalize on their newfound fame. Case in point: the latest BusinessWeek, which serves up a full-page advertisement featuring Mason economist and author Richard Florida, the university’s Hirst Professor of Public Policy. It’s one of a series of ads the school has been running in national publications in the past year. Florida has made a mini-industry out of his theories that smart, innovative thinkers — such as engineers, writers, entertainers and artists — are crucial to the success of U.S. cities and competitiveness. ‘His thesis is that 20- and 30-year-olds first decide where they want to live, and then they decide what kind of job they want and where they want to work,’ Merten said. ‘They are more interested in location.’ Merten said the ad is meant to emphasize that the Washington region has the kind of cultural, sports, academic and service amenities that are a magnet for the best and brightest young people.”

Monday, April 9, Associated Press

Baghdad ‘Is Not a City Anymore’

“Iraqis wonder: Can a place where men blow themselves up in street markets, cars implode at traffic lights and kidnappings occur in broad daylight ever recover?

There is a way out, say historians and sociologists. ‘It’s one of those terrible situations where you are at first aghast that such things could happen,’ said Jack Goldstone, a sociologist [public policy professor] at George Mason University, who specializes in international conflict. ‘And then you realize that people are people and they’ve been doing this kind of thing forever and it’s not the end of the world. People do go on. But, for any [peace] to occur, there has to be a settlement that provides security for the people of Iraq,’ he cautioned. ‘And we’re a long way from that.’”

Wednesday, April 11, Washington Post

What Is Revealed by a Crack in the ‘Good Person’ Facade

“Racism. So many bristle at it, wishing it weren’t so, denying its existence, calling those who raise it paranoid. Like it isn’t a fact of American life. Roger Wilkins knows racism, has witnessed it, experienced it, studied it. ‘It’s deep in the culture,’ he says. A George Mason University professor and author of ‘Jefferson’s Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism,’ he talks of the comfort zone that has been afforded many in the majority culture, white men in particular, to exercise a kind of systemic social superiority that allows them to put down folks of a different kind. It’s what Wilkins calls ‘white male privilege’ and the ‘psychic comfort’ it offers. ‘I think with Imus it really is that he’s been getting away with so much stuff for so long that he misjudged the size of his comfort zone,’ said Wilkins.”

Wednesday, April 11, Chicago Sun-Times

Head over Heels for Lincoln’s Hat

“The state is trying to acquire a significant private collection of Abraham Lincoln artifacts whose centerpiece is an iconic stovepipe hat worn by the 16th president and valued by one expert at $5 million. Talks are ongoing with renowned Lincoln collector Louise Taper on a deal that potentially could greatly expand the number of precious showpieces on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. ‘The Taper collection is without equal in terms of Lincolniana still in private hands,’ said Richard Norton Smith, former director of the Lincoln library and museum and now on the faculty at George Mason University. ‘It certainly would overnight, I suspect, double the number of artifacts that are on display in the current museum.’”

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