Mason in the News

Posted: February 22, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Monday, Feb. 4, Chronicle of Higher Education

Historians and Other Scholars Fight Proposed Expansion of IRB Rules

“Oral history should not be subject to approval by institutional review boards, according to dozens of comments submitted by historians and others to the federal Office for Human Research Protections, which announced last October that it would amend the rules governing what kinds of research qualify for expedited review by the boards. Zachary Schrag, an assistant professor of history at George Mason University and longtime monitor of IRB oversight, obtained copies of all 65 comments submitted to the federal office. ‘Of these, 38 commented on oral history or folklore, with all but one of those seeking exclusion for such research,’ Mr. Schrag reported over the weekend on his Institutional Review Blog.”

Sunday, Feb. 17, USA Today

Merger Shouldn’t Hurt Cleveland Hub

“Continental Airlines would likely keep its hub at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport if the company combines with United Airlines, a former company official said. The Cleveland hub is too valuable to abandon, especially with Continental’s plans for a $50 million expansion at the airport, said retired Continental chief executive Gordon Bethune. Kenneth Button, who teaches aerospace policy at George Mason University in Virginia, said he could see United’s hub at Denver International Airport growing at Cleveland’s expense. ‘The problem for Cleveland is that United has quite a bit of capacity at Denver, as it is sort of a central hub, but has not got an extensive network in the main markets served by Continental,’ he said.”

Monday, Feb. 18, Arizona Republic

A McCain Cabinet: Who Might Be Tapped?

“Some observers said they could possibly see McCain keeping on Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has been in the job for only a little more than a year. McCain and Gates generally are in alignment on the Iraq war, a major emphasis of McCain’s. McCain also has vowed to immediately shutter the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and has clashed with the Bush White House over the treatment of suspected terrorists. That means any Justice Department and Defense Department officials who justified the use of what McCain considers torture are sure to be dispatched in his administration. ‘I wouldn’t see a big shake-up at the Pentagon, but I would expect that most of the political appointees would be gone as a matter of course, but especially if they’d been involved in the decisions about torture,’ said James Pfiffner, a presidency scholar and professor of public policy at George Mason University in northern Virginia.”

Tuesday, Feb. 19, Denver Post

Independent Vote Unaffiliated Bloc Flexing Its Muscles

“In a bewildering presidential primary season in which changes in momentum have been many and predictions have proven problematic, one lesson seems clear: Independent voters are propelling big wins. When Gallup pollsters started going door to door conducting monthly surveys in 1944, what emerged was a picture of a country with strong party loyalties, said Michael McDonald, an expert on voting who teaches at George Mason University. The civil rights movement changed that, McDonald said. The South, which had been solidly Democratic, began its long shift to the Republican Party. The Northeast, which was fiscally conservative but socially liberal, shifted the other way. After the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, widespread disaffection created a surge of independents that lasted until the first years of the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who took office in 1981, McDonald said.”

Thursday, Feb. 21, Washington Post

A Former Republican Bastion Now Reflects Va. as a Whole

“When once reliably conservative Loudoun County chose Democrat Timothy M. Kaine for governor in 2005 by nearly the same margin as voters statewide, some suspected a fluke. When the county, like the state, gave a narrow victory to Sen. Jim Webb (D) a year later, people took notice. But when the fast-growing county nearly mirrored statewide support for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in last week’s presidential primary, it seemed apparent: Loudoun, a combination of Virginia’s traditional and modern elements, had become a political microcosm of the commonwealth. Once a Republican stronghold, the county is now in play, and as goes Loudoun, so goes Virginia, political observers said.

‘Loudoun seems a good place to look for indications of how the candidates, how the parties, are faring statewide,’ said Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University. ‘You have newcomers, affluent commuters, longtime residents, a large influx of residents. It just looks like the rest of Virginia in a lot of ways.’”

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