Mason in the News

Posted: March 28, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

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

Sunday, March 23, Boston Globe

The Good Recession

“As the economy enters the doldrums, there are some things you can look forward to. A slowing economy, some economists suggest, can actually help you live longer — just one of a few payoffs that might surprise those of us who see recessions as unmitigated disasters. Most economists hesitate to say that recession is necessary for all these opportunities to arise; they’d prefer to see a more gentle slackening of economic growth. Still, some argue that a boom-bust cycle can have its benefits. And, for all its quickly defunct start-ups, it was the febrile experimentation of the Internet bubble that birthed much of today’s wired world. ‘I’m not sure we could have learned how to really use the Internet without a dot-com bubble,’ argues Tyler Cowen, an economics professor at George Mason University. Whether the bubble that triggered the current recession will have such a legacy remains to be seen. ‘Did we need all those massive homes out near Las Vegas? I tend to doubt it,’ Cowen says.”

Monday, March 24, Associated Press

Study: ‘Flutie Effect’ More Than a Myth

“For George Mason University, just outside Washington, the positive effects of its unlikely Final Four appearance two years ago were wide-reaching. In addition to increases in fund raising, attendance at games and other benefits, freshman applications increased 22 percent the year after the team made its magical run. The percentage of out-of-state freshmen jumped from 17 percent to 25 percent, and admissions inquiries rose 350 percent, said Robert Baker, director of George Mason’s Center for Sport Management who conducted a study called ‘The Business of Being Cinderella.’ Baker also found that SAT scores went up by 25 points in the freshman class, and retention rates as freshmen moved into their sophomore year increased more than 2 percentage points. ‘You will certainly have critics who say it would have happened anyway, but I think the general consensus is that it happened faster because of this and that it allowed this university to reach new heights more quickly,’ Baker said.”

Monday, March 24, USA Today

‘Green’ Bandwagon Is Getting a Big Push

“Americans are aware of global warming, but they don’t get the urgency of it and that this is solvable. The need for a different approach is apparent, environmentalists say. So what does spark change? For one thing, many are prompted to take green actions if they think others like them are doing it. Tailoring messages to diverse audiences and hearing them from many sources also fosters change, says Edward Maibach, director of a new center on climate change and communication at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.”

Wednesday, March 26, Washington Post

Proposal Would Clarify Law on Sharing Student Information

“Nearly a year after the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, the U.S. Department of Education has proposed regulations to clarify when colleges can release confidential information about students who might be a danger to themselves or others. The proposed guidelines would not make any substantive changes in a college’s responsibility under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. But the rewritten regulations would make it clear that schools wouldn’t be penalized for reporting fears about students who might be a danger to themselves or others. ‘This gives us a little more flexibility to help people who aren’t in a position to help themselves and to keep others safe,’ said Jeff Pollard, director of counseling and psychological services at George Mason University. Pollard said it is equally important that the law allows, but doesn’t require, that schools contact parents. For instance, he said, it could do more harm than good to call a parent if the student had been abused by that parent. ‘I want to be able to, but I don’t want to be mandated to.’”

Wednesday, March 26, New York Times

The Buzz on the Bus: Pinched, Press Steps Off

“In the weeks leading up to the 22 Democratic nominating contests on Feb. 5, and in the weeks since, few newspapers beyond The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have sought to shadow the candidates on a near-daily basis. To some, the pullback by mainstream news organizations was overdue. Robert Lichter, director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, said the confluence of a long, expensive campaign with the tightening of editors’ wallets had forced a welcome development: the receding of the one-story-suits-all pack journalism depicted in ‘The Boys on the Bus’ and criticized in other quarters ever since. ‘I’m not sure too much is lost,’ Mr. Lichter said. ‘There used to be a self-defined cadre of campaign reporters. Now the news comes from everywhere — from bloggers, maybe some guy with a video camera. Anyone can generate news and everyone can generate news. What’s the advantage of being the 50th guy on the bus?’”

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