Mason in the News

Posted: November 14, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Thursday, Nov. 6, The Washington Post

[Mason], NVCC Consider Expansions

“Officials from George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College told Loudoun County supervisors Monday that they are interested in expanding their presence in the county, but they cautioned that it could be several years before any plans come to fruition. The colleges are halfway through a four-month joint study on the feasibility of opening full-service campuses in the county, and the Board of Supervisors received a status report at its regular meeting. Larry Czarda, who oversees regional campuses for [Mason], said that the state of the economy would force the university to be ‘even more deliberate’ than usual in its planning. He noted that [Mason’s] Prince William County campus took six years to open from the time it was first considered and said that an expansion in Loudoun might be faster or slower, depending on the project’s scale.”

Thursday, Nov. 6, USA Today

Pelosi Puts Economy as Lawmakers’ Top Priority

“Congressional Democrats vowed Wednesday to use their expanded majorities to consider legislation on stem cell research and health insurance for children, but they said bolstering the economy would be the first priority. Many Democrats ran on the promise of ending gridlock in Washington and several won in Republican-leaning districts. That will require Democrats to strike a balance between advancing their proposals and not alienating Republicans, said Mark Rozell, a public policy professor at George Mason University. ‘If the Democrats push hard on health care reform, social-cultural issues, they’re going to miss a unique opportunity to come out during the honeymoon period and really make a very big difference,’ Rozell said.”

Friday, Nov. 7, The New York Times

U.S. Decides One Nuclear Dump Is Enough

“The Bush administration will recommend that Congress give up the idea of a second nuclear waste dump, dropping a grand bargain struck in the 1980s, and instead vote to enlarge the repository now proposed in Nevada, the director of the Energy Department’s civilian radioactive waste management program said on Thursday. But a geologist and nuclear expert who spoke at the conference said the Yucca Mountain repository might never open. It does not meet international standards for a repository because it is in an area of active earthquakes and volcanoes, said the expert, Allison M. Macfarlane, associate professor of environmental policy and social science at George Mason University. ‘We will probably need to have multiple repositories,’ Dr. Macfarlane said. ‘Let’s not cut the nuclear industry off at its knees.’ She and Mr. Sproat agreed that the choice of a repository site was political. One way to assure a fair political choice, she said, ‘is to have multiple repositories.’”

Friday, Nov. 7, USA Today

Hopes Are High for Race Relations

“Barack Obama’s election has inspired a wave of optimism about the future of race relations in the United States, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken the day after the first African American won the White House. ‘Barack didn’t elect himself; we Americans elected him,’ says Roger Wilkins, a civil rights leader and professor [emeritus] of history and American culture at George Mason University in suburban Virginia. ‘And I think that there are lots and lots of people who say, “Damn, we’re not as racist as we thought we were,” so they’re pleased.’”

Saturday, Nov. 8, The Washington Post

Change You Won’t See

“A new president, new administration, new political appointees — all that has to have an effect on the Washington area real estate market, right? ‘Not much,’ said John McClain, a senior fellow at the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, which dissects local economic statistics. ‘We’ve never been able to pick up a change in administration at the metropolitan scale.’ It’s a matter of numbers. The population of the Washington area is about 5 million, with about 3 million jobs.”

Monday, Nov. 10, The Washington Post

George Mason Says Good Night, Gunston

“As the college basketball season tips off this week, there will be one fewer local celebrity on the sidelines: Gunston is done. After years of debate and research, George Mason University has decided to replace its fuzzy green amorphous mascot — think a softer, more agile Oscar the Grouch — with a sleeker, sharper new model, our sports blogging colleague Dan Steinberg reports. The new mascot — 7 feet tall, 240 pounds, hat size of 29, ‘closer to a person than to a Muppet,’ said a school rep — will be unveiled at next Monday’s home opener against Brown. A contest will be held to select a name. ‘It was clear the fan base wasn’t enamored with Gunston,’ University Relations VP Christine LaPaille told us. ‘The bottom line is Gunston was popular with children. He was not a favorite of our students or alumni.’”

Tuesday, Nov. 11, Los Angeles Times

Researchers Say They’re Getting Closer to HGH Test

“The man described as the ‘guru of sports doping’ and an East Coast cancer detection expert said they’re on the way to establishing a urine test for human growth hormone that could close a drug-testing loophole experts described Monday as a ‘widespread’ problem in sports. Don Catlin, a Los Angeles-based worldwide doping expert who oversaw blood testing for HGH at the Beijing Olympics, and Dr. Lance Liotta, a former pathology lab chief at the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research, have launched a study to build upon Liotta’s ability to identify isolated markers of HGH in urine. Liotta, a professor at George Mason University, said he has arranged a study of students there that will analyze their natural HGH levels in blood and urine. The study will seek to establish a baseline standard that can be compared for instances when an abundance of synthetic HGH, prescribed mostly for AIDS patients and individuals with dwarfism, is found in the system.”

Tuesday, Nov. 11, The Washington Post

McAuliffe Takes Steps to Run for Va. Governor

“Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, a wealthy businessman and Washington insider, filed paperwork Monday to launch a potential candidacy for Virginia governor. Ending months of speculation, McAuliffe said he plans to spend the next two months traveling to ‘every corner of Virginia’ to gauge interest in his possible run. ‘There is no single [Democratic] standard-bearer this year,’ said Mark J. Rozell, a public policy professor at George Mason University. ‘There is no person whose turn it is this time, and it’s an open field.’”

Wednesday, Nov. 12, Forbes

Buying America’s Brains

“Although industry funds have stabilized in the past two years, the federal government in 2006 failed to increase funding enough to keep pace with inflation for the first time since 1982. And yet in 2007 the academic sector increased spending levels more than any other R&D-performing sector. It has done so — at least in part — by attracting foreign investors like Portugal. ‘The motivation for many of these collaborations probably has more to do with being keyed into knowledge networks than achieving basic research objectives,’ said Philip Auerswald, a professor of public policy and innovation at George Mason University. ‘Large investments in specific institutions can make sense in certain circumstances if they allow researchers to tap new ideas and approaches and so forth. The insights and ideas that drive innovation systems are often discovered in larger knowledge networks. Mature institutions have developed networks of knowledge that foreign institutions like Max Planck want to tap. These are different types of R&D investments than we’ve seen.’”

Wednesday, Nov. 12, The New York Times

Hedge Fund Managers to Testify in Washington

“As policy makers consider overhauling the rules that apply to mortgage lenders, bankers and investors, hedge funds may also face new requirements for the disclosure of their trading methods. The Federal Reserve and other regulatory agencies have been studying the effects of hedge funds on the market, and questions linger over what the government would do if a large hedge fund began to collapse. ‘On Capital Hill, there certainly is appetite for more hedge fund regulation,’ said Houman B. Shadab, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, who will testify at the House hearing. ‘It’s not obvious to me that hedge funds caused this crisis, but they have been affected by it, there’s no doubt about that.’”

Thursday, Nov. 13, The Seattle Times

Econ Summit Probably Won’t Affect Bush’s Legacy

“Bush is indicating reluctance to go along with a second stimulus package this fall, even though majorities of both houses of Congress have signaled their support. ‘He doesn’t do the popular thing if he thinks it’s wrong. This president is convinced history will judge that he’s right,’ said Jeremy Mayer, an associate professor of public policy at George Mason University in Virginia.”

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