Mason in the News

Posted: May 8, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage Mason recently received.

Friday, May 1, ABC News WJLA

International Health Expert Calls Swine Flu ‘Relatively Mild’

“Most would not have guessed that a single pig and a small child in Mexico could start what threatens to be a global flu pandemic. Now, an international health expert is helping to sort through what to expect when it comes to the swine flu. Kathryn Jacobsen, an epidemiologist at George Mason University, says the swine flu virus is mysterious, but not necessarily menacing. ‘It is close to home. The number of cases is going to continue to go up. But now that we know what we’re looking for, we’re going to find it,’ she said. She thinks it will be weeks before the world knows how the virus will mutate, though the [CDC] said the new virus lacks the traits of the deadly 1918 strain. Many are comforted by that fact.”

Sunday, May 3, Associated Press

Should News Organizations Pay Attention to Think Tank Scorecards on Presidential Coverage?

“As President Barack Obama passed his 100th day in office last week, two studies judged that the news media has given him more coverage, and more positive coverage, than his two predecessors at the same point in their terms. What is that information really worth? ‘It’s always good to know what you’re doing,’ said Bob Lichter, director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. ‘Journalists get critiques from all sides at all times. Instead of throwing up your hands and ignoring critiques of your work, you can focus on reliable critiques.’ Lichter’s group did one of the studies, looking at evening news coverage and stories in The New York Times over 50 days. It found the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts devoted nearly 28 hours to the new Obama administration, more than they did during the same stretch in the Bush and Clinton presidencies combined.”

Sunday, May 3, Washington Post

GMU to Explore Options for Full Loudoun Campus

George Mason University officials are planning this summer to gauge developers’ interest in building a full-service GMU campus in Loudoun County, in the hope that the first phase of such a project could be completed in 2014, according to a report released last week. The report, a feasibility study done by a George Mason consultant, will be presented to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors on Tuesday and to the Leesburg Town Council next week. The study envisions a campus that GMU would operate in a partnership with Northern Virginia Community College, with the schools sharing facilities, and some students applying to GMU after completing one or two years at NOVA.”

Monday, May 4, Associated Press

Flushing Government Stimulus Cash Down the Toilet

“Sewers are among the most popular projects among mayors for stimulus money. Of more than 18,000 projects on a wish-list compiled from more than 700 communities by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, more than 4,000 involved water or wastewater repairs or construction — second only to road projects. But will sewer repairs stimulate the economy? ‘It might create some temporary jobs, but once those projects are over so are the jobs,’ said Eileen Norcross, a public policy researcher at George Mason University. ‘I don’t think these projects, worthy or not, will have that stimulus effect.’”

Tuesday, May 5, Washington Post

To Add In-State Seats, Va. Colleges Need More Funds

“Over the past decade, out-of-state students have been given an ever-increasing portion of the seats at the University of Virginia, George Mason University and the commonwealth’s other major colleges. [Some argue that] out-of-state students help keep the cost of in-state tuition down. Exactly right, says Alan Merten, president of George Mason University and a vocal defender of both the intellectual good and the financial stability that come from adding out-of-state students. A decade ago, Merten says, ‘for every $1 we raised in tuition, we had $2 in state money.’ Today, for every dollar the colleges draw in tuition, they receive only 75 cents in state support. That enormous shift of the funding burden onto tuition has given Virginia colleges no choice but to jack up the number of out-of-state students they admit because out-of-staters pay dramatically more in tuition.”

Wednesday, May 6, Associated Press

Economist Says HOT Lanes are Boosting Region

“A regional economist says Virginia’s HOT lanes project will bring more than just a faster ride on the Capital Beltway. Stephen S. Fuller of George Mason University, says construction of the express toll lanes is providing a much-needed boost to the Washington-area and Virginia economies. In a study released Wednesday, Fuller concluded that the project would generate $2.3 billion for the Fairfax County economy from 2008 to 2013, $2.7 billion for the Washington-area economy and $3.5 billion for the Virginia economy. Fuller says these impacts would stem from direct spending of $1.5 billion on the project, as the money is respent.”

Thursday, May 7, U.S. News and World Report

5 Next-Generation Retirement Communities

“Many members of the baby boom generation — who are quite unique in many respects — may not opt for the traditional retirement community. ‘The future of senior housing will be anything but cookie cutter,’ says Andrew Carle, director of the assisted living/senior housing administration program at George Mason University. He thinks the next generation of communities will target specific niches that cater to boomers’ needs and whims.”

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