This Week in the News…

Posted: October 6, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Friday, Sept. 29, Christian Science Monitor

Criminal Penalties for CEOs? Product-Safety Cases Raise Issue of Corporate Ethics

“‘You don’t want companies to save lives at all costs; you want companies to save lives at reasonable cost,’ says David Bernstein, a law professor at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. ‘Juries do not have a good record of making determinations in these kinds of cases involving civil damages. And there’s no reason to believe they’d do so in criminal cases.’ Instead of punishing companies after the fact, Mr. Bernstein suggests that government should create a whistle-blower reward to encourage workers to inform government safety officials as soon as they see a problem.”

Sunday, Oct. 1, Washington Post

Another Choice for the ‘Leisure’ Years: A Second Career

“[Thomas] Hovis said the experience [of working in a framing shop] was valuable, but he recognized that he still had much to learn about running a business. He found help at the Mason Enterprise Center at George Mason University, which assists people who want to open businesses or become government contractors. Hovis attended classes at the center for six months, listening to accountants, lawyers and marketing people. The key lesson, he said, was that a person who wants to start a business should work in the field for a while to obtain the necessary skills…. It’s now four years since Hovis, 61, started Art & Frame of Tysons Corner, and he says his business ‘is going real good . . . beyond my expectations.'”

Monday, Oct. 2, InfoWorld

Learning IT Right from Wrong

“George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va., isn’t waiting for a new curriculum directive. The school requires all computer science students to take a computer ethics course. Tamara Maddox, GMU computer ethics professor, says it’s imperative for students to be aware of technical virtues. Undoubtedly, they will someday be faced with dilemmas that may redefine Information Age values. ‘They will not be aware of how to handle these issues if they have never thought of them before,’ she says. Maddox, a lawyer and former software developer, wants her students to be prepared. Her Computer Ethics 105 students must participate in group discussions and projects and write research papers. Topics range from piracy to negligence in software testing, and Internet freedom of speech vs. pornography, which she describes as ‘an age-old issue with a new face.'”

Tuesday, Oct. 3, Associated Press Newswires

Some Virginia Schools Struggle with Knots in Their Boards

“The board actions, though irritating to administrators, haven’t changed the direction at Old Dominion University and William and Mary…. That’s not true at George Mason University, where the board in May added one-course requirements for U.S. history and Western civilization without faculty consent. The Faculty Senate voted 21-9 to censure the board. A year ago, the board ignored the Senate’s wishes, voting to increase the number of credits for ROTC courses…. The rector of George Mason’s board, former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, called the censure silly, since the board ‘accepted almost entirely’ the changes in other core courses recommended by a faculty group. ‘The law gives the responsibility for educational policy to the Board of Visitors,’ Meese said. ‘Normally, we do delegate that responsibility to the faculty, but there may be a matter that is so important that we have to exercise our judgment.'”

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