This Week in the News

Posted: May 16, 2003 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, May 9, Washington Post

GMU Halts Expansion Amid State Funding

George Mason University, Virginia’s fastest-growing college, is temporarily abandoning an expansion plan that would have made it the state’s largest by 2007, saying it cannot afford to admit more students unless state officials reverse a trend of shrinking funding for higher education. The decision, made public yesterday, will first make an impact next year, when the university will admit fewer freshmen for the fall of 2004. But the university’s president, Alan G. Merten, said larger implications will be felt as the number of high school graduates seeking admission to Virginia universities is projected to surge over the next decade. ‘I have a moral obligation for George Mason to grow,’ Merten said. ‘I have the fiscal obligation to make sure it doesn’t grow.'”

Saturday, May 10, National Journal

The War Within Islam

“So has America helped Iran’s good guys or its bad guys? Both. War in Iraq underscored American power; but Islamic hard-liners can say that the invasion just proves the need for more resistance against the West, while reformers can say that it argues for more accommodation. And if democracy were to thrive in Iraq, said Shaul Bakhash, a professor of history at George Mason University in Virginia, ‘the reformists would feel encouraged to push for reform, and conservatives would be that much more likely to clamp down.'”

Saturday, May 10, New Scientist

To Trust Is Human

“By laying bare the mysteries of such nebulous human attributes as trust, neuroeconomists hope to transform our self-understanding. They believe their findings even have the potential to help make societies more productive and successful. ‘As we learn more about the remarkable internal order of the mind, we will also understand far more deeply the social mind and therefore the external order of personal exchange, and the extended order of exchange through markets,’ says neuroeconomist Vernon Smith of George Mason University in Virginia, whose Nobel Prize last year signalled the arrival of experimental economics on the world stage. ‘We are just at the beginning of a great intellectual adventure.’

Saturday, May 10, Rocky Mountain News

Not ‘Gods Nor Devils’

“When people hear about the Air Force Academy rape scandal, a common response is, ‘but they’re the best and the brightest.’ Connie Kirkland, sexual assault services coordinator at George Mason University and an expert on acquaintance rape, said victims everywhere voice the same concerns as the women at the academy. But society expects more from cadets, she says. People feel safer if they can think of rapists as someone they would avoid. Accepting that sexual assaults are committed by intelligent, seemingly upstanding men, is, therefore, difficult. ‘It’s so much easier to believe it’s a guy who’s dirty and grungy and jumps out of the bushes,’ Kirkland said.”

Monday, May 12, Knight-Ridder Tribune Business News

President’s Appeal Falls Short in Washington

“But Bush’s wartime success is not translating into domestic victories, and many of his cherished domestic programs are in serious trouble. His proposed tax cut has been slashed, and his faith-based initiative was gutted in the Senate. His energy bill is also struggling, with the Senate eliminating one of its main elements: drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ‘Presidents never have a really easy time with Congress,’ said James Pfiffner, a public policy professor and expert on the presidency at George Mason University. ‘So the unusual situation is when a Congress says, “You can have whatever you want.”‘

Monday, May 12, Washington Post

On Rte. 7, the Start of Something Biotech

“Jerald P. Coughter, biotechnology director at the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon, said he thinks it would make sense if Sabin and others were to come to Loudoun, but he does not know of any solid plans….Prince William County recently attracted an Eli Lilly & Co. insulin manufacturing plant and is home to Atlantic Type Culture Collection. George Mason University also does a lot of work in the life sciences at its Manassas campus, Coughter said. ‘You just can see the momentum building,’ he said.”

Wednesday, May 14, Portland Press Herald

‘Net Can Be Nasty; Click With Caution

Connie Kirkland, director of sexual assault services for George Mason University in Virginia, says cyberstalking is a serious problem on college campuses, where computers, e-mail and instant messaging are more common than telephones. ‘I don’t know of any horribly violent incidents that have occurred, but the threats that victims hear and believe to be true is what causes the most concern, and it interrupts college careers and that’s not fair,’ Kirkland said.”

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