This Week in the News

Posted: May 23, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

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

Monday, May 12, Defense Week

Iraq Reconstruction under Microscope

“Contracting out the multi-billion-dollar job of rebuilding Iraq is just getting underway, and it promises to be tightly scrutinized—by those seeking the contracts and by those looking to root out favoritism and fraud. Janine Wedel, a professor at George Mason University and author of ‘Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe,’ a study of the aid influx to Eastern Europe, said: ‘I suspect there are going to [be] hundreds of millions of dollars in junk contracts, just as there were to Eastern Europe—ostensibly aimed at things like democracy building and civil society.'”

Sunday, May 18, the Washington Post

A Growing Inventory of Unmapped Plants

“Armed with a pocketful of plastic sandwich bags, a notebook and a Global Positioning Systems unit, two men set off on a wooded trail deep in Prince William Forest Park. Over the next two years, Ted Bradley, 63, an associate professor of biology at George Mason University, and his former graduate student John Dodge, 70, plan to make as many as 100 of these treks—both together and separately. Their goal: to map out about 90 percent of the plant life in Prince William Forest Park. They will count and catalogue nearly every variety of plant in the park, from the thumb-size pussy-toes wildflower to the 90-foot tall tulip poplar tree.”

Sunday, May 18, the Washington Post

Cuts Draining Va. Colleges, Warner Says

“Addressing thousands of George Mason University graduates and their families at the school’s commencement yesterday, Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) acknowledged budget cuts are stressing higher education in Virginia and said the state’s colleges and universities need more funding. ‘The tradition of excellence that we celebrate on this and other Virginia campuses won’t be sustained unless more Virginians—particularly its most recent graduates—recognize and embrace the value of our basic investments in public education,’ he said. ‘We simply can’t have education on the cheap, without sustained willingness to invest.'”

Sunday, May 18, AP Online

Bobblehead Doll Honors Justice Rehnquist

“Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is not exactly cuddly, but he is a real doll. The impassive visage of the Supreme Court leader is now depicted, along with his signature gold-striped judicial robes, on a bobblehead figurine. The doll is the brainchild of the editors at a small legal journal who intend it as an admittedly peculiar tribute to the 78-year-old jurist in what may be his last year on the bench. ‘I’ve never met the man and I probably never will, but we gambled on the possibility that three decades of being called “your honor” has not left him without a sense of humor about himself,’ said Ross E. Davies, a law professor at George Mason University and editor in chief of the journal Green Bag.”

Thursday, May 22, the Washington Post

Study Urges Financial Plan for Va. Colleges

“Virginia’s public colleges and universities and their students have been financially whipsawed over the past 15 years by an erratic economy, according to a new report from state officials that calls for better long-range planning for public higher education. Despite the recent increases, tuition has risen more slowly than the rate of inflation since 1996, the report said. The University of Virginia, once ranked as the eighth most expensive flagship university in the country, is now ranked 20th, while state schools such as George Mason University and James Madison University have subsided from the second most expensive in their category to 12th….Alan G. Merten, president of George Mason, applauded the report as a stark and accurate picture of the ups and downs of higher education funding. ‘It gives both the General Assembly and the governor a database that is not produced by [college] presidents or overly interested parties,’ he said.”

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