George Mason in the News…

Posted: September 17, 2004 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:

Thursday, Sept. 9, The Washington Times

Computer Doctors; Help Desks, ‘Geek’ Firms on Call To Rescue Users

“Tech support is a blanket term that includes the entire call or in-person visit and can involve answering questions, providing on-the-spot training and educating callers. Troubleshooting is a more specific term, referring to identifying the problem callers are experiencing with their information systems and coming up with a solution. ‘If you sit down at your computer, turn it on and can’t do your job in a normal fashion, that’s a tech-support issue,’ says Russell Miller, [Mason Enterprise Center] telework and technology director at George Mason University. ‘Troubleshooting is actually taking action.'”

Friday, Sept. 10, The Washington Times

Tax Vote Spurs Rival Candidates

“Virginia Gov. Mark Warner said the anti-tax groups are few and that there is ‘an equal if not actually more-organized effort that’s going to go after some of the people who were the “no” crowd, whether it is a Republican or Democrat.’ Mr. Warner touted the political-action committee being formed by bipartisan statewide businesses, educators and other leaders to help the maverick legislators. Alan Merten, president of George Mason University, who is involved in the new political-action committee, said businesses are taking a ‘harder look’ at political candidates and will support those who voted to fund education, health care and public safety.”

Saturday, Sept. 11, National Journal

It Can Happen Again

“It could happen again. Not just the Florida recount, but also the anomaly that made the outcome so bitter for Democrats: In 2004, the Electoral College winner could lose the popular vote—by a significant margin. ‘This could be another disaster,’ says James P. Pfiffner, a professor at George Mason University who believes the Electoral College should be abolished.”

Sunday, Sept. 12, The Washington Post

Judge’s Probe in Sniper Case Debated

“Legal experts said Thacher’s actions were unusual at best and wrong at worst. ‘It seems odd that the judge would go over there and do fact-finding himself,’ George Mason University law professor Michael E. O’Neill said last week. ‘Was there a legal reason, or a justifiable reason, for the judge to be there? Right offhand, I can’t think of one.'”

Monday, Sept. 13, National Post

Two Strikes in Courtroom for Anti-Trust Regulators

“Only rarely do antitrust enforcers go to court seeking to block a merger. Usually, the agencies air their competition concerns in talks with the companies involved and ask them to sell off some assets or take other steps to offset any problems. The recent courtroom defeats could shift the balance of power between the two sides during those kinds of talks, says George Mason University law professor Ernest Gellhorn. ‘If you keep losing these cases, you lose your ability to persuade people to negotiate with you, to fix it,’ Mr. Gellhorn said.”

Monday, Sept. 13, The Washington Post

Old News, Long Overdo; Vietnam-Era Rumors Dig In for the Duration

“In this highly charged atmosphere, the authenticity of the Guard memos unearthed by CBS came under fire, with experts offering dueling analyses of the font sizes and superscript used in 1972. ‘Here the campaign is dealing with terrorism and war, but we’re still capable of losing yourself in matters 35 years old that belong on Jeopardy! or Trivial Pursuit,’ says Frank Sesno, a George Mason University professor and former CNN anchor. While he blames Kerry in part for putting Vietnam at the center of his campaign, Sesno sees an ‘almost ridiculous contrast’ between the country’s problems and the media’s obsession with old controversies.”

Tuesday, Sept. 14, Houston Chronicle

State’s Schools Rank High, Expert Witness Testifies

“An expert witness, testifying for the state Monday in the trial challenging the funding of Texas’ public education system, discounted the connection between money spent in public schools and student performance. David Armor, who compared Texas test scores to those of other states, said Texas students perform significantly better on the National Assessment of Education Progress, even though expenditures per pupil are well below average. ‘Texas has one of the best-performing education systems in the nation,’ Armor said, noting that Texas is below the national average in per-pupil expenditures and ranks 20th in student-teacher ratios. ‘Expenditures have no positive effects on achievement,’ said Armor, a professor of public policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.”

Wednesday, Sept. 15, Associated Press

What’s Your Major? Shifting Job-market Currents Make It Tricky Question

“Plus, a student’s major often has nothing to with their eventual career, causing many to recommend that students with no clear career ambitions choose broadly focused majors. ‘What the pundits are telling us is that most of our students who are graduating now are likely to have either second or third careers in 10 to 15 years,’ said Andrew Flagel, dean of admissions at George Mason University. ‘They need sufficient educational grounding so they have the opportunity to make those shifts.'”

Wednesday, Sept. 15, The Wall Street Journal

Self-Help for Basket Cases

“Airlines have shown an ability to mint short-term profits in an economic bounceback when demand grows faster than they can lay on more jets and gates. But that’s not the same thing as being able to make profits consistently enough to pay back the capital invested in the industry. The airlines have never been able to do this, at least not since deregulation. Kenneth Button, a professor at George Mason University and head of its [Center for Transport, Policy, and Logistics] transportation center, finds the same feature present in Europe’s increasingly deregulated market, an inability to price above cost. But before giving up on capitalism, airlines or both, perhaps we should look more closely at the problem.”

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