George Mason in the News

Posted: January 26, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

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

Thursday, Dec. 21, USA Today

Cost, Effort, Time of Military Expansion Plan Likely to Have ‘Enormous’ Impact

“Meeting President Bush’s goal of a larger Army and Marine Corps will require more time and money to recruit volunteers, retain the officers needed to lead them and outfit new units. The Pentagon has increased incentives and lowered standards in recent years to keep the military at its current size, particularly as recruiting fell short of goals. Enlarging the military will require more of that, experts say. The Army also raised the age limit for recruits from 34 to 41. In October 2005, the Army also started taking more recruits who scored in the lowest brackets of the service’s aptitude test, doubling the percentage of those recruits from 2 percent to 4 percent. The Army had the 2 percent limit since the 1980s. That’s not necessarily a problem, says David Armor, a former Pentagon manpower official in the Reagan administration. ‘There are lots of jobs in the military that can use persons with average skills,’ says Armor, a professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.”

Friday, Jan. 19, Inside Higher Ed

Reviewing the Reviewers

“To hear it from Zachary Schrag, assistant professor of history at George Mason University, getting clearance from an institutional review board [IRB] to conduct an oral history project is not only onerous, but it can also place demands on a researcher that compromise professional ethics. An IRB must approve any study that involves human subjects, and IRBs at some institutions have asked oral historians to destroy primary sources of information such as taped interviews. ‘I once had to fill out a form on the race and age of everyone that I interviewed for a project,’ Schrag said. ‘That would make sense for a medical study where you want to make sure that you’re getting a representative sample, but it’s really none of the IRBs’ business when it comes to history work.’ Schrag started Institutional Review Blog to document unfortunate encounters with IRBs, and to create an interdisciplinary community of researchers from across academe – fields such as communications, history and psychology – who struggle with IRBs. He has been providing links to reports and new studies and said that he has been getting some positive feedback from people who also feel his frustration.”

Saturday, Jan. 20, Bloomberg (New York)

Clinton Seeks to Become First Female U.S. President

“New York Senator Hillary Clinton today said she will seek to become the first female U.S. president, declaring ‘I’m in. And I’m in to win.’ While Clinton has the best shot yet for a woman to win the White House, she also faces opposition across the country. Her unfavorable ratings hover in the 40 percent range, well above Edwards or Obama. She also has to overcome her 2002 vote to support the unpopular war in Iraq and what she calls ‘the scars’ from her failed health-care plan in the 1990s. ‘She enters as the front-runner for the nomination, but the biggest doubts always surround her electability,’ said Mark Rozell, a public policy professor at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. ‘Clinton commands strong loyalty from her core supporters, but she also attracts intense opposition.’”

Saturday, Jan. 20, Sacramento Bee

Sub-Saharan Africa Sees Progress toward Peace

“After decades as the world’s most violent region, sub-Saharan Africa has lost that unwanted title and is finding peace. The number of conflicts south of the Sahara Desert is down sharply, according to two new tallies, and so is their lethality. The reports credit successful peacemaking and peace-building efforts by international organizations such as the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union as well as interventions by African countries. An article in the March Foreign Policy Bulletin reports the same trend in sub-Saharan conflicts. It’s also borne out by fewer refugees fleeing conflicts and, to a lesser degree, fewer internally displaced people trying to do the same. ‘We’re reaching the point where most of the fighting has stopped in most of Africa,’ said the article’s author, Monty Marshall, research director at the Center for Global Policy, a conflict analysis group at George Mason University in Arlington, Va.”

Sunday, Jan. 21, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Leaders of the Packed

“An increase in air traffic and new security restrictions for carry-on bags makes life for everyone who handles luggage more complex – and for a better workout. Kenneth Button, a George Mason University professor who studies airlines and baggage handling, said at most airports the technology hasn’t improved since bar codes were added to luggage tags. ‘I think it is the next thing they are going to start modernizing at airports,’ said Button of baggage procedures. ‘The technology is probably there, it is just a matter of spending money. The question is who is going to spend it.’ Button said, in general, airlines rely on the baggage infrastructure provided by airports. ‘Ultimately the flying public have to pay for it,’ he said. ‘And people don’t want to pay higher tickets now.’ That means systems can vary greatly between airports. ‘Basically the airports supply what the airlines pay for,’ Button said.”

Monday, Jan. 22, Washington Post

D.C.’s High Wages Spent Elsewhere

“People who work in the District make some of the highest wages in the United States – on average, higher than those in San Francisco and the Boston area. Those who work in the District receive the nation’s fourth-highest average weekly wage, according to recent data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the median household income in the District was $47,221, close to the national median, according to a 2005 Census report. In other jurisdictions, household income tends to be higher than the median wage because it can include income of more than one wage earner, as well as certain bonuses and other income. That gap leaves the District with an imbalance that is growing worse, said Stephen S. Fuller, head of the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis. ‘People have choices and want to buy homes with yards and good schools,’ he said. ‘If those workers are taking out their income tax and going home to do their shopping, there isn’t much left behind for the District.’”

Wednesday, Jan. 24, Washington Post

Va. Growth in a Long-Term Spurt, with Loudoun Leading the Way

“No other region in the country, however, has created as many jobs in recent years as the Washington metropolitan area. Between 2000 and 2005, the region added 359,000 new jobs, said Stephen S. Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, citing Labor Department statistics. That was 75,000 more jobs than the nation’s No. 2 job engine, Miami. ‘We’ve been adding jobs faster than we’ve been able to add resident workers,’ he said. ‘Had we been able to produce more housing, we could have added more people.’ The Washington region is the eighth most-populous in the United States, Fuller said, but is fourth in the number of total jobs, trailing only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.”

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