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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 11/06/09

Top story


Legal Torture?

The Washington College of Law hosted a forum titled “Lawyers and Torture Memos,” which was covered by C-SPAN and aired on C-SPAN2. The forum was also discussed in a Washington Independent story and a Legal Times blog. Moderated by law professor Steven Vladeck, the panel discussed the legal reasoning behind the Bush administration’s detainee project, as well as torture techniques and the limits of executive power. (11/3/09)



Other Features


Promoting a Professional Master’s Degree

Joined by colleagues at an annual meeting on Capitol Hill, AU President Neil Kerwin talked about professional science master’s degree programs in a story by Inside HigherEd about the need for additional funding for this growing program. “What kind of degree this is going to be requires some more definition and some more clarity,” he said. “In all my years in this work, I really don’t know of any new degree that has experienced the kind of growth that this one has. Nevertheless, there needs to be some consciousness about what it is you are educating people for.” (11/6/09)


Great Places to Work

In this month’s Washingtonian, American University’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation was credited for its research in identifying the best places to work in the federal government. In a report released earlier this year, the institute, in conjunction with the Partnership for Public Service, ranked all 278 agencies, five of which were listed in the Washingtonian magazine’s feature story, “50 Great Places to Work.” (11/09)



Faculty and Quotes



From the Governor’s Mansion to Capitol Hill?

Off-year elections are not always a determining factor in what results may bring from Congressional races, Curtis Gans, director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, said in a Wall Street Journal story about gubernatorial elections. "The sample is too small and the issues are local," he said. (11/3/09)


Seeking the Obama Surge Vote for the Governor’s Race

“If Corzine can activate the Obama surge vote in New Jersey, that would suggest that last year was more than just a flash, that it has staying power,” history professor Allan Lichtman said in a New York Times story about President Obama’s possible influence on the gubernatorial elections. “It will show that Obama’s support was about more than just one candidate’s charismatic personality, and give him a chance to transform American politics.”(10/31/09)


An Extended Stay in Office for Latin American Leaders?

Robert Pastor, professor of international relations, discussed the tactics of Latin American leaders used to remain in power in a story by the Associated Press about Latin American leaders seeking to stay in office following Nicaraguan Supreme Court ruling, giving President Daniel Ortega the right to unlimitedly seek re-election. The story was published by 198 news outlets, including the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "Daniel Ortega has come full circle, pulling stunts that Anastasio Somoza used to do, to stay in power," Pastor said. "In his case, Ortega stacks the Supreme Court, which then obliges him by interpreting the constitution to say the opposite of what it actually says about re-election.."(11/2/09)


Warren Buffett’s Latest Takeover

Finance professor Gerald Martin discussed billionaire Warren Buffet’s acquisition of railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp in a Bloomberg News story about his largest purchase to date. “I don’t think he’s ready to give up control,” Martin said. “[The Burlington deal is] classic Buffett, I think he’s found a good buy at a good time with a company that has good earnings prospects.” (11/3/09)


Election Analysis

Leonard Steinhorn, professor of public communication, appeared in studio on WTTG-Fox 5 on election night to discuss the results of Tuesday’s general elections. “You had an electorate trait was wider, older and more conservative than the turnout in 2008,” he said of Virginia Democratic governor candidate Creigh Deeds’ campaign. “In 2008, 21% of the voters in Virginia were under 30. This year, only 10%. It's a c change in the electorate.” In a related segment, Dotty Lynch, executive in residence at the School of Communication, discussed the results as an in-studio guest on WAMU-FM. During the 8-minute segment, Lynch analyzed the voter dynamics that resulted in Republican wins across Virginia.. (11/4/09) (11/3/09)


Texting Dangers

Naomi Baron, professor of linguistics, discussed the dangers of text-messaging while walking and driving in a segment for WTTG-Fox 5's 10 o'clock news. When asked about how text messaging can distract people from their surroundings, Baron said, “We know that to write takes a certain amount of cognitive dedication, and that dedication obviously can't be going to other things.” (11/3/09)