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2008 Faculty Opinions

Time (Yet Again) For Preventative Regulation

Christopher McKinght Nichols

Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

The Bush administration, Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve and the financial sector all think the actions they've taken in recent days and weeks will fend off disaster. That's unlikely. Today's crisis calls for a new take on what used to exist: preventative regulation. So how to get there? Read More.

2007 Faculty Opinions

It's Time For a New Look at Isolationism

Christopher McKinght Nichols

Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson warned Americans at the nation’s birth to “steer clear of foreign entanglements.” It’s a warning we scoff at today – at our peril. We need a new approach, a new isolationism. Read More.



A Tale of Two Smithfields


Edmund Russell

Associate Professor of Science, Technology and Sociery

The public outcry over the Michael Vick dogfighting case would have shocked Queen Elizabeth I. Elizabeth, who ruled England 1558-1603, loved animal combat, hosted contests for visiting dignitaries, and would have been astonished see such contests suppressed. Read More.

Give Me Back My Country


Farzaneh Milani

Professor of Persian Literature and Women Studies

This is not the country I migrated to four decades ago.  It is not the space of my dreams and the protector of my most cherished values.  This is not the United States of America I knew.  I want my country back.

Read More.

Return of the Domino Theory

Christopher McKnight Nichols
Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

Dominoes are back. The old, scuffed political theory of one domino falling and knocking down others turned up recently in President Bush's call for support from Congress for a surge in U.S. troops in Iraq. Read More.

2005 Faculty Opinions

Humans or Robots? Is it man's destiny to continue exploring space

Kathryn Thornton

Associate Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science

The Apollo program, which culminated in six successful lunar landings, shaped my generation. For a time we saw ourselves as a generation who dared to do great things, to accept an almost unimaginable challenge in spite of enormous risks, and to be triumphant. Even the Apollo 13 drama was not a failure, but a rigorous test of our ability to devise a solution when "failure was not an option." Read More.


2004 Faculty Opinions

What Biology Can Teach Us About Computer Security

David E. Evans

Assistant Professor of Computer Science
School of Engineering and Applied Science

Their names are curious, engaging, almost comical, but computer worms and other viruses are no laughing matter. Viruses and other malicious software cost businesses billions each year, and cause users hours of frustration.Read More.

John Quincy Adams: A Forgotten President Offers Timeless Advice

Pablo Davis
Program Director, South Atlantic Humanities Center
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

He was born 237 years ago on July 11, but the birthday of the sixth president passed without mention. He was a brilliant diplomat, one of our most important secretaries of state, and unsurpassed in the rigor and valor of his post-presidential political career. Read More.


The Solution to this Nation's Housing Problem Is Simple

Edgar O. Olsen
Professor of Economics
College of Arts And Sciences

In 2002, the Millennial Housing Commission argued that affordability was the single greatest housing challenge facing the nation.  The basis for the commission's conclusion that there was a shortage of affordable housing was that it would be impossible to rearrange families among the existing housing units so that each spent no more than 30 percent of its income on housing.  Unfortunately, there are too few inexpensive dwellings in the country's existing housing stock to do that. Read More.


Espionage at the United Nations

Indar Jit Rikhye
Major-General (Ret.) Indian Army

David Coleman
Asst.Professor and Presidential Recordings Program Kennedy Project Coordinator
Miller Center of Public Affairs

Recent allegations of espionage at the United Nations have provoked strong reactions, particularly in Britain, where the issue has snowballed into another political challenge to Tony Blair's government.

The most recent commotion concerns allegations by Clare Short, a former cabinet minister who quit the Blair government in protest at the Iraq War, that British intelligence listened in on U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's private telephone conversations.  These allegations likely were not news to Kofi Annan, who is not the first U.N. Secretary-General to learn the walls have ears. Read More.



Farzaneh Milani
Director of Studies in Women and Gender
College of Arts & Sciences

A remarkable shift has occurred in the representation of Muslims in the United States: naked men are replacing veiled women.

Consider the hooded-yet-naked male prisoners of Abu Gharib and the near absence of veiled women in their midst.  There was not a single woman among the hijackers of September 11 just as there are no known women in Al-Qaede's leadership. Read More.



R. K. Ramazani
Professor Emeritus of Politics
College of Arts & Sciences

Iran's recent parliamentary elections will put conservatives in control of that legislative body for the next four years. But the election results cannot extinguish the fire of the growing pro-democracy movement in Iran.

It is true that the hard-line conservatives' parliamentary victory is the most serious setback for President Khatami's pro-democratic government since he took office in 1997. But neither he nor his supporters have declared defeat. Read More.



Prosperity: A Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Terrorism

Ronald T. Wilcox
Associate Professor of Business Administration
Darden Graduate School of Business Administration

The U.S. goal in reshaping the political landscape of the Middle East is to check the growth of fanatical religious movements and crush terrorism. But unless the Bush administration attacks the true enemy in the region – abject poverty -- American diplomatic goals will remain out of reach.

Older people in the region may be tired of the battle to raise their standards of living, but young people clearly are not. And countries that fail to provide the infrastructure needed by those who want to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, are seeing their potentially most productive citizens – young men who are healthy, bright, ambitious and energetic -- become frustrated. And angry. And desperate. Read More.


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Faculty Opinions site edited and maintained by Charlotte Crystal
Last Modified: Friday April 11, 2008