William & Mary

W&M faculty in the media this month

  • Allison Orr Larsen
    Allison Orr Larsen  is a professor of law at William & Mary. She was recently quoted in by The Washington Post regarding the public image of the federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • John Strong
    John Strong  is the CSX Professor of Business Administration and Economics & Finance Area Head at William & Mary's Mason School of Business. Strong was recently quoted by the The Atlantic regarding how airline companies can get away with bad customer service.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Lawrence B. Wilkerson
    Lawrence B. Wilkerson  is a distinguished adjunct professor of government and public policy at William & Mary and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson was recently quoted by the Seattle Times regarding former National Security Agency employee, Edward Snowden's ability to maintain relevancy through video conferencing with crowds at universities and technological companies.  Photo courtesy of The Blaze
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Following are selected examples of William & Mary faculty and staff members in the national and international media. - Ed.

Person who told the world about the United States' electronic monitoring capabilities keeps relevant via video teleconferencing

In an April 18 Seattle Times article, Lawrence Wilkerson, a distinguished adjunct professor government and public policy at William & Mary, commented on the continuing relevance of former National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden. 

According to the article, Snowden divulged to the public the significant methods and technologies the NSA uses to monitor potential threats to the United States and its allies.

“[If Snowden] were to ask me, ‘Should I come home?’ I’d say, ‘Absolutely not. You’ll be hung’” said Wilkerson.

The article also states that since his exile to the nation of Russia, Snowden has had numerous video chats with university students, privacy advocates and proponents of technological advancement. Snowden can make as much as $30,000 per talk Snowden’s lawyer said that he could make a meaningful living doing these speeches, but Snowden chooses to appear for little or no money.

As to returning to whether or not Russian leader Vladimir Putin was using Snowden for propaganda reasons, Wilkerson said that the need for debate about surveillance outweighed those concerns.

“I think this is an important debate in the long run even if Putin was orchestrating Snowden,” he said.

Why airlines can do what they want to customers and pretty much get away with it

In an April 15 The Atlantic article, John Strong, the CSX Professor of Business Administration and Economics & Finance Area Head at William & Mary, discussed how airline companies can get away with bad customer service.

According to the article, there is inequality in the way professionals within airline companies of the United States potentially treat customers.

There are programs that help airlines gather data on their passengers, such as their preferences the fares they have paid and extra services they buy, according to Strong.

“While airlines have the information to create a more detailed pecking order, they don’t go much beyond that in practice,” Strong said.

Giving priority to some isn’t a practice unique to the airline industry, said Strong.

“More valuable customers at brokerage houses get dedicated access communications and cheaper trades; hotels offer free Wi-Fi and other complimentary benefits to their best customers,” he said. “Almost anyone who has a loyalty program differentiates benefits by the value of different groups of customers.”

Does the federal appeals court in Richmond need a different name?

In a March 13 Washington Post article, Allison Orr Larsen, professor of law at William & Mary, discussed the public image of the federal appeals court in Richmond.

According to the article, a portfolio of Southern cases, genteel courtroom traditions and years of forceful conservative rulings shape the enduring image of the Richmond federal appeals court. But the bench has shed its conservative label, undergoing a sea change in the past decade, and is poised to have an immediate impact on the Trump administration, the article states.

Larsen said that the court may have lost its conservative label but no its sense of collegiality.

“Even for those difficult, politically charged cases, I’m sure they will be thoughtfully deliberated by everyone regardless of the political affiliation,” she said. The court, she added, “puts a premium on collaboration.”