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W&M faculty in the media this month

  • Neal S. Devins
    Neal S. Devins  is the Sandra Day O'Connor Professor of Law at the William & Mary law school. Devins was recently quoted in USA Today about the likelihood of the Supreme Court repealing Roe v. Wade.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Jeremy D. Stoddard
    Jeremy D. Stoddard  is an associated professor and chair of the School of Education at William & Mary. Stoddard was recently quoted in Education Dive about California lawmakers requiring history teachers to students about the 2016 presidential election and the possible interference by the Russian government.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • John J. McGlennon
    John J. McGlennon  (Center) is a professor of government and public policy at William & Mary. McGlennon was recently quoted by The Daily Press about the questionable conduct of the Peninsula Airport Commission in Newport News, Virginia.  
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Following are selected examples of William & Mary faculty and staff members in the national and international media. - Ed.

Supreme Court unlikely to overturn abortion rights anytime soon

In a Jan. 21 USA Today article, Neal E. Devins, Sandra Day O’Connor Professor of Law at the William & Mary Law School discussed the likelihood Roe v. Wade being overturn by the Supreme Court.

According to the article, despite U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s disagreement on abortion and promise to recommend Supreme Court justices to Congress who share his view, the court is not likely to reverse its four decade-old legal decision.

The article went on to state that Trump has admitted that the ruling has a very long way to go and will probably need two more court appointees to persuade Chief Justice John Roberts and other conservatives on the bench to overrule the 1973 precedent.   

“Roberts does not have a personal passion to overturn Roe," said Devins. "It would require a lot for it to happen."

Peninsula Airport Commission secrecy, loan decision questioned

In a Jan. 27 The Daily Press article, W&M professor of government and public policy John J. McGlennon was quoted about the secrecy surrounding the Peninsula Airport Commission’s (PAC) discussion of its multimillion-dollar support of People Express, an airline company that operates out of the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport.

According to the article, the PAC guaranteed a loan to the airline for 4.5 million and possibly lacked openness about how the group deals with public funds.

However, political scientists and open-government supporters stated that this raises important concerns about the commission ability to grant the-Chairwoman LaDonna Finch the power to “to do and commit any act…the Chair deems necessary” to provide business at the  airport.

McGlennon, a member of James City County Board of Supervisors and professor of government at W&M conveyed a particular state of disbelief.

"I don't think I've ever seen a commission give a chair that kind of authority," he said.

California lawmaker wants students to learn about Russian hacking

In a Jan. 20 Education Dive article, Jeremy Stoddard, assistant professor and chair of curriculum and instruction at the W&M School of Education discussed why schools in California should examine the 2016 American presidential election and the possibility of interference by the Russian government.

According to the article, a California state lawmaker by the name of Marc Levine is introducing a bill that would require the state’s Board of Education to develop curriculum to cover the subject in history classes.

But some educational experts believe that doing this may be premature.

"It's a bit early to try to put something into a curriculum,” said Stoddard. “It is a long process especially in a history curriculum, when the events are still going on.”

Although Stoddard believes that it may be too early, he does feel that teachers should be open about the subject.

“It could be engaged in as an ongoing issue in that this is what we know, this is the possible ramifications of it,” he said. “Even if the hacking did occur and they attempted to influence the election, it's going to be really hard to know what the actual impact of any of that interference was in terms of the results. It's really hard to include it in the history books until we know more.”

William & Mary professor says economy may improve in coming years

In a Jan. 11 article by The Daily Press, W&M Chancellor Professor of Business Emeritus Roy Pearson discussed whether or not the economy of the Hampton Roads area would improve in coming years.

At a luncheon hosted by the Economic Development Authority, Pearson stated that there are some factors keeping the state from advancing at the pace of other parts of the country but he is still confident of improvement.

“We’re looking at a modest acceleration leading into a better year in (fiscal year) - 18” Pearson said. 

Pearson also stated the American economy struggled to expand in the recent years because of two main reasons.

“Businesses sold out of inventory; they did not produce enough to meet demand,” he said. “We also did not have enough energy investment. The increase of energy investment and in business, those are mostly in other places. Virginia is probably going to be a little softer this year than other states.”

But looking past next fiscal year the disagreements between policymakers in both major parties mean it’s too difficult to foresee how the changes could affect the nation’s economy, according to Pearson.

"It all depends on what policies are changed, and how soon that they do that," he said.

To stabilize the state’s economy long term, Pearson recognized that Virginia has essential issues it has to address.

"We need more investment, and we aren't getting enough labor productivity," Pearson said. "Those really are the big issues."