News

When national and local media cover news and events, they come to Richmond for perspective and expertise. Here’s a sample of recent stories that put University experts in the news:

CBS Moneywatch turned to Richmond Law professor Jack Preis for comment about Apple’s decision to speak out against the White House’s decision to amend Obama-era policy applying federal sex discrimination laws to transgender students. “When Apple speaks, its message is more likely to be heard than, say, the local grocer down the street,” he said.
The Scientist magazine asked biology and biochemistry professor Eugene Wu to comment on researchers who developed a semisynthetic organism that can replicate artificial DNA base pairs indefinitely. “I think they’re moving towards a place where we are able to ask questions that we’ve never asked before,” he said.
A New York Times investigative reporter turned to Richmond Law professor Carl Tobias in a March 7 piece about a petitioner’s request that a judge throw out the class-action settlement reached in the Trump University lawsuit. The judge would have to weigh the objection to the settlement against “substantial pressure to hold the deal together,” Tobias said. “A lot of work has gone into this, and people are generally satisfied all around.”
“American business is global business,” Nancy Bagranoff, dean of the Robins School of Business, wrote in a Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed explaining business leaders’ reactions to the president’s first executive order restricting travel. “Not every business will think that the executive order is a bad idea, but what is remarkable is that so many do and are willing to say so.”
In a Yahoo Finance piece warning of the dangers of weak enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a U.S. anticorruption law with worldwide reach, analyst Max de Haldevang turned to Richmond Law professor Andy Spalding. “The FCPA train has left the station,” Spalding said, “and to repeal it now would be analogous to repealing the Civil Rights Act or our securities law.”

Americans looking to understand the potential impact of school vouchers should look to Chile, where it was instituted nationwide by dictator Augusto Pinchet in 1980, write professors Jennifer Pribble and Jennifer L. Erkulwater in The Washington Post. The subject has become a hot topic in the U.S. with the nomination of voucher advocate Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. “The aggregate socioeconomic status of a school more strongly predicts test-score achievement in voucher schools than it does in public schools,” they write. “This suggests that voucher schools fail to level the playing field.”

CNN came to campus for a live broadcast with a focus group of 28 undecided voters during and after the vice presidential debate Oct. 4. After the debate, the Richmond Times-Dispatch quoted political science professor Dan Palazzolo, who said that both candidates likely “passed the capability test” with voters of being able to step in as president, if necessary.

In a story on retailers’ “Thanksgiving dilemma,” USA Today turned to finance professor Tom Arnold, who pointed out that some stores’ decision to close creates an incentive for their competitors to remain open.“I think it will bother people maybe for the next three years, but eventually I think [staying open] is just going to become status quo,” he said. “The next potential uprising might actually be Christmas Day.”

In an editorial about the rise in the price of EpiPens, which auto-inject epinephrine during severe allergic reactions, the Winston-Salem Journal quoted Jepson leadership professor Jessica Flanigan to support its case for reform of the FDA’s approval process for generic drugs. “Though it may be politically useful to vilify the pharmaceutical industry in the short run,” she said, “rethinking pharmaceutical regulation is the best way to lower drug prices and help patients in the long run.”

The Washington Post published analysis by political science professor Sandra Joireman that explained how a border dispute led to rioting and the use of tear gas in Kosovo’s parliament earlier this year. “Drawing borders can instead be the spark that re-ignites conflict,” she wrote.

Style Weekly published an opinion piece by Jepson leadership studies professor Thad Williamson about lessons to be drawn from Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize. “If you think that human lives are supposed to be defined by consistency and logic, then Bob Dylan is the enigma you’ll never crack,” he wrote.

The Washington Post turned to law professor Andrew Spalding in May for a story about the U.S. Justice Department looking into allegations of doping by Russian Olympic athletes. The U.S. is “trying to change worldwide cultural norms around bribery and fraud and just governance generally,” he said. “These sports cases, they’re a bullhorn for the anti-corruption message, because people listen.”

Also in May, C-SPAN broadcast FBI Director James Comey's commencement address to Richmond Law’s Class of 2016. He told graduates that good judgment is a rarer attribute than intelligence. “Very intelligent people can master a data set and show you the answer on a graph,” he said. “People of great judgment can look at that and say, ‘That’s what it says. Let me tell you what it means.’”

For an Aug. 3 story examining Bernie Sanders’ education proposals, The Atlantic discussed the UR Summer Fellowship program, which funds research and internship opportunities for all students. It’s because of programs like that, enrollment management vice president Stephanie Dupaul said, that “retention is actually higher among low-income students” at Richmond.

Nancy Bagranoff, dean of the Robins School of Business, wrote about the benefits of establishing a dean’s book club in BizEd, a collegiate business education magazine. “It has the potential to influence organizational culture, help faculty to become better at their craft, and impact student learning,” she wrote. “Plus, as we’ve found, it’s a lot of fun.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch published a Q&A in June with new Arts and Sciences Dean Patrice Rankine in which he discussed his academic background, his personal interests, and his 16-year-old dog. “Because he’s a more aggressive breed, I named him Gandhi to cultivate quietude,” he said. “It worked.”