Stearns: university will lose money next year

Provost Peter Stearns gave a speech on the academic state of George Mason University at an open forum Nov. 3.

Stearns said the university will lose funding next year, citing the end of the federal stimulus and state funds that came with that money. Furthermore the governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, requested all state agencies to submit budgets for next year with two, four and six percent budget cuts.
He said tuition cuts may become necessary, according to a Mason Gazette article.

Stearns said research funding for the university is up 13 percent this year and that the university recently received the largest grant in its history, a $28.5 million Investing in Innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Education, according to Mason Gazette articles.

-Gregory Connolly

Fasolini granted conditional release

Standing before Magistrate Judge Alan Kay, Diego Fasolini – the part-time Italian professor arrested on child pornography charges – was granted conditional release today until the continuation of Friday’s scheduled preliminary hearing. United States of America v. Diego Fasolini will reconvene until Dec. 10.

According to the lawyer representing Fasolini, an agreement had been reached between Defense Attorney Mary Petras and U.S. Attorney David Kent regarding continuation of the preliminary hearing. This agreement included the conditional bail release of Fasolini.

Raising his right hand, Fasolini swore an oath to obey the conditions of his release which will include electronic monitoring and limited use of the internet. Judge Kay addressed Fasolini on the conditions of his release.

“You are to stay away from use of the computer for the purpose of downloading pornography of any kind,” said Judge Kay. “If the court learns you have violated these conditions you will lose your bond status and the actions could impact the end result of the case.”

On behalf of the government counsel, Kent had originally expressed the government’s request that Fasolini not be allowed to use the internet at all, given the nature of the offense.

Judge Kay also stated that Fasolini is to remain within the confines of the Metro D.C. area, a 50-mile radius surrounding the District. Beginning Monday, Fasolini was ordered to provide verification of his address and to be fitted with an electronic monitoring device.

The rescheduled preliminary hearing will be held Dec. 10 at 9:45 a.m. at the Barrett Prettyman Courthouse. Judge Kay ordered that the conditions of Fasolini’s release be upheld until that date.

Connect2Mason has requested official court documents and will post new information involving this case as it becomes available.

-Adam Sylvain, C2M