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ODU in the News

Week of 5/6/13

ODU president teaches potential successors
(The Virginian-Pilot, May 6, 2013)

The job of a college president is no bed of roses these days, but there are still people who'd like to give it a try.
This spring at Old Dominion University, some of them got an up-close-and-personal glimpse of the job from a reliable source: ODU President John Broderick, who taught a graduate-level class called "The College and University Presidency."
You might think Broderick has his hands full running ODU, a growing urban university with 25,000 students. You'd be right. However, since assuming the presidency in 2008, he has made it a point to teach one class each semester.
"It reinforces for me why I'm on a college campus," he said in an interview. "I enjoy the administrative side of the job, but being in a classroom once a week gives me an opportunity to interact with students."
Broderick didn't want the class to be too ODU-centric, so he took his students on field trips to meet with presidents of six other area schools: Edna Baehre-Kolovani at Tidewater Community College, Carlos Campo at Regent University, Billy Greer at Virginia Wesleyan College, William Harvey at Hampton University, Harry Lester at Eastern Virginia Medical School and Paul Trible at Christopher Newport University.
At one of the last class meetings of the semester, the students reflected on what they took away from those visits. A common theme was the constellation of financial pressures facing American universities today. Many states, including Virginia, have cut back on state support for higher education. Presidents have a tough juggling act as they are forced to raise tuition rates while trying not to price their schools out of the market. (More)

Housing market in Hampton Roads looking up
(The Virginian-Pilot, May 4, 2013)

Pat Costello couldn't sleep.
Hoping for a breakthrough in her eight-month hunt for a house, Costello pulled up Zillow, her tool of choice for scouring real estate listings in South Hampton Roads.
Around 1 a.m., she found a gem, but Costello was long past the point of feeling excited. She and her husband, Bob, had made unsuccessful offers on three homes.
The next afternoon, the Costellos toured the Virginia Beach house with their real estate agent, Dennis Blackmore. A few hours later, they decided to make an offer.
"We need to get it in tonight," Blackmore told them, "because the agent called me, and they already have an offer." ...
The high percentage of homes sold through distressed sales - foreclosures and short sales - is keeping prices from rising even more, said Vinod Agarwal, an economics professor at Old Dominion University.
About 32 percent of Hampton Roads homes sold January through March were distressed, Agarwal said. The figure was 35 percent for the same period in 2012.
Sales volume figures haven't spiked this spring because the inventory of homes for sale is low, Agarwal said. Either homeowners are waiting until prices climb higher before putting their houses on the market, or they can't sell because they owe more on their mortgages than what their homes are worth.
Agarwal predicts that the modest growth of the past several months will continue in 2013, and that the effects of defense-related spending cuts that went into effect earlier this year won't be nearly as detrimental to the local market as expected. (More)

Working out with Kenny Wright
(Inside Business, May 3, 2013)

Kenny Wright is still Portsmouth's most visible citizen. He's everywhere, it seems. But his constituents have been seeing less of the mayor these days - 40 pounds less.
Some months ago, Hizzoner put himself - and the whole city - on a diet. Wright aims to lose 100 pounds ("My doctor says I need to lose 200 pounds") and hopes the city's 96,000 folks drop a collective half-million as part of his "Get Healthy Portsmouth" crusade.
When the mayor went public with his initiative, he didn't just tip the scale. He broke it. He weighed 423 pounds.
The hardest part of trying to get fit when you are the mayor, he said, is attending functions where there is always food.
"I put celery and carrots and things like that on my plate and nibble at it," he said, laughing. "Oh, man. That's tough." ...
Wright got his inspiration for "Get Healthy Portsmouth" when he attended a Mayor's Conference in Washington, D.C.
"I met the mayor of Oklahoma City. He started a program in his city and they lost 1 million pounds," he said. "They are a city of 600,000 people. I thought we could do this and lose a half-million pounds, but it has to start with me."
Wright, who turns 50 this month, "grew up" in Portsmouth on County Street, not far from downtown. His mom still lives in the house of his youth. He graduated from Wilson High School, where he played football for the Presidents. He also played football at the Apprentice School under the legendary Norm Snead.
"You're not going to believe this, but I was a 180-pound running back," he said.
He went on to Tidewater Community College and Thomas Nelson Community College before earning his engineering degree from Old Dominion. He has been the president and CEO of Wright's Engineering for the past 13 years. (More)

The nature of the writing life
(The Virginian-Pilot, May 5, 2013)

By Michael Pearson
T.S. Eliot once said, "Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers." "Good Prose," co-written by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd, is a success story, a tale of writer and editor reminiscent of the great partnerships that can exist in such spheres - think Maxwell Perkins and F. Scott Fitzgerald, John McPhee and William Shawn - or, perhaps more appropriate because it began in the same Atlantic Monthly offices, the memorable friendship between William Dean Howells and Mark Twain. Kidder and Todd collaborate like an old married couple who can finish each other's sentences.
Surely, "Good Prose" stays true to its subtitle - "Stories and advice from a lifetime of writing and editing" - but it does more, I think. It dramatizes the nature of the writing life and underscores a truth about that life that many writers (I'm looking in the mirror now) at times resist - the idea that writing is a collaborative effort. In the case of Kidder and Todd, it's been a 40-year working relationship that has become, like that of Twain and Howells, a friendship, as well.
I've spent the better part of my life writing the different forms of nonfiction that Kidder and Todd discuss - memoirs, essays and reportage - and trying to guide students through the intricacies of their own work. So, I'm heartened to hear these writers say, "That you can learn to write better is one of our fundamental assumptions. No sensible person would deny the mystery of talent, or for that matter the mystery of inspiration. But if it is vain to deny these mysteries, it is useless to depend on them.... Writing is revision. All prose responds to work." ...
Michael Pearson's first book, "Imagined Places," came out in 1991, three years after he started teaching at Old Dominion University.
(More)

Dominion Virginia Power to build its first sun energy installation at ODU
(Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 3, 2013)

Dominion Virginia Power will put its first solar energy installation at Old Dominion University.
The Norfolk school will be the first participant in the company's Solar Partnership Program, the company said Thursday.
At a cost of about half a million dollars, the Richmond-based utility will install more than 600 photovoltaic panels on the roof of ODU's Student Recreation Center this summer. Such systems produce electric current directly from sunlight.
The system at ODU can generate 132 kilowatts of electricity that will go onto the power grid, according to Dianne O. Corsello, the company's manager of customer solutions and new technology. That would be enough electricity to power about 35 homes. ...
The State Corporation Commission approved the solar demonstration project in November.
Under the $80 million program, Dominion Virginia Power will build and operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities on leased rooftops, or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties, in the company's service area.
Dominion Virginia Power is the state's largest electric utility, with about 2.3 million customers.
Fully built, the solar program would generate enough power for 7,500 homes, the company said. Each installation could generate as much as 2 megawatts of electricity during daylight hours.
"When the program was announced last year, it was readily apparent that Old Dominion University was a perfect fit for this innovative project," ODU President John R. Broderick said in a statement. (More)

ODU to host Dominion rooftop solar power project
(The Virginian-Pilot, May 3, 2013)

Old Dominion University's student center will provide the first rooftop in Dominion Virginia Power's pilot solar program, housing more than 600 panels to harness the sun's energy, the company announced Thursday.
Dominion, the state's largest utility company and supplier of electricity for most of Hampton Roads, received approval from state regulators late last year for its proposal to install solar equipment at commercial, industrial and public sites to generate up to 30 megawatts of power.
ODU embarked on its own solar-energy research through its engineering school in December, when it placed a solar tracking system and photovoltaic panels atop the school's Kaufman Hall building. Dominion added $50,000 to the $2 million in federal grants that ODU received for that project.
Dominion hopes to assess the benefits of solar power on its electricity system and possibilities for growing that renewable energy source.
Its 600 panels on the school's Student Recreation Center will feed up to 132 kilowatts back into its power grid, enough to supply about 35 homes. The 30 megawatts proposed across as many as 50 leased sites in Dominion's Solar Partnership Program would supply about 7,500 homes, the company projected.
Dominion expects to complete the ODU installation in late summer. (More)

Dominion Virginia Power to install solar panels on roof of Old Dominion rec center in Norfolk
(The Washington Post/Associated Press, May 2, 2013)

Old Dominion University will soon play host to the state's largest utility's first rooftop solar power installation.
Dominion Virginia Power says it will install more than 600 solar panels on the roof of the Norfolk school's student recreation center as part of its Solar Partnership Program.
The Richmond-based energy provider said Thursday that the project at Old Dominion will generate 132 kilowatts for the electric grid, or enough to power 35 homes. The project is expected to be completed late this summer.
In a news release, ODU President John Broderick said the university is a perfect fit for the project because it is a hub of alternative energy research.
Virginia regulators recently approved Dominion Virginia Power's program to build and operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities on leased rooftops or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties in its service area. When fully implemented, the program would generate enough power for 7,500 homes. (More)

ODU to house first rooftop solar panels
(WAVY-TV, May 2, 2013)

Old Dominion University will be the site of the first rooftop solar panel installation by Dominion Virginia Power.
More than 600 solar panels will be installed during the summer months at ODU's Student Recreation Center. Dominion said the panels will generate 132 kilowatts for the electric grid.
The installation is part of the Solar Partnership Program and when fully implemented, will generate enough power for 7,500 homes. Dominion will operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities. These facilities will be on leased rooftops or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties through the service area.
"This installation will pave the way for us to assess the benefits of solar facilities on our electrical distribution system," Ken Barker, Vice President of Costumer Solutions at Dominion said. "This new program is already encouraging the growth of solar energy in Virginia as many other customers have contacted us and shown interest."
"When the program was announced last year, it was readily apparent that Old Dominion University was a perfect fit for this innovative project," ODU President John r. Broderick said. "Our Student Recreation Center is one of the main hubs of activity on our campus and our university, as a whole, is a hub of alternative energy research. This installation is yet another example of ODU's leadership in the development of solar installations and ground-breaking solar energy research."(More)

UVA Students Win Governor's Business Plan Challenge
(Virginia.gov/NBC29, May 2, 2013)

Timothy Higgins, Andrew Andreae and Jessica Ungerleider, representing The University of Virginia, won the Capital One Grand Prize today at the Governor's Business Plan Challenge. In recognition of Virginia's strong entrepreneurial environment, the statewide challenge, co-hosted by Work It, Richmond, featured the best business plans or concepts crafted by undergraduate students this year. Twenty-one public and private colleges and universities sent their top presenters to compete in the Business Plan Challenge and receive feedback from a panel of judges and investors.
"The thoughtful plans and ingenuity of the teams here today from schools around Virginia, gives me great hope for our future," said Governor McDonnell. "I'm particularly impressed and offer my congratulations to the team from The University of Virginia, with their innovative blood sampling solution. The idea not only holds business promise, but is one that could improve the lives of patients. I thank the students, universities and judges for their hard work, as well as Capital One and Williams Mullen and the other generous sponsors of today's event. While these students started out with ideas and keen entrepreneurial drive, I hope that today's challenge and the advice and questioning of the mentors and judges helps them further develop their plans and encourages them to take a risk and create the next great business in Virginia." ...
Honorable Mention: Most Significant Market Disruptor (Tie)
Frank Tchouambou with Old Dominion University created CampusWise, a website designed to make campus life more convenient with exclusivity and organized interaction among students allowing them to share their books amongst one another.
Jack Apgar, Clark Jernigan, Drew Martin, and Stephen Stites of Washington and Lee created WatchDog Diabetes Management, LLC, which strives to provide diabetics with a convenient, comprehensive, and empowering solution to diabetes management (More)

Dominion Virginia Power Selects Old Dominion University For First Rooftop Solar Power Installation
(The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2013)

Dominion Virginia Power has selected Old Dominion University to be the first participant in the company's Solar Partnership Program. More than 600 solar panels will be installed this summer on the roof of ODU's Student Recreation Center in the heart of the campus and generate 132 kilowatts for the electric grid.
"This installation will pave the way for us to assess the benefits of solar facilities on our electrical distribution system," said Ken Barker, Dominion Virginia Power vice president-Customer Solutions. "This new program is already encouraging the growth of solar energy in Virginia as many other customers have contacted us and shown interest."
The Solar Partnership Program was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission last November. Dominion will construct and operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities on leased rooftops or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties throughout the company's Virginia service area. Fully implemented, the program would generate enough power for 7,500 homes. Each installation could generate as much as two megawatts of electricity.
"When the program was announced last year, it was readily apparent that Old Dominion University was a perfect fit for this innovative project," said ODU President John R. Broderick. "Our Student Recreation Center is one of the main hubs of activity on our campus and our university, as a whole, is a hub of alternative energy research. This installation is yet another example of ODU's leadership in the development of solar installations and ground-breaking solar energy research." (More)

ODU to host Dominion rooftop solar power project
(The Virginian-Pilot/Associated Press, May 2, 2013)

Old Dominion University will soon play host to the state's largest utility's first rooftop solar power installation.
Dominion Virginia Power says it will install more than 600 solar panels on the roof of the Norfolk school's student recreation center as part of its Solar Partnership Program.
The Richmond-based energy provider said Thursday that the project at Old Dominion will generate 132 kilowatts for the electric grid, or enough to power 35 homes.
Virginia regulators recently approved Dominion Virginia Power's program to build and operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities on leased rooftops or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties in its service area. When fully implemented, the program would generate enough power for 7,500 homes.
Dominion has about 2.3 million customers in Virginia. (More)

Lower Income and Higher Seas
(Audio, WRHV HearSay, May 1, 2013)

On today's HearSay we continue our series focusing on the impact of sea level rise on the Hampton Roads region. On this installment we view the issue through a socioeconomic lens as we're joined by members of Old Dominion University's Climate Change & Sea Level Rise Initiative for an examination of how our region's "medically fragile and modest- to low-income" populations are especially vulnerable to rising sea levels.
Guests:
Joshua Behr - Research Associate Professor, Old Dominion University
Tal Ezer - Professor of Oceanography, Old Dominion University
Hua Liu - Assistant Professor of Geography, Old Dominion University (More)

Six ways to boost electric vehicles
(Opinion, The Christian Science Monitor, May 1, 2013)

By Steve A. Yetiv
Just over a year ago, Anthony Foxx - President Obama's nominee for transportation secretary - unveiled a pilot program for electric-vehicle charging stations in Charlotte, N.C., where he is the mayor. If he wins confirmation, Mr. Foxx can help the president push electric vehicles (EVs) on a national scale.
Getting more American drivers into plug-ins carries both environmental and national security benefits. Because most of America's oil goes into vehicles, moving to EVs would decrease oil consumption and pollution. But to get Americans to really buy EVs, the administration needs to learn from the past and plan better today or an EV initiative will surely fail or be more costly than it is worth.
Around the turn of the last century, electric vehicles were heavily pushed by such notables as Thomas Edison and President Woodrow Wilson. They accounted for 38 percent of American automobiles, while only 22 percent were gasoline powered. However, consumers started to prefer cheaper gas-driven cars which also had better range and didn't need to be juiced by electric outlets. Efforts to market electric vehicles were inadequate. ...
Steve A. Yetiv is the Nathan I. Jaffe professor of international relations at Old Dominion University and author of "Crude Awakenings" and "The Petroleum Triangle."
(More)

Hampton Roads jobless rate down to 5.7 percent
(The Virginian-Pilot, May 2, 2013)

The unemployment rate for Hampton Roads fell to 5.7 percent in March - its lowest level in more than four years. Yet in other respects, an Old Dominion University economist warned, the economic recovery is "crawling."
The region's jobless rate, unadjusted for seasonal factors, dropped from 6.2 percent in February and 6.6 percent in March 2012, the Virginia Employment Commission reported Wednesday.
The 5.7 percent figure for March was the lowest since December 2008, when Hampton Roads registered a 5.4 percent unemployment rate.
Jobless rates dropped in every city or county in the region in March. They ranged from 4.9 percent in Virginia Beach to 11.7 percent in Williamsburg.
The unemployment rates look "quite decent," said Vinod Agarwal, an economics professor at ODU. But in terms of job growth, "things are crawling."
Nonfarm employment, adjusted for seasonal factors, has zigzagged in the past few months, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure dropped from 753,700 in December to 753,100 in January. It then rose to 758,100 in February but declined again to 755,500 in March.
That averaged to a growth of 600 jobs per month since December, Agarwal said. (More)

U.S. Finds Porn Not Secrets on Suspected China Spy's PC
(Bloomberg, May 1, 2013)

A Chinese research scientist suspected of spying on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - -- and pulled from a plane in March as he was about to depart for China -- is set to plead to a misdemeanor charge of violating agency computer rules.
Bo Jiang, who was indicted March 20 for allegedly making false statements to the U.S., was charged yesterday in a separate criminal information in federal court in Newport News, Virginia. Jiang unlawfully downloaded copyrighted movies and sexually explicit films onto his NASA laptop, according to the court filing. A plea hearing is set for tomorrow.
Along with the misdemeanor, the government said it had resolved the false statements case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg said in a filing today. ...
Jiang, who has been in the country since 2007, obtained his doctorate from Virginia's Old Dominion University in 2010 and worked as a researcher on the multi-scale retinex, an image enhancing project developed by NASA, according to court documents. He was going home because he had no job prospects and his student visa had expired, according to the documents.
Prosecutors alleged that Jiang moved his departure date forward -- from April 5 to March 16 -- after his name was released during the March 13 hearing with Martin, the NASA inspector general. (More)

Army pilot killed in Afghanistan was ODU grad
(The Virginian-Pilot/Associated Press, May 1, 2013)

An Army helicopter pilot from Northern Virginia killed last week in Afghanistan was an Old Dominion University graduate.
The Pentagon said that 1st Lt. Robert J. Hess, 26, of Fairfax died April 23 in the Pul-E-Alam district of Logar province in eastern Afghanistan from wounds suffered as a result of indirect fire. Also killed was Capt. Aaron R. Blanchard, 32, of Selah, Wash.
Old Dominion announced today that Hess received a degree in criminal justice from the university. While there, he was a member of the swimming and diving team under head coach Carol Withus.
"R.J. worked extremely hard in everything that he set out to accomplish," Withus said in a news release.
Hess was commissioned into the Army in 2010 and deployed to Afghanistan earlier this month. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and numerous other medals.
The Army said Hess is survived by his mother, father and brother. (More)

Report: Former ODU swimmer killed in Afghanistan
(WTKR-TV, April 30, 2013)

The Pentagon announced on Friday that 26-year-old First Lieutenant Robert "R.J." Hess of Fairfax, Va. died last Tuesday after sustaining wounds from indirect enemy fire in eastern Afghanistan. That's according to a story posted to ODUSports.com.
Hess attended Old Dominion University where he received a degree in criminal justice and was a member of the swimming and diving team under head coach, Carol Withus. R.J.'s father, Robert also swam at Old Dominion, according to the online report. (More)

Light rail as myth
(Letter, The Virginian-Pilot, May 1, 2013)

As a Virginia Beach resident, I think that light rail will not alleviate any traffic problems. The theory that it will is a myth to justify the expense. Our public transportation system (the HRT bus system) is under-utilized. Has the city studied this? Light rail will certainly make our city look more cosmopolitan, but it will not reduce traffic on our roads. For most citizens, the rail system planned will obviously not be a convenient or money-saving alternative to our automobiles.
Investment in light rail first should focus on transportation to the major employment hubs in Hampton Roads the Navy base, the airport, the ports and Old Dominion University. These should be the primary focus of any proposed public transportation, if it is to be of any benefit at all.
The city should be more concerned about paying for our road systems and schools before spending a dime on such folly as light rail. All we hear about is deficits and fiscal shortfalls, the inability to give our teachers the raises that are overdue, but yet our city leaders are willing and able to throw down our tax dollars on a project that will never make money for the city and will only benefit a very small minority of its residents. Let's get our priorities straight.
Robert H. Wolf, Virginia Beach (More)

Va. scientist finds rising East Coast sea levels
(Lynchburg News & Advance/The Associated Press, April 27, 2013)

For years, computer simulations have predicted that climate change will cause East Coast sea levels to rise at an increasingly rapid rate.
In a 2010 study, Virginia Institute of Marine Science oceanographer John Boon looked at decades of tide-gauge readings for evidence of this ever-faster-rising water.
Boon didn't find the accelerating sea levels, and he was skeptical that they existed.
But using a more sophisticated statistical method, Boon looked at the tide-gauge readings again in a 2012 study. This time, he found that sea levels are indeed rising at an increasing rate from Norfolk to Nova Scotia.
To a layman, this might look like a flip-flop. But to scientists, this is how the job is done. ...
Tal Ezer is an Old Dominion oceanographer who led that university's 2012 study of rising seas. In February, he published a study finding evidence that the Gulf Stream has indeed slowed.
The ocean is not flat. For example, the water level is lower on the side of the Gulf Stream nearest the East Coast and higher on the other side. So the Gulf Stream resembles a wall keeping a lot of water from moving to the coast.
If the Gulf Stream slows, computer simulations suggest, that wall would lower, allowing water to drop on the far side of the stream and rise along the coast, adding to already-rising coastal sea levels. (More)

Buckle up before you start the car
(Editorial, The Virginian-Pilot, April 30, 2013)

Taking two seconds to strap on a seat belt indisputably saves lives.
Yet researchers from Old Dominion University found that more than a fifth of drivers still refuse to make that life-saving click.
Fortunately, the research can help guide law enforcement and education efforts to persuade more people to buckle up.
Researchers used a low-tech method to capture data. They stood at the side of roads throughout the state, clad in orange vests, clipboards in hand to eyeball passing drivers, making note of who was wearing a seat belt. As The Pilot's Dave Forster reported, such painstaking data collection provides more accurate results than phone surveys, in which people over-report their own seat belt use.
While about a fifth of people fail to wear a seat belt, they make up about half of those who die in traffic deaths. It should be a no-brainer - get in the car, strap in. For too many, it's not.
If saving their own lives isn't enough incentive, perhaps an extra legal threat would help.
Thirty-two states have begun enforcing seat belt use as a primary offense, meaning police can pull over a vehicle based solely on a seat belt violation. Minnesota, which made failing to wear a seat belt a primary offense in 2009, has since seen rates of traffic fatalities and injuries for unbelted occupants plummet - by 2011, the state had 68 fewer deaths involving unbelted vehicle occupants, 320 fewer severe injuries and 432 fewer moderate injuries. West Virginia changed its seat belt requirement to a primary offense last year. (More)

Teachers as saviors
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, April 30, 2013)

The major focus of President Barack Obama's agenda to reform public education has now shifted to teacher quality. Teachers alone are to save the schools.
A recent book, "The Allure of Order," by a Harvard University professor of education, Jal Mehta, best expresses this new emphasis in reform. "American education," he writes, "is a failed profession." The overall performance of American public school students, he argues, "remains stubbornly mediocre."
And, Mehta maintains, charter schools - the Obama answer to reform - "are not a panacea and have not performed, on average, better than regular public schools." American education since the Progressive era in the beginning of the 20th century "hasn't changed much."
What is the answer? "Teaching requires a professional model," Mehta asserts, "like we have in medicine, law, engineering, accounting, architecture and many other fields." Moreover, without such guidelines, he writes, "we have teachers essentially winging it as they go along, with predictably uneven results." ...
Maurice R. Berube, eminent scholar emeritus at Old Dominion University, is the author of 13 books on education. Email: mberube@odu.edu.
(More)

Heinicke and Morrell named top athletes at ODU
(The Virginian-Pilot, April 30, 2013)

All-American quarterback and Walter Payton Award winner Taylor Heinicke and two-time Conference USA women's golfer of the week Samantha Morrell were named Athletes of the Year by the Old Dominion University Alumni Association on Monday night.
Seniors Jonathan Plisco (football) and Maeghan Pardy (rowing) were named the 2013 recipients of the Jack Wilkins/James Howard Scholar Athletes of the Year.
Heinicke set a series of NCAA records on his way to being named the best player in the Football Championship Subdivision. In five of her last six matches, Morrell had finishes of second, fifth, fourth, third and first. She was 10th at last week's C-USA meet. (More)

HRT wants to increase cost of program that gives students a free ride
(WVEC-TV, April 29, 2013)

A good deal for riding HRT buses, The Tide light rail and the Elizabeth River ferries may not be as good in the future.
Hampton Roads Transit says it needs to increase the cost to businesses and colleges of the GoPass365 because it's losing too much money at the program's current cost, but some of those businesses are pushing back.
Right now, GoPass holders ride for free and the university or business picks up the cost, which is bought at a reduced rate.
Among those signed up are Norfolk State Univ., Old Dominion Univ., EVMS, the City of Norfolk, and Tidewater Community College.
The original pricing contracts for those organizations will expire on June 30, 2013.
NSU senior Meredith Johnson says she can see why the HRT is losing money. She says riding is on the honor system - there is no machine to swipe to get on the tide like on her hometown of Baltimore, MD
"Sometimes there's an officer and sometimes not. And when you're in a rush, you just jump on without a ticket," she said. (More)