Monday, January 08, 2007

Curtis-gate

The scandal that could be called Duke’s “Curtis-gate” is showing signs of intensifying. First came the lawsuit filed by former lacrosse player Kyle Dowd, who offered a credible allegation of grade retaliation by the Group of 88 member. Then came revelation that last March, Curtis wrote that Dowd and the other lacrosse player in her class might have covered up a rape. Their grades plunged shortly thereafter. Now comes news that Curtis’ approach to judicial matters seems biased against any Duke student that failed to fit her race/class/gender worldview.

Last March, the Chronicle reported about threats of gang violence and at least one violent act toward Duke students. Two Duke seniors, one male, one female, claimed that NCCU students shouted at them and then knocked the male student unconscious when they were picking up food at the Cook Out Restaurant. The female student said the attackers shouted at her, “This is Central territory.”

The Duke Police and administration took this and other reports of threats seriously, and increased security off of East Campus.

Seems like a reasonable and appropriate response to an unfortunate incident. But Curtis was outraged. A friend of Curtis' passed along unverified rumors that the male Duke student had a reputation for getting into fights, while the female student regularly lied about such matters.

Curtis wanted “to underline the importance of the research on this student and of making it public.” (So much for FERPA regulations, apparently, which place severe limitations on what employees of a university can publicly say about their students’ on-campus behavior records.) “The community really should know” about the student’s background, Curtis continued, since “whatever we can do to stay true to facts and to avoid raising the temperature about black on white violence (and about lies in general) we really must do.”

She concluded, “A past such as this student has does not prove the incident was made up, but it certainly raises important questions the community should know about.”

Let’s compare and contrast. In the case of the lacrosse allegations, Curtis uncritically believed the accuser, a black female who allegedly attended NCCU, and suggested that her own students, white male athletes, were covering up a rape.

In the case of the Cook Out allegations, Curtis demanded “research” to impeach the accuser, a white male Duke student, in the hopes of exonerating the accused, black male NCCU students—with a goal of minimizing coverage of “black on white violence.”

The only common thread: whenever her own institution’s students were involved, Curtis went to whatever lengths possible to disbelieve them. I wonder how many Duke parents believe that when they write out their tuition checks, this is the kind of instructor for which they pay.

The professor’s behavior toward the other lacrosse player in Curtis’ spring 2006 class followed the same pattern—after she suggested, in writing, that he was part of a conspiracy to cover up rape, his grades plummeted. The player’s first paper was a B+. As with Dowd, the teammate’s second paper was due on April 5—after the allegations were made public, and, ominously, the same day that the McFadyen email was made public. This time, Curtis gave a grade of C- (the same grade that Dowd’s second paper received).

The third paper was due just after the New Black Panthers—certified as a hate group by both the SPLC and ADL—arrived on campus. They had announced that they planned “vigilante” justice, threatening to invade the dorms to force lacrosse players to say what the Panthers wanted to hear. Just like Dowd, Curtis gave him an F for the paper. He received a C- on the final grade—which prevented him from making the ACC Academic Honor Roll. Disappointed, the player asked to meet with Curtis, whose message amounted to “I don’t really care, all people have problems.”

A Duke student was driven off campus by a hate group, and a professor effectively responds, “So what?”

The players’ parents sent the three papers to the holder of a chair in Journalism in a prominent university He graded the first paper the same as Curtis (B+), but the second, post-accusation, a B+, not a C-. He said the third paper was the worst of the three (unlike Dowd’s), but clearly not an F.

Professor Curtis did not respond to a request from me for comment.

As a professor, there are few sins greater than grade retaliation (although making unfounded, written allegations that your students are accomplices to rape would clearly be worse than deliberately lowering their grades). In any case, this issue isn’t a hard one to understand. The grades of two of her students plunged after Curtis accused them, in writing, of being accomplices to rape—all while she was seeking “research” to impeach an accusation filed by another Duke student against NCCU students.

Perhaps Curtis would be happier teaching at NCCU?

119 comments:

GPrestonian said...

Stunning.

"[Curtis] concluded, “A past such as this student has does not prove the incident was made up, but it certainly raises important questions the community should know about.”"

This could be said of Crystal Mangum...

Anonymous said...

Wow. Some professors suffer from their own ethnocentric myopia. It is a shame when it governs most of their thoughts and actions.

Anonymous said...

Duke alumni need to clean house.

Anonymous said...

JLS says,

So this is new. Curtis did not fail the second lacrosse student as I remember the law suit filing claiming, but apparently did retaliate against him as his grade fell.

I take it you, Prof. Johnson have not yet seen these papers. Of course another academic has and comes to a similar conclusion you.

Plus finally there is the Duke Prof's clear bias against Duke students apparently because of their race? Perhaps if a white NCCU student were in a swearing contest with a black Duke student, she might side with a Duke student?

GPrestonian said...

Her signing of the 'Listening' statement may not be legally actionable, but it's sure not going to help her grade retaliation case.

I'm going to a Peter Pan happy place while conpemplating the irony...

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps if a white NCCU student were in a swearing contest with a black Duke student, she might side with a Duke student?" Depends on whether one of them is male...

Gunslinger said...

Good show, as usual, KC. Can you please elaborate on the following two points?

1. "A friend passed along unverified rumors that the male Duke student had a reputation for getting into fights, while the female student regularly lied about such matters." A friend of Curtis, I presume...who was this person?

2. "A Duke student was driven off campus by a hate group, and a professor effectively responds, “So what?” " I'm afraid I didn't quite follow this part...how was the student driven off campus? What were the details of that?

Hope you have time to clarify...thanks again for all the good work.

GPrestonian said...

JLS:

"Perhaps if a white NCCU student were in a swearing contest with a black Duke student...

I would think that the former would be positively scarcer'n hen's teeth?

wayne fontes said...

I would like to hear Ms Curtis's comments if a white potbanger beat up a black conservative student. That might cause her pea brain to shut down completely.

Who would post a message on a public forum suggesting that they dig up dirt on an apparent crime victim if they weren't completely sure they were preaching to the choir. Perhaps Duke is suffering from a little academic inbreeding. For a group that preaches diversity the G88 seems startled that people don't agree with their opinions.

Can't wait to see what turns up in the interoffice emails.

Anonymous said...

I think Curtisgate is not anymore just about one nutty professor harassing her own students. I think this is a fundamental civil rights issue that need to be resolved. Didn't the feds get involved in 1950's to overcome racist local authorities in the south? This is pretty much identical situation. Local power elite (police, DA, university) have systematic policy of discrimination and harassment by police, DA and univ officials and hate speech.

Had this been other way around (blacks been systematically discriminated by whites) we would have seen federal troops patrolling on the streets of Durham.

Washington need to send FBI and special prosecutor to take over.

Anonymous said...

KC:

When you write," a friend passed along rumors..."

A friend of whom?

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

re: 12:23

I agree 100%. One big issue in all of this is are people in Democrat voting blocks the only people with civil rights that the federal government will protect?

Anonymous said...

What do you think of grade retaliation, Mr. Brodhead?

Anonymous said...

"I would like to hear Ms Curtis's comments if a white potbanger beat up a black conservative student. That might cause her pea brain to shut down completely."

lol. and if they were both female... she'd probably commit suicide.

Anonymous said...

One point of clarification: The New Black Panther Party did not arrive on campus. They were on public property and attempted to come on campus. President Brodhead prevented the group from entering campus.

KC Johnson said...

To the early comments:

sorry about the lack of clarity--it was a friend of Curtis' who passed along this news at the time. I made the change in the original post.

On the students being driven off campus: I think it's fair to say that I've followed this case more closely than most, but sometimes I forget timeline issues.

Curtis' third paper happened to be due immediately after the new Black Panthers came to Durham for their "protest." (The deadline obviously was scheduled before she knew about the Panthers.)

If you remember back to then, the Panthers were threatening to bring guns onto campus and to go into the dorms to "force" the lax players to "talk." Once the parents found out about this, they got their kids out of their until the Panthers were out of town.

So both Dowd and the other lax player were writing their papers as they were being hustled off campus so they could be safe from the Panthers.

Yet Curtis was wholly unsympathetic to what was happening to them.

Speaking as a professor here: most profs, regardless of their ideology, like students. We do what we can for our students to make their lives easier. This isn't a matter of ideology--it's just common sense and part of the profession.

KC Johnson said...

yes--quick response to 12.39:

It turns out they didn't come on to campus, but they had threatened to do so, and for a period before their arrival, it appeared as if Duke officials were going to let them come.

That prompted all the lax parents to get their sons off campus, for understandable reasons.

Anonymous said...

Curtis-gate is a problem for Duke. It's one thing for these moonbats to spout their nonsense and teach bogus classes--quite another to have them stiff students on grades, which obviously cannot be tolerated in the academic setting.

When I was in college, I trusted even the liberal profs to play it square. And I believe that my trust was well-founded.

The problem nowadays is that liberalism, which should be a means to an end, i.e., net social good, has now been made by these moonbats into an ideological belief system. These lunatics equate their views with morality, which therefore means that anyone who does not agree with them is by definition immoral, thereby allowing them to screw over others free of guilt.

The problem for Duke is manifest.

And this is a problem all over academia.

Anonymous said...

The only good thing about Prof. Curtis remaining at Duke is that it would guarantee she didn't show up on the university campus in my town. (We already have a few faculty members with whom she'd fit right in, but I've never heard rumors that any of them have gone to so much effort -- so far, at least -- to ruin students' lives.)

Gunslinger said...

Thanks very much for the clarifications.

Joe T. said...

And on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DurhamResponds-discuss/ it looks like Sam Hummel has come out of hiding and is trying to explain his involvement in the potbanging protests as being one of benign caring for abused women. lol

Anonymous said...

When I sent my daughter to college I remembered the strange look on my parents' faces. Will she be OK? Will she find her place in this academic community? Will people be nice to her? Will I embarass her if I cry? I had all these same questions as we walked away from a beloved child who told me she thought she was going to get really homesick. It never crossed my mind that my child would be a pawn in adult games such as those uncovered at Duke.
The in excusable treatment of the Duke students on the lacrosse team goes beyond how much college costs or civil rights or political theories. It is a violation of the trust parents place in teachers and administrators to watch over their children for the first few years after they leave home. It's an unspoken agreement, adult to adult, that these very vulnerable young people will be looked after, watched over, and respected as memebers of a community.
Prof. Johnson, you sound like you take this trust seriously. Prof. Curtis and other Duke professors sound like they resent their students and don't give a damn about what happens to them. Prof. Curtis abused her position of authority just as Nifong did. Absolutely shameless. I hope that Duke cleans house starting at the top and that other universities learn a valuable lesson.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What do you think should happen?

Here is my take:

- Brodhead must resign or be fired.

- Lacrosse coach must be rehired ro offered a substantial settlement

- Curtis must be fired (after investigation, of course)

- Committee mus be established to check the academic credentials of the pseudo-science profs. As a result, profs with little or no real academic credentials must be fired. Funding for pseudo-sciences must be reduced severely (their presence is hurting Duke's credibility in the academic world).

- New ethics guidelines must be introduced making sure that grade retaliation, political intimidation and indoctrination, racial discrimination and attacking students (by admin) cannot happen ever again.

- ~2M settlement with indicted Lacrosse players, substantial settlement with other lacrosse players (especially with Curtis' victims)

- investigation about Gang of 88 earlier actions (e.g. the ROTC case few years ago)

Cedarford said...

joe t - 12:48AM

If sam hummel is emerging from his cave, maybe he will also discuss his role - if any - in the creation, printing, and distribution of the Duke lacrosse Vigilante posters on campus.

Copying machine key cards are a bitch. They leave records in the copying machine's memory of how many copies were made by which Duke employee.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again, KC.

Anonymous said...

This is incredible. I wonder what kind of dirt would be found if Gang88 were to be investigated. I wouldn't be surprised to see massive election fraud or terror related conspiracies. One of the left-wing NYC feminist lawyers for the blind Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman was smuggling terror instructions between the Sheikh and Hamas.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson...

In your 12:40 clarificaiton post... fourth paragraph, second to last line
you use the word "their" when I think you mean there...

You are amazing and I eagerly await each of your blogs...Hopefully this will end soon and the three boys can move on with their lives and you will write a book reviewing this hoax.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...

re 1:06

I would say that:

1. I agree Brohead should get the boot.

2. Duke has a lacrosse coach so he can not really be rehired. And law suits are usually about money damages not specific performance, so he should get money damages.

3. Curtis, if she is the one that is a vice provost, should lose her administrative position. An investigation would reveal if she were to be fired, but the information indicates that she might be. I would not be surprise if she left Duke.

4. More than review the credentials of past hires, Duke needs to set up hiring policies to stop departments from hiring people lacking diversity of thought. Duke needs to be sure departments are not making being a loony leftist a requirement to be hired or tenured.

5. I am not sure new guidelines are needed but the current ones need emphasis. Maybe faculty members need to pledge not to discriminate against their students.

6. The courts or negotiations will determine the money damages of the lacrosse players and the defendants.

7. The group of 88 should not be blindly investigated. Those without tenure probably should be terminated. Any grading complaint NO MATTER HOW OLD should be throughly investigated. And the 88 should be required to undergo sensitivity training to learn how not to mistreat people who have different ideas from them.

Anonymous said...

Duke is being hurt in the wallet from all this:

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070107/15cross.htm


"But the unsung victim of the whole fiasco may be Duke itself. Applications for binding early admission were down 20 percent from last year's total of about 1,500, running counter to a rising trend among elite schools that offer early decision."

Sorry, forgot how to do html tags.

CF said...

Duke cannot settle these cases fast enough. If minimal coverage has turned up as much as it has already, imagine what civil discovery by a good lawfirm will turn up.

Anonymous said...

In an affair that is pure scandal, this business of grade retaliation is perhaps the most outrageous and damning of all the scandals. I repeat myself when I say, as an alum, that now is the time for a change at the top at Duke - and a wholesale change in the faculty and the faculty hiring policies that can allow such awful people to gain faculty appointments.

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who posted the link for the Duke applications fallout. Sorry, link is incomplete. Here is a tiny url for the U.S. News article:

http://tinyurl.com/yxrwea

I must say, I am really shocked by this decrease. As a parent of two college kids I know how cut throat the competition is for the elite schools.

Anonymous said...

In an affair that is pure scandal, this business of grade retaliation is perhaps the most outrageous and damning of all the scandals.

So far.. I'm pretty sure that is just the tip fo the iceberg. More is to follow (especially if Curtis' email records are investigated). I bet she has been involved in some really nasty things beyond grade retaliation. Remember, these wackos love Taleban and Hamas.

Joe T. said...

cedarford: IF Sam Hummel is behind, or partially behind, the vigilante posters, he should be more ashamed, because (I didn't remain in that Yahoo Group) I believe he left an explanation where he left out that part.

Anonymous said...

For those that don't want to rejoin his group, Sam Hummel's explanation is below.

He more or less admits he made and distributed the wanted poster (he admits to making and distributing the "fact sheet" and to organizing the rallies in which the poster was distributed.)

A rich white boy aping Palestinian terrorists and 60's black panther in his heroic activism is always fun.

In this case, it is also likely going to cost Mr "UBUNTU" Hummel and his boss Duke EVP Trask a bunch of money.

--------------

"I don't have any apologies for how I participated in the weeks and months
following the first news about this case. And I don't have any apologies
for how I'm continuing to participate in the effort to end sexual violence.

Here's how I recall my participation...

I found out about the case on Friday morning when the first news article
came out about it, nearly two weeks after the woman made a report to the
police. As someone who works with a rape-prevention group here in Durham, I
know that reports of rapes rarely go more than 24 hours without being
reported in the local newspaper. This is particularly true when the
reported assailant is still at-large and/or unidentified, as was the case
here. So, immediately, I felt that special treatment was being given to the
case.

Similarly, I was angry that the University did not alert the Duke community
about the allegations. This is consistent with a long held double-standard
in which Duke de-emphasizes assaults committed by its own students while
punctuating nearly every assault committed by a non-Duke student with an
urgent community safety announcement.

I was also incensed to read comments by Cpl David Addison of the Durham
Police Department saying that the police approached the lacrosse team but
that all the members refused to cooperate with the investigation. While I
don't think anyone should have to cooperate and potentially incriminate
themselves, I was appalled that the team was working as a unit in refusing
to cooperate. Surely, some of them were in a position to tell what they
knew. The only explanation I could conceive for the entire team
not-cooperating was that lawyers had told no one to speak with the
investigators. That belief resulted in my taking a sign to the "Pots and
pans wake-up call against sexual assault" that read "Get a Conscience, Not a
Lawyer."

I also felt it was repugnant that the Lacrosse team felt entitled to hire a
stripper for a team party and remain Duke's representatives in
intercollegiate athletics. As for Duke, I felt that if it had taken
responsibility for the behavior of its students living off East Campus on
any of the many occasions when the Durham community asked it to, that
perhaps all of this would have been avoided. And, I believed (and still
believe) a neighbor's report that at least one of the people at the party
hurled hurtful racist epithets at the two women.

And, of course, I was extremely upset by the prospect that a woman had been
brutally sexually assaulted. And, yes, I choose to believe a person when
they report that they have been sexually assaulted. The number of instances
that a person falsely reports rape is miniscule compared to the number of
people who do report it and are not believed or who never report it out of
fear that they will not be believed. So, I choose to believe those who
report that they've been sexually assaulted. In every case, I hope that a
fair investigative and judicial process brings the truth to light.

Put all that together and, yeah, I was pretty outraged at what was going on.
I thought then and I think now that a "Pots & Pans Wake-up Call Against
Sexual Assault" was an entirely appropriate way to express that outrage.
[While we are on the subject of appropriate ways to express outrage, I think
it is far more honorable to protest on a sidewalk than to stuff someone's
inbox with personal threats, as some people who are outraged about my
participation in this whole affair have been doing of late.]

Was I out their proclaiming the Lacrosse players guilty? Well, yes. I did
and do think they are guilty of perpetuating the objectification of women.
I did and do think they protected the person that shouted racial epithets
from the porch. I did and do think they are guilty of having put two women
in a very unsafe position by lying to the escort service about their
identity and the number of men that would be attending the party. I also
believed they were guilty of colluding with each other to stifle a police
investigation aimed at determining the facts. [The defense now claims they
didn't, so it's the police's word versus the defense attorney's.] Was I
declaring them guilty of rape? No. While I always err on the side of
believing the survivor, that doesn't mean the accused is automatically
guilty. It simply means I believe there should be a valid investigation and
an unbiased trial. It's an unfortunate reality that many survivors don't
get a valid investigation and an unbiased trial because family, friends, law
enforcement or district attorneys decide not to believe them along the way.

Was I out there to demand their punishment? Well, yes. I did not and do
not think that the privilege of representing Duke University in
intercollegiate athletics should remain with a group of guys that held a
team party and invited women to perform without being honest about their
identity or their numbers and then banded together in order to stifle a
police investigation, protecting a person who shouted racial epithets and
possibly protecting three people involved in a rape. Was I out there
calling for castration? No. Did someone else have a sign that read
"castrate," yes. Am I responsible for that person's sign? No.

After the pots & pans protest, I met with several Duke and Durham community
members who felt like there needed to be a way for people interested in
responding to the situation to communicate. I set up the DurhamResponds
listserv to make that possible. Within a few days, it had 300 subscribers
and the traffic was getting heavy so I set up two more lists,
DurhamResponds-Discuss and DurhamResponds-Organizing. The first was for
those interested in analyzing and thinking about what all of what was going
on means. The second was for those interested in planning responses to the
case. The DurhamResponds list became an announcements-only list, and
included a daily digest of media reports on the case. No attempt was made
to vet people joining the lists or censor posts other than to ask that posts
not be graphic, aggressive or derogatory in nature. I feel good about my
role in creating the DurhamResponds lists as I believe they have facilitated
good communication, conversation and learning.

A further contribution I made was to take the next day off from work in
order to support a speak-out that Duke students were putting on in front of
the Allen Building. I picked up the sound system they rented and I helped
compile excerpts from media reports into a factsheet that could be handed
out to students who didn't know what was going on. I felt then and I feel
now like the speak-out was extremely valuable as it allowed students,
faculty and staff to speak about issues that have been under the surface for
years.

The rest of the week I participated, as usual, in Sexual Assault Prevention
Week on campus and then got involved with a group of community members that
ultimately came to call itself UBUNTU. Since that time, UBUNTU has
responded to the case by: hosting screenings of "No! The Rape Documentary";
holding healing events for survivors of sexual assault who have been
triggered by the case and the media deluge surrounding it; writing
commentaries on this case and other cases of sexual and racial violence;
putting on educational sessions on sexual violence and its intersections
with race, gender and sexuality; producing a booklet for those supporting
survivors of sexual assault; creating art and music; and many other
initiatives. All of these worthwhile contributions to the dialogue,
learning and healing necessitated by this case have been carried out in a
spirit of love and transformation, not out of a desire for revenge or the
persecution of any particular individuals. As is evidenced by the fact that
UBUNTU's work is not focused on this one case and will continue long after
this case is history.

So, no, I don't feel a need to apologize because I don't regret any of how I
participated.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sam Hummel
e-mail: sam.hummel@...
cell: 919-475-8136

Anonymous said...

Serena Sebring responds to accusations on the Duke Responds mailing list:

From serena.sebring@gmail.com
------------------------------------
Wow Ted, I'm impressed that you have taken the time to so thoroughly
investigate my remarks from 8 months ago and flattered that you
would invest the effort to respond to my comment point by point.

I'm not sure that everyone would have taken the time to "review the
record" of what I wrote previously, and checked to make sure that
my "reasons held up". Truthfully, my guess is that most
likely "everyone" would not have supposed that I was capable of
seeing the future when I wrote that post.

Nevertheless, my main point was (and is) that the conduct of the
lacrosse players on the night of of their party was worthy of
protest. I'm not sure why that is controversial enough to warrant
a 'full review', since just about everyone agrees that their conduct
on that
night was dispicable.
-------------------------------------

Frankly, I do not agree it was despicable. Those who think it is despicable must surely think that a woman selling her body for men to oggle at and simulating sex acts with another woman is also despicable.

This knife cuts both ways.

texasyank said...

Unreal. I am a department chair in a two-year urban college with not one one-hundredth the academic reputation Duke enjoys (I was about to type "rightly so," but I'm starting to wonder).

I am precluded by federal law from discussing a student's academic performance with theirhis or her PARENTS, unless a student signs a written release or is present with in his or her parents' presence. I doubt the leeway for discussing non-academic activities extends much further.

An investigation? Into what? Personal behavior? I'm sure Curtis was simply thrilled by "Goodnight and Good Luck" and hasn't spent a second pondering the irony that she has become the very sort of person she no doubt has spent an adult lifetime denouncing.

Demagogues can be recognized. They simply become their own opposites. (See: NAACP.)

Joe T. said...

texasyank: I think all of those people need to be sent back to high school--- no, junior high school---to reread ANIMAL FARM for some basic lessons on that.

texasyank said...

Thanks, Joe, except I forgot to delete "their" before "his or her" when I revised the sentence.

I'm always telling people off and then stomping off into coat closets. Story of my life.

Anonymous said...

The Duke website describes Curtis as a "visiting" professor. From whence does she come? How soon can she be sent back?

Anonymous said...

Look up her husband. She may have
come to Duke as package deal.
Coles in political science.

Anonymous said...

Sam Hummel seems to be very discerning with things he is responsible for with his 'group', compared to what the lax players are responsible for with theirs...

To wit, the lax players as a group deserve a potbanging exhibition (and suspicion of rape) for travesties such as objectifying women, racial epithets by one player, and lying to the escort service(!). (think about that last one...the escort service should trust unverified callers with women's lives? who is at fault here?)

Yes, somebody in the group brought a 'castrate' sign. It wasn't him, so don't judge him by that, he wasn't responsible for it.

Earl Hofert said...

A hindsight's-a-bitch article from last April. The quote by African-American African-American Studies professor Thavolia Something-or-other is a real gem:

Rape/Race Forum

I predict that Kim Curtis will "resign." I also predict that Sam Hummel will become a professor of Queer Studies at San Francisco State.

Earl Hofert said...

From another article:

"'If you see them in class, ask them who did this,' said Serena Sebring, a graduate student in sociology.

Some students wore T-shirts that said, 'Men's Lax, Come Clean.' A poster said, 'The DNA will talk, even if the cowards of men's lacrosse won't. Shame on you all.'"

The DNA did talk. Not everyone listened, though.

The sad thing is, while Kim Curtis will go down, there's a Serena Sebring ready to spring up in her place.

AMac said...

Two points in the main text could stand clarification:

A Duke student was driven off campus by a hate group, and a professor effectively responds, “So what?”

Explained by KC Johnson in the comments, but remains unclear to any who simply read the post.

The players’ parents sent the three papers to the holder of a chair in Journalism

I think this is a typo, and player's is what is meant.

This is, to my recollection, the first D-i-W post that is not sourced. What gives KC Johnson reason to think that the events transpired as he described?

On another subject, the message-board contribution by Duke employee Sam Hummel that is reprinted in the comments, above, re: the "Vigilante" poster's origin is very significant.

bill anderson said...

Hummel is not off the hook with his comments. The protests were not about someone "demeaning" women. They were protests that made very specific accusations (rape) against very specific individuals. It seems that Hummel really did not know any of the facts, but participated in a protest which demanded that individuals "confess" to crimes they did not commit.

It is interesting to read the various professors at Duke say that they simply were speaking in general terms. If that were true, then the obvious question would be this: "Did you encourage others to withhold judgment about the lacrosse individuals?"

If the answer is no, then the rest of what they are claiming is untrue, too. Interesting, isn't it, that Duke would suspend an ROTC student with star chamber proceedings ostensibly for "lying," but that professors are lying in print, and nothing is done.

Duke needs a new advertising slogan: "Send your children to Duke, where their professors will grade them according to their ideological outlooks, and where they will lie about them whenever possible."

Anonymous said...

Duke University should demand that Duke employee Sam Hummel admit unequivocably whether he was the person behind the production and distribution of the highly dangerous "vigilante" poster.

From his comments, Mr. Hummel seems smugly confident in his role in this sordid affair. It is disgusting that in the early days of this incident, Mr. Hummel chose to "believe" just about everyone involved (including the discredited Cpl. Addison of the Durham PD, who assured all that "strong physical evidence" was in-hand to prove that a rape had occured... which by Nifong's own admission we know now was a lie), but chose not to believe the lacrosse players, Duke students all, who had by that time strongly proclaimed their innocence?

Should it turn out that Sam Hummel can be proven to have been the person behind the "vigilante" poster, he should expect to have the opportunity to defend himself in court.

Anonymous said...

"A friend passed along unverified rumors that the male Duke student had a reputation for getting into fights, while the female student regularly lied about such matters."

I wonder what the rest of her "scholarly research" produces.

Anonymous said...

Curtis' actions -- if proved to be true -- are abominable.

Think about it: a "visiting" professor at the bottom of totem pole at Duke pol sci department uses her "authority" to unfairly punish her students.

Daft

The Dude said...

KC, another great post. Please tell us a little more on this curtis Prof(age, race, education, etc...) i may have missed same in an earlier post.

I posted on an earlier thread and think this is worth repeating. Dowd's lawyer would do his client a service to consider this.

Dowd is a witness. he gave DNA. He had his photo in lineups. He was questioned by the Pros.(Police) and/or Defense. He may have taken some of the camera photos. he may have verified the accussed and/or other Lax players were elsewhere or not involved. It doesn't matter what he said or did. he is a witness. He had a lawyer.

Curtis put something in writing and then retaliated. It is not neccessary for her to put in writing "I AM RETALIATING AGAINST THIS PERSON". This is clearly retaliation AND clearly witness intimidation. I am sure this is a crime even in N. Carolina. The case is still pending and has been since March 2006. Anything that she wrote about the Hoax is fair game. it shows she was fully aware of the incident, it shows she had her own opinions on the matter, it shows she knew Dowd and the other person were LAX players and witnesses.

This is a criminal matter. Curtis will walk away and Duke will pay "big time" unless Dowd's lawyers grow a pair and file criminal charges against Curtis and Duke.
the only way anything will be solved is if this is confronted head on. How quickly will Duke and Curtis settle if there is the civil matter and her indictment pending at the same time.

AMac said...

anon 6:40am --

I recall reading (somewhere...) that Hummel left Duke's employ sometime in the Spring of 2006.

As lawyer-commenters have noted on numerous threads, the malefactors have most to fear from Discovery proceedings.

Irony

Duke will now have to initiate fact-finding proceedings to examine these very credible, very specific, and very serious allegations against Prof. Curtis. In all likelhood, they will be followed by disciplinary proceedings.

The University will have to move very carefully to protect Professor Curtis' Due Process rights, ensuring that charges are presented fairly and in context, that Curtis has a right to respond to them, and that disciplinary action is in proportion to the offense.

Curtis can also be assured that her privacy rights will be protected. Any Academic Freedom defense will be given serious consideration, and she may well find herself with the AAUP as an ally, given their concern with precedent-setting cases.

Is the university and its agents always so careful about avoiding a rush to judgement concerning alleged misdeeds by members of its Community? About procedural safeguards?

And what of Curtis herself, and the Groups that she's chosen to join?

The Dude said...

If Curtis also gave out protected privacy information regarding
Dowd and he is a witness that makes it strike three. Who is this Curtis lady and why does anyone care what she has to say!
She is Duke's responsibility 100% and financially that is going to hurt.

Anonymous said...

Any news from those who were e-mailing/writing to Prof. Baker and/or Chancellor Gee? The Tennessean has an article on the Bakers today.

Observer

plymouthrock said...

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Regulations (FERPA)
34 CFR Part 99

§ 99.63 Where are complaints filed?

A parent or eligible student may file a written complaint with the Office regarding an alleged violation under the Act and this part. The Office's address is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-5920.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(g))

bill anderson said...

Don't forget the role of Peter Woods in this one. He specifically fingered two of his students who were lacrosse players and (according to other students in the class) publicly lied about them. This is a huge no-no in teaching, and the man's career should be in jeopardy.

I really do not care how "good" a teacher he was or is. What he did was an offense for which he should never be permitted to enter another classroom again, at least as a teacher. One does not use his position to attack his students in a personal way.

Anonymous said...

The Baker article in the Tennessean is in error. The Baker move was a done deal before the lacrosse debacle occurred.

Duke is well rid of him.

james conrad said...

meanwhile...DUKE just barely made the "DIRTY DOZEN" comming in at #11 http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-allen7jan07,0,6765169.story?coll=la-opinion-center

Anonymous said...

1:06, and other who would do away with pseudo-science classses:

I wasn't required to take too many electives, but in retrospect I am glad I got a well-rounded education. Had every class been physics, or the math required to be a physicist, i would be able to do the same job but I'd be less of a person.

Some of those odd-ball courses really cause you to think beyond your comfort zone.

Reign them in, but don't thorw out the baby with the bath water.

Anonymous said...

4:15:

I wonder whether you're right about Curtis having come to Duke as part of hiring of Romand Coles. He began at Duke as Ass Prof in 89, got tenure in 96. She began, I think, in 96, but both got their degrees from U Mass Amherst at about the same time. If they are a couple, situation for Poli Sci is even more sticky. Her on-line cv is odd: says nothing about employment history. Where did she teach before coming to Duke?

Michael said...

VU professor was Duke lacrosse critic

Anonymous said...

On the list of Political Science faculty there are three headings:

Full Time Political Science Faculty:
Affiliated Faculty:
Visiting Faculty:

Kim Curtis is listed under Affiliated Faculty as: Kim F Curtis, Visiting Assistant Professor

None of the others in the "affiliated" catagory are visiting, while ecah one in the "visiting" catagory are listed as visiting.

Anyone know why this would be?

Anyone have a link to Kim Curtis' CV?

Anonymous said...

Found the CV.

http://fds.duke.edu/db/aas/PoliticalScience/faculty/kcurtis/cv.html

Anonymous said...

Thank you Michael for posting the link. Also, the NY Times has an op-ed piece today that is most interesting called "Free Market Justice" which describes a study exploring the implications of different outcomes for public defenders and private attorneys. Two Emory economists did the statistical work, and the results of their work may surprise you. They did me.

Observer

Anonymous said...

What is the source on the comments from Prof. Curtis? She's not mentioned in the Chronicle story.

Joe T. said...

Earl Hofert: I'm glad to work with you in supporting the Duke 3, but knock it off with the homophobia, lest I stick you in the homophobe category with the New Black Panthers and Victoria Peterson.

bill anderson said...

Houston Baker wanted to be chair of the Duke English Department, but because a female graduate student accused him of sexual assault, Baker was denied that opportunity.

The case was heard before a committee chaired by Karla Holloway. I don't know the outcome of that "investigation," and am not going to make editorial comments about it, since I don't know what ultimately happened, or what evidence was presented.

This was a major reason that Baker left, according to my faculty sources at Duke.

Those of us who teach KNOW that one does not put oneself in a situation with a student of the opposite sex. When students are in my office, the door is open. Furthermore, I always make sure that I am not alone with any student unless I am in a public place. One simply cannot risk anything else.

If Baker was in a private situation with a female student, then he showed a serious lapse of judgment.

Anonymous said...

re: 8:51

The conclusion of the judge was interesting in that he was concerned with reducing public costs. He didn't seem particularly concerned about the costs to the defendents in using up their resources and the resources of their extended family.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, if Curtis is indeed married to Coles this explains a great deal. She is what we refer to as a "Trailing Spouse." A TS is the weaker academic in a marriage. A school hires one and the TS comes along with the package. When the TS is fairly competant they get a tenure track position. When they aren't, the get "visiting" positions.

Anonymous said...

from a non/lawyer/retired professor: Regarding due process for Professor Curtis, she is a Visiting Assistant Professor (for about 10 years). Typically in a non-tenure track slot like this one, she probably doesn't have much job security. We would have to check the policies of Duke, but in most academic institutions, there is quite limited job security for a non-tenure track faculty member like Curtis. For you lawyers out there with some expertise in employment law, I would describe her employment status is equivalent to the doctrine of "employment at will." Basically this doctrine states you can be fired for good cause, no cause, or any cause at all. Of course, this doctrine is limited by legislation such as the civil rights legislation. But more to the point, what are the Duke policies (if any) for terminating a non-tenure track faculty member such as Curtis? If I am wrong about any of these legal issues, you lawyers feel free to correct me.

Anonymous said...

KC -- You've done reliable work to this point, but I'm afraid we'll need to know the source. Not necessarily a name, but at least some description of how you got the info.

bill anderson said...

Curtis, as a visiting professor, generally does not have much job security. Furthermore, by creating a huge liability for her employer (not to mention the terrible publicity for the university and her department), I would be shocked if she is on the Duke faculty after this term.

Anonymous said...

It's being discussed, with links to Curtis's written comments, on the liestoppers board:

http://z9.invisionfree.com/LieStoppers_Board/index.php?showtopic=1252

Anonymous said...

"Twelve Angry Men" was aired yesterday in our area and was quite instructive on two fronts:

1. Unlike this event(s), 11 changed their minds when new evidence was presented or existing testimony was questioned.

2. The Gang of 88 have become that which they despise - middle-aged white males. Lee J. Cobb's role comes to mind.

"You've come a long way baby" takes on new meaning.

Anonymous said...

from non-lawyer/retired professor: Bill Anderson at 926 reached the same conclusion I did regarding job security for Curtis. I suspect what will happen is simply that her contract will not be renewed by Pol Science. However, I do believe that the group of 88 will try to find her another position at Duke that is funded by a grant. There is always what I have heard referred to as soft money floating around in a large research institution.

Anonymous said...

To 9:01,
The part I found so interesting about "Free Market Justice" was that when innocent, even the "indigent" who qualify financially for a public defender are more likely to be able to find funds somewhere to pay a private lawyer, and this fact, according to the study, accounts for the more successful outcomes of private attorneys versus public defenders. Perhaps some of the hand wringing (in which I am a participant) about the deplorable state of justice for the poor may be misplaced? I, too, found it interesting that Judge Hoffman did not seem much troubled by the idea of further restricting access to public defenders.

I know this is a bit off topic to Duke LAX, but it is relevant to the overall picture of justice and how it is achieved...or not.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Is this Sam Hummel originally from Greensboro?

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed many of Bill Anderson's sensible comments, but the idea that a professor cannot have a private meeting with a student of the opposite sex without showing a "serious lapse of judgment" is one with which I strongly disagree. One of the hateful aspects revealed by the LAX "case" is that so many Duke faculty appear to suspect, distrust, dislike and perhaps even despise a large number of their own students. I wouldn't want to study in such a "climate". But neither would I want to teach in one in which wariness about sexual motives replaced wariness about political motives. The ideal and the expectation should be mutual respect and trust.

Anonymous said...

to 952 from a non-lawyer/retired professor: I don't want to put words in Bill's mouth, but I think his remarks are being mischaracterized. Just like Bill, when I had a private one on one with a student, be they have male or female, I would leave the door open. In today's environment, it only makes sense to take such precautions.

Anonymous said...

maybe webcam in your room is a better option..

Anonymous said...

sorry about my lack of proofreading in my 958 comment. Strike the word "have" where it should read "be they male or female".

Anonymous said...

Somewhat off-topic: perhas Prof. Johnson would be so kind as to open a discussion on the case of Shadee Malaklou, student-"journalist" at Duke Chronicle.

After she wrote a highly abusive and irrational article about the Lacrosse players, many dozens of comments, all negative (many of which very polite and rational) have debunked Shadee Malaklou's rant.

Duke Chronicle's reaction? They simply expurged ALL commentary from their website.

Perhaps you could open a place to comment on this article here.

A passage from the infamous "editorial"

"Although we now know that a rape did not happen on March 13, the truth is, as students and passersby, we owe the lacrosse team nothing, not even a toast or celebration in honor of their now official innocence. In the days since the party, we've connected ourselves so closely to the image of the lacrosse team and the embarrassing Duke 500 that we've fooled ourselves into believing an innocent verdict will clear our name."

"It surprises (and to an extent, disgusts) me that we have remained so loyal to a group of men that have shown very little loyalty to Duke, to the student community or to Duke's reputation. Have we so soon forgotten the lacrosse team's sloppy tailgate habits? Or their "I am man, hear me roar? and chug a bear" reputation with women?

Indeed, the original uproar of students in the wake of the lacrosse accusations reflected a common concern among Dukies-Dukies who normally stick together in defense of their school and their Blue Devil honor-that the lacrosse team, although now exonerated, was capable of such an act; and that it's just like these men to nonchalantly dishonor Duke."

__________________

Don't let this hysterical slanderer get away with censorship. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, 9:52, your views, though heartwarmingly idealistic, are also sadly naive in today's world. My husband was college professor way back in the 70's before much of this militant feminism became so entrenched, but even back then he was very concerned about this issue and NEVER closed his doors during office hours or allowed himself to be alone with female students.

I think it's pretty clear to most of us here that all it takes is one wacko pointing a finger...and one's whole life and solid reputation can be irretrievably altered! Wish it weren't so, but sadly it is.

Anonymous said...

KC: Outstanding work. This "dirty little secret" has not really been a secret and has been going on for years.

And you are correct - there is nothing worse that a prof. can do.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

Anonymous said...

to 1002: maybe so, but when you join academe today, there is talk of false accusers, and in today's politically correct university environment, you may have to prove a negative, that is, "I didn't do it". Sounds like the standard used by the 88 where they believe the three young men have the burden of proving their innocence. It is an upside down world in academe today.

Anonymous said...

To 9:52
I'm exactly what you are--retired professor--and, sadly, you may be right about "today's climate". I doubtless want to maintain my illusions about yesterday's. I came into my profession because I thought it was noble and inspiring. I don't want to work in a place where I need a webcam to prove I am an honorable person. It is not merely the specifics of this case that make me sick at heart. Just consider the opinion that most posters have of American higher education.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Sam Hummel seems to be very discerning with things he is responsible for with his 'group', compared to what the lax players are responsible for with theirs...

To wit, the lax players as a group deserve a potbanging exhibition (and suspicion of rape) for travesties such as objectifying women, racial epithets by one player, and lying to the escort service(!). (think about that last one...the escort service should trust unverified callers with women's lives? who is at fault here?)

Yes, somebody in the group brought a 'castrate' sign. It wasn't him, so don't judge him by that, he wasn't responsible for it.

5:37 AM


Kind of ironical {or hypocritical} for Sam to hold the Lax players responsible as a group for the behaviour of an individual but not hold the PotBangers as a Group responsible for the actions of the Castrate Sign Individual.

Guess Sammie Boy can rationalize anything

Joe T. said...

AND, if the potbangers were truly concerned about "objectifying women" as a cause outside of the Duke incident, they'd regularly be protesting outside of that "club" where the accuser (and other women) have been doing their pole dances.

Anonymous said...

to 1016 and 1002 from a non-lawyer/retired professor: Unfortunately there are real cases of sexual harrassment on campuses today just like there are real rapes. But a few false accusers or wackos can be so destructive and harmful. But I would like to add that I do believe that I created an atmosphere of "mutual trust and respect" both in the classroom and when I met students in my office. I mentored many students in 30+ years in teaching, but the academic world I entered in the 1970s is far different today, in some ways for the better and in some ways, for the worse.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how Hummel and his ilk always look like morons or liars when they attempt to explain their actions.

He says he believed the accuser without reservation but that doesn't mean, he says, that he thinks the lacrosse players are guilty of the crime he believes happens. Huh? He's lying about one side or the other -- if he believes a crime happened he can't say he's open-minded about it at the same time.

And his justification is just as bad: if they're NOT guilty they'll get to prove it at trial. The old guilty-until-proven-innocent view of the legal system that idiots like Hummel see no problem with.

Anonymous said...

KC,
12:41 post, The parents didn't get the lax players off campus, Duke Amin called them and TOLD them to get off campus. This was not the player's choice. I watched two players trying to explain to their parents why they had to leave campus, it was disgusting.
Another black eye for the administration.
Kemp

Anonymous said...

I can think of two Duke students run off campus by hate groups: RS and CF. I'm only awaiting hate group status to come for the 88 of Shame, Durham D.A. office and DPD

bill anderson said...

To 9:52 AM:

I know I am sounding overly cautious, but that is what we have to do. Students are not above making false charges against faculty members, so we have to adhere to the Caesar's Wife standards.

Just a mere accusation, no matter how truthful, can be something that ruins one's career. Sexual harassment has become one of those "biggies" on a college campus, and the only way to stay out of trouble is to make sure that no one can accuse you and have even a ghost of a chance of getting away with it.

We have had incidents in which teachers have had sexual relations with students, and it always is recipe for scandal. I just try to make sure that no one can accuse me of anything, and that means being very careful.

In my orientation meeting when I first came to the True FSU, the university's lawyer spoke to us about sexual harassment. She told us that if we are accused, we are on our own. No matter what, the university will not back us, unless we can demonstrate unequivocally that the charges are a lie. That is pretty much the case elsewhere, although I am curious as to what the situation was with Houston Baker.

Anonymous said...

Re 10:06
"...although now exonerated, was capable of such an act".

Am I reading this correctly - that while the rape did not happen the LAX players were capable of doing it anyway? This person cannot be for real.

Even Stalin could not be this creative.

Anonymous said...

to Bill at 952 from a non-lawyer/retired professor: About a decade ago, I had a colleague accused of sexual harassment. The charge was eventually found to have no merit, but my honorable collegue was put through a living hell for over a year.
Well, the great thing about being a retired academic is that I don't have to worry about such things happening to me. Don't get me wrong; I loved teaching. But now instead of meeting students for the first class of the semester today, I am off to the gym.

Anonymous said...

Is this visiting professor, Kim Curtis, the same Kim Curtis who is a writer for the Associated Press?

Anonymous said...

Regarding comments from Bill Anderson and the retired prof, I believe comments on the earlier Dowd thread mentioned that Curtis has been at Duke 10 years and is married to another professor. I think this makes the actions or inactions alleged in the Dowd suit credible: Curtis is part of the other prof's pay package, and she is expected to be renewed, although she would never get tenure in an up-or-down vote. (But she's been at Duke, if the comments are correct, longer than a lame duck assistant prof would be!)

This would also explain the apparent long-term pattern of bullying behavior that an ordinary contingent faculty member wouldn't get away with as easily. I'm Mrs. Prof. Big! Don't mess with me! And apparently Munger follwed these instructions to the letter.

KC, it would be worthwhile to have this info in a verified, centrally located form.

Nepotism, of course, is a form of corruption, and in the academcy it is certainly not unique to Duke.

John Bruce

Anonymous said...

If 10:41 is correct - about the administration requiring the team to get off campus - and the the administration didn't intercede on behalf of a team member who was downgraded for not turning a paper in on time because he was off campus, then the administrations is far more complicit in the Curtis scam than I origionally suspected.

Anonymous said...

to 10:52: indeed.

See for yourself at

http://tinyurl.com/uophk

There were dozens of comments, ALL negative, Duke Chronicle has blocked them. I reiterate my kind request to Professor Johnson to deal with this "editorial" (which shows the kind of *students* professors like Holloway, Curtis and Davidson produce) and to allow for uncensored comments to be posted. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Kim Curtis who is a writer for the Associated Press?

That wouldn't surprise me. In the Middle East, AP writers are always members of Hezbollah (if shia) or Al-Qaida (if sunni). al-AP is a left-wing propaganda organisation so it is more than expected that Kim Curtis is their writer. I think she has a perfect CV for AP. If she gets fired, she has guaranteed job at AP or New York Times.

Anonymous said...

uhm, it look like Sam Hummel:

1) Does not know the meaning of contradiction. See the bold sections at the beginning and end of the paragraph (I added the bold to the sections). This might not seem like a total contradiction but once we see the people he thanked through the ad for not waiting... They were accusing the players of rape and demanding their castration.

2) Does not believe in one of the primary tenet of our justice system, i.e. Innocent until proven guilty, as he always chooses to err on the side of the victim. This completely goes against the spirit of innocent until proven guilty (second bold section) which by definition forces us to err on the side of the accused.



Was I out their proclaiming the Lacrosse players guilty? Well, yes. I did
and do think they are guilty of perpetuating the objectification of women.
I did and do think they protected the person that shouted racial epithets
from the porch. I did and do think they are guilty of having put two women
in a very unsafe position by lying to the escort service about their
identity and the number of men that would be attending the party. I also
believed they were guilty of colluding with each other to stifle a police
investigation aimed at determining the facts. [The defense now claims they
didn't, so it's the police's word versus the defense attorney's.] Was I
declaring them guilty of rape? No. While I always err on the side of
believing the survivor, that doesn't mean the accused is automatically
guilty.


Earl Hofert said...

Hey Joe:

Put the pot away, baby....you're becoming that which you purport to despise.

Anonymous said...

Here are the saved comments on Shadee Malaklou's "editorial". These comments, debunking thoroughly Shadee Malaklou's piece of hateful fluff, have been erased from their own website by Duke Chronicle's Stalinist censors. I realize this may not be the best place to save these comments for public knowledge - if the blog's owner has a better idea, he should feel welcome to use them.


Most of the comments on Shadee Malaklou's piece have been saved. Here they are. They are not insulting, anyway, not anymore than Shadee Malaklou has been insulting to other Duke students, AND much better argued. WHY, in Heaven's name, would Duke Chronicle allow Shadee Malaklou to molest the reputation of other Duke students and, in the same time, stop Duke students from responding to her?

Censored comments following Shadee Malaklou's "editorial":

Huck
posted 1/02/07 @ 5:37 AM EST
With opinion pieces like this one, showing clearly the inherent tensions and prejudices at Duke, I doubt the dwindling application numbers will recover.



locomotive Breath
posted 1/02/07 @ 6:38 AM EST
This entire article can be summarized thusly: "I don't care if they're innocent of the charges - I still hate them and wish the charges were true."



Linda
posted 1/02/07 @ 12:45 PM EST
Originally posted by
locomotive Breath
This entire article can be summarized thusly: "I don't care if they're innocent of the charges - I still hate them and wish the charges were true."

You hit the nail on the head with that one.



Mike Tryon
posted 1/02/07 @ 6:56 AM EST
One doesn't know. Maybe, to future employers, former Duke students will forever be associated with positive images of standing up against a Durham County lynch mob.



DM
posted 1/02/07 @ 8:03 AM EST
What a load of garbage.




MCF
posted 1/02/07 @ 10:24 AM EST
I don't imagine for a minute my comments will influence you, Shadee, because it seems so clear that you are locked into your own narrow perspective no matter what. And we agree about one or two things--that this case has done a lot of damage to Duke's reputation, and that many Duke students (my own daughter, a junior, among them) are likely to endure some awkward moments in job interviews.

But after that we part company. Your implication that this damage has been caused mostly by the lacrosse team and its failure to be "loyal" to Duke* overlooks the fact that the media's rush to campus [which, ultimately, caused the damange] was provoked as much or more by the irresponsible actions of the DA and the precipitous actions of faculty, students, and community members who conducted protests presuming the guilt of the entire lacrosse team and commented publicly about the case and their opinions on the sorry state of Duke's culture. Where was Houston Baker's loyalty to Duke, to offer just one example? [Of course, we now know it was nonexistent, as he had already arranged to leave for Vanderbilt.]

Did the lacrosse team members take for granted their extreme good fortune in being at Duke? Probably.
But I would argue that the same is likely true of most students and, apparently, many faculty members as well. And your "disgust" at fellow students' loyalty to the accused students (despite the fact that you yourself admit they are innocent of the charges) says a lot more about you than it does about those students.
First, it suggests you are unwilling to see the members of the lacrosse team or the specific accused students for what they are--individuals and complex human beings with good and bad qualities, who have had their human share of both positive accomplishments and regrettable actions, and who actually have friends and acquaintances among the student body who have supported them not out of a sheeplike devotion to annointed campus "heroes" but because they believe that the accused are innocent and have been unfairly targeted.
Second, it suggests the possibility that you (like some vocal faculty members) are resentful of the status of athletics and athletes at Duke. This is a legitimate topic for debate, although one might ask why someone intelligent enough to get into Duke would choose it over a different sort of school if she did not like the atmosphere that comes with big time athletics. But that debate would be much more productively conducted in the abstract, not at the expense of three wrongly accused individuals who are as entitled to the support of their friends and fellow students as anyone else and don't forfeit that right simply because you don't like them.

*Because the members were wild tailgaters? Several Chronicle articles and columns on the debate over tailgate make clear that many more students than the lacrosse players [presumably not including you] love the crazy tailgating tradition. Or because they acted cocky around women? Surely not behavior limited to lacrosse players, nor that really implicates their loyalty to Duke as an institution.



David
posted 1/02/07 @ 12:32 PM EST
Wow!
The lacrosse players owe nothing to Duke, at this point. They were not defended nor assumed innocent, they were kicked out of school!!

WHY WOULD ANYONE want to attend Duke now??

Yes! The damage has been done!! And it was the Duke administration that showed it could not be trusted with the lives of these young men!!

I know I certainly will not be evaluating Duke as an educational institution for my kids. Ever.




Andrew Rosenberg
posted 1/02/07 @ 12:38 PM EST
I cannot believe the vindictive tone and the inherent anti-white male abhorrence that practically drips off the pages of anything Ms. Malaklou-less has written about this case since Day One. Wait till you get out in the real world, dear. You will soon find that the idyllic world you dream of exists only as a figment of your childlike imagination. There is right and there is wrong with not much in between, and this whole thing smells like a festering piece of rotten flesh in the process of decay. You are a self-hating Dukie - I am sure you will never brag about your days in Durham because you are so miserable being some sort of twisted ultrafeminist.




Linda
posted 1/02/07 @ 12:51 PM EST
Perhaps the students at Duke are siding with the lacrosse players because they don't want to see three INNOCENT men go to prison for rape. Perhaps they don't like that those players were targeted because of their race and because they go to Duke.

But you go on with your pathetic whining about employers maybe not liking you b/c of Duke while the lacrosse players will have it all made.




Alum
posted 1/03/07 @ 3:45 PM EST
According to Mr. Malaklou's logic, a member of the Duke Commuity shouldn't be happy, connected, or proud when Duke Men's Basketball performs well or one of its members obtains a Rhodes Scholarship.

Adopting Malaklou's principles, being arrested and falsely accussed of rape, having one's image and name tarnished in the national press, and losing the faith of family, friends and peers, is equivalent to feeling frustrated during a job interview.

Under Malaklou's argument, Duke as a community is faced with a morally reprehensible and false choice: We are able to stand collectively and absorb the benefits of the achievements of the individuals that collectively make the Duke identity. However, when individuals, as representatives of our community, fail, then we have no burden or duty to stand together as a Community to lift them up whatever their transgressions (or support them when they are falsely accused). We are at one time "Duke" able to benefit from our collective achievements and at the same time each of us our alone, individuals only responsible to ourselves with no connection or obligation to others.

Mr. Malaklou's view of Duke and of Community is a narrow and sad one, a perception best left for those seeking a life of convenience, dishonor, and ultimately, loneliness. Fortunately, he attends Duke University where he has most likely developed friends and relationships, and, in the end recognizes (even if erroneously) the concepts of community, loyalty, honor and justice. Thus, I am certain that he knows better.




Alum
posted 1/03/07 @ 4:11 PM EST
As a recent graduate who is familiar with Ms. Makalou's social behavior and character, I must say that I am not surprised in the least by the ignorance and spite expressed in this column. What I can say is that this student's history of shameless table dancing and other unnamed social actions have made her broadly unpopular at best and a locker room laughingstock at worse, effectively undermining any rational argument that she may contribute to this debate. Shadee, your actions belie your apparent concern for women's issues, and we are all worse off for reading your transparently hypocritical columns.




Ira Finkelstein
posted 1/03/07 @ 4:46 PM EST
News Flash: It has been revealed that Shadee Malaklou is actually Sasha Baron Cohen in disguise! (Not!)




Mike
posted 1/04/07 @ 12:50 PM EST
You're absolutely right Shadee. Those lacrosse players are so lucky this happened. This has all been such a wonderful experience and will greatly help them when they go out into the real world looking for jobs. I'm sure you can hear my sarcasm rolling off the page.

And poor you will have to try to defend Duke and bear the brunt of the lacrosse players misdeeds. Sorry if we don't all shed crocodile tears for your poor misfortunes, but get over it. Sorry if we don't feel pity for you, but if you stopped worrying about yourself for a minute and took an honest look at the situation, you'd see that there are real victims here, and you're not one of them.




The Utilitarian
posted 1/04/07 @ 9:21 PM EST
These comments are very disturbing, on the face of them. It is pretty clear to the average viewer that these three men were the subject to serious misconduct and malfeseance by Nifong, and he should be responsible for that. It is also clear that this lacrosse case has been co-opted by special interests within the Duke alumni to push against the tightening hand the Duke administration has been squeezing in order to further it's goal of being a truly national research university. Take away the alcohol culture, add some self-righteous indignation, as well as PERVASIVE campus-wide racist and segregationalist attitudes, mix some personal pejoratives - let's just call this gross behavior.




James Crowley
posted 1/05/07 @ 10:56 AM EST
The lacrosse team likes to party and have sex. Why are these reasons to hate them? Make no mistake, those attacking the lacrosse team (and their 'sorority' admirers) are quite guilty of hate. It is ironic to read their posts as they generalize all lacrosse players and then condemn the group for the actions of an individual. Why, one was charged with yelling a racial slur! Hang them all!

These are the same emotions and logic which led to men being lynched in days past. Please don't try to justify your emotional feelings at the expense of individuals you don't even know. Again and again the 'lacrosse team' is condemned. Love them or hate them, it is unfair to judge an individual based on the actions of his teammates. While I have no doubt there are misogynists and miscreants on the team, I also have no doubts there are wonderful men on that team, as well.

Don't hide from the reality of your own emotions and prejudices. Frankly, many at Duke seem to be predjudiced against jocks and fraternity members. Perhaps you were insulted by one of them or have objected to their hijinks. This does not give you a right to hate athletes and frat boys (or girls). I am a white male and I have been insulted, assaulted, and robbed by black men at various times in my life. Does this give me leave to hate black people? Of course not. Even the Group of 88 would agree that such hatred and predjudice is wrong. Why, then, is okay to hate the troglodytes on fraternity row or in the locker room.

I suggest those still trying to rationalize their earlier statements in light of these boys innocense try a simple thought experiment:

If this incident had involved a party of black, non-athlete, males and the 'victim' were a white girl (of questionable character), would your reaction have been the same?



Duke 06
posted 1/05/07 @ 7:59 PM EST
Shadee, no one is trying to pretend that the lacrosse players are gods or perfect angels. But we are united behind them because, the truth is that none of us are angels, yourself included. This could have happened to any one of us. Any one of us could have been drunk and ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time. Think about normal Friday night activities - for lacrosse players this could mean hosting a party and inviting a stripper, for others like you it could mean getting wasted and dancing provocatively on a table in front of your peers, something that many posters here (including myself) have witnessed. For me while I was at Duke it might have been getting messed up at Freaky Friday.

Whatever it was that we did on the weekends, it could have ended in a similar false accusation... maybe someone I didn't know could have falsely claimed to have been gang-raped at Freaky Friday, and a homophobic prosecutor and police department could have ignored evidence that they made it up. Maybe a girl could have beaten the shit out of another girl near Shooters and you might have been the one identified in a rigged lineup. Would you want your fellow students to automatically presume your guilt because you are known for being drunk and rowdy on occasion? What about after you had been basically proven innocent? Would you want them to say "whatever, she had these accusations coming, I don't owe her anything."

You're sort of right, we don't owe the lacrosse players a thing. They were just regular duke students doing what they do to have fun, just like the rest of us do. But we support them anyway, because we know that they are innocent and we hope that if it was our lives being ruined by false accusations of some kind, other Duke students would stand up for us, too.



Nancy
posted 1/06/07 @ 1:15 PM EST
Justice is blind, does the author not realize that while she writes an opinion piece, it must be tempered with full acknowledgement of known facts?

Personal rants and bias do not a compelling read make. The piece I just read is not informative, just a pot banging piece of personal hate.

Were it the author in a place of being falsely accused and people taking to the streets to drag her name about prematurely and all the subsequent fallout, would her tone change?

Absolutely. But would the public, given what we read here, have much sympathy were the tables turned?

Not a chance.

Anonymous said...

Sam Hummel's position in his email (2:23am)and the fact that he, even at this point, shows so little self examination of his participation in a lynch mob is frightening.

You think that the actions of others were necessary to drag him back from the abyss would have given him pause.

His position:
- it wasnt reported in the newspaper for 2 weeks as a rape. He deemed that suspecious.
- he was angry that Duke didnt report it to the university community
- he was "incensed" that people who are involved in a felony investigation contact a lawyer.
[in fact I think this is the universal advice to everyone- consult a laywer and follow their advice before making statements. ]
- "I also felt it was repugnant that the Lacrosse team felt entitled to hire a
stripper for a team party... "
[appearently a perfectly legal activity]
- "The number of instances
that a person falsely reports rape is miniscule compared to the number of people who do report it and are not believed..."
[I doubt any such statistics exist- it would require perfect knowledge of every case to know if they should be classified as a real rape or a false report. Does one have to go through the Kobi Bryant process to end up in the first catagory?]
- "Put all that together and, yeah, I was pretty outraged at what was going on. I thought then and I think now that a "Pots & Pans Wake-up Call Against Sexual Assault" was an entirely appropriate way to express that outrage.


How can he, at this late point, not see that the points he outline fit perfectly well with there being a weak case and that authorities were being circumspect? This thing became a mess because of his aggitation.

This sloppy a thought process is an embarrasment to a Computer Science major. And he is still defending it!!

If he really thought there was a cover up the correct thing to do would have been to engage with the Duke administration, not muddy soceity with his half baked claims.

Sam should quit all of his aggitations activities. Being professionally outraged is hurting soceity.

Anonymous said...

Will Shadee be suprised that the Starbucks Manager is not nterested in her Duke degree in AAS/womens studies or her opinions?

GPrestonian said...

All:

Prof Gustafson posted a letter on LS. No link, I guess it's an email from Brodhead:

Letter from the President

Anonymous said...

Duke06

No one is claiming that the Duke boys are "god or perfect angel", they are normal boys, who are innocent, and have been railroaded by the criminal misconduct of DA Mike Nifong and feminst groups who are trying to spin the victimization of these boys into being a victimization of women by saying that, "yeah! they were falsely accused of rape and their reputations and lives destroyed, but they're not gods or perfect angels!"

Joe T. said...

I would almost feel sorry for the Hummels and potbangers and 88's falling all over to try to rectify themselves publicly, but when one recalls that "castrate" sign and the New Black Panthers' threats, we must be reminded we can show very little mercy to these people who would have shown no mercy if the tables were turned. In cases like this, where they will feel no regrets morally at what they've done, we need those things called lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

KC,
We are all waiting for you to ream Brodhead a new A**hole after you read his latest letter.

Don't let us down, take your time and put the knife in slowly and twist it.

Kemp

Anonymous said...

Wow.

Just wow. Brodhead ought to be dismissed for that letter alone.
"More recently, a group of Duke faculty
members (including a number of African American faculty) have been widely
attacked in blogs and emails "

Why does it matter that they are African American???

The meme that is being pushed is that you have to refrain from all criticism of Duke if you love it.

AMac said...

gprestonian 12:47pm --

Pres. Brodhead's letter is interesting. Two paras from the middle:

... During these hard months, some have seemed to imply that if you insist on the students' innocence, then you must not care about the underlying issues. Others have seemed to suggest that if you insist on the underlying issues, then you must not care about fair treatment for the students.

But it is essential that we separate the legal case from the larger cultural issues and give each its separate, appropriate response. The Campus Culture Initiative... is an effort to visualize the best community we could make for students to grow and learn in, a community of mutual respect and vibrant mutual engagement... I see this as a chance to build on existing strengths in our educational experience and to press toward higher ambitions: the latest chapter in Duke's long history of self-improvement.


Um.

Sensible idea, separating the legal case from the larger cultural issues and giving each its separate, appropriate response.

I'd want to be doubleplus sure that my flagship effort to visualize the best community we could make for students to grow and learn in (a community of mutual respect and vibrant mutual engagement) would be properly staffed.

It should be easy to appoint people who insist on the underlying issues and have not demonstrated disregard for fair treatment for the students.

Surely, participation in damaging groupthink exercises like March's "Listening Statement" would disqualify faculty members from leading The Campus Culture Initiative.

Surely?

GPrestonian said...

Don't call me Shirley. ;>)

Anonymous said...

The hypocrisy of those who criticise the lacrosse players for hiring strippers is palpable.

I would be vastly more impressed if they also criticized and held pot-banging parades against the Duke basketball team and the women's team that also hired strippers.

Anonymous said...

"The Campus Culture Initiative... is an effort at... "


an effort at pandering.

Pandering is the what fanned spark in this case. No one can control when a woman like Mangum is going to make this kind of charge, but the fact that Brodhead was blown around by every injudicious extremeist with an agenda they wanted to adavance on the backs of the Duke LAX team's reputation.

You would think he would wake up to the fact that this is the worst sort of thing you can do. These people should not be rewarded when it has been exposed that their world view and they though tpocess was so deadly wrong.

Are we as a soceity really better off with things in academia the way they are today verses 50 years ago?

Anonymous said...

Portion of DUKE UNIVERSITY CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY FOR DUKE FACULTY:http://www.ors.duke.edu/ors/policies/conflict.html

"It is the policy of Duke University that its faculty have an obligation to avoid unacceptable ethical, legal, financial or other conflicts of interest and to ensure that their activities and interests do not conflict with their obligations to the University or its welfare."
SO, where is Brodhead's outrage about Curtis' rape of Duke's own rules and policies?

Anonymous said...

Randon thoughts:

1. I cannot imagine anyone applying to Duke (undergraduate) except as a backup. The degree will be (sadly) tainted for years to come.

2. This pattern of behavior from the left seems pretty typical to anyone who have spent any time in academia.

3. The poor character exhibited by so many in the Duke/Durham community is astonishing.

4.Brodhead's most recent letter looks like it was lifted from a Tom Wolfe novel. Unbelievable. Only someone in the highest levels of academia could possibly write something like that with a straight face.

5. Finally, the NY Times continues to reach new lows. Remember, this is the paper that had a very sympathetic article about 1960s US terrorists--unfortunately published (just before the attack) on 9/11/01!!. And a paper, that never, ever seems to learn anything.

Anonymous said...

I think this thread should have been entitled "PAULA ZAHN: CRACKED BY THE CASE"

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