Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Dowd Suit

The first suit against a Group of 88 member was filed today, from former lacrosse player Kyle Dowd against Political Science professor Kim Curtis. The allegations are deeply troubling--that Curtis abused her classroom authority and engaged in grade retaliation.

I'll have more on the suit Saturday; am working my way through the documents now. But its filing testifies to the importance of the Economic Department's statement--and the reminder that for those professors, anyway, all Duke students are welcome in their classes.

Curtis is a political science professor whose most recent publication is on the politically correct topic of multicultural education. Over recent years, her behavior has been a caricature of an academic radical: shortly after 9/11, she wildly (and, of course, without any evidence) condemned an alleged attempt “to silence professors who encourage students to probe the history of U.S. foreign policy in the effort to understand the September 11th attacks.” She protested efforts to remove from the ranks of the nation’s faculty those “who feel shame, fear and anger over the violent suppression that the United States has undertaken in so many states across the globe in the near and the distant past”; and those who “feel distress over the long-time support by the U.S. of the mujahadeen in Afghanistan, whose oppression of women has been brutal.”

174 comments:

Anonymous said...

VERY interesting. I could not open the link to the filings, but the DOWD name is HUGE in NC they own Charlotte Pipe and know EVERYONE in NC. I don't think this boy is a NC Dowd, but his name will make those on the Board of Trustees read the suit to make sure. Hope he's a cousin that will really make em sweat.

Kemp

Anonymous said...

Damn, to be 50 and a "visiting assistant professor," you must really suck at something. VAP's are temporary hires. I was one the year before I finished my PhD.

Anonymous said...

From what I've read, she sounds like one of these people who believes having free speech means being free from criticism.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting complaint.

Staples

Anonymous said...

At least one person has said that this is silly, but I don't think so. This case has merit. Clearly emotional distress was inflicted due to her actions. And since Duke changed the grade, it sure looks like the university agreed that there was something wrong with it.

Its time people like Prof Curtis take a real stand for whatever it is they believe in. She talks about how oppressive the US, but nothing has ever happened to her because of her views. Now she'll have a chance to explain her views to a jury and, hopefully, incur the full cost of a legal defense just like the boys had to. That may be a round about way of getting some justice out of this, but I'll take it.

I wonder if the local NAACP will set up a defense fund for Curtis? Oh, this is great.

Sue away!

WINDBAG

Anonymous said...

Kyle Dowd is from Long Island.

bill anderson said...

K.C.,

As I pointed out is a previous post, Kim Curtis does not have the credentials to be hired where I work. I discussed with this case with the head of our political science department, and he was not particularly impressed with her scholarship and with her grading policies. Duke is in so much trouble, and none of this was necessary.

For other readers on this blog, K.C., myself, and many others who are privilged to be on college faculties take our relationships with students very seriously. We are supposed to be fair, and at the same time hold to academic standards. I have friends at my university, Frostburg State, who are what one calls political leftists, yet to them the most important thing is NOT being propaganda machines, but rather doing a credible job with students.

For example, our political science department is staffed mostly with Democrats, but yet both conservative Republicans AND Democratic liberals are very loyal to their teachers and the department. That is because they do NOT act like the Kim Curtises of the world.

As I have said before, this whole thing with the university was not necessary. If the professors who make up the Gang of 88 had cared about the students as PEOPLE, and about Duke, which gave them very high-paying jobs and did not demand very much from them, this would not have happened. Had the administration decided to protect its students instead of throwing them to the wolves, this would not have happened. It was wrong, and now people will be paying dearly for it.

Anonymous said...

Will someone post a link to the complaint?

thanks,
WINDBAG

michael said...

This is an interesting suit as it is
relatively minor compared to the damages that the 3 have incurred but it does take a swipe at one of the 88.

There have been many arguments here about suits against Duke vs repairing
Duke and how to do something about the 88 without doing too much damage to Duke.

This suit isn't for a huge amount of money to the school but it might be for Visiting Assistant Professor Curtis should she be personally liable. I don't know if the University offers some kind of insurance or the availability of legal insurance for this kind of thing.

I still think that the 3 should collect damages and that Duke should be a defendent there.

There's a post from a mom at FODU
discussing her similar situation
with this Professor and her son.

I hope liability amounts and discussions make it into the press. A nice calculation would be the amount of property tax increases for each million that the city would have to pay out. Anything to put pressure on Durham to put pressure on Nifong.

Some potential numbers on Nifong's liability would help. Maybe his last property tax valuation on his house.

michael said...

Lawsuit PDF

Anonymous said...

It's gettin' better all the time.
Get-ting so much bet-ter all the time...

Anonymous said...

This is the first small crack in that damn called civil litigation. The Duke trustees must be quaking in their boots, This suit is insignificant in monetary damage terms but since it is linked to the ongoing hoax and the group of 88, it is bound to get so much negative publicity. Just think, 24 other LAX players will also have numerous causes to sue in state and federal venues. Duke, Brodhead, 88+ professors, Police, DA, media, TV commentators. Factor in all the civil suits and this blog could go on for another 10+ years. Duke better do something to structurally change the University's policies or they will be facing a plethora of lawsuits that will generate negative pub for decades. What parent wants their children to go to a school where the professors openly retaliate based on presumption of guilt, class, wealth, and race.

Anonymous said...

The Gang of 88 so desperately want this story to go away however with this lawsuit (no doubt the first of many against the university) things are going to get a lot worse before they get better for the 88.

Hey Curtis, have fun next semester!!

Anonymous said...

According to the complaint, there were four components to the final grade (each worth 25%): 3 papers plus class participation. Dowd earned grades of C on his first two papers. Even assuming that the instructor was justified in giving Dowd grades of F on the third paper and on his class participation, there is no way that 2 C's and 2 F's (all of equal weight) can add up to an F. Yet according to the complaint, it took Duke several months to recognize that the instructor had made a "computational" error on Dowd's final grade.

Anonymous said...

michael - that previous poster has been informed about the current action with respect to Professor Curtis.

Anonymous said...

RIP:

Professor Curtis career.


PS: Ms. Curtis, if it's any consolation, you absolutely deserve whatever is coming to you.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

I knew the lacrosse team would sue the group of 88 or at least one. It is nice to see the first of the suits to go.

MORE TO COME THE IS NOT THE LAST.

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer and retired professor: To lawyers out there: can Professor Dowd be held personally financially liable? Since she was an agent of Duke, will she have to hire a lawyer with her own dollars?

Anonymous said...

the beauty of this is that it doesn't even matter whether Dowd wins the suit. Just filing individual claims against each of the 88 will cause them a good deal of anguish. And as long as the suits have any merit whatsoever the 88 will at least be forced to pay for their defense. And if even a smallfry offender like Prof Curtis is getting hit with a $100K+ suit by just one player then all the actors in this sordid tale are screwed. From Dowd's suit it looks like there's another player that has exactly the same complaint against Curtis. So a professor that no one up to date on this hoax has heard of could be on the hook for $200K - imagine what's coming down the pike for the rest of them.

Anonymous said...

Come on guys, surely this is just a coincidence.

Two students in her class had written "C" papers previously, then suddenly turned in an "F" paper.

The fact that these two were the only ones to receive an "F" grade and they just happened to be Lacrosse players is purely coincidental.

The Lacrosse case has nothing to do with anything.

Sounds reasonable to me.

(Right Professor Curtis, like anyone is going to believe that. I hope your career was worth your pathetic attempt at revenge).

Anonymous said...

This "professor" is little more than a doctrinaire lefty playing the role of teacher...her course synopsis from Duke polisci website.

Synopsis of course content
Modern political theory from Adam Smith to Locke to Marx is premised on an assumption of natural abundance and the capacity of human labor and technology to create material wealth. And economic growth has been a principle means by which modern states legitimate their power and stave off social and political conflict over inequality.

However, a gather storm of evidence suggests that we have reached earth’s “carrying capacity”. The symptoms of this include massive species extinction, global warming, soil depletion, dead ocean and stream waters, famine, and resource-driven wars. Many believe we have reached the end of modern life as we know it, and that fundamental assumptions must be re-thought and social arrangements radically re-worked to respond to the crisis before us.

This course will examine social, economic political and ethical-religious aspects of ecological crisis. We will look closely at the work of leading economists, political theorists, ecologists, and philosophers with an eye to what changes in our fundamental assumptions, our institutional arrangements, and our relations to the nonhuman world might support desirable and possible alternatives to our present crisis.

Textbooks

She omits one of the earliest "we are doomed" economists Malthus who postulated we would run out of resources...you heard it before she thinks she invented the idea..an idea that history seems to say is just plain wrong.

Anonymous said...

to 8:04, the most important thing in that comment was wealth. After this what wealthy person would want to send their children to Duke. I am sure if they are wealthy they can send them anywhere. People like Kim Curtis, need to go to some Junion College and sell their wares.

Anonymous said...

This is all very sad for Duke. Brodhead and the Gang of 88 may be much less than desirable, but my impression is that, as a whole, Duke is a great institution-the kind of institution our country needs. I'm doubtful that the damage Duke is suffering, and will suffer, is worth whatever gain may come from swatting a few moonbats.

Anonymous said...

Here's a quote from her article regarding free speech just after 9/11:

"We must embrace the task of learning a more complicated history of who we are by learning what we have done and understanding the effects of our deeds upon others."

Unreal.

michael said...

The University and Prof Curtis are being sued. Someone more familiar
with University lawsuits where the
Professor is named could probably
better comment.

I would guess that most of these are
settled as quietly as possible.

The other student might still be attending which might make a lawsuit uncomfortable.

What I've seen in modern college courses is that the Professor will give students their grade to date sometime after the midterm. If the student is in danger of failing the course, the Professor will give them some indication of that so that they will have time to correct the problem. Obviously this is up to the Professor.

There are some indications that this Professor is a little disorganized from the post from the other parent.

The ~100K amount is before legal fees I believe. So it could be more though we're still talking small potatoes here.

Mental anguish over the potential loss of a job in hand is real which is what Kyle faced if he didn't graduate.

I can't imagine how upset Dave Evans is over the actual loss of a lucrative job.

hman said...

In my own life, I have had the experience of being on the receiving end of a false accusation of sexual harassment. We won in the end; the bogus nature of the accusations were obvious, eventually. Before that, the process itself did un-imaginable damage to the various defendants.
It went away more than 10 years ago. I still feel like retaliating without mercy or restraint. (I should not say more.)
What do the Duke LAX folks feel about this, which is far more serious and malignant? I strongly suspect that spectacle of Nifong and all of his relations being eaten by huge, hungry rats would not inspire a scintilla of saddness.
Those who say that these folks should just let bygones be bygones have no idea, at all, what it does to a person to be put in real danger because someone is willing to lie and then be supported in the process by the legions of kneee-jerk PC bullshit artists.
Forget mercy. Forget moderation. Forget anybody ever "getting over" this.
If there was not the avenue of civil redress, this would have turned bloody a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007 6:27 PM
To: 'kcurtis@duke.edu'
Subject: Professor Curtis:

We could not be more pleased with this, the first of many lawsuits to come.

I hope your career, and those of other group of 88 “Listeners”, fare as well as Nifong’s. You were all enablers in this travesty of justice, yet you took it a little further than some, didn’t you?

To bad, so sad.

Anonymous said...

to the first 821 from a non-lawyer and retired academic: I also agree that it is sad for Duke. But if she did retaliate against lax players, and she still teaches at Duke, what should Dowd do? Assuming she did target the lax players and Duke knows this (based on the grade change), isn't Dowd doing the right thing by holding Curtis and Duke accountable?

magnificent matty moose said...

I think what my last post about "lawyers taking over" is underscored by this development.

The infamy of this case, the hordes of legal analysts dreaming up every potential COA (state and fed), etc. RENDER any agent of Duke, the FA, the DA's office or any other interested party MORONS if they offer any public statement about the case without an attorney glancing at it.

Freedom of speech and academic independence aside... I think people sometimes confuse LIABILITY with getting SUED.

Anyone want to venture a guess on the Duke Three's legal bills... those INNOCENT boys didn't need lawyers did they?

So, yes, I jadedly repeat and reallege that lawyers have taken over... when Alumni donations are down 75% (is this number accurate?) all because of a public stance a University has taken on a pending criminal case against its students... you better believe lawyers are going to have a say about subsequent public stances.

I am not saying a team of lawyers combed over each semi-colon of the econ depts. statement... but I bet there are some memorable confidential interdepartment memos floating around.

I mean... faculty at Duke may very well have KNOWN about the threatened Dowd suit for sometime.

Anonymous said...

Apparently this misanthrope of a Professor Curtis had it in for ROTC members as well.

http://z10.invisionfree.com/FODU_Open_Board/index.php?showtopic=4&view=findpost&p=8355999

This post is quite a stunning indictment of her selective maltreatment of students.

Anonymous said...

Consider the following hypothetical: Dozens of lawsuits are brought against Duke University, its administration and the Gang of 88. The lawsuits ask for and are successful in receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from Duke. The result: Duke is brought to its knees.

Question: Is this a good or a bad thing?

Answer: On the one hand, it's very bad for Duke, although it may force Duke to become a serious university by hiring quality academics of differing ideological viewpoints. On the other hand, it would have massive consquences--and very good ones at that--for American higher education in general. It would send shock waves through the American academy, which would force the universities to make long needed changes.

Unless I can be persuaded otherwise, I think this is a very good thing.

Let a thousand lawsuits bloom.

Alberto said...

I would need more information on how the actual grade was given out before I reach a conclusion. In my classes, it's perfectly possible to receive an "F" even when a student received "C"s in two of the assignments. My understanding is that the final grade was composed of four sub-grades, each worth 25%. The way I grade is that 50% of the final grade or less gives the student an "F". I add up the percentage of each assignment and that gives me the final grade. If the student received "F"s in the final assignment and participation (here I'm not judging if the professor was fair or not, that's a different issue), then the student would have received something way below 50% (because he got "C"s in the first two assignments), thus the final grade for the course would have been an "F".

Anonymous said...

Duke88 et tu Brute!
sweet

Anonymous said...

There is a lesson learned here - be honest - and then when questioned, continue to be honest. These are things any professional knows and lives by but, heck, they sure didn't sink in with this professorial apparatchik. Any professor giving a "F" to a student better be prepared to honestly defend in an objective manner, why she did so. And when questioned, ought to continue to assert those objective reasons as justification. Not being open (probably because her biases were so strong and she in fact was punishing Mr. Dowd for his status as an athlete) and honest was a huge mistake - as was Duke University's explanation that a "calculation error" occured. The fact that the professor and the University was misleading makes for litigation risk when there likely was none.

wayne fontes said...

The Gang of 88 are pseudo-intellectuals who spend their lives among like minded individuals talking about the way things should be ideally. The parents of the lacrosse players contain a large number of high achievers who get things done in the real world.

I anticipate more unpleasant things being done to the gang of 88 in the future.

Anonymous said...

anyone supporting curtis silence yourself now. the university admitted that there was a "calculation error". so, the grade wasn't an F. my hunch is that the univesity saw what was going to start happening, like this suit, and started to cover its tracks.

and, its interesting that this case is brought by mr. zesotarski. he's one of the real up and coming litigators in this state and is a partner with a leading law firm in the state.

can't say they plaintiff's will get lots of money. the damages are speculative at best, but they'll have a real problem on their hands with depos, embarressment, and whatever they do lose.

i love it. this is rich.

WINDBAG

michael said...

Regarding the grading: it was 25% each for 3 papers and 25% for class participation. He missed 6 out of 30 classes.

There were 40 students in the class so it sounds like all you needed to do was say something reasonably intelligent in class once per class to get by. 24/30 doesn't sound like it should be an F.

One other comment is that way back in the spring, there were comments in the media that the lacrosse players were serious students and that they generally were good contributors in classes. Kyle was graduating so he probably knew the ropes as to what it takes to do well in these kinds of classes.

With the lawsuit, Professor Curtis might have to miss a few classes herself.

Anonymous said...

What are the chances that all of the graded papers are made public? For that matter, each of the assignments?

Anonymous said...

michael:

you're arguing a moot point. the university has already admitted that the grade was wrong.

no need to argue that point futher. the only question left is whether this mistake caused damages that duke and curtis should pay for.

WINDBAG

Anonymous said...

On one hand, hate to see 'grading procedures' brought into court - could pave way for grade-grubbing to new and unforseen levels.

On the other hand - my layman's opinion is that it will settle and not go to trial - thereby no legal precedents set.

More importantly, it will keep the "88's" agenda in the open and keep alumni awareness of and pressure against it.

Anonymous said...

Chill out,
I got $120k in Duke, I don't want them to go down, I want them to come back to where they where before Lefty Democrat defeated Senator Terry Sanford took over. Why does a great university have to be full of lefties? Stanford doesn't have this. It is time for the trustees to CLEAN house, aka Brodhead MUST go.
Kemp

Anonymous said...

Dang Alberto, I hope you do a better job of explaining it to your students.

Anonymous said...

Since Curtis' actions were while performing her employed duties, I have to assume that Duke picks up the legal tab.

Can any attny confirm/deny - TIA

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the link to the complaint itself.

I have a number of observations. This is a very limited lawsuit, which was filed in State Court. It seems to me that the complaint was not put together by the A team, and that the attorney did not institute many of the other potential causes of actions available to the lax team players. The facts in the case are very embarrassing, but why are these facts used only for the State causes of action specified and not part of a broader Federal Court complaint with many additional causes of action?

That said, Curtis is despicable.

Anonymous said...

will settle and not go to trial - thereby no legal precedents set.

I'm afraid so too. Kim Curtis resigns without admitting anything and Duke pays $60k (barely covering legal fees).

Anonymous said...

Sounds like this kid was nifonged.

Hey said...

Duke has a problem, since almost all of their communication will have been through email. So there are 2 supposed reasons why he got an F for his final paper (cause yeah, you normally hand out Fs on final senior papers, rather than working it out), and a rather vicious approach to his abscences, which he made clear to the prof in advance as to why they had to happen.

Duke admitted twice that she was full of ship by firstly increasing his transfer credits and then magically "realising" that the grades were added wrong. They just wanted to sweep this under the rug, rather than deal with this PITA instructor and tried to make the problem go away as easy as possible. Lovely way to treat your students against a bullying instructor.

But Duke now gets to go to court and have their approach to students widely publicised. Let's see what the spinners do with this. This is just one of many suits that will drip drip drip onto Duke, making for constant publicity of exactly what the Duke treatment is.

Say hello DIII!

Dukex4 said...

Since Ms Curtis was a Duke employee at the time of her (alleged) negligent acts, her defense will be provided by Duke. The University will most likely be reporting this as a claim to its general liability carrier (probably some sort of self-insurance vehicle) as well as its D&O carrier. Ms Curtis won't be personally liable, but this will not be a pleasant experience for her at all. Also, don't know the rules in NC, but in Pennsylvania for example, punitive damages are, as a matter of public policy, not payable by insurance, so that may be one area of personal exposure for her. Years ago I worked with many firms in NC, and if memory serves me correctly, the Dowd's attorney works for a respectable firm (Poyner and Spruill) that does not usually take plaintiff's cases, and in fact has probably done work for Duke in the past....Obviously they aren't now, as that would be a conflict, but I would appreciate any updated info anyone else might have. This will be very interesting to follow.

Anonymous said...

8:45,

Keep dreaming. You ain't changing the politically correct, race/class/gender-obsessed academy with even a thousand lawsuits. Only when parents make this part of college searches and let administrations know why Johnny chose another school will some of this nonsense start to die out. The death of the so-called angry 60's professors and their trainees will also help--maybe.

Locomotive Breath said...

I assume that Duke has a policy that any faculty member charged with academic misbehavior is prohibited from teaching until those charges are resolved by the legal system? Right? It's not for Duke to judge.

Same prior behavior story at JinC. High-fiving "Judith".

http://z10.invisionfree.com/FODU_Open_Board/index.php?showtopic=4&view=findpost&p=8355999

Anonymous said...

8:13: Yes, the Prof can be found personally liable.

But the deep pockets are Duke's.

-Esquire-
-Maryland-

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer and retired professor: I assume that this is the first in a tidal wave of lawsuits facing Duke. In past posts, it has been alluded that discovery could be brutal for Duke and Dowd. Will Duke settle out of court? And what about the precedent it sets for the many coming suits? What do you lawyers think? What will be their legal strategy? Contest evey suit or settle quickly? As an aside, before this is all over, wait and see: one or more of the 88 thugs will sue Duke!

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Duke basically admits the professor screwed the student but did nothing to discipline the professor? As in fire her butt? How stupid is that?

I'm not a fan of burning down the school to resolve all the issues we're so aware of, but this is really stupid. If they know she was a bad actor and did nothing other than change the grade then the school deserves everything it gets from this lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Settle or fight? Tough choice for Duke the discovery process will be the very challenging. For example someone sent an email saying the grade was changed due to a "mathematical miscalculation" the calculation could only have been done by Curtis. So Curtis either has to confirm she miscalculated and gave him an F in error or stand by her story that Dowd in fact earned an F and call the Duke administration liars.

Anonymous said...

9:20 - the discovery will be brutal, because it looks as if Curtis and the university were not truthful in their dealings with the plaintiffs (ironic, isn't it, given that Curtis had a ROTC student brought up on charges of lying). And being dishonest is the fuel of even mediocre lawsuits. These plaintiffs don't really want money (although they will take it if offered), they want a public apology and recognition that they were wronged. Where things might really get interesting is where the University is willing to give such a public apology or statement, but Curtis refuses (this would be consistent with the profile). Then the prospect of the University paying paying her legal fees would precipitously decline - perhaps down to zero. Twisting in the wind in a lawsuit is painful to all but psychopaths - Curtis is in for a miserable experience.

Anonymous said...

to the non-lawyer and retired professor:

You are correct that the burden and scope of discovery has been mentioned in a number of previous topics. But the real home run in discovery occurs in Federal Court and this is a State Court action that is quite limited in its scope.

I expect many, many more lawsuits with additional causes of actions, most of which I still expect to be brought in Federal Court. Duke is a very tough position, even if it wants to settle everything, they really need to get a handle on the extent of the litigation they are about to face and make an overall game plan. To settle suits from other than the Duke 3 too quickly, may show too much weakness and encourage others to sue. All in all a very bad position for Duke.

Anonymous said...

starting to look like the asbestos mess.

Dukex4 said...

Equire Maryland --
Many thanks for the correction -- what I meant to respond to were questions about whether or not Curtis herself would pay if there were a settlement or judgment. So yes to personally liable, but probably no to taking a financial hit, as Duke or its carrier would be providing her defense and covering any award.

Anonymous said...

Poster 9:02 on the previous post by KC makes a great point. Each and every suit will have terrible publicity attached to it and will most likely make the potential applicants think twice before applying and certainly matriculating at duke.

and i would add to that, the grapevine in the northern prep schools is probably quite noisy with tales of "what its like" to be at duke. these kids will be afraid to go there every time they read about another suit. and this is the crowd that can actually pay the tuition.

i think these kids will look elsewhere and duke will become more diverse. well, its what duke always wanted. best of luck, blue devils.

WINDBAG

Anonymous said...

8:19 PM,

You are probably a nice guy (or gal), but your statement, "People like Kim Curtis, need to go to some Junior College and sell their wares," makes you sound like an elitist ass. Exactly why should a bunch of junior college students (many of whom are likely working to put themselves through school and going to a junior college because it is all they can afford) have to put up with Kim Curtis any more than the kids of parents who can shell out $50,000 per year for a school like Duke?

Anonymous said...

my prediction:

a couple of significant departures from the faculty ranks in the next 18 months.

no, i'm not talking about the group of 88. A couple of those may go too, but i'm thinking a couple of honorable, serious scholors who decide to leave either out of conscience or because they would prefer to focus on their work and teaching rather than the poisonous atmosphere at duke.

watch for it.

WINDBAG

Anonymous said...

I really hope the unqualified pseudo-intellectual left-wing profs will be fired and sued. Duke has no credibility if it continues employing such 9/11 conspiracy wackos teaching there. It is fine if teacher is a dem or rep but to intimidate students because of their race or political views is just pathetic and incredible. And the oppressor is always the PC/ACLU/leftwing prof harassing whites, christians, ROTCs or republicans.

Anonymous said...

Under perfectly normal circumstances, it actually IS possible to get two C grades and an F and earn a failing grade in a course.

Say a student gets two grades of 75% (C's) and one grade of 25%. That would equal a 58% average, a failing grade. You also have to remember that final papers are often weighted more heavily.

Considering the virulent strain of political correctness in academia. (to which this instructor seems especially prone) I have no doubt that she acted improperly, but as long as she denies it, I don't see this case going anywhere.

Grading, like it or not, is extremely subjective, especially when you add in this "participation" factor. And whether there's merit to this student's complaints or not (and I'm sure there is), I can't see any court setting a precedent where professors have to defend their grades in a court of law. Want to see even more grade inflation than there already is? Professors shouldn't be put in the position of worrying they'll be sued if a student doesn't like his grade.

This is simply a professor who should never have been hired, or should never be rehired.

Anonymous said...

To 9:11PM---

You are correct. This bizarre climate on the campuses of major universities will begin to die out when the '60s professors have literally expired.

Most are in their 60's and 70's now.....so not a long wait.

The most encouraging thing is that young kids today---high school and college age---are quite rational and grounded. Able to see through all the PC silliness.

They are most likely the children of leftover hippies and are able to laugh at the fraudulence they grew up watching.

We all were much more liberal during the university years. I do recall, however, having a few professors like the gang of 88.

All you had to do was regurgitate their crap and play up the emotion when writing a research paper----I even added artwork for dramatic effect...LOL!!! ----and a super Grade "A" was a certainty.

These idiots at Duke--the Gang of 88--have shown themselves to be dangerous idiots and must, consequently, pay for the damage done.

Debrah

Hey said...

Given diversity of jurisdiction, this likely should have been filed federally. They also could likely have pulled in some federal claims. But IANAL just read far far too much and have far too much experience as plaintiff and defendant.

Anonymous said...

Just a frivolous and rhetorical question.....

Is there one...just ONE....attractive member of the Duke Gang 88?

Is everyone surrounding this fiasco at Duke as ugly as heck? Not good news for any potential movie of the week.

This Curtis urchin is another one for the books. Just saw her photo on WTVD 11.

Debrah

Anonymous said...

What are the chances that Prof Curtis interprets this recent turn of events in the same manner as which she interpreted the events of 9/11 -- as a right-wing attack to silence academic freedom?

I'd guess she treats academic freedom as an absolute. My guess is she thinks: "This is *my* class and I can give a student any grade I want!"

The calculation error excuse was likely her own idea (even if communicated by Duke) as an attempt to still uphold academic freedom while compromising to the pressure Duke was putting on her to change the grade from Failing.

Reading the blog posts, she seems to go way out of her way to go after her students, even when such aggression proves risky.

Going forward, I'd guess Ms. Curtis will continue to be a pain-in-the-ass, for the Duke legal team and for her own lawyer as well. She gladly took on the 9/11 scorn; she lives for conflict; why would she start behaving any differently?

My dad is a shrink so I like to try to read minds. This is all speculation.

-- Legalize

Anonymous said...

9:41
The answer to your question is: because someone will have to hire Professor Curtis. Social equity demands it. And since no school competing for good students will hire her, she will inevitably end up in a school teaching students who have little or no choice in their college.
Is this fair? Why do they have to suffer? Because it is for the greater social good. If you don't believe me, look at any big-city public school system.

Anonymous said...

Two posts regarding the Lacrosse
players at

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DurhamResponds-discuss/

by a Kim Curtis. One looks to be digging up dirt on a student. She might have a decent online
history at Duke's femilist listserv
which is mentioned at that Yahoo Group. I guess it's true what some of the lawyers here said about Discovery.

Anonymous said...

Regarding my last message: it's not about Lacrosse players. I checked that out more thoroughly and couldn't
find the target of their investigation. But I didn't delete that part/sorry.

Anonymous said...

10:11 PM,

State court may well be better than federal court, even those folks at this site keep touting federal discovery. I don't know about North Carolina, but discovery under Texas rules is very good; and in my part of Texas plaintiffs almost always prefer state court juries to federal juries. I suspect the plaintiffs' lawyer wants a state court jury.

Anonymous said...

Amazing- all this happening from one lying stripper. I bet Mr. Duke could not imagine these events.

funny thing- Duke is the largest employer in Durham. Harm it, and the population of Durham is cutting its own throat. Again, over a lying stripper. At least KC will score from his book and follow-on movie deal.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the posts on Durham Responds look to be a gold mind for any duke students who want to bring a lawsuit against the Trinity Park Neighbors and duke faculty for civil rights violations.

Talk about stupid,

Anonymous said...

Liefong's healing process.

Anonymous said...

Just caught a snippet of news while channel surfing and it seems that a group of "leaders" in Durham are working feverishly on a campaign to show the "positive" aspects of the city.

ROTFLM-tits-O !!!

When will these third and fourth tier morons understand that only when they begin electing intelligent and decent people to positions of power, instead of semi-literate relatives and friends of the old guard whose claim to fame is riding the government gravy train from the cradle to the grave.......

.....will that town elevate itself?

There are many eclectic and interesting aspects to Durham. Several great restaurants and the historic buildings which make up Brightleaf Square are quaint and inviting.....however.....

.....George Bakatsias (a wonderful chef and multiple restaurant owner).....and Duke University....have always been, in my mind, the gems of the town.

Richard Brodhead's administration has seen to it that Duke has been brought down into the shoddy gutter with the rest of the self-indulgent and damaging urchins of Durham.

And the creepy and superfluous Reyn Bowman of the Visitors Bureau wants to know why Durham is looked down upon in the Triangle, and indeed, the state?

Someone send this seat-warmer a smoke signal.

Debrah

Anonymous said...

In response to 10:32PM---

While contemplating the strange.......I have also thought how magnificently unbelievable......

....that such an irresponsible and indecent lowlife as this stripper person.....could have been the catalyst....moreover, the cause!.....of such panoramic damage to so many.

BTW, they should have kept her in the army. Perhaps Iraq would have been leveled by now.

:>)

Debrah

Cedarford said...

Debrah - And the creepy and superfluous Reyn Bowman of the Visitors Bureau wants to know why Durham is looked down upon in the Triangle, and indeed, the state?

Durham, the Tumor in the Triangle.

Anonymous said...

More I hear about Durham more it reminds me of New Orleans and its racist politicians and "community leaders".

Anonymous said...

The Dowd lawsuit is a joke, and I think Duke should fight it all the way. Even if we assume that the professor acted with malice, I doubt that Duke would have any liability because when the student brought the situation to the attention of the university, the university changed the grade. Also, there really was no damage to the student or his parents. The student graduated on time with his class, the grade was changed, and he obviously did not lose the job in New York City or that would have been stated in the complaint. Emotional distress? What a laugh. I think this is really just a back door attempt to punish the university for cancelling the LAX season and maybe a money grab by the Dowd family who think that Duke does not want any more bad publicity and might throw some money at them to get rid of the case. I think the university should send them a very strong message that it is not going to cave into that kind of extortion.

bill anderson said...

I went to the Durham Responds page and found that it was set up as a "discussion about the March 13 sexual assault at 610 N. Buchanan."

In other words, it was not an "alleged sexual assault," but rather was assumed to have happened. Thus, Kim Curtis was not about to be moved by any protests of "innocent" in her classroom. She already KNEW the players were a bunch of rapists, and something like truth and facts would not be permitted to get in her way.

My guess is that this lawsuit will help move her from her little fantasy world.

Anonymous said...

to 11:17
Al Sharpton is that you?

bill anderson said...

Duke cannot resort to a "no harm, no foul" defense, no matter what the 11:17 poster claims. Also, I am not sure why he is making these claims about the Dowds, unless he somehow knows what they are thinking.

Each day, these players had to run a gauntlet of people screaming obscenities at them, demanding they be castrated, called "rapists" by professors, and the poster assumes that this is acceptable behavior by Duke?

Please do not say that "Duke had nothing to do with it." Replace "lacrosse players" with "gay students" and then tell me that Duke would have no liability? Get real.

Anonymous said...

To cedarford---Ha!

That seems to be the moniker the people there have designed for themselves.

BTW.....way back in April before it was accepted by so many rational people that Mike Nifong was a political slut.....

...I wrote a very short and sweet letter to the Herald Sun lambasting him. In my mind, that "hooligan" comment should have been enough to alert intelligent people that something was raw and unethical about him.

I don't remember what I wrote verbatim, but I will paraphrase......

"Allow me to make a prediction: Durham will continue to be the ugly cousin of the state, and perhaps the entire Southeast, as long as race is used as an excuse for everything known to man that occurs in that town.

"Mike Nifong has behaved like a race pimp. The voters of Durham should show this unethical drone the door and let him know that it really is...'Hard Out Here For A Pimp' . "

Ha!

Well.....some guy from a nearby town--Oxford, I believe--where Victoria Peterson's sidekick lives (Kim Brummell).....wrote a scathing diatribe to me calling me a racist, etc.......LOL!!!

Which only served me well for another reply in which I outlined blow by blow the unethical behavior of Mike Nifong. And this was way back in April !

So you see....I have no patience for these professors who want us to believe that they were unaware of what was going down and what was being perpetrated on these three lacrosse players.

You either have to plead stupidity.....or indifference.

Debrah

Anonymous said...

the only F's in the class went to the 2 lacross players.
HUM
one i know for sure needed that class to graduate.
HUM
6 missed classes out of 30, 5 for some silly thing like dealing with your lawyer
HUM
omg im glad im not in school now

Anonymous said...

11:17

Its not a joke.

If he emailed her ahead of time explaining he was meeting with lawyers, and she did not respond with warnings and than gave him a F for failing to show up in class he has a case.

As to a student being told he can not graduate, most people would consider that trauma. Remember he had to run around trying to graduate. He was lucky he got creedit for a class he took at another college.

Duke also changed his grad to a "D" after they found a adding error? After he complined and the Prof reviewed his case? And noone saw the adding error?

The sad fact is that not all cases are decided on merits. A jury will be bias against Duke after all they heard.

There will be move lawsuits coming. If nothing else, the Profs and Duke will be spending a lot of time in court. And get a lot of bad PR free of charge.

Anonymous said...

To 11:34 PM:

I thought Durham juries were biased against the LAX players.

gs said...

http://johninnorthcarolina.blogspot.com/

Dowd lawyer and law firm are hot stuff. I doubt they woyuld sue if they did not think they had a case.

Anonymous said...

Does any know whether Joseph E. Zeszotarski, Dowd's lawyer, represented him in connection with the rape investigation? I suspect he did, and I also suspect that the Dowds, as well as lots of other families, are looking for help with legal fees they have incurred. There are probably well over 100 lawyers crawling over this matter just on behalf of players and their families, and maybe even more working for Duke and the Gang of 88. What a mess to be caused by a deranged psychopath who just wanted to avoid a little jail time.

Anonymous said...

To the 8:04 PM:

Ex post facto laws are not going to mitigate or eliminate the cost that Duke and others are going to incur. In fact it may aggravate it beyond recognition.

RM PAM

Anonymous said...

Wonder what the info about Der NiFong locking himself away today (as reported on JiC) is all about?

However, it looks like a legal feeding frenzy is starting in Durham.

Anonymous said...

Debrah

There is usually not much I like about your posts... precious leveling Iraq is nt one of them.

Mike C in AZ

Anonymous said...

Debrah

There is usually not much I like about your posts... precious leveling Iraq is nt one of them.

Mike C in AZ

Anonymous said...

Spent about a half an hour showing our son the latest developments on the Dowd Suit. He can't believe that professors pull this crap but it's not a bad case to go over with your kids so they can see that going to college is not necessarily the high ideal place that they envision when they are in high school.

He was particularly interested in the stuff about grade retaliation.

I just told him that students are generally
sharp enough to do what they have to to get through some of these course.

Anonymous said...

In 2004, Kim Curtis gave F to one ROTC guy as well..He got suspended for 2 semesters based on the Kim Curtis' testimony.

I knew conservative students are constantly intimidated and harassed at east coast universities (part of life in Nancy Pelosi's America) but I always thought Duke is a real university. Apparently, I was wrong.

Anonymous said...

I would think that the jury dynamics in Durham would also work against Dowd. On the one hand, you have Duke, an important local institution which is the largest employer in Durham and which according to all of the Brodhead bashers on this website basically took the side of the black accuser in the LAX mess. On the other side, you have yankee white boy from New York who is whining that he suffered emotional distress because a professor at Duke who also took the side of the black accuser gave him a bad grade. Oh, by the way, the white boy is also on the LAX team and as we all know, the lawyers for the accused LAX players just filed a motion for change of venue because the LAX players supposedly cannot get a fair trial in Durham. So how does this all work out to a big verdict in favor of the Dowds?

gs said...

I bet...

After filing the lawsuit, the lawyers will claim that because of bad press, they move the lawsuit to another county.

Duke faced with multiple lawsuits and a bad PR may settle.

Duke has a $4.5 Billion endowement fund. Deep pockets, and a serious PR issue they want to make go away. Can you say settlement?

Remember at the very least some members of the Duke 88 will have to spend some "quality" time with opposing lawyers. Who knows were that will lead.

Anonymous said...

11:17P

Burness, that you?

Say hi to Dick for me.

He's become like BinLaden, messages appearing to be read in his name.

Will he start making videotapes too?

Anonymous said...

11:47 PM,

I hope you let your son know that most professors, even the real moonbats, have their students' best interests at heart. Assuming Dowd's professor did as she is accused, which none of us knows, she is very much in the minority on most campuses.

Anonymous said...

These are very weak legal claims and a jury is likely to be hostile to the student. If I were Duke, I would fight it all the way. This also helps to send a message to the members of the LAX team other than the three accused players that if you think we are going to roll over just because you file a lawsuit against us, think again.

Anonymous said...

To GS:

Change of venue is very rarely granted.

Anonymous said...

Visiting Professor for ten years, brings this unwanted attention to the school(hopefully money to the LAX guys) and she is still at Duke. Bob Steele - what is going on? Why are 86 of the 88 still at Duke? Baker and wife jumped ship for Vandy while the jumping was good. This is not the real world.

Anonymous said...

To Bill Anderson:

You make the statement that Duke cannot resort to a no harm, no foul defense. Why not. There is a little concept in the law we like to call damages. If there are no damages, you get no money.

gs said...

Change of venue is very rarely granted.

Yes, but how many cases can point to well documented effort by a public offical (Nifong) insulting the whole LAX team, over a period on months?

Anonymous said...

"Which only served me well for another reply in which I outlined blow by blow the unethical behavior of Mike Nifong. And this was way back in April !

So you see....I have no patience for these professors who want us to believe that they were unaware of what was going down and what was being perpetrated on these three lacrosse players."

look, it's great that you have the time and interest to do something like that. I've had a couple letters published in the herald-sun myself. however, I don't judge faculty members who didn't take a stand on this issue until now, because not everyone has been as immersed in this case as we have. obviously I believe it's an important cause, but I don't expect everyone else to drop whatever they're doing and take it up. not being as passionate as we are doesn't make someone indifferent.

huesofblue said...

11:52,

This isn't a big verdict case. Damages for emotional distress are rarely substantial absent a more substantial injury. And the case for punitive damages is really only there against the professor, who's probably broke anyway. That said, Duke will settle for somewhere in the 20k-60k range just to kill the story - it's embarassing enough that I think they'll gladly pay to get it out of the news.

As for Curtis, hopefully the case will embarass the hell out of her and end her career as a University Professor. I think Duke will probably pick up her legal bill on the grounds that it's better to have 10 people pissing out of a tent than one person pissing in.

Anonymous said...

just curious: when the NC governor is up for re-election? I can see the campaign ads already: "The man who appointed his good friend Nifong". This would bring about 98% of black and 100% white liberal vote.

M. Simon said...

Anon @1117PM,

Too late. The damage is already done.

Duke just took a multi-million dollar hit even if the suit is later withdrawn.

Talk about profs. going to a junior college - Duke is now a jr. college by reputation if not academic quality.

BTW I was one of those leftist hippies in the 60s. Their hearts are in the right place. Even if their heads are buried in their waste evacuation units.

The trouble is that what began as a call for better republican democracy has turned into Stalinism.

The cry for liberation has turned to totolitarian measures. Since the movement for liberation was spearheaded by the left, no surprise.

The call for Liberty and Justice for All was given up by the right and we now see the result. It is not a matter of world view. More Rs. voted for the Civil Rights Act than Ds. It is a matter that the right was not leading on this issue. Sadly, the fookin' communists provided a lot of cadre for the civil rights movement.

Say. Did I mention the drug war? If the Dems take this up first (once understanding of what causes addiction gets out) the Rs will get shredded for another generation or two.

Pity.

Anonymous said...

To GS:

The judge will not grant a change of venue in the Dowd case just because there was some negative pretrial publicity in the LAX case. Dowd is not a defendant in the LAX case and he has not had his name and picture plastered all over the local television and newspapers like the three accused players, so his situation is different. Also, to be blunt, the motion for change of venue in the LAX case was based in part on the idea that the white defendants could not get a fair trial in black Durham when the accuser is black. Here we do not have black accuser against white defendants, we have white student against Duke, a much less inflammatory situation.

huesofblue said...

GS,

As a practical matter, the plaintiff gets to choose the initial venue when they file the lawsuit. Unless there's some incredible new development after today, no judge in their right mind is going grant a change of venue motion filed by the plaintiff.

Never mind that this case isn't worth enough money to justify either side spending thousands of dollars on a motion that's unlikely to substantially alter the results of the case.

M. Simon said...

Debrah

There is plenty I like about your posts... precious leveling Iraq is one of them.

Anonymous said...

If this case goes to trial, there would be a verdict in favor of Duke and either a verdict in favor of the professor or perhaps a small verdict against the professor individually but not against Duke. The only way Duke will pay money on this is if they choose to settle, and I would say that the settlement value of the case is very low because if you offer a significant settlement, you are just encouraging more lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

Ok, can we please stop equating being "liberal" with being a bad person or a bad professor. I love this blog and agree with many of the comments. In addition, I am very far to the left politically speaking. However, this professor didn't give unfair grades because she's liberal, she gave unfair grades because it would appear that she is unethical and apparently lacks a conscience. I would really appreciate it if people could separate these two things and not turn this into a vilification of liberalism. Citing a "liberal" syllabus is quite frankly not relavent to giving a fair grade-- if someone is not intelligent or ethical enough to separate politics from classroom grading then they shouldn't be teaching and that has little to do with the political left vs. right.

Anonymous said...

Folks on liestoppers are sifting through the posts on that Yahoo Group.

One of the posts has a plan to:

This money will go towards founding a Duke
Institute for Confronting the Problem of Racial Inequity (with branches for
education and fighting social injustice).

They were planning to raise a billion dollars.

It would be nice to have a record of the stuff around in case someone deletes that Yahoo Group. Though these days, nothing is really deleted.

bill anderson said...

The problem that Duke will have is what comes out in discovery. Duke can win the suit because a Durham jury will act like a Durham jury, but the bad publicity will be much more damaging than any financial payout.

Most lacrosse people to whom I have spoken have a deep affinity for Duke and some will choose not to sue out of loyalty to their alma mater. Yet, some also have told me that Duke basically told them to go to hell, and all they ever wanted was some communication. One person told me that a lawsuit will be the only way to get an apology from Duke. We shall see....

huesofblue said...

12:23,

You make a good point about not settling. The suit against Duke is pretty weak, in terms of both damages and liability. So the only reason they'd settle would be for damage control. But at this point, the headlines have already been written.

I think the kid will get his tuition back, and depending on the facts, might even get that grade changed to a P. Curtis's conduct sound bad enough that it might just be the decent thing for the Duke to do.

M. Simon said...

huesofblue,

You are disconnecting this into individual battles.

The lawyers may be hoping to get something out of discovery that will open the way for bigger and better things.

This is just one battle in a WAR against Duke and the communist academy.

There will be a quiet phasing out of Women's Studies and all the other "Studies" depts. They have become liabilities rather than assets. Dens of "community organizers". They are going to have to put the less academically qualified some place else. Maybe it is time to bring back courses on basket weaving. At least the end result would be a few baskets.

Anonymous said...

Ok, can we please stop equating being "liberal" with being a bad person or a bad professor. I love this blog and agree with many of the comments. In addition, I am very far to the left politically speaking. However, this professor didn't give unfair grades because she's liberal,

You seem to be a fair person and a left-wing person. Unfortunately, this case has once again revealed the situation. All the hooligans, racists and other activists from Al Sharpton, ACLU, black panthers, Nifong and the governor to the gang of 88 are left-wing activists. Not a single conservative participated in the public lynching. About 99.5% of left-wing activists think men/ROTC/conservatives/whites are evil and act accordingly.

This is the inconvenient truth. You may be exception, though. Good for you.

Anonymous said...

To Bill Anderson:

If all the players and their families want is an apology, then all the comments about how Duke is facing an avalanche of lawsuits that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars are incorrect and just one more example of extremist rhetoric. Do you agree?

Anonymous said...

To 12:38 AM: Your psychiatrist called and said he wants to double your medication.

Anonymous said...

To M. Simon---

There is much I like about your posts as well.

:>)

Debrah

huesofblue said...

12:41,

Duke doesn't have hundreds of millions of dollars in liability because the players don't have hundreds of millions in damages. The most anyone can claim is a tarnished reputation, emotional distress and a couple million in legal fees. Punitives are a possibility, but they'd require a showing that the University acted with malice, which is a real long shot.

Never mind that the players are going to have a hell of a time proving that any meaningful percentage of their damages were actually caused by Duke and not by Nifong, the City of Durham, the AV, the New York Times, ect.

Anonymous said...

this is 12:24 again.

The people who have exploited this case happen to fall on the left, true, but if they were unable to see the reality of the situation it was not because they were "leftist" it was/is because they are extremists and full of their own BS. There are "crazies" on the right who act just as irrationally about other issues but that doesn't mean i equate being on the political right to being irrational and unable to grasp reality. There is too much partisan bickering that detracts from the real issues-- issues that should be clear to anyone with a brain-- and exploitation of unfortunate situations happens at both ends of the political spectrum so I politely ask to not lump everyone of one political persuasion in with others of that political persuasion who happen to be crazy. Liberal does not equal crazy, conservative does not equal crazy, however crazy does equal crazy and this particular situation illustrates that there are indeed crazies on the left side of the political spectrum.

Anonymous said...

To huesofblue:

I agree with your analysis. The point of my posts has been that all of the talk on this website about how Duke will be forced to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to the LAX players is complete nonsense and basically just represents wishful thinking by a bunch of wackos who do not give a damn about Duke and would in fact love to see Duke trashed because they think that would further their wacky right wing agenda.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, not supporting Nifong and the left-wing wackos means that we have "right wing agenda". so be it.

Maybe now we can get rid of the left-wing pseudo-science "Studies" at Duke.

huesofblue said...

1:14 AM,

We're on the same page. The three defendants aren't on trial because Duke has a Women's Studies program or because Duke didn't reinstate the students in time for the Fall semester. Their in this mess because of a corrupt DA who baldly misrepresented the evidence to the public to get himself elected. He played to the community's prejudices and it worked. If Nifong had handled this case with a shred of integrity we wouldn't be talking about it today. And on that much, everyone can agree.

Anonymous said...

1:14/huesofblue:

this reminds me of george in seinfeld: "it's not a lie if you believe it"

Anonymous said...

Perhaps in NC discovery in State Court is limited, but not in GA. It appears that the plaintiff preferred state court in this situation because he asked for 60,000. There is no reason to ask for the specific amount, other than perhaps to keep it from being removed to Federal Court.

Anonymous said...

A person knowledgable about the inner workings of Duke tells me that the Trustees will never fire Brodhead because that would be an admission that they made a mistake hiring him. The probable resolution will be that Brodhead's contract will not be renewed. Everything will depend on who is appointed to his review committee.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Kim Curtis is scheduled to teach this spring semester?

Anonymous said...

All of this condemnation of Ms. Curtis before the case has even gone to court...from people who condemned Duke for prejudging the poor lacrosse players...

Anonymous said...

As I said in the "Self-reflection" thread -- tenure is a poison.

Anonymous said...

All of this condemnation of Ms. Curtis before the case has even gone to court

The facts and her public statements are known and well-documented. It's not just a rumours or false accusations, like in liberal wackoland.

Anonymous said...

This post was made by Kim Curtis on Wed Mar 29, 2006 at 8:33 am. It was posted under her kimfos50 Yahoo! ID and using her kcurtis@... email address. Other posts from this user are signed, "Kim Curtis".

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DurhamRespon...cuss/message/25

question dawning

The self assurance in the statement issued yesterday by the team that they will be exonerated by the results of the DNA testing makes me wonder if we've gotten the full story about who was at the house that night. Were there others present who in fact carried out the rape and who are being protected by everyone else who was there? How do we know who was there?


Their precise public statement reads, "We also stated unequivocally that any allegation that a sexual assault or rape occurred is totally and transparently false."

Anonymous said...

Whoa, how did people already finish up their analysis of this case and decide that there is no liability!!!

Does Curtis have a history of this? Will other students come forward? Maybe this isnt the only time that Curtis has been re-thinking the "fundamental assumptions must be re-thought and social arrangements radically re-worked to respond to the crisis before us."

Were their other complaints that Duke knew about and choose to ignore? IF that is the case then perhapse this is systemic and it might be worth examining how many other teachers had "computational" errors that had to be overridden.

That could be a whole class action.

Duke's lawyers are probaly busy trying to find out how big a problem they have. Blog posters have no idea, so its way premature to say the suit has no merit.

At the very least, Dowd paid his tuition- he is entitle to fair grades, without any disaffected lefty putting her thumb on the scales.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the NCAA would be interested in grade-fixing for athletes at Duke?

Anonymous said...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DurhamResponds-discuss/message/25

I mentioned this link above. Please go there and save the source of the message. It is evidence of her mindset towards her students, while they were still in her class.

She accused them of covering up the rape.

Sorry for a second message so soon,
joseph

duke09parent said...

I agree with huesofblue's analysis. Dowd would do well to take $20K from Duke to let it out and to continue the case against Curtis. Duke and it's insurance carrier will want to settle for both defendants since any allegations of covered claims (negligence) would require the insurance carrier to defend the whole case. If the Dowd's can get enough from Duke to fund the litigation, they could drop Duke, drop all insurance-covered claims against Curtis and Duke and its carrier would drop Curtis like a hot potato. Plus the case could continue for its discovery value and a judgment against Curtis for the intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud (with their punitive damage aspects) could be posted for significant damages ($100K).

The case against Duke is weak except for the ratification aspects.

Is Curtis the same prof. who screwed over the athlete whose mother posted about it months ago?

Anonymous said...

Is there a way people who are posting links to the Durham Responds posts can repost them so the entire link appears on this board? As it is now, the partial links lead nowhere. Or is it necessary to join the group through Yahoo (which I don't especially want to do) to read the posts?

Anonymous said...

Here's the beauty of this first volley. It will inevitably lead to a deluge at Duke. And then? Think about this. Lawyers across the country are going to realize there's money to be made in going after oppressive campus leftists. I see a whole new cottage industry for lawyers...and the possibility that some semblance of sanity will be restored to college campuses. Litigiousness is such a B#$%^!

Anonymous said...

10:27

VERY funny!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that.. I posted some of this stuff on LieStoppers, and apparently the link got mangled.

This is the link

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DurhamResponds-discuss/message/25

Go ahead and join the group as well.. It self-approves, so you won't have to convince some moderator to let you in.

When you do join the group, search for kimfos50 .. That covers all her posts that I know about. Searching for "Kim Curtis" only picks up two of them.

Good luck!

Joseph

duke09parent said...

Here's the answer to my 11:02 question: yes, Curtis IS the same prof. Here's a link to the mom's description of what happened (on the FODU site):

http://z10.invisionfree.com/FODU_Open_Board/index.php?showtopic=4&st=0&#entry8355999

If Curtis isn't dismissed already for misconduct, she should be. Also, all her past disciplinary actions should be looked into.

Judith, if you are still reading this stuff, please contact the Dowds' attorneys and ask if they want your help. Establishing malice on Curtis' part is something they will need to do and your son's case may help them do that.

Horrified said...

So the only thing that these students have any right to claim is a " tarnished reputation"!?! Gee, the threats of castration, blanket accusations of rape and racism mean nothing? The wanted poster was actually in preparation for homecoming perhaps?

Let's look at it another way. The plantiff may or may not have a case. This may or may not have merit. That's going to be found out. And, this won't be at the behest of a DA looking to employ race-baiting to win an election. Also, while there's plenty of speculation going on, there probably won't be anyone banging pots, threatening to physically mutilate the Prof or abusing their offices to ingratiate themselves with special interest groups, either out of cowardice or for ideological bias.

Nor is it likely that the legal bills for this case will approach those of even one of the defendants. Please remember that most of the team hired lawyers, and incurred expenses, not just the three who lost in Nifong's wheel of misfortune.

Victim in Massachusetts said...

2:06 ever membr of the lax team can sue for emotion destress. They were all called rapist, by the g88, some of the other student, and all of that can be used against duke. I really don't duke wants to see 43 law suites at one time.

Judith said...

I just received the news today about the Dowd's lawsuit. I am another mom who feels that Kim Curtis unjustly targeted her son for "special treatment" based on her personal biases against white, presumably "privileged," athletes. I have posted about my son's suspension on several blogs, but the most complete version is at http://z10.invisionfree.com/FODU_Open_Board/index.php?showtopic=4&view=findpost&p=8355999.

I love Duke, my father went there, I went there and my dream was that all of my four children would go there. I attended during the turbulent Vietnam years, when classes were suspended after Kent State. After college I worked for the Justice Department on Voter's Rights. I monitored elections in Mississippi and Alabama, and believe me, I have seen injustice up close and personal.

I think that is why this whole lacrosse case has touched such a deep chord in me. It just so reminds me of those days of being in the Deep South, in a voting station in a tobacco shed in the middle of a field, when blacks would walk miles to vote, many of them illiterate, and they were totally manipulated by the guys who would read the ballots to them. They were powerless against an administration that was determined to deny them their rights. Luckily those days are over.

Or are they?

I am generally not in favor of lawsuits as a means to settle what should be private, negotiable issues between reasonable parties. But I understand the Dowd's motivation, as well as the other lacrosse parents who feel that a small segment of the Duke University community victimized a vulnerable group of kids, because they felt they had the power.

Anonymous said...

To Victim in Massachusetts:

You have expressed very strong opinions about quite a few legal issues on this page. For example, in your most recent post, you state that every member of the LAX team can sue for emotional distress and you claim that certain statements that were made by the group of 88 and even by certain Duke students in the early days of the case can be used against Duke. Are you an attorney? If so, where did you go to law school? If not, what makes you think you are qualified to express opinions on these issues?

Anonymous said...

If anyone doubts that a large percentage of the comments on this board is coming from a group of wackos who are pushing a wacky right wing agenda, please read the comment by the 12:18 PM commenter. Obviously, he is not just concerned about justice for the three accused LAX players. In addition, I think it is quite clear that he does not give a damn about Duke and in fact would be quite happy to see Duke face an avalanche of lawsuits and pay out millions of dollars in damages because that would encourage attorneys around the country to come out of the woodwork to sue "oppressive campus leftists." If you are someone who loves Duke and wants to see the LAX mess resolved in a way which makes Duke better and stronger, you might want to think long and hard about whether you really want to take your marching orders from these nut cases.

Anonymous said...

The three caused more damage....are you delusional....hello the lies from the 'accuser', the lies from the DA and a University that did not support its own students....come on...had everyone been levelheaded and ASKED questions from day ONE...NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAD TO HAPPEN!!! Kyles is only the FIRST of many lawsuits !!!

Anonymous said...

Another great example of right wing wackiness is the comment by the 1:29 AM commenter who states "maybe now we can get rid of the left wing pseudo-science studies at Duke." What exactly does this have to do with obtaining justice for the three accused LAX players? Do those who love Duke really think it is in the best interests of Duke to eliminate entire departments like African American Studies and Women's Studies which exist at all top universities just because some of the professors in those departments who admittedly are leftists jumped to conclusions about the LAX case? Would elimination of those departments really serve the long-term best interests of Duke and help make Duke one of the preeminent academic institutions in the world?

Anonymous said...

Another great example of the right wing wackiness on this board is the comment by M. Simon at 12:38 AM which states that the Dowd case is "just one battle in a WAR against Duke and the communist academy." Again, what does this have to do with obtaining justice for the three accused LAX players? Does anyone think that this guy loves Duke or that he has the best interests of Duke at heart? Does any member of the Duke community reading this blog think that the trustees of Duke should make a decision about retaining or firing Brodhead based upon advice received from this guy?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, this professor should be fired.

Not for teaching a radical feminist agenda, but for obviously discriminating against a student.

Her changing rationale for why she gave him an F on his paper in the first place is highly suspicious, as is Duke suddenly uncovering an error in how his grade was computed. Either the professor knew exactly how the grade was computed and was able to explain why he got an F, or not. The idea that an error in calculation was made is claptrap, especially since it took Duke several weeks? months to uncover this 'error' all the while the poor kid was frantically trying to find a way to graduate.

Disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

"Do those who love Duke really think it is in the best interests of Duke to eliminate entire departments like African American Studies and Women's Studies"

Yes- would you support a poll of the alumni on this?

Do those who love Duke really feel that its best to try to whitewash soemthing that has just been exposed to the whole country? Face it- the fat is already in the fire and it is time for a real response. If not for some equity for a tution paying student then for public relations value.

It is precisely the attitude of Prof Kim described in the course description as thinking that "social arrangements [need to be]radically re-worked to respond to the crisis before us" (posted 8:18) that allows the 88 to lash out without grounds or probity against any social group that they see fit.

I cant believe that anyone thinks its health for that attitude to persist. Its just a matter of time before they subject Duke to more disrepute.

Anonymous said...

I am not a lawyer. So someone should confirm this. BUT what a college teacher says is not generally subject to censorship by a university: academic freedom, you know. Nor is a teacher's statement a statement by the university. I suspect Duke has at least a legally cognizable privilege that protects it institutionally from statements made by teachers. That of course does not protect teachers individually.

Now falsifying grades is not something protected by academic freedom. If Duke corrected this, I doubt it is liable: I presume no agent of the university is or was authorized to falsify grades so the agent was not acting within the scope of her authority.

I am not saying this to exculpate Duke, which I believe acted quite shabbily. But (and perhaps one of the lawyers will correct me if I am wrong) Duke is not institutionally responsible for most of the nonsense said and written by members of its faculty, who did so independently. Of course, that these low-lifes were granted tenure by Duke is probably good reason not to send your kids there or make donations

Anonymous said...

Yeah no one is saying that Duke should be legally liable for the statements. But screw the legal liability- they have a responsibility to stop their employees from creating a hostile environment for their customers.

Check out the lawsuit:
http://abclocal.go.com/images/wtvd/pdf/dukecivillawsuit.pdf
it is really quite disgusting if accurate. Dowd is forced to contact his family a week before graduation to tell them to cancel their trip down. And when he inquires what happened to give him an F in a course he had a C in the administration replies "We are not going to meet. There are no grade appeals. Instructors assign grades and that is all there is to it".

Basically they drag a tution paying student through the hedge backwards until July trying to fix the malicious actions of their agent.

Tell me this doesnt need fixing....

Anonymous said...

To 6:47 PM:

Dowd did not spend weeks or months frantically trying to find a way to graduate. The complaint in his lawsuit against Duke states that when Curtis gave him the F, he was worried, but that Duke quickly concluded that he had enough credits from his first two years at Johns Hopkins (he had transferred to Duke at the end of his sophomore year) to graduate on time with his class at Duke. The administrative review of the grade apparently lasted about six weeks, and in July, the grade was changed. In the meantime, Dowd had moved on to his job in NYC which was not affected by the dispute about the grade. This lawsuit really is much ado about nothing.

Anonymous said...

To 9:00 PM:

If you are going to make these kinds of negative statements about Duke, you really should try to get your facts straight. Duke did not drag the kid through the hedge backwards until July. The complaint in the case states that Professor Michael Munger, who as chair of the political science department apparently had jurisdiction over appeals regarding grades, did send the message you quote in your comment, but that he quickly reversed course the next day. Duke then determined that Dowd was entitled to an additional credit for work he had done at Johns Hopkins and that he could graduate on time. The administrative review of the grade lasted until July, at which point the grade was changed. By then, Dowd was already off to his job in NYC which was not affected by any of this.

Anonymous said...

To 7:43 PM:

I would definitely support a poll of the alumni on this issue and have no doubt that the alumni would conclude it is not in the best interests of Duke to eliminate these departments once it is explained to them that every top university in the country has departments in these areas. We could also ask whether the alumni of Duke want to eliminate all leftist professors and all departments which are not acceptable to the lunatic right wing fringe. I do not think your side will come out too well on that one.

Anonymous said...

This ten year "visiting Professor" should be easy to get rid of at Duke. What the problem is - duke has a lack of will to clean house.The Adm corrected the grade without firing this gal immediately is shameful. Go get them Kyle.

Anonymous said...

11:17 Well yeah - although, I believe it is a front door effort.

Anonymous said...

Well I guess it much ado about nothing for you because you arent effected.

But Dowd's whole family expected the kid to be gradulating from a great school. They had probably told everyone in the neighborhood. He had obviously put in a lot of work and had a 3.4GPA. He had earned a graduation ceremony that his whole family could take part in. To have that threatened by the FRAUD of Professor Kim is reprehensible.

You dont think Dowd should have been concerned that he would have to turn down a job offer, make arrangements to spend another semester in Durham, and repay the university for something he was being defrauded out of? What if he lost deposits on an appartment in New York? Can you feel any concern then for the results of Kim's prank?


Why is it ever acceptable for Munger to send someone an 'eat shit' response like
"We are not going to meet. There are no grade appeals. Instructors assign grades and that is all there is to it".

Go reread points 20, 22 and 32 in the complaint. It is obvious to me that Curtis and Munger and the Political Science department did nothing to help resolve the complaint and that this sudden finding of Johns Hopkins credits was an attempt by the administration to get around the recalcitrant department.

And I'd really have to see how it can take two months to identify a "calculation error". I mean these are the soft sciences but there are only 4 equally weighted numbers involved. If Dowd hadn't kept after them it seems unlikely that the University would ever have figured out how to average them.

Its pretty obvious at this point there was malice involved.

Dukex4 said...

She is teaching a course this spring. Hopefully there will be much publicity about her grading habits next week so that any who can will drop her course asap. I can't think of a better message to her than an empty room when she shows up for her first class.

Anonymous said...

Now that Curtis is in trouble and has implicated Duke (not that Duke didn't implicate itself in other ways) with her behavior as detailed in the suit, I wonder if Duke will dump Curtis as fast as they dumped the boys when their indictments came down?

Anonymous said...

If you are the other LAX student who was F'ed by Curtis do you sue now or wait until Dowd is done and then go collect your money?

More publicity means more pressure on Duke, but then you'd actually have to pay out to your lawyer. Hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line: there are no damages, and Duke did not do anything wrong.

Anonymous said...

"The bottom line: there are no damages, and Duke did not do anything wrong."

Snort.

Their agent defandant Curtis acted with malice in damaging Dowd. Their agent Munger representing the university appeal process appears to have not taken reasonable care to discover an elementary calculation error thus damaging Dowd.

How do you think a jury is going to react to Curtis' statements that include Dowd?

Why would Zeszotarski file the case if it is so un-winable? Or are you saying that there will be a recovery but there "shouldnt" be?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I keep forgetting how you blog hooligans are; you only like to look at one side of a case: the lax side. Some points to consider:

1.please note that the final paper grade is not included in the info given the media. Only the first two papers grades, which are c's are included. What was the final grade?

2.the student missed a month of classes but apparently did not have an offical university excuse which would have erased these absences

3.Duke, like all almost IVY colleges changed the grade whether there was an error or not; this is known as grade grubbing and wealthy students often comlain and then have their grade changed. it is a part of their priviledges that other people do not get.

4.the student will have to prove he was damaged and there do not seem to be many damages since he graduated anyway. this is about revenge on the Duke 88

5.Duke should fight this tooth and nail so they will be innudated with lawsuits from the lax team.

Anonymous said...

If Duke is "inundated with lawsuits" it is because of their actions and the actions of their agents.

Fighting them "tooth and nail" means a protracted period of time in which the indefensible action of Curtis will be in the media. And it invites a wider investigation of ongoing unfair grading practices at Duke in discovery to find out what the administration knew about this problem of vigilante justice by some of their faculity. And media interviews with the mother about how she was devastated when she found out that she wasnt going to be able to attend commencement because of a teacher's caprice. Oh and if you are Duke, do you really want Curtis on the stand explaining on CourtTv her theories on 9/11 and how societal structure needs to be re-thought?


There is no question of grade grubbing here. Its a complete non-sequitor, so why do you bring it up.

The final paper grade was an 'F', which is easy to find out. For instance you could have read the comment at 8:06. Or the lawsuit.

Judith said...

NOTE TO ALL DUKE FACULTY and ADMINISTRATION:

In case you did not already get the memo, please start reviewing your emails with special regard for any that might contain something that might embarrass you or the University (ie negative references or slander against the Duke Lacrosse students, plans to disrupt students' safety and security on campus, interfere with legitimate grades or graduation plans, or unfair presumptions about the case itself). If and when you find one, just hit the DELETE button.

Regards,
Pres. Richard Brodhead

Anonymous said...

To 1:38 AM:

Since you seem to be having a hard time grasping the issues, I will just draw you a picture. All universities have procedures which basically state that if a student receives a grade which he thinks is unfair, he can appeal to the department chair or some other person at the university, the university will conduct a review, and a final decision will be made. This process would be part of the contract between the student and the university. In this case, the professor issued a grade, Dowd thought the grade was unfair, he appealed to Munger, the university conducted a review, and the grade was changed. In other words, proper procedures were followed and the situation was resolved in favor of the student. Thus, no breach of contract, no fraud, no negligence, and certainly no basis for the awarding of punitive damages, which would require Dowd to show that Duke acted with malice. Not only was there no malice, but Duke bent over backwards to make sure Dowd has not damaged by the disputed grade and that he could graduate with his class. Now do you get it?

Anonymous said...

To the earlier commenter: What's a little right-wing wackiness on this board when Duke is full of left-wing wackiness that wants to punish those who disagree. Who are the real totalitarians?

Anonymous said...

3:50,

Ohhhhh now I get it...there was "contract between the student and the university" that included an appeals process.

Thats funny, because Munger, who is part of the appeals process wrote to Dowd:
"We are not going to meet. There are no grade appeals. Instructors assign grades and that is all there is to it"

How could Munger not know about an appeals process that he was a part of? Thats just not credible. So Mungers response was part of an attempted to deny Dowd's contractual rights.

In fact there is no evidency that the PolSci department *ever* sucessfully addressed the problem. Its more like they had to be overridden.