Friday, May 25, 2007

The Group of 88: Non-Endorsement "Endorsements"

The Group of 88’s ad did not include a list of all 88 Duke faculty members who signed onto the statement. But it did specifically assert that five Duke academic departments (Romance Studies; Psychology: Social and Health Sciences; Art, Art History, and Visual Studies; Classical Studies; and Asian & African Languages & Literature) as well as 10 academic programs formally endorsed the statement.

It is hard to overstate how unusual such an endorsement is. Academic departments rarely sign onto statements that do not directly deal with departmental concerns. That nearly 20 percent of a school’s arts and sciences departments would endorse a statement such as that produced by the Group of 88 is extraordinary. These departmental (and program) endorsements gave the statement added heft—perhaps explaining why the statement’s principal author, Wahneema Lubiano, included the names of the relevant departments in the text.

How could it be, as occurred in each of the five departments above, that a majority of a department’s professors did not sign onto the ad individually, but then took the far more significant step of supporting a formal departmental endorsement of the statement?

Well, it turns out, they didn’t.

In some, and perhaps all, of the five departments, no vote to sign onto the ad ever occurred. There was no informal polling of department members, either. Some, and perhaps all, of the departments listed as signing onto the Group of 88’s statement did not, in fact, ever endorse the ad.

Two members of the Classical Studies Department had informed me that no departmental vote on whether to endorse the ad occurred, and so I asked the department’s chairman, Peter Burian, what had happened. He replied,

Your information is correct. The department did not vote to endorse the ad. An individual faculty member gave the “go ahead,” and at least one member of the department was upset that this had happened without departmental consent. The action was well-intentioned, if in retrospect it may appear mistaken; it needs to be understood in the context of the immediate, highly emotional reactions to the first reports of the incident.

In effect, then, a professor decided to confer upon herself the authority to speak on behalf not only of her 10 colleagues but also an established department of Duke University.

No doubt that the situation in Durham was highly emotional last spring. It’s worth remembering, however, that the Group’s statement was hardly immediate—it went to print on April 6, more than a week after defense attorneys had publicly asserted that the DNA tests that Mike Nifong had promised would exonerate the innocent would all come back negative, and nearly two weeks after the first press reports on the case. Indeed, the rush to produce the ad appears to have stemmed less from emotion than from Lubiano’s desire to get the ad published before the DNA test results came back.

Academic freedom carries with it responsibilities as well as rights—and one responsibility is to follow accepted procedures, or at least make a good faith effort to do so. It’s hard for me to believe that a tenured, full professor was unaware that she did not have the authority to unilaterally say that her department endorsed a public statement.

An even murkier situation exists in the (since consolidated) Department of Psychology: Social and Health Sciences. Two members of the (then) department told me that no vote occurred on whether the department as a whole should endorse the ad; and the department’s then-chairman, Tim Strauman, confirmed that he had no recollection of any vote. Had such a vote taken place, of course, the motion to endorse almost certainly would have been rejected—since not even one member of the department individually signed the Group of 88’s statement.

So on what basis did Lubiano claim that Psychology: Social and Health Sciences endorsed the ad? She isn’t saying: she earlier had instructed me, when I asked her what evidence she possessed that the Brodhead administration had responded last spring in an overly favorable fashion to the lacrosse players, “Do not email me again. I am putting your name and email address in my filter.”

The “endorsement” of a third department also does not appear to have occurred: In Art, Art History, and Visual Studies, 10 of the 12 faculty did not sign the statement individually. I e-mailed the department chairman, Hans van Miegroet, to ask under what procedures his department endorsed the ad; he declined comment.

The chairs of the other two departments to sign onto the ad (Leo Ching and Margaret Greer) were members of the Group of 88. They did not reply to requests on what procedures their departments followed in electing to sign onto the ad.

At the Volokh Conspiracy, Northwestern law professor Jim Lindgren (who has served as an associate dean at two universities) explained the severity of this breach of academic protocol.

Could it be that one or more of the approximately 15 departments or programs that supposedly endorsed the letter did not do so? Did the letter writers fabricate departmental or programmatic support that did not exist, either intentionally or out of confusion?

That is a truly frightening possibility, even if less likely to have happened than some of the other [possible explanations]. After the Group of 88’s letter was published with departments and programs at Duke presented as official signatories, the President or the administration would likely have talked to at least a few chairs to determine the circumstances of their departments’ signing on. Is it possible that the President or another member of his administration had discovered that the authors of the Group of 88 were falsely claiming official Duke departmental endorsements that were fraudulent—and kept silent about it?

Leading a university is like herding cats, and faculty members can be expected to make many irresponsible statements for which the administration can’t reasonably be held responsible. But claiming departmental support (if there were none) is a claim that an administration would have a moral (and perhaps a legal) obligation to correct. Publishing the Group of 88’s letter certainly damaged the reputation of the Duke students accused of rape, and encouraged those who were harassing them. If a professor lied about whether departments or programs at Duke joined in the denunciation of the accused Duke students, that lie would have damaged the reputation of those students.

The false claim of departmental endorsements, ironically, was then reaffirmed in the January “clarifying” statement—which defiantly rejected calls to apologize or to back down in any way from the Group of 88 statement. Whatever else motivated them, the “clarifying” faculty certainly were not responding to the emotions of Crystal Mangum’s initial allegations and Mike Nifong’s pre-primary publicity barrage. So it remains the official, public position of more than 100 Duke professors that the departments of Classical Studies, Psychology: Social and Health Sciences, and Art/Art History formally endorsed the Group of 88 ad.

---------

Last spring, there was a spring break party that featured drinking and boorish, raunchy entertainment—hardly an extraordinary occurrence, except perhaps at institutions such as Liberty or BYU that most politically correct professors disdain. The party—because, it’s worth remembering, all such writers claimed they weren’t prejudging the criminal case—triggered hostile op-eds or letters from no fewer than 14 Duke arts and sciences professors, critical comments from at least a dozen more, a denunciatory ad signed by 88 faculty members, and presidential comments inaccurately suggesting that the lacrosse team had a history of racist behavior and asserting, “Whatever they did is bad enough.”

A few weeks later, what Lindgren correctly called a “frightening” breach of academic protocol occurred, in which three and perhaps five departments were listed as endorsing a highly controversial public statement even though the departments had never voted to endorse the statement—and, in fact, even though a majority of at least three of the departments clearly did not support it. This abandonment of standard academic procedure has, to date, produced no critical comment at all, from anyone in the Brodhead administration.

In one of her essays on the case, USC law professor Susan Estrich wrote, “There are reasons you follow procedures. In general, they are there to spare outrage.” Following procedures in this instance would have spared the outrage of a document prominently cited in the defense change-of-venue motion falsely claiming endorsement from several of Duke’s academic departments.

93 comments:

bill anderson said...

K.C.,

Furthermore, if department funds were used to pay for the ad when, in fact, the department members had not authorized them, we are dealing with financial fraud. Even tenured professors can be fired for such an offense.

I find it interesting that the Duke administration has not shown the least bit of interest or concern about this outrageous behavior by faculty members. In other words, if the financial fraud is politically correct, then everything is just fine.

Move along, nothing to see here....

KT said...

Well, I am shocked, absolutely SHOCKED (!!) that Lubiano and her cohorts would attempt to deceive anyone or misrepresent the opinions of an entire department (or 3 or 5)!!

Anonymous said...

The Duke administration is almost as embarrassing to the university as the professors.

luke said...

Thanks KC. The whole endorsement thing smelled fishy to me. Picture this: An ad is published in the Duke Chronicle criticizing the affirmative action admissions policy at the University. At the bottom of the ad, it lists a bevy of departments and programs thanking them for signing onto the ad. It is later discovered that approval did not come from many of those programs and departments. Do you think the University would turn a blind eye to this?

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

This is a question that should be posed to Brodhead at one of his "conversations." A Duke alum should ask him if his administration looked into this claim of support of departments and programs in that ad and if so whether or not he found the claim was true.

This certainly looks to like cause to fire even someone with tenure. Now the out might be that some funds were ursurped from each of the named department to pay for the ad. That too would be highly unusual but probably not a wrongful act at a private institution.

Gary Packwood said...

Great post that represents an enormous amount of work and thoughtful deliberation.

Connecting the dots all the way to the change of venue issue is just superb.

You have a book of facts in the making and a book of implications for the academy in the making.

I appreciate being part of the learning.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Every professor in every department that Lubiano claimed endorsed the ad, should be sued. That will provide Lubiano an opportunity set the record straight in front of a judge. And in front of her colleagues. Then she can return to Duke and live with the fallout.

Anonymous said...

I my career as an academic, I have never even heard of a case of a department making such an extraordinary endorsement, let alone several in 1 institution... at one time!

What is most extraordinary about this isn't that it happened (as it appears to have been done without consulting colleagues), but that the academics who were not consulted in departments that endorsed the ad have not howled with outrage at this breech of collegiality and protocol. It is evidence of just what timorous wee beasties they are. It explains how the 88 profs get away with so much. They are not only shrill and shameless, but the rest of the academic staff are supine and pathetic and desperate to avoid controversy. In my experience, that is entirely believable. So what bloody good is tenure then? They are given jobs for life to protect their freedom of speech, but most are too cowardly to say anything!

Anonymous said...

"Furthermore, if department funds were used to pay for the ad when, in fact, the department members had not authorized them, we are dealing with financial fraud. Even tenured professors can be fired for such an offense".

This has been gone over before. It isn't fraud. The amounts involved are miniscule, and would not normally require a departmental vote. Departments don't vote on every penny spent. The small amounts could easily be paid from discretionary funding available to department heads. This line is not worth pursuing.

Anonymous said...

"This is a question that should be posed to Brodhead at one of his "conversations." A Duke alum should ask him if his administration looked into this claim of support of departments and programs in that ad and if so whether or not he found the claim was true".

An excellent suggestion, in theory. My guess is that Brodhead would deny any knowledge of the matter and have no interest in pursuing it. He's an experienced and accomplished politician well able to slither past a direct question like this. But it is worth asking just to make him squirm. It's a question that SHOULD be asked.

Anonymous said...

"Every professor in every department that Lubiano claimed endorsed the ad, should be sued. That will provide Lubiano an opportunity set the record straight in front of a judge. And in front of her colleagues. Then she can return to Duke and live with the fallout".

And sue their wives and children while you're at it!!

This is a reduction ad absurdam of the American mania for settling EVERYTHING with a lawsuit.

Purps said...

Oh, very good work, KC.

Anonymous said...

To Mr. 1:11.
Perhaps this issue is "not worth pursuing" to you, especially if you have a vested interest, but to me, at least, having a department endorse a controversial public statement, irrespective of whether it was paid with department funds, is a big deal. It is NOT like subscribing to "Time Magazine" or endorsing "Cancer Awareness Month." A department endorsement certainly implies that its members agree with it or that the endorsement is consistent with some overall departmental policy.
gk

Anonymous said...

Looks like the lawyers are concerned about lawsuits.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

BROADROTTEN and STEEL...this is not going away

the board by refusing to INVESTIGATE the GROUP OF 88 is allowing the media, and the new PRESS to press the case against DUKE

are 88 narrow minded professors, whose idea of scholarship, is based upon feeling abd third world ethics, going to be allowed to debase the ALUMNI of DUKE ?

this is a call to action...BOOT THE DUKE 88

Anonymous said...

How are the parents of these three young men expected to recoup the millions of dollars spent on their defense? They should sue all viable targets. Share misery with those who deserve it and press hard until they achieve complete financial restitution.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

KC - quit wasting time trying to yank words out of the mouths of those departments. Their actions speak louder.

Since the ad was printed April 6, 2006, NO department involved in that ad has publicly condemned it.

That's loud enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Poll
Do you agree with the attorney general's decision to drop charges against the accused?
Yes
No
Submit Vote

View Results

67% said NO
--------------------------------

the LIES wont go away...go to the CHRONICLE website

Anonymous said...

"But claiming departmental support (if there were none) is a claim that an administration would have a moral (and perhaps a legal) obligation to correct."

...probably one reason the university will be shelling out big money to the three.

--Michael

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps this issue is "not worth pursuing" to you, especially if you have a vested interest, but to me, at least, having a department endorse a controversial public statement, irrespective of whether it was paid with department funds, is a big deal".

The issue I said was not worth pursuing is the financial one. It is a waste of time. That is distinct from the issue of the departmental endorsements of the ad. I never said anything about that. You misread my posting. THe latter is vitally impportant and should be pursued to the max.

Anonymous said...

"Since the ad was printed April 6, 2006, NO department involved in that ad has publicly condemned it.

That's loud enough for me".

Indeed. That's why one can only conclude that Duke is broken. So many of its faculty are complicit by doing/saying nothing.

ABOLISH TENURE! They don't deserve it.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: anon 1:14

An excellent suggestion, in theory. My guess is that Brodhead would deny any knowledge of the matter and have no interest in pursuing it. He's an experienced and accomplished politician well able to slither past a direct question like this. But it is worth asking just to make him squirm. It's a question that SHOULD be asked.

I agree. He will likely deny having looked into this although he likely has had someone look into it. Regardless of what he says in response, he should be asked as a follow up, is it appropriate for Duke departments and programs to spend donor's or tuition or grant money to make comments on political issues like this.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Why is it so hard to apologize for a non-endorsement endorsement? If one so few can speak for an entire department in endorsing the ad, can't one or two issue an apology on behalf of the entire department? Evidently no departmental vote is needed for such statements. I guess political correct proves to be quite effective in herding academic cats sfter all.

gwallan said...

If a professor lied about whether departments or programs at Duke joined in the denunciation of the accused Duke students, that lie would have damaged the reputation of those students.

It would also damage the reputation of those departments or programs.

Anonymous said...

I have asked here but it has never been answered - what was the core logic in rushing to sign statement when it was known the DNA info would be available shortly and might well exculpate the players?

Someone please reply if you know.

Anonymous said...

If there is not an annoucement soon of a settlement offer by Duke University, which includes the removal of the worst offenders among the faculty, then the lawsuits should commence.

And please don't speak to the practical effects of winning a substantial financial settlement.

This must be about the process of DISCOVERY and the shining of a bright light on the faculty rot at Duke.

It is too bad that many, many good members of the Duke faculty have been smeared by this process. But is that now what they have an adminstration for? To enforce proper procedure, and to deny the most extreme members of the Duke faculty with the opportunity to bring ruin on all?

Let it begin.

Anonymous said...

So why did "the many, many good members" of the faculty keep their many many mouths shut even until today?

The silent 800 have nothing to be proud of.

Anonymous said...

Call for a suspension of all sports programs at Duke until this matter is settled.

During the interim, direct all questions to Coach K, which in turn will ignite a controlled burn under the Board of Trustees.

To them, a Duke without basketball is a university without humanity.

scott said...

6:52 AM --

I'm only speculating here, but given a brief glimpse into the thinking of the ringleaders of the G88 -- Lubiano, Holloway, Neal to name just a few -- I belive the second half of your first sentence answers the first half question.

The fact is, the DNA (specifically, the lack of LAX DNA), if properly disclosed by D.A.M.N., would have exculpated the LAX 3. I think Lubiano and her main cohorts were aware of this possibility. But they were on a roll (they had their issue and the attention they craved!) and didn't want this to end. So before something as damaging to their narrative as a lack of LAX DNA would be, they decided to throw a turd in the punchbowl in the form of the Listening Ad.

To me, and I think from your comment, to you, that wasn't very smart. Why not wait and see what the DNA evidence turns up? Again, my speculation is that these people were so excited about the chance to get involved in the metanarrative of a lifetime, they just couldn't help themselves.

In the post, KC writes:

Academic freedom carries with it responsibilities as well as rights ...

What I've seen from the hardcore members of the professors that have spoken on this matter -- the 3 mentioned above, Baker, Allison, McClain, Chafe, Starns, Wood, Rosenberg, and a few others -- is that, like children, they're all about claiming the rights, but want nothing to do with the responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

7 23
While I am sure you are correct that is obviously not the proper way to do things and defies any sort of academic logic. Where is the outrage from those in G88 who may have been flim-flammed and the Silent800?

Anonymous said...

I think all or most of the G88 are going to have to answer the question I posed at 6 52. Hopefully during discovery.

Anonymous said...

To 1:16 AM.

While frivolous lawsuits are in fact, a cancer that has permeated our system, this issue represents the most egregious civil rights violation in a generation and should be thoroughly explored. Since politicians, law enforcement and the Duke Administration refuse to investigate, a few well administered depositions would be most helpful.

kayman007

lois said...

KC> It will make interesting reading for your book. It otherwise is a dead story. Everyone has lawyered up and nothing further will be said by the g88 unless their peers take them to task. They don't care about a student ad. They only will care if their jobs are in jeopardy.

The families, I hope, will get renumeriation from Duke down the road. That's all I care about. These boys will move on eventually and lucky them, they don't have to do it Durham.

I've met people recently who are alum, have students in Duke now and are sending more. The Alum connection is strong and if they as a group want to fix any of this they easily can. There are two significant silent majorities> the faculty who did not then and still do not support the actions of the generators of the ad and the aforementioned alums. They are the grown-ups, not students writing in a student publication. This is their problem to fix, unless they don't see it as a problem.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:57

You wrote...

"And please don't speak to the practical effects of winning a substantial financial settlement.

This must be about the process of DISCOVERY and the shining of a bright light on the faculty rot at Duke."

Excellent sentiment. But who is going to pay the legal bills to bring the suit?

I also like your "Let it begin." line, but it ain't going to happen. With time, after KC's book is published, this issue will just fade away. Duke admin has probably gotten smarter and will be able to better manage similar situations in the future, but the G88 clowns are probably too stupid to learn anything so nothing will change for them in the long run.

Anonymous said...

To 8:09

I contributed to Cheek campaign, the defense fund, ordered KC & Pressler's books and would be more than happy to contribute to the litigation fund. Where do I send the check?

kayman007

Anonymous said...

Soooo, big deal. Just goes to show that brodhead, the english teacher, cant run a university. He doesnt know how to fire professors. but he sure knows how to demand students prove their innocence in a court of law. brodheads courage and knowledge of fairness is truly staggering. I am truly sorry I missed this guys poems back in the days of the hippie coffee shops.

Cedarford said...

KC - I e-mailed the department chairman, Hans van Miegroet, to ask under what procedures his department endorsed the ad; he declined comment.

The chairs of the other two departments to sign onto the ad (Leo Ching and Margaret Greer) were members of the Group of 88. They did not reply to requests on what procedures their departments followed in electing to sign onto the ad.


Well, KC, normally it would be considered rude, but since you can't get an answer from 3 Department Heads, and you are writing a book and seeking a respectful reply to ensure accuracy....

It's time to take it up or down the ladder.

Write Provost Lange and say the 3 Department Heads will not respond on whether or not their Department members voted to endorse the listening statement or Waneema Lubiano misrepresented them and their support. Tell him you a last minute publication deadline to either say it happened or evidence points to Lubiano lying and other Dept heads covering for her overreach in falsely claiming Duke Departments endorsed her letter/Ad.

Or, if Provost Lange does not reply, or responds that he will not pursue the matter, then send emails out to affected faculty of the 5 Departments below the Department Head asking why they voted or did not vote for a formal Departmental endorsement of Lubiano's "Listening Statement"

Anonymous said...

I think it is time for the alums to chime in publicly. Otherwise, I do not believe that there will be any relief.

I will not send my children to Duke (this hurts...I am an alum!). I will not contribute financially to the university. I will not continue to conduct alumni interviews of prosepctive students...

Not until, at the very least, there is a public airing and accounting of the faculty's behavoir. I am not demanding anything (not a specific timelime, action, etc.), but my support of the university, other than watching basketball on TV, is over until some accountability is demonstrated.

Evan, Trinity '90

Jack said...

Who's decision was it to publish the "listening statement" in the Chronicle? The student editors? A faculty advisor? Who? Surely, a first reading of the statement gave a clear impression of the intent behind it, and it should have never been run. The Chronicle seemed a bit late in coming down hard for the students/players in this case, and running this ad may be revealing.

Anonymous said...

This is off-topic, I apologize. There is an update post on FODU website concerning the Chevy Tahoe raffle. Below is the the link. There are only 4 days left to purchase raffle tickets and help the legal defense fund.

Fundraising Event Update – May 25, FODU
http://friendsofdukeuniversity.blogspot.com/2007/05/fundraising-event-update.html

Anonymous said...

We have been outraged by the Group of 88 and the Listening Statement, when in fact we should be more outraged by the majority of the faculty who have remained silent and intimidated by the Group. That is much more telling about where the University is in the wasteland of political correctness.

Michael said...

Amazing investigative work here. Should be lots of MBA school case studies here on how not to run an organization.

You have what amounts to identity theft though it was done at a departmental level.

In industry, we get notices about speaking to the press from time to time. Unless your title is spokesperson for the company; you don't say anything. You can say what you want as a citizen but it shouldn't be about anything related to the company. If you stray, you're likely to get terminated.

The amount of gall that these people have to use someone elses name is startling. For those that have had identity theft commited against them; it feels like a financial violation that takes a long time to clear up.

Ralph Phelan said...

"It is too bad that many, many good members of the Duke faculty have been smeared by this process."

I disagree about the "many many."

Maybe a few dozen spoke up about a grave injustice happening in their institution, perpetrated by people who had usurped its name.

The rest of the faculty, the "good Germans" who kept their mouths shut to avoid causing trouble, deserve little sympathy.

Gary Packwood said...

kayman007 8:15 said...

...I contributed to Cheek campaign, the defense fund, ordered KC & Pressler's books and would be more than happy to contribute to the litigation fund. Where do I send the check?
::
http://www.ethicaldurham.com/
::
GP

Anonymous said...

"I have asked here but it has never been answered - what was the core logic in rushing to sign statement when it was known the DNA info would be available shortly and might well exculpate the players?"

6:52:00 AM


Honestly, I think the rationale was to look like they were at the forefront of a movement (thus justifying their academic existence), and not Johnny-come-latelys. You have to remember, the thought of these allegations being false never crossed their minds. They wanted to be the first, loudly and clearly, to condemn the behavior they feel is so rampant in society.

It's rather ironic, because in their rush to be at the forefront of a public spectacle, they proved just how irrelevant their movement is. The question is: if this behavior is so rampant and was indicative of the "campus climate" then where are there other examples of racism/sexism/classism? Where are the other ads taken out in the student paper?

This was their big story. I'm betting that manuscripts were started before the collapse of the case. Dreams of having book sales that rank in the hundreds, rather than tens of thousands (of the group who have actually published anything the sales on Amazon are abysmal - and most likely only that high because they force their students to buy their books) on Amazon. This was going to be their cash cow. Too bad for them, they hopped on the wrong train, and now their further behind than ever before.

Jack said...

To cedarford

You may be well intentioned to advise KC to seek Provost Lang’s assistance in getting answers, but that effort is likely to be fruitless. Duke is a private institution, and is not obligated, and clearly not inclined, to comment publicly about it’s internal procedures. Neither are they required to respond to or inform individuals or other third parties about whether internal protocols may have been violated, what sanctions the university could impose on individuals who transgress, or the funding of certain faculty sponsored activities. That could change in the event of a civil suit, but short of that, all one can do is stomp your feet.

Evan, Trinity ’90, has the only real practical response to the innumerable internal ideological and administrative problems at Duke this event has revealed. Tangible, vocal, wide spread alumni dissatisfaction must be demonstrated, and not just internally, behind closed doors. Influential individuals, with the ability to have a significant impact, on both the trustees and financially, must step forward. On the other hand, if you had to pick, on what side do you think Mrs. Bill Gates would fall?

And a very, very well said to anonymous @ 9:25 and ralph phelan– the rest of the faculty is silently complicit with the actions of the gang of 88. The problems at Duke are far more pervasive than any one can articulate. Not to mention the paltry 1,000 signatures on the student statement.

This is a problem that has been festering for many years while the innocents played on the lawns, mixed and matched their J Crew outfits; the alumni sipped chardonnay at fund raisers and cheered on Coach K. While they slept, some nasty people have been at work.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Who's decision was it to publish the "listening statement" in the Chronicle?"
The advertising manager. You give him some money and some copy, he makes sure the copy contains no dirty words and nothing the paper would be liable for, and in it goes, whether anyone on the paper agrees with it or not. And that's the way it's *supposed* to work.

Anonymous said...

This is OT, but this reminds me of an experience I had with AARP some years ago. The group made an announcement of its position on a very controversial issue which had nothing to to with retired persons or with senior issues. I wrote to the president to inquire how they arrived at their position and requested they provide me with substantive membership numbers showing support for their position. All I got was the same kind of nonsense as the Gang of 88 is peddling. When any group purports to represent its membership, they had damned well better ask the members for their opinions and for permission to use the group's name in making public statements. Needless to say, I have been a non-AARP member now for about twenty-five years and have no intention of ever joining AARP.

Anonymous said...

I will take a shot at why the non-G88 department heads, professors and administrators have not spoken out or disciplined the G88.

The G88 are bullies - abrasive, abusive assholes through and through and the non-G88 are scared of them. Have you ever tried to debate a feminist? Debate is the wrong word since logic is quickly thrown aside and you end up being yelled at by the shrill banshee for being a woman hater. It is not worth the effort unless you relish shouting matches. Ethnic demagogues are just as bad.

It takes a lot of courage and determination not to give in under such pressure. Obviously the six figured salaried tenured professors at Duke do not have such strength.

Scott66

Ralph Phelan said...

KC - normally I have the highest respect for your work, but I believe you have made a factually incorrect statement:

"Academic freedom carries with it responsibilities as well as rights...."

The above statement is pretty obviously not an accurate description of the world as it is.

Anonymous said...

This whole case is an example of sportism. If the kids had been on a real D-I sports team, rather than on a glorified club team masquerading as a national D-I sport in the traditional sense (think Squash or some other sport that so few Americans play, the talent pool stinks), they never would have been prosecuted.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if Durham ever gets an outside team to investigate the police actions on the case, that Duke then get that investigative team to come on over and take a look at the actions that went on behind the ad.

Gary Packwood said...

Jack 9:40 said...

...This is a problem that has been festering for many years while the innocents played on the lawns, mixed and matched their J Crew outfits; the alumni sipped chardonnay at fund raisers and cheered on Coach K. While they slept, some nasty people have been at work.
::
Great paragraph. You have captured the essence of the problem, I believe.

If the bullies can make the case that students and alums are behaving like the Monarchy, they will have a huge audience who want to hear about the privileged behaving like the British Royals.

The new DukeEngage program is just so important for the future of Duke. Being visible out in the community will slowdown the bullies and drive them away...hopefully.
::
GP

Christy said...

It strikes me that Brodhead has now set a precedent. One can publish an outrageous slanderous ad and claim endorsement by 5 academic departments without having bothered to get it. So perhaps we should run the ad suggested by Luke early in the comments. What could Brodhead do? Couldn't we drag out in our defense his unwritten policy? Wouldn't the burden shift to Duke's administration to demonstrate just how endorsed the Listening Ad was?

Anonymous said...

"Is it possible that the President or another member of his administration had discovered that the authors of the Group of 88 were falsely claiming official Duke departmental endorsements that were fraudulent—and kept silent about it?"

I confess that this line of Lindgren's bothers me. It takes the same form as some of the most egregious (and possibly tortious) behavior we've seen from talking heads such as Wendy Murphy: phrasing suggestions of reprehensible behavior in the form of "Is it possible that ... ?"

I acknowledge without hesitation that there is a difference between "Could there be witness statements from the defendants' friends ... saying that a rape occurred just as [Crystal Mangum] described?" and "Is it possible that the President ... had discovered [fraudulent endorsements] and kept silent about it?" For one thing, the fraudulent endorsements were there to find, unlike any hypothetical statements of the kind Murphy imagines, for which no evidence even hints at their existence.

But both statements point vigorously to a solid principle of legality and ethics (if someone knows about wrongdoing, they should come forward with it) and underplay the crucial question of fact, of whether that "if" ever became true. How common is it, when ads claiming to have the endorsement of various departments run in student papers, for college administrators to investigate whether those endorsements were legitimate? We're told that Lindgren has served as an associate dean at two universities, so that gives authority to the implied claim that Brodhead would have investigated. But then again, Nifong's position as a district attorney lent authority to his claims, and Murphy's status as a former prosecutor lent authority to hers. We know that what Brodhead provably did (not "whatever he did") is bad enough. But I think it would be wise to hold off on public speculations that he was aware of this specific misconduct among the loose cannons of his faculty.

rrhamilton said...

Anonymous @ 1:16 AM said...
"Every professor in every department that Lubiano claimed endorsed the ad, should be sued. That will provide Lubiano an opportunity set the record straight in front of a judge. And in front of her colleagues. Then she can return to Duke and live with the fallout".

And sue their wives and children while you're at it!!

This is a reduction ad absurdam of the American mania for settling EVERYTHING with a lawsuit.


When I was in law school, one of our professors told us, "Ninety percent of legal malpractice suits result from you not returning your clients' phone calls." The way I later translated this for my doctor brother-in-law was this way: "Even after you make a mistake, your patients won't sue you so long as they can see that you are honestly TRYING to fix the results of your error. They will sue you only once they come to believe that (1) you made a mistake, that (2) harmed them, and (3) you don't give a damn."

In the case of the Duke faculty and administration, who here doubts that they made errors that harmed their students? Who here believes that they have acted subsequently as though they give a damn?

No, Anonymous @ 1:16 AM, it's not "the American mania for settling EVERYTHING with a lawsuit" at work here; lawsuits in this case seem to be the last resort to force Duke to acknowledge its misfeasance and malfeasance. They are well-justified in this case.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Brodhead and everyone else are just plain SCARED of the 88. IF they discipline those whackos, Jesse and Al will scream "racist" and OH HOW terribly frightening that is! OOOoooooohhhhhh
Cowards. I emphasize that -- COWARDS!!!!!!!! People who have an opportunity to stand up against this B.S. and don't are cowards and disgusting.

Anonymous said...

"...it needs to be understood in the context of...highly emotional reactions..."

This phrase is very telling. For the 88, this really was not about the specifics of the LAX case; rather, it was an avenue for them to vent their ongoing anger as self-defined "victims" of constant racism/sexim/classism. It WAS the metanarrative that was at play more than the case. In the process, this exposes their bigoted view of other races, classes, ans sexes. That's the REAL matanarrative. "Diversity" gives them more power than competency (of which they have little)- it's not about principle, but about (evil) power.

Ed

Jack said...

Ralph @ 9:50 – you chided KC for inaccurate description of the world as it is. Likewise, your reply on how a newspaper is “supposed" to work – it doesn’t! Editors make decisions every day with respect to policy, opinions and who may use their paper to voice their position on anything from land mines to Palestine to abortion. The NY Times and the major media outlets regularly decline to publish letters to the editor, op-ed pieces and advertising that the editors deem “incompatible” with the “views of _ _ _ _ “. Those responsible for the content of the Chronicle, both advertising and editorial, have a responsible to the university and it’s students to present fair, accurate information, and should not enable individuals to impugn the character of students, presume guilt even before indictments, and inflame racial tensions in the community. Don’t hide behind censorship – that is only applicable to government agencies. All other private information outlets practice editorial control, and should be free to do so. That listening statement should have never been run.

Anonymous said...

rr hamilton:

You can't pick and choose when you consider lawsuits to be frivolous, wasteful, and a product of American society being litigious.

If a doctor botches an operation that is supposed to be straightforward, you consider it abbhorrent to sue to recover some of the increased costs of raising a now-damaged child. Yet when some idiot professors wrongly assume you committed a crime and use their free speech to embarass and/or expose the lax players, but ultimately themselves, you want to sue them.

You want to sue Duke University.

Anyone you don't want to sue?

John Bruce said...

Actually, this isn't even a question of financial fraud -- the amounts involved are probably in petty cash. But it is another violation of section c of the AAUP 1940 statement -- the tenured professors involved are clearly intending to create the impression that they speak for the institution. This would be reason for some type of sanction, if not dismissal.

KC, I'm puzzled that you haven't made enough of a point that the professional canons do exist to sanction the 88, or at least the leadership, and have not been used. This would be a question for the Provost, it seems to me.

Anonymous said...

9:50 says..

If the kids had been on a real D-I sports team, rather than on a glorified club team ..(think Squash or some other sport that so few Americans play, the talent pool stinks), they never would have been prosecuted.

No, numbnutz, the problem was there were too many whites on that team, and it could just as well have been gymnastics, baseball, volleyball or almost any other non-revenue sport.

You know, its kind of amusing how you keep coming here to show off your little bigotry. . How about a little tangent discussion on how football eats up all the male athlete spots at colleges across the country , while shoving out the non-revenue sports that actually take more individual skill? Not as interesting to you, I bet.

Anonymous said...

Jack,

Thank you for the kind words of support.

KC, anyone else know how we can bell the cat? Petition from alums/parents/students/philanthropists?

I think the idea is sound, but does anyone have a concrete idea of how to implement? What venue?

Evan

Anonymous said...

This whole thing must kill the alumni and parents. How a University president can just look the other way and not even address the ad is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

i resent the notion that sports like SQUASH is a meaningless sport...go to any ivy league club and youll find SQUASH COURTS and the clibs sponsor junior national tournaments

top executives play squah until their 80 and its a better workout than golf

more business takes place at squash than most other sports BTW

so when you blast squash YOU are as dumb as the Group of 88 who didnt know the facts either

Jen in Durham said...

Since Lubiano is okay with placing an ad implying the endorsement of departments that never endorsed anything, how about we place an ad now that apologizes on behalf of the Group of 88, and list her department as one of the apologists?

At the very least, would that get her to admit that such tactics are inappropriate?

Ralph Phelan said...

"The NY Times and the major media outlets regularly decline to publish letters to the editor, op-ed pieces and advertising that the editors deem “incompatible” with the “views of _ _ _ _ “. "

At most papers (including the MIT student newspaper, at least as of 20 years ago) the advertising content is *much* harder for the editorial staff to influence than any of those others.

The reasons most follow the "if it isn't obscene or actionable against us, run it" policy are, in *increasing* order of importance:

(1) Principles of free speech and fair play (snicker).
(2) CYA. Once you start rejecting ads for content, you start getting outside criticism on every ad you do or don't run, which is a pain, and you have to make an editorial decision about every ad, which is added work. "Run it all" is easy to administer and keep ideological critics of *all* varieties off your case.
(3 most important) The ad is accompanied by a check. Advertising managers really *hate* turning down paying customers.

(I am, however, willing to believe that unlike most papers the NYT does regularly choose to pass up revenue in favor of pushing their political agenda - that does seem to be their overall business strategy as of late.)

Anonymous said...

1: 46 am says…

"Poll
Do you agree with the attorney general's decision to drop charges against the accused?
Yes
No
Submit Vote

View Results

67% said NO
--------------------------------

the LIES wont go away...go to the CHRONICLE website.“


LOL…a couple of months ago the poll question was…
Should all charges against the three lacrosse players be dropped?
The results…
63% said YES!

That’s why these polls are not worth the time it takes to read them!

AMac said...

A few commenters have brought this point up; to me it's the most important mystery: Why have the Associate and Full Professors in these five departments remained silent about the phony endorsements of Lubiano's/The 88's Listening Statement?

We know that these individuals have declined to comment publically.

We know that many faculty have been fearless about making anti-student remarks for attribution.

We know that a few professors have gone on the record in favor of due process and considered judgement, notably Michael Gustafson, Steven Baldwin, and the Economics faculty.

So it cannot be unimaginably hazardous to choose to speak out.

What, then, are the reasons that lead to this uniformly ovine behavior by the distinguished non-anti-student professors of the misrepresented five departments?

cathyf said...

But it is another violation of section c of the AAUP 1940 statement -- the tenured professors involved are clearly intending to create the impression that they speak for the institution. This would be reason for some type of sanction, if not dismissal.

Now there is an interesting thought -- put the AAUP's feet to the fire -- do they really believe all of their principles about the moral imperatives of academic life, or do they simply defend professors reflexively no matter how badly the professors have violated those principles?

rrhamilton said...

Bad Reader @ 10:29 AM said...
rr hamilton:

You can't pick and choose when you consider lawsuits to be frivolous, wasteful, and a product of American society being litigious.

If a doctor botches an operation that is supposed to be straightforward, you consider it abbhorrent to sue to recover some of the increased costs of raising a now-damaged child. Yet when some idiot professors wrongly assume you committed a crime and use their free speech to embarass and/or expose the lax players, but ultimately themselves, you want to sue them.


Re-read my 10:16 AM post and tell us where the HELL you got this -- besides the skull full of your 88-trained mush.

Anonymous said...

The "silent 800" who tolerate the Brownshirt 88 are no less culpable than the "good Germans" who did nothing to impede Hitler in his rise to power.

Honorable people do the right thing, even if it exposes them to personal risks.

Few in the Duke faculty have shown themselves to be people of honor. Those few, certainlhy, are to be admired. The vast majority, however, deserve instead to be reviled.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

Anon at 6:52 asked:

"...what was the core logic in rushing to sign statement when it was known the DNA info would be available shortly and might well exculpate the players?"

Because the Gang smelt that Crystal was lying. Stupid as the Gang is, even they knew the drunken lies of a psychotic black prostitute were suspicious. The fact the players instantly gave DNA proved that the DNA info would clear them. The Gang had to act quick before that happened.

The Gang didn't give a shit about Crystal - they were just desperate for her lie. They were like drug addicts, desperate for the 'fix' of television cameras, public attention, book sales, etc. - but, most of all, the narcotic of self-righteousness.

Damn, the little dears must be going through withdrawal now. Good! That pleases me almost as much as anticipating the withdrawal of huge sums of money from the pockets of the spineless, gutless Duke administration that not only fed the Gang's addiction with silence and tenure but even turned its back as the addicts stabbed their own students in the back with the needle.

Anonymous said...

Because the Gang smelt that Crystal was lying. Stupid as the Gang is, even they knew the drunken lies of a psychotic black prostitute were suspicious. The fact the players instantly gave DNA proved that the DNA info would clear them. The Gang had to act quick before that happened.

This is absolutely illogical. This is as ludicrous as 9/11 conspiracies.

The reason they staked their livelihoods on the hoax is because they believed it to be true. If true, it proved their meta-narrative, thus perpetuating the "Duke is a hotbed of racism." That gives them a platform to preach from. This is the sentiment the CCI was born from. This sentiment puts food on their table.

You're right about one thing - they never gave a damn about Chrystal.

Anonymous said...

So the question is, Did the 88 publish their ad because they so stupid that they believe their own bullshit, OR did they publish it when they already knew the lacrosse players were likely to be exonerated by DNA results?

Nifong's hat trick said...

If it was the "party" itself that triggered the angry response from the G88, then what they were judging, as KC suggests, was the moral choice the Duke team made when they hired strippers.

That would be fine, if the G88 were really against strippers, but Diane Nelson, one of the G88 and a tenured associate professor of anthropology at Duke, organized a protest against David Horowitz and suggested...yep...you guessed it, stripping! She attempted to urge several students to strip in protest during David Horowitz's speech.

Her email regarding Horowitz, which was sent out on the Duke Network read: "They claim he will ‘expose’ academia…Here are some ways we will ‘expose them.’ I say we all wear jog bras (for ladies) and nothing (for boys) under our T-shirts and at a given signal pull them off."

Perhaps the Duke Lax team was just following the "strip culture" of Duke's own professors when they hired Crystal Mangum. Duke;$43,000/yr, Professors; priceless.

Stephen Bryan, Duke's associate Dean of Students when talking about Duke's stripper policy,(imagine they have one) notes that students are allowed to hire a stripper to perform in their dorm rooms whether on or off campus and that there aren't any plans to change that part of the policy.

No plans to change that part of the policy? The campus culture initiative had plans to ban everything, but not ban strippers from being allowed in dorm rooms?

As Duke reinstitutes or revises their "stripper policy" I, for one, hope they include a clause that protects students from being harassed to strip in public or having to see their professors strip in public. (Yuk!)

Anonymous said...

Must be tough to be a Duke prof. Will always be asked if you are in G88 or Silent 800. Very few fall outside those groups.

Anonymous said...

2:52
My impression is that when the Listening Statement was signed it was public or common knowledge that the DNA tests would be released shortly and there was also buzz that they would likely be exculpatory.

Anonymous said...

This is just the fraud of higher learning. What crap!

Anonymous said...

Somehow it's more comforting to know that the 88 (actually 115 when you count the extra 27 "clarifiers") are merely evil and not genuinely so stupid that they actually believe that bullshit meta-narrative they peddle to the poor young kids.

You can't fix stupid.

Gary Packwood said...

AMAC 1:00...said

...So it cannot be unimaginably hazardous to choose to speak out.

...What, then, are the reasons that lead to this uniformly ovine behavior by the distinguished non-anti-student professors of the misrepresented five departments?
::
They, along with their comrades across the nation, are quietly taking time off to re-load.
::
GP

rrhamilton said...

I still think it's hilarious that, just days before the hoax began, Brodhead declined to have Duke sign onto Horowitz' "Bill of Rights", claiming it was unnecessary because "all Duke professors respect all Duke students".

Anonymous said...

Group of 88:

"They are neither man nor beast,
They are ghouls."

(Book of Sorrows)

Ken

Wegl Wegl said...

Within every faculty group, there is the extreme fringe. At some universities, the fringe is a larger percentage than Duke's Gang of 88+. No one should be surprised by any action taken by a radical fringe group.

No vote by any Department but then no protestation by any Department that the Listening Ad misrepresented their Department's official position. Unbelievable! No apparent internal investigation by Duke's administration. Incredible! No calls for calm deliberation! No open support for Due Process! It is quite apparent that Duke's "Silent Majority" lives in a state of fear or cowardice or compliant passivity of the status quo.

I grew up in the South ... the Deep South ... in the 1950's and the 1960's. My parents were "moderates" on racial matters. They were not progressives. They were the products of their times (though later in life their attitudes changed considerably). They didn’t use racial epithets and saw themselves are decent, respectable moderate people. I clearly remember being with my mother and passing a group of Ku Kluxers passing out literature at a four way stop. The fear I saw in my mother brought by the mere presence of this group was one of the most disturbing memories of my youth. The Kluxers were never really a large percentage of the population in the South but they intimidated all portions of the society.

Is Duke's Silent Faculty intimidated by the radical fringe Gang of 88? Is Duke's Silent Faculty content with letting the Radical Fringe intimidate all elements of the campus to maintain the status quo? I'm not sure that it matters what their conscious or unconscious motivation has been.

The faculty's silence for the past year is cause for no appropriate response other than shame. I would suggest it be mandatory for all Duke faculty to read Martin Luther King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” and reflect on their silence over the last year.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 11:18 said...
...i resent the notion that sports like SQUASH is a meaningless sport...go to any ivy league club and youll find SQUASH COURTS and the clibs sponsor junior national tournaments.
::
There are Ivy League Clubs?
Where?
The stuff you learn on this board.
Please don't tell the G88 as they will take up that issue for a year or so.
::
GP

Gary Packwood said...

Wegl Wegl 6:03 said...

...The faculty's silence for the past year is cause for no appropriate response other than shame. I would suggest it be mandatory for all Duke faculty to read Martin Luther King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” and reflect on their silence over the last year.
::
Great comments and great suggestion. I will take on his "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" this evening. It would be good for me to review his thoughts again.
::
GP

Cedarford said...

Over at CU Boulder, Ward Churchill is still refusing to apologize and the thre year process to punish him for fraud, plagarism, and unprofessional conduct still drags along.

Like minded CU-Lefties are still rallying to is defense on the grounds that his academic freedom protects him because the plagarism and fraud stuff would have remained undetected if he hadn't been so outspoken.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/opinion_columnists/article/0,2777,DRMN_23972_5554879,00.html

Anonymous said...

rrhamilton--

"No, Anonymous @ 1:16 AM, it's not "the American mania for settling EVERYTHING with a lawsuit" at work here; lawsuits in this case seem to be the last resort to force Duke to acknowledge its misfeasance and malfeasance. They are well-justified in this case".

This is typical lawyerly sophistry. I never objected to ALL lawsuits, as your response implies. Some people must be sued. But suing every professor of every department that signed the Gang of 88 ad?!? That's just absurd. It's using the law as a blunt instrument of politics. Typical of how lawyers in the US approach ALL problems. There ARE other ways to fix problems.

Anonymous said...

Richard,

Duke has a Negro problem--there, I said it.

How do you propose to "fix" it?

Polanski

Anonymous said...

How can any individual from these departments that supposedly endorsed the ad without polling individual faculty members be seen as any less complicit than those who actually signed? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that if you weren't asked to sign something, you should have enough intestinal fortitude to say so. Here it is 14 months later, and this information is only coming out now? Talk about gutless wonders. Again I point back to Robert Bolt's classic "A Man for All Seasons", in which Thomas More attempts to avoid the controversy regarding the king's divorce by refusing to say why he won't sign the oath in support of it, hoping to legally imply his assent by silence. If they wanted us to think they didn't approve of the ad, all they had to do was say so.

Chief RZ said...

Just so the gang of 88 (or 87) does not slink away into the shadows, here they are:

Abe, Stan (Art, Art History, and Visual Studies)
Albers, Benjamin (University Writing Program)
Allison, Anne (Cultural Anthropology)
Aravamudan, Srinivas (English)
Baker, Houston (English and AAAS)
Baker, Lee (Cultural Anthropology)
Beckwith, Sarah (English)
Berliner, Paul (Music)
Christina Beaule (University Writing Program)
Blackmore, Connie (AAAS)
Jessica Boa (Religion & University Writing Program)
Boatwright, Mary T. (Classical Studies)
Boero, Silvia (Romance Studies)
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo (Sociology)
Brim, Matthew (University Writing Program)
Chafe, William (History)
Ching, Leo (Asian & African Languages and Literatures)
Coles, Rom (Political Science)
Cooke, Miriam (Asian & African Languages and Literatures)
Crichlow, Michaeline (AAAS)
Curtis, Kim (Political Science)
Damasceno, Leslie (Romance Studies)
Davidson, Cathy (English)
Deutsch, Sally (History)
Dorfman, Ariel (Literature & Latin American Stds.)
Edwards, Laura (History)
Farred, Grant (Literature)
Fellini, Luciana (Romance Studies)
Fulkerson, Mary McClintock (Divinity School)
Gabara, Esther (Romance Studies)
Gavins, Raymond (History)
Greer, Meg (Romance Studies)
Glymph, Thavolia (History)
Hardt, Michael (Literature)
Harris, Joseph (University Writing Program)
Holloway, Karla (English)
Holsey, Bayo (AAAS)
Hovsepian, Mary (Sociology)
James, Sherman (Public Policy)
Kaplan, Alice (Literature)
Khalsa, Keval Kaur (Dance Program)
Khanna, Ranjana (English)
King, Ashley (Romance Studies)
Koonz, Claudia (History)
Lasch, Peter (Art, Art History, and Visual Studies & Latino/a Studies)
Lee, Dan A. (Math)
Leighten, Pat (Art, Art History, and Visual Studies)
Lentricchia, Frank (Literature)
Light, Caroline (Inst. for Crit. U.S. Stds.)
Litle, Marcy (Comparative Area Studies)
Litzinger, Ralph (Cultural Anthropology)
Longino, Michele (Romance Studies)
Lubiano, Wahneema (AAAS and Literature)
Maffitt, Kenneth(History)
Mahn, Jason (University Writing Program)
Makhulu, Anne-Maria (AAAS)
Mason, Lisa (Surgical Unit-2100)
McClain, Paula (Political Science)
Meintjes, Louise (Music)
Mignolo, Walter (Literature and Romance Studies)
Moreiras, Alberto (Romance Studies)
Neal, Mark Anthony (AAAS)
Nelson, Diane (Cultural Anthropology)
Olcott, Jolie (History)
Parades, Liliana (Romance Studies)
Payne, Charles (AAAS and History)
Pierce-Baker, Charlotte (Women's Studies)
Pebles-Wilkins, Wilma
Petters, Arlie (Math)
Plesser, Ronen (Physics)
Radway, Jan (Literature)
Rankin, Tom (Center for Documentary Studies)
Rego, Marcia (University Writing Program)
Reisinger, Deborah S. (Romance Studies)
Rosenberg, Alex (Philosophy)
Rudy, Kathy (Women's Studies)
Schachter, Marc (English)
Shannon, Laurie (English)
Sigal, Pete (History)
Silverblatt, Irene (Cultural Anthropology)
Somerset, Fiona (English)
Stein, Rebecca (Cultural Anthropology)
Thorne, Susan (History)
Viego, Antonio (Literature)
Vilaros, Teresa (Romance Studies)
Wald, Priscilla (English)
Wallace, Maurice (English and AAAS)
Wong, David (Philosophy)

I will be waiting for their collective, long overdue apology. (guilty until proven innocent, and even then guilty indeed)!