Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Defending the Indefensible

Yesterday’s post looked at President Brodhead’s pattern of asserting that the Group of 88 has nothing to apologize for—even as some Group members themselves have admitted they’re sorry for their statement.

Today’s post examines another peculiar aspect of Brodhead’s approach: the president’s defining the statement as innocuous and unrelated to the specifics of the lacrosse case—even as some Group members themselves have admitted that their intent was to criticize the lacrosse players.

The first sign of this element of Brodhead revisionism came in his January Chronicle interview, when he positioned the Group of 88’s statement as an example of “faculty members talked about those underlying issues [of race, class, and gender].” In this version of the past, the Group’s statement was nothing more than what might be seen in the average department meeting of the Duke Literature program.

Then, in April, in a “Duke Conversation” appearance in Chicago, Brodhead offered another benign definition of Group of 88’s statement, terming it “a petition defending students who, as minorities, felt threatened by the situation.” The suggestion seemed to be that dozens of Duke professors routinely take out full-page ads in the Chronicle expressing solidarity with student viewpoints the faculty happen to find appealing.

---------

Upholding Brodhead’s claim about the Group’s benign intentions, however, requires ignoring the words of Group signatories themselves. Several Group members made clear—both at the time and thereafter—that their intention in signing the statement was to condemn the lacrosse players.

So wrote the statement’s point person herself, Wahneema Lubiano. In the e-mail that she sent early last April requesting signatories, she was blunt as to the ad’s motivation. The opening sentence: African & African-American Studies is placing an ad in The Chronicle about the lacrosse team incident.” [emphasis added]

Those who received Lubiano’s e-mail responded in kind. Take, for instance, English professor Maurice Wallace. In an April 3, 2006 e-mail, Wallace chastised his colleagues for not endorsing Houston Baker’s March 29, 2006 open letter, which demanded the summary expulsion from Duke of every member of the lacrosse team and the dismissal of Coach Mike Pressler.

Wallace proclaimed that his actions would be guided by his displeasure with “the university’s handling of this unambiguously racist and sexist social disaster, whatever a criminal investigation turns up.” He, for one, would not “let pass, unchallenged, the affront to higher education and anyone’s moral intelligence the Duke men’s lacrosse team and its coaches have been permitted to carry out over years.”

Wallace’s words contained no mention of defending minority students. Three days later, Wallace’s signature appeared on the Group of 88 ad.

Or take the case of Literature professor Kenneth Surin. Several months ago, I asked Surin how he could sign the “clarifying” faculty statement, which purported to explain the intent of the Group of 88’s ad, when he had not signed the original ad. He replied that he would have endorsed the statement had he been able to do so (he missed Wahneema Lubiano’s tight deadline, which was apparently designed to get the ad out before the initial results of DNA tests appeared).

What was Surin’s rationale in supporting the statement? To express his outrage at the lacrosse party, the team’s “significant track record of alcohol-abuse and public-disorder convictions,” and lacrosse players’ “unruly and antisocial behavior in the Edens Quad on campus and the Trinity Park and Trinity Heights neighborhoods off campus.” Surin concluded that “in no way can condemnation of this persistent pattern of lacrosse team misbehavior be a problem for any ethically upright member of the community.” Indeed, in his mind, “The Duke lacrosse team cannot be left off the hook for any responsibility for all the surrounding behavioral conditions and transgressions which, even if one were not a philosophical or religious determinist, made that March 2006 disaster virtually inevitable.”

As with Wallace, Surin made no mention of the Group’s ad as an attempt to defend unnamed minority students, and he made crystal clear that his hostility to the lacrosse team motivated his actions on the case.

Or take the case of Alex Rosenberg, who told the New York Sun that he signed the ad because of his outrage about student drinking “affluent kids violating the law to get exploited women to take their clothes off when they could get as much hookup as they wanted from rich and attractive Duke coeds.”

Again, no mention of protecting minority students, and a clear statement that the ad’s purpose was to condemn the lacrosse players.

Some signatories, in fact, celebrated Lubiano’s approach of using anonymous quotes from alleged Duke students as a clever tactic to allow the faculty to involve itself in the case under the façade of an appropriate action. “Horrified by the substance of the allegations against the lacrosse team,” Ranjana Khanna, who just took over as director of Duke’s Women’s Studies program, demanded in early April 2006 that the administration institute “a pedagogical response of some sort to the more generalized problems of sexual violence, sexual coercion, and racism on campus, as well as an examination of the culture that surrounds athletics, a sense of class entitlement, and institutional complicity in this.” (In other words, she wanted a Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative.)

Khanna also passed on to colleagues some unsubstantiated gossip: she had heard “more widespread allegations of sexual violence against this lacrosse team from students who are clearly suffering the consequences of it.” The Coleman Committee uncovered no evidence at all to substantiate this wild allegation.

Despite such beliefs, the women’s studies professor worried about departmental endorsements of Lubiano’s initiative. Without full access to, or ability to investigate, the facts of the case, a formal departmental action could even backfire. How, then, could race/class/gender faculty members best to exploit the situation? The Lubiano approach—an ad ostensibly telling “students that we are listening to their concerns,” signed by individual professors but not endorsed by departments as a whole, seemed “frankly at the limits of what any department, or faculty member, could do publicly at this time.”

Khanna’s agenda was clear: not “defending students,” but channeling the outrage that the (false) allegation had created to bring about her desired pedagogical changes at Duke.

---------

In light of such remarks, how is it possible to explain Brodhead’s persistent defenses of the Group’s statement—and his implicit rebuke of the Duke faculty members who have had the courage to criticize the Group?

Moreover, whether from fear or attraction, Brodhead’s disinclination to criticize the Group has included silence on one matter (the phony departmental “endorsements” of the ad) that even some of the most extreme Group members considered improper at the time.

Tomorrow’s post will explore these issues.

219 comments:

1 – 200 of 219   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

[Brodhead's] defining the statement as innocuous and unrelated to the specifics of the lacrosse case—even as some Group members themselves have admitted that their intent was to criticize the lacrosse players.

Shades of Back to School when Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) hires Kurt Vonnegut to write a paper on Vonnegut's novels. Upon turning in the paper, Melon's suspicious professor says, "Whoever did write this doesn't know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut."

Gary Packwood said...

I continue to believe that all of these professors were waiting for the day when one of those parties would blow up and move their joint agenda forward.

They just did not practice enough on communicating their response as a coordinated response.

The students in the Women's Center had been collection ads about student parties for some time and that will always be the central issue for me.

Why didn't the Women's Center talk with senior administration if they had a problem with student parties.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to Maurice Wallace's recent publications, KC.

Scroll down to the final entry. He misspells "in memoriam" as "in memorium."

This guy's an English professor.

P

Jamie said...

IMO, Brodhead's waspish refusal to acknowledge his serious, absolutely indefensible errors is more maddening by far than the imbecilic, childishly illogical rantings of the Malveaux-breed. More maddening, and more injurious. After all, even the worst race-pimps must recognize that they gain little by pointing out that a Malveaux agrees with them. I mean, who is she?

Brodhead is another matter. This important figure in the whole disaster guessed very wrong, overstepped by a long, long way, made his prejudices quite public, and deserves to pay the penalty of his job for a series of very severe misjudgments (if that's all they were). His refusal to acknowledge what he did compounds the damage. Since he did not resign, and it appears quite clear that he will not, he should be turned out. It's an important part of the healing.

Anonymous said...

That the gang of 88 was hostile to the LAX team is clear to anyone who has been paying attention. For Brodhead to defend these agenda driven lefties as "defending Duke students" is the same as saying the Emperor is wearing clothes.

Michael said...

President Brodhead deserves a scarlett L on his forehead.

Anonymous said...

Seemingly off-topic, but not...


Liestoppers has a recent piece on the first rape allegation made by CGM. Basically, it has two conflicting statements and both (let alone the combination of the two) really don't cast CGM in a favorable light (at all). Just when I thought nothing new (to me anyway) would come to light about CGM, there's more. I also recently read that the medical file on CGM was nearly 1,000 pages. I had heard it described as voluminous but this staggers!


Really, I have pretty much concluded that what happened the night of 13/14 Mar 06 was a scam, with the actual students as the victims. The account I read in the Baydoun book about the call that was placed to order the entertainment had the escort service asking what type of dancers were being requested and the answer being young, white, and as attractive as possible. The response is that they would send a Hispanic and a dancer who was a brunette, with blonde highlights -- our Precious herself.

Once the dancers showed up and were allowed in (despite an obvious deception) Kim Pittman/Roberts basically decided to put an end to things but keep the money. She may have had this in mind from the outset, or perhaps decided this was the way to go when CGM was unable to remain standing. At any rate, she seems to have used the broomstick comment as an excuse to take off, having been paid in advance. To ensure she was able to make a getaway, she made the first racial comment (such as it was) and immediately declared it a hate crime when it was mildly joined by one of the players. She did this so she could loudly announce that she was calling the police, knowing that in Wonderland the police would side with her over dozens of youths who have clearly demonstrated solid character, if not the best judgement -- and at least suspecting that the players knew this as well. (I have wondered why Duke students are persecuted by many in the DPD but prostitutes seem to see DPD as their own personal protectors, but that is another item.)


That first 911 call was obviously not truthful, even if only for the internal contradictions it contained. Kim may very well have stolen the share of the money paid to CGM, but the first hoax was ended as she managed to con the police into unloading CGM from her car. The second sprang to life when someone at Durham Access did something very stupid by asking CGM if she had been raped...


The Baydoun book also makes it clear that the defense offered to let the Duke administration see very early on -- before the season was cancelled, the coach fired, and other actions taken that made Duke look very guilty -- that there was evidence that the rumors being flung about were false and that, even then, there was evidence of actual innocence.


Regrettably, many at Duke have put themselves into the company of CGM and Kim by lying, telling inconsistenrt stories, claiming to have been the victim of something that isn't there, and of using others as human shields to cover their own obvious faults and failures.

In particular, I suspect the authors of the listening ad were in a rush because the word on the street by the time of publication was that the allegations were false -- they knew the DNA wasn't going to tell the same tale.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

KC, your valiant attempts to make Brodhead confront what he has done are futile.

Pressler's 17 year old daughter wrote a heartbreaking letter to Brodhead letting him know the living hell she and her family had endured as a result of Brodhead's cruel decision to fire her father.

Brodhead refused to even answer.

KC, if Brodhead is such a moral coward that he can't even confront the truth of what a teenager writes in her letter, he surely hasn't the moral decency to confront the truth of what you write on your blog.

Anonymous said...

KC

You have a nice pair of words in there that would make a great title...

BENIGN INTENTIONS

That says it all--Brodhead, MSM, Panties, G88--everyone had benign intentions.

And I still don't view this case as being about race/class/gender. That's the boilerplate these scoundrels [note to self--good word] try to palm off to the public. No, what these public intellectuals don't like is white people--and especially the "idea" of white people--cf "lacrosse player."

I don't care that these lightweights are racists--they are useless Duke employees that have to get out of Dodge--now.

These G88 types lost a big battle here--in fact, they were decimated. What would have General MacArthur done at this point?

Let's extirpate the warts from Duke's feet so it can walk unfettered by heavy loads of expensive PC crap.

P

Anonymous said...

Are we to infer from this

So wrote the statement’s point person herself, Wahneema Lubiano. In the e-mail that she sent early last April requesting signatories, she was blunt as to the ad’s motivation. The opening sentence: “African & African-American Studies is placing an ad in The Chronicle about the lacrosse team incident.” [emphasis added]

that the ad was paid for by the African American Studies department in violation of university policy, using student funds? Will Brodhead do anything about this?

Anonymous said...

Just to update people on the letter that Pressler's daughter wrote to Brodhead. He did send her a note, all he said to her was, "You are 15 years old, and do not understand."

Anonymous said...

broadrot is just another word for academic dryrot...he is as anti american as any communist that tried to undermine and overthrow us...yes hollywood were fascist leftists ...mccarthy was right in the end...just as broadrot is wrong

the problem is the board..led by the chairman of GM and other cowards like steele...the worst thing that has happened to the elite schools is to have so much money they can afford to offend the very grads who built the endowment in the first place

Anonymous said...

What galls me about Brodhead and the 88-ites is how, when they are caught falsely accusing someone, they just reflexively broaden the target of their smears, thinking this claims the moral high ground. It is not more noble to accuse the entire Duke population of being violent sexist racist bigots than it is to accuse just the team. The light of their shining self-righteousness is so bright they can't comprehend that their own bigotry is being exposed. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Duke really needs to trim some Angry Studies departments, through limited funding, salary freezes and attrition. What a waste of resources.

Anonymous said...

My God, no wonder Duke paid tens of millions of dollars to keep these people off the witness stand. Examining them would be like examining my 5 year old.

Anonymous said...

continued from 3:19,

By the time a decent attorney finished examining the 88ists, the jury would be sending out a note, "How much is every last penny Duke has?"

Richard Brodhead doesn't understand said...

There's always been a political dimension to the case, as everyone knows.

Unfortunately for the hard-core leftist professoriate, Duke chapter, they were hoist in their own petard by a Democrat named Nifong.

They've been damaged, discredited, and held under a microscope.

Kim Curtis unfairly marked a student's paper because he was a lacrosse player. An ethical lapse like that should warrant termination, but nonetheless. Internet's forever, Kim...

Alleged English professor Houston Baker wrote that nasty screed to the provost, and responded to various emails in a churlish and uneducated fashion. Internet's forever, Houston...

And so on...

Exposure. Publicity.

Left-wingers holding "CASTRATE" signs...how progressive of them...

It ain't just Ward Churchill.

Eighty-eight, at a (formerly) prestigious university.

You signed the ad, gang. Internet's forever...

Reade, Dave, and Collin were innocent...and politics were irrelevant to that fact.

Their agenda won out...and guess whose lost?

ubg said...

anonymous 3:22 said...
"Duke really needs to trim some Angry Studies departments, through limited funding, salary freezes and attrition. What a waste of resources."

I don't think this will happen. The "equality and diversity" at all costs agenda will be pushed through no matter what. There will be no punishments for the gang of 88 and their ilk, just rewards. Brodhead and the BOT probably have superiors above them who they have to answer to.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who leaves a prestige university with a degree in Afican anything needs to look forward to a life in academia or token government jobs. The real world has only so many quota positions and they're easily filled.

james conrad said...

RE: 3.23....i'll tell you who lost, DUKE, and may they continue to lose until mature, emotionally stable adults take over

Anonymous said...

YGBSM. Brodhead truly believes he can fool some of the people some of the time into thinking that the ad was designed to "protect students who felt threatened" by the incident, presumably by rushing to judgment with educational funds to slander OTHER, innocent students? How someone who insults the collective intelligence of his alumni base that blatantly can raise another dime is beyond me.

When (10 years ago) I was at a large, public three letter Triangle University, I was appauled by the strength of the alleged "diversity" agenda. As a Poli/Sci History double major, I guess I unwittingly submerged myself in the belly of the beast. It is a cult on campuses; from the admissions office to the office of the President. The fact that Dook (and others) are paying 88 imbeciles otherwise useful educational resources is waste, but the fact that they are having to pay eight-digit settlements to avoid admitting it is mistake to have employed them in the first place is genuinely tragic.

As anyone remotely close to the thinking knows, "diversity" in this context is defined by skin color, and not on any diversity of ideas. There is a sense of irony that the places that are supposed to be bastions of tolerance and free speech are the most closed-minded and dogmatic about their pet issues. Meanwhile, American undergraduates are silently begging for mature leadership, committed and competent instructors and true mentors.

Put simply, I would not pay UNC's tuition for my son to be "educated" by these racist wards of the BOT; it wouldn't even occur to me to pay Dook's.

I have no idea what I am going to tell my son to do when he gets ready to go off to college. I guess I could encourage him to go to undergraduate business school or perhaps the hard sciences, where hopefully they don't have any time or patience for the childish games that go on in the humanities.

For the people who believe this problem is confined to Dook or North Carolina, I would direct your attention to the insurgency that went on at Harvard 18 months ago. The inmates are ruling the assylums around this country. Vote with your donations.

Anonymous said...

On the eve of the 4th its a good time to remember and honor those Americans who keep our liberty alive.

The Duke players, their families, their defense attorneys and KC! Nods to all as PATRIOTS OF THE YEAR.

The fighting men and women in Iraq have a Soldier's Credo the last line of which is:

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

With this blog KC helped to keep the flame of truth alive.

Hooah!

P. Rich said...

how is it possible to explain Brodhead’s persistent defenses of the Group’s statement

Relative reality. It's all the rage...

Anonymous said...

If people are so weak-minded as to believe these rationalizations and revisionisms of the comments of the Group88, we are indeed fools. Brodhead would reverse Lincoln's admonition about not being able to "fool all the people all the time," and we would indeed be fools all the time.

mac said...

3:19/3:22
Good point. I remember certain
naysayers, saying "Duke will never
settle," and "keep dreaming."
In retrospect, those posters
were likely 88'ers.

I would suspect, in light of
all that's come out - (particularly
today's post) - that each of the
young men got around 7 mil.
Each.

Because it was the Lacrosse Team
who were so reviled, and not just
the falsely accused, expect more
settlements. There were certainly
more legal fees expended than those
compounded by the three, and there
was a high degree of humiliation
intended by the 88/Brodhead.
Expect each to get their tuition
back, plus somewhere in the neighborhood
of $500,000 each. That's gonna
be payment for their silence.

Expect, also, for the settlements
to include public, personal apologies
and/or resignations (in other words,
apologize or resign) of those who
targetted the team with outlandish,
terroristic commentary.

Waiting for someone to say "keep
dreaming" and "no way Duke's gonna
settle" once again.

Keep up the heat, KC.

mac said...

KC,
How many of the other students
had to obtain legal representatation? Some did.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, KC,

Don't you think the Duke legal team has told the 87.88.89.80-whatever to keep their mouths (collective and individual) tightly shut and their fingers off the keyboard regarding this topic? I'd've thought the agreements w/ the LAX three were designed to limit damage with the result that little more would be said publicly?

scott said...

"In light of such remarks, how is it possible to explain Brodhead’s persistent defenses of the Group’s statement—and his implicit rebuke of the Duke faculty members who have had the courage to criticize the Group?"

It's easy to explain. Brodhead's personal opinion of the matter is in lockstep with the G88. There is no doubt in my mind that had he been at Duke as a literature professor and not as the president that he would have been invited to sign the ad and would have jumped on board without a minute's hesitation.

mac said...

7:19
Right. But the whole team was
under suspicion; the whole team
was used as a lineup; the whole
team was castigated (and was
intended by some to be castrated.)
Many on the team needed to hire
lawyers - (the question is, how
many?) Even those who didn't hire
attorneys had to undergo harrassment,
extreme scrutiny - and persistent
doubts about whether "something
happened." Since those doubts
are still being cast about, there
seems little else to do other
than to pursue the case into litigation,
with no real public apologies
forthcoming from the 88, nor
from President Brodhead.

An I wrong?

The agreements with the three and
with Coach Pressler likely didn't
involve the others.
Very likely the three will keep
their settlements private;
they've shown an unmistakable
talent for keeping their cool
under fire.

Do you know for a fact that they -
the entire team - signed-off on
the agreement?

Anonymous said...

Broadrot must go. No moving on for the 88 either. They must go too.

mac said...

For those of you who think
that the 88 are all English
Majors (be careful, your attorney
might have been one, too!)

Take note:

One of the 88 - Michael Hardt -
studied Engineering at Swarthmore.
Teh present version is a little
remniscent of Kurtz (choose your
version) after he "went native."
(Minus the murder and mayhem, of course.)

When someone's too far gone,
they're too far gone: likely
that a lot of the 88 were at one
time productive citizens.

And then...the horror!

Michael said...

Looking at the financial headlines this morning turns up:

[SAP admits 'inappropriate' downloads]

they've been accused of corporate espionage and sued for it. And they're admitting it.

I'm sure that their public relations, communications consultants and lawyers indicated that this would be the better way to go. It seems like corporations have been a little more forthcoming to admit their mistakes in the last few years when stonewalling doesn't work. Perhaps acadamia will eventually learn that confession is good for the College Soul.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow’s post will explore these issues.

KC is just getting started on the exposure of Brodhead.

Anonymous said...

Mac at 7:58

I'd not argue that any agreement already signed affects the rest/the entire LAX team. I'd just think that Broadhead told the 80s to shut up already since the endownment was going down the toilet. And, they seem to have, which is stunning in & of itself!

Anonymous said...

According to Brodhead, Lange, Burness, et. al., weren't we supposed to form our judgments about Duke in this case based on Duke's ultimate RESPONSE to the final legal outcome? Well guys, we waited, per your request. And guess what? We are now forming our judgments!

mac said...

Yeah, I must've misinterpreted
your post (durhhh) with regard
to the "87. 88..." (Thought
you were talking about the
settlement(s) as it applied to
the 3, PRessler et al,
not the 88)

My apologies.

The questions are still there,
though...

BTW
Paula McClain is still "defiant,"
but as KC says, she isn't spelling
things out right now. Looks like
the 88+>< are:

1) In hiding, licking their wounds,
2) trolling DIW - and getting hammered royally.
3) seeking solace in more quiescent waters.
4) preparing their defense(s) to the BOT
if they should be the target of
litigation that - (in part) - demands
removal and/or apologies.

And I apologize for miscontruing your post.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in this: does the attacking of the "80s"--some of it ad hominum--on this blog, for example, serve to prevent them from making apologies? My question is in the context of some of the really offensive comments made here.

I probably wouldn't apologize either if I were called names & my life achievements attacked by people who could write anonymously. The LAXers were attacked by people who signed their names. Some of those defending them haven't learned the lesson of not rabidly attacking people behind the wimpish wall of anonynity.

mac said...

Brodhead's setting himself up
pretty good, and he's really
set the 88 up for a fall by
insisting what is transparently
false:

When someone makes a statement
that's easily shown to be
contrary to the facts, the
contrast makes for a pretty
good illustration, no further
help needed.

Can't wait 'til tomorrow's post!

Anonymous said...

I believe the settlement with the other lacrosse players are still being negotiated. Remember only one of the lacrosse players was never accused directly by the DPD. I dont think that should eliminate him from the abuse that the lacrose team received from Duke.

Any monetary giving to Duke in the future should be put in escrow (or withheld) until brodhead resigns. Brodheads legacy at Duke IS and always will be the lacrosse case.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't drive across a bridge that I knew was designed by a someone who studied engineering at Swarthmore.

People who are serious about studying engineering go to MIT, Cal Tech, or one of the other serious engineering schools. They don't go to Swarthmore, a bastion of liberal, Michael Hardt-style BS.

G88? Productive citizens? Hey, I'm sure you could say the same thing about Amanda Marcotte, John Feinstein, and Wendy Moore, not to mention Mike Nifong. What's your point?

Anonymous said...

3:16
The REAL waste of resources was in paying the 3 maligned players the large sum for the stupidity of 89 Dookies. I count Broad-Headless because he was stupid enough to agree with the wrong side and aid and abet their erroneous cause. By lending them his misguided support and the money donated to the university, he becomes a gang member.
I rather liked the renaming of the Gang or 88 or Group of 88 to the Klan of 88 (or 89 if you count their fearless, Godless leader). Their tactics are little better than those of the Klan. Wahneema is the Grand Dragon (maybe we should dub her Nessie). Broad-headless can be the Grand Poobah (he's so full of poop that the title readily fits). Add on several of his enablers in administration and we quickly can have the Klan of 100.
The basketball program at Duke had coaches with names difficult to pronounce or spell. The administration at Duke is filled with lackies that are easy to denounce and smell.
AF

mac said...

8:56
Consider that some of the 88 have
been acting a little "trollish,"
and have done exactly what you
claim: attacking without revealing
their own identities.

Considering that many of us have
revealed a great deal about our
own personal interests in this case
to these trollsters...with no
reciprocation.

Pussilaninimity.

Then there's the persistent libel
against the students, something
that could have been remedied
a very long time ago, when
reasonable people - such as the AG -
stated clearly that NO CRIME had
occured. There were still no
apologies.

In fact, if you look at
yesterday's post, you'll see how
badly one of the 88 has acted in
this matter - and whose character
has been self-defined repeatedly,
and this over a period of years.

Well?

mac said...

8:58
My point: sometimes people turn;
sometimes people turn bad, sometimes
they turn good; we don't always
know what they've been or how
they were trained.

Many posters have ridiculed
English as a major, while holding
up Engineering as something valuable,
of tangible valuable, worthwhile,
practical.
The point is - (and you made it) -
that the type of degree isn't
always a measure of the person
holding it. Other factors
play into it, like where the
degree was obtained.

Kurtz is a likely analogy for
some of the 88.

Just as you stated.

Anonymous said...

8:58

I'm assuming you're bright enough--although maybe not--to know that most engineers were not, in fact, good enough students to get into Cal Tech or MIT. And, they're fine engineers. You're an engineering snob?

Swarthmore is one of the best liberal arts schools in the country. I'm betting that anyone smart enough to have gotten in & to have studied engineering there would have easily been able to get into MIT or Cal Tech for graduate engineering studies.

Why on earth would you attack Swarthmore? You jealous that you & yours couldn't get in?

Anonymous said...

Pervasive on this blog is the tendency to attack anything different than the writer. Now we have requirements for where an engineer should have studied? I'd pay more attention to my engineers passing state licensing exams than to where they studied...

Anonymous said...

I've been looking at the profiles of the Group of 88 over on the Duke website. I hadn't realized a significant number of them were black. Clearly Duke has put a lot of effort (and money) into recruiting minorities.

The hoax seems to be a race issue for the blacks while the white faculty see it more as a class issue.

mac said...

9:15;9:17
Don't know anything about Swarthmore,
or how to measure engineering
studies. I appreciate your
points.

Without making this personal,
let me add this:
Lots of bad doctors graduate from
fine medical schools.

Point I made was that people
continually attack degree programs -
like English, Philosophy etc...
and they fail to understand that
people don't neccessarily fit into one mold, one pattern: some people are multi-talented.

And some people who might be
talented lose their grip, like
Kurtz. Get the reference?

I'm wondering what these same
people (8:59)
think of History as a Major?

Be honest, but be careful 8:58:
remember who built DIW?

Anonymous said...

9:15

Do you remember the case of the Swarthmore engineering student who got thrown out of school for stalking and sexually assaulting one of his classmates? He got thrown out of Swarthmore but because he was an affirmative action admit they worked out a deal to send him to Boston University. He didn't do well there and Swarthmore had to choose between losing what was left of its small endowment or re-admitting him to their engineering school. You know what they did.

AMac said...

Anon 8:56am wrote --

"I'm interested in this: does the attacking of the [Group of 88]--some of it ad hominum--on this blog, for example, serve to prevent them from making apologies?"

If Anon is wondering whether it's human nature to respond defensively to attacks (whether deserved or not), the answer is "yes."

Anon can figure out whether this tendency governed these professors' post-Statement behaviou by reflecting on his or her own conduct after s/he committed an ethical lapse (unless Anon--unlike the rest of us--is without sin).

Honorable conduct is notable because it is difficult. Or, at least, it seems so at the time.

An "A+" for the five or six Duke faculty who spoke out publicly in 2006.

A "B" for the sixty or so professors who signed statements upholding Due Process and fair treatment of students.

A "C" for the majority, who at least remained silent.

A "D-" for the three or four G88'ers who privately or equivically backed away from their sordid "Thank You" to the CASTRATE banner-holders.

And an "F" for the remainder of the Group of 88 and their too-numerous enablers.

Anonymous said...

The problem is much larger than Duke. Harvard's Summers fiasco, Ward Churchill at Colorado, and on and on. The problem is more complex at Duke because it is private. Which means change will only come when it becomes economically impossible to support the 88 gangsters and their administrative sycophants.

Yes, it will hurt Duke if people stop contributing. That's the point. Because that's probably one of the few options open, is for friends and alumni to stop giving until Duke cleans house and truly makes amends. Do not expect rapid results. Think years - many years. If we have have learned anything from this case, it is that the problem is much deeper rooted than just a few faculty who don't like white athletes. It is a serious cultural problem among academics, and it will not be resolved until enough people force change. That is not likely to happen through litigation at this point. I cannot blame the families of the players for wanting to get on with their lives.

That desire to get on with their lives is what Broadhead and the Klan of 88 are counting on. So keep doing two things: Keep shining the light on the deeds of these people, show the failings of their scholarship for all to see. And, equally importantly, stop giving, and encourage others to stop giving. When asked by Duke,explain that you don't support the kind of place that keeps intellectual and moral monsters on the payroll. If the financial drain becomes sufficient, Duke may change. But be realistic. This will not happen over night, and it will not happen if it is just a few dozen unhappy people withholding contributions. It took the race / class / gender people thirty years to take control of the universities. It may take the concerned citizens as long to wrest back control. This is a long, long campaign, not a quick fix.

Note to the 88 gangster trolls reading this. We are still waiting for an apology and your resignations. We will keep reminding you and the public of this fact.

mac said...

9:24
Yup. This case WAS the perfect
storm: women's studies wanted to
castrate some males; AA studies
wanted to lynch some white males.

Like Wolfe's "Radical Chic":
Barbara Walters libs vs. the
B. Panthers, the rift was exposed.

Here it's only exposed by the
fact that KC is doing a lawyerlike
version of Tom Wolfe (minus Wolfe's
commentary on Lacrosse players.)

Enough digging, and they'll be
eating each other alive, the 88
and their sympathizers, like the
Orcs.

Anonymous said...

9:40, remember fourth grade? "I'm rubber, you're glue. Everything bad bounces off me an sticks to you." You write at about that level.

Are trolls simply people who disagree with you? Then count me in!!! And I'm not from Duke. Nor do I have an engineering degree, but rather, a history degree. Scary!!!!

AMac said...

Anon 12:49am --

You speculated about how Pittman/Mangum may have gotten the hoax rolling in the early hours of March 14th, and how that morphed into Lubiano's rush to pre-empt the DNA evidence. That's a useful narrative to consider, thanks.

Anonymous said...

At the football summit this past spring, Pres. Brodhead made mention of the ad and said that it had been misread by people. That is all that he can hang his hat on. It the old "head in the sand" routine. Let's move on, we need to heal, let's forget all about the ad type of mantra. Most of the world lives by responsibility and accountability, but not at Duke. These folks simply can't deal with reasoned and objective dialogue. I see little of open discourse and respecting other's views among the 88-and I am still waiting for the apologies. KC, your Durham in Wonderland is perfectly named.

Anonymous said...

I assume you mean the 9:40 klan post that's so cute?!! :p

Anonymous said...

9:28 makes a good point...still I have to wonder about the value of a AA or Womens Studies major versus business or the sciences?
___________
Q: What do you say to a Women Studies graduate?



A: "Yes..I'll have cheese on that, and make it a large order of fries."

Anonymous said...

There's a story about the goose that laid the Golden Egg. I'm sure all have heard of it.

Well, from a cultural perspective, the Gang of 88 and their administrative enablers are the knife at the throat of the goose.

Freedom and Prosperity and Democracy are golden eggs. But the Gang of 88 apparently wants them scrambled.

What does the Gang of 88 say about the religious basis for the founding of the Plymouth Colony? What does the Gang of 88 say about the profit motive in the founding of Jamestowne? Surely, the Western cultural values underlying these settlements deserve at least a nod of respect when defining "diversity."

And as we near the 4th of July, what does the Gang of 88 say about the blood of our nation's men and women, spilled in such oft forgotten places such as Valley Forge, Breed's Hill, Antietam, Gettysburg, Bastongne, Iwo Jima, and yes....even Iraq and Afganistan?

Surely, the notion of cultural "diversity" must pay a nod of respect to all that our collective forefathers have provided. Not the least of which is the right of the Gang of 88 to place ill-conceived advertisements and to make outlandish inflammatory comments.

And, it seems to me that the surest way to silence the "diversity" bigots -- like the Gang of 88 -- who place too high a premium on race as a predicate for the respect that exists in a truly diverse society founded on mutual trust, ... is to demand in return a respect for the diverse background of those whose families and forefathers have, in fact, contributed toward what is now our national...

...goose with a limited number of future eggs.

Thomas Inman '74

AMac said...

Anon 9:45am wrote --

"9:40, remember fourth grade? "I'm rubber, you're glue. Everything bad bounces off me an sticks to you." You write at about that level."

Huh? I'm one of the 9:40s. Be more specific if you would like a response from me. (I expect the other 9:40 feels similarly.)

And pick a pseudonym if you want to have an ongoing Conversation. Too many "anonymouses" to figure out which preceding comments are yours.

mac said...

9:45

I agree with both 9:40s.
Their points are clear and well-
made.

Attacking writing style is something
that anon posters sometimes use
when they feel mistreated or
whatever...And we misspell words,
sometimes.
(Is that a castratable offense, Wanheema?)

Attacking bad ideas?
That's fair game.
I don't see anything wrong with
their comments: no one called you
a troll. No one criticized
History as a major, either.

What's your beef?

Anonymous said...

9:48

In re: The value of degrees. When I was in grad school, banks & the like were looking for ABDs and PhDs in liberal arts. They figured we had a clue about analysis. The majority of people I knew who didn't finish, however, went to law school, into the government, or NGOs.

I think the value of a major has to be considered in terms of school (some of which have "sales value"), grades, and personal background. For example, foreign languages are an advantage even for engineers in some cases.

Anonymous said...

9:54

Just because you disagree with an idea doesn't mean it's bad. It may mean your thinking is narrow. Just a thought.

mac said...

9:58
How about this as an idea:

"Whatever they did, it was bad enough." (Richard Brodhead)

Is that a good idea, or a bad one?

Anonymous said...

From a New Jersey lawyer. Broadhead's continued refusal to criticize the Group of 88 probably reflects his continued dependence on them. He needs their support (or, at least, their presence at Duke) to present the "diverse, inclusive, and cutting edge" image of Duke he clearly wants to produce. Criticizing the Group of 88 will not serve his goals. Criticism of the group might cause some of them to decamp to other universities hungry for a more "diverse" faculty. Indeed, in addition to sparing Duke more potential embarrasment, one of the reasons for obtaining releases of Duke's faculty in the settlement with the exonerated players was to preserve Broadhead's "good will" among the Group of 88. One of the strangest ironies of this situation is that the only other person at Duke to whom Broadhead seems to be at all beholden is Coach K, and I don't think even he ranks with the Group of 88.

Anonymous said...

re 8:56

I agree with you about anonymous posts even though I must refer to you as a digital time stamp. However, I don't think the silence of the G88 is due to ad hominem(let's say ad feminum to satisfy the gender requirement) arguments. As you know, ad hominem is a logical fallacy because you attack the person rather than her argument. In the lacrosse case the position of the G88 has been attacked ad nauseum. Anything that has been said about the G88 pales in comparison to their actions last spring which could have easily put three innocent men in jail for 30 years. Why they don't apologize is a huge mystery. If they think they have nothing to apologize for, they should explain why. If they still agree with their statements from last spring they should explain why. Anyone who courts public attention the way they did has an obligation to answer questions when the tide turns against them. They don't apologize because they are cowards. Just for the record I like Foucault, Derrida, Nietzsche and the rest of the other continental philosophers they think they can cite as authorities that justify their actions. But I will go to the mattresses fighting their idea that the presumption of innocence is trumped by concerns of race, class and gender.



Brant Jones
Carrboro, NC

Anonymous said...

End Academic Welfare! Get back to teaching useful subjects! Every dollar squandered in these agendas--cloaked-in-academic clothing is totally wasted, when it would be better spent teaching Mandarin, computer science or something that would approach physical fitness. Honestly, is a Dook student better off being exposed to a revised (or frankly, make-up) history course, or being taught how to speak Chinese?

ATTN ACADEMIA: RETURN TO RELEVANCE!

mac said...

What was Brad Bannon's undergrad
degree? Joe Cheshire's?

Anonymous said...

10:22

Being taught both is probably better than neither. Learning Chinese is not something v. many students are interested in. And, some of them are incapable of learning it. Ditto Arabic, Russian, Czech, Japanese or any other difficult language.

How many of you encourage your kids--from an early age (like 5!!!!) to be learning foreign languages.

Not to worry. My money is where my mouth is: my kid's bilingual and learning a third and fourth language. And not afraid of a revisionist history course, fwiw.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 10:02 said...

...From a New Jersey lawyer.

... Broadhead's continued refusal to criticize the Group of 88 probably reflects his continued dependence on them.

....He needs their support (or, at least, their presence at Duke) to present the "diverse, inclusive, and cutting edge" image of Duke he clearly wants to produce.
::
This 'image' that you described beautifully will probably be Broadhead's undoing with respect to the undergraduate programs at Duke.

A truly world class institution of higher education has an image of caring about students...one student at a time.

Duke under Broadhead's leadership is heading towards that cutting edge 'image' where image trumps education with a personal touch.

Board of Trustees! You are writing your own history.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

9:58/Mac

I think hiring strippers is "bad enough." That's why the captains of the LAX team apologized. Doesn't matter if other "boys" do stuff like that. It's still misogynist & infantile. That doesn't mean, of course, that any of them should have been falsely accused of rape or any of the rest.

But, people on this blog who attack those they disagreee with as women, feminists, or members of the 88 are not helping the discussion nor do they encourage a resolution of the problem.

Anonymous said...

10:26

Many attorneys have undergraduate degrees in econ, history, and poli sci.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Brodhead knows his job is in jeopardy. His only hope is to convince the BoT that they need him in order to keep the 'diverse' faculty from leaving.

Universities spend millions trying to hire, and keep, minority faculty. The board will have to balance the loss of alumni donations and decline in quality applicants against the investment they have made in their diversity project. They need Brodhead to take the latter course.

Anonymous said...

Joe Cheshire is a Tarheel, UNC-CH.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Kenneth Surin, Lubiano, and how many of the 88 are Marxists? Go check it out for yourselves, don't believe these words. You read their courses, what books they assign, and the organizations they belong.

Do the work yourself. Don't trust my words, read their's.

mac said...

9:58
I thought the "stripper" in
this case was a poor, downtrodden
mother/scholar, working nights to
feed her babies and make a new
life for herself?

Not really?

Try this one on, then:

CGM:
"good"

People who inadvertently hired a drug-addled, mentally ill woman
named CGM:
"bad"

That doesn't work, either?

Hmmm. You new to DIW?
We've been having fun at your expense
for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

9:24
If you look at the courses taught by many of them listed in other departments (Music, for example) you will find that, in many instances, some of their courses taught include feminist or racially-slanted agendas. Even though a majority of the signatories do not APPEAR to be from Women's Studies or AAAS, the number is actually much larger when you look at individual agendas.

9:45
Could your name be Chafe or one of your colleagues?

10:02
He needs them but not the students that he berates and belittles. We all know institutions of higher "learning" don't need students, do they?

Brant
Can we say pomposity, arrogance, fascist, and other apt descriptions? They have a microphone but can't say anything worth listening to.

---------------------------
It behooves all of us to put the brakes on the Duke railroad. Stop buying Duke athletic apparel, don't even think about donating anything of value (money, insurance, art, but especially not our young people). Cut them off at the pass (or passbook). Then, and only then, will the BOT understand that BS doesn't work.
Duke is not the only "university" that suffers this tragedy. At the moment, they are the most visible (sigh of relief coming from Colorado). North Carolina is pushing the button though--Beavis Malveaux and Butt-Head Brodhead. Shall we call them the Dynamic Duo?
AF

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

To: 9:45 with a History Degree.

I'm the other 9:40. And interestingly enough, I have several degrees in history, with a strong interest in history of science. Perhaps that is why I have little use for the people like William Chafe who are so cavalier with their understanding of the truth; and the entire race / class / gender interpretation of the world. Very little of what the 88 signers of the "listening ad" have offered, both in defense of their actions, and in their publications and public work, has been of any great value. Dr. Johnson has shown this quite effectively,by carefully scrutinizing their statements and their scholarship. Literature and history are not quantum physics. Any high school graduate should be able to examine and evaluate historical information. The problem for many of the faculty in question is that the public is pointing out the obvious logical flaws in their behavior, and the intellectual flaws in their research.

Now, if you think what they are offering is valuable, then, by all means, support them with your dollars. I can think of better ways to spend my money. Quite frankly, I think many community college graduates with an AA in auto mechanics or commercial food preparation are better educated and better prepared for life by their course of study than many of the graduates of expensive schools like Duke, especially graduates of ethnic and gender studies programs.

mac said...

10:33
"Resolution to this problem?"

Hmmm. The young men apologized -
(but they're the ones who deserve
an apology.)

What resolution do you speak of?
Like maybe the 88, Brodhead et al
publicly proclaiming the following:

"NOTHING HAPPENED!"

Followed, of course, by their
letters of resignation, collectively
(since they apparently think of
themselves as being in a collective.)

The resolution could have begun
at the point where the DNA demonstrated
that no crime was committed.
Could have even begun when the AG
stated the young men's innocence.

But no: the 88 et al wouldn't have
any of it. Now the only resolution
is going to occur in a courtroom,
and with lots and lots of discovery.

Anonymous said...

11:04

Get a clue. I'm no Marxist; indeed, I'm probably an objective class enemy, but I assign a variety of books every semester, some of which you might consider Marxist. Indeed, if I wanted my students to fall asleep, I'd assign Capital. As it is, I assign the Communist Manifesto. Does it hurt my students? Probably not.

Do I assign "feminist" tracts? Oh, but yes, since they are sometimes relevant to my courses. But, I don't discriminate against the old white men, either.

I think you'll find variety true of most faculty in the humanities.

Anonymous said...

11:15

I'm always suspicious of "truth." I prefer "data."

Anonymous said...

9:45 Who is Chafe?

mac said...

Hey, Bad Enough at 10:33

What if the young men had hired
CGM to clean up after them,
after they had spent a night
with women they actually might
be attracted to, displaying
Grant Farred's notion of "prowess?"

What if she claimed they did
something then?

Oh, still fits your metanarrative-
mentality, I see.

OK:
How about they hire CGM to trim
the shrubbery, and on the way to
the orphanage, where they volunteer
regularly...maybe then they'd
be pure enough for you?

Anonymous said...

11:22

A scuzzy fat guy.

Anonymous said...

Some observations (and not to single out 10:33):

10:33 said:

"I think hiring strippers is "bad enough."" First, a question. Why is anyone's personal opinion on this relevant? Second, our culture hires and/or promotes scantily clad women all the time. (e.g. Miss America pagent, many modern movies (to get the R rating), any US beach, Victoria's Secret -- (I'll bet some of the 88 even shop there)). Why should the 3 victims be accosted for something our society clearly promotes? Frankly, one could argue that exotic dancers are an entirely appropriate form of entertainment --- what the heck do you think helped build Las Vegas.

10:33 said:

"That's why the captains of the LAX team apologized." It is highly likely that they were required to apologize for something relating to the dancers. Imagine the conversation if they had adamantly stated that they had done nothing wrong -- good god,...they might have been thrown by the administration under the proverbial bus...wait...oh yeah....now I remember...

Then:

"It's still misogynist & infantile." Well, I know that a lot of people have appreciated the beauty of naked women, certainly didn't hate them and would not, by anyone's standards, be viewed as infantile. One could start with some of some Greek scultors or great Rennaisance painters. Oh, but then we'd have to accept our Western cultural heritage.

I'd be interested in the psychology of hate and how it can be juxtaposed against actions that are an accepted part of our culture in so many dimensions.

Any thoughts on that?

Thomas Inman '74

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

11:32
The Greek skultors [sic] seem to have paid rather more attention to men's bodies than women's.

Your Western heritage? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

"I probably wouldn't apologize either if I were called names & my life achievements attacked by people who could write anonymously."

In my opinion, that shows a lack of character. Which of the following is actually relevant to giving an apology:

* Whether people you don't know are saying nasty things, or

* Whether you did something you should be apologizing for?

Of course some of the Group of 88 will not apologize as long as people are calling them names and mocking the weaknesses of their scholarship. What you don't seem to realize is that if it wasn't that weak excuse ("I am not going to apologize to the lacrosse players that I falsely called drunken racist rapists until no one on the Interblogs is questioning the academic integrity of my publications anymore!!!") it would be some other weak excuse. In fact, it frequently is; some of the potbangers have at least wisely shut up and backed away, but plenty of them, instead of doing the honorable and mature thing and saying "we're sorry that we prejudged you guilty of a horrible crime that didn't happen," have chosen instead to cower behind "Something happened! And because it's not possible to prove the negative that it didn't happen, I can keep pretending that I don't have to apologize!"

Note that the fact that people were saying (and continue to say) absolutely vile and provably false things about the players did not keep them from apologizing. So why should we make allowances for the Group of 88 and expect less from them than from their students?? No, any 88er who makes their apology conditional, to be given only if no one criticizes them on the Internet anymore, doesn't have a sincere apology to give in the first place.

Anonymous said...

11:32
"The Greek skultors [sic] seem to have paid rather more attention to men's bodies than women's.

Your Western heritage? Give me a break."

THEN LEAVE. Noone requires your presence in this country. And don't let the door hit your arse (that's an English derivation if I remember correctly) on the way out.
(Is a single spelling error the only thing on which you have a comment? -- No punctation or grammar or, even worse, substantive thoughts?)

Anonymous said...

10:58

And where shall I go? Back to England from whence came my ancestors in the early seventeenth century? Just because I disagree w/ the senseless comparison between (I assume) looking at the work of Greek scultors [sic] and Rennaisance painters on the one hand and watching a real, live woman strip?

No, I think you need to go back to the zoo where you belong. Maybe there's affrimative action there for morons.

Anonymous said...

And oh by the way, and this may seem strange, but there are some of us who know our background and genealogy ... along some lines to eighth century continental Europe. So yes, "[my] Western heritage."

And you might also consider the fact the Nannie Inman (no claimed relation) was married to James Biddle Duke. Look it up. Perkins Library staff can help you.

It's unfortunate that our culture has accepted the notion that a citizen doesn't even have to know his or her own parent(s). For there is great humility in knowing the deeds of one's forefathers and the extent to which one's culture appreciates those deeds.

Now, I am sincerely concerned that there are those who view an affiliation with the Mayflower Society or the Sons of the Revolution (just for examples) as anethema to their cause and agenda. But it is clear to me that these affiliations are anthema only to those who will never be able to so affiliate. And that is at the core of the "class" distinction issue.

Such is life.

And if you spent as much time researching your own heritage as in justifying ill-conceived actions, you might find that you too have an ancestor who served with Washington at Valley Forge. So, on the morrow (that too is of English descent), let's not forget about the birth of our nation and all that it has provided to me and yes, even to you.


Thomas Inman '74

Anonymous said...

12:09:

11:50 probably doesn't understand that his advocacy of voyeurism is a little odd.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you post your name?

mac said...

11:50
I think you mean 11:40,
not 11:32.

I agree: people like the 88
are usually the biggest critics
of Western Civ:
"Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ
has go to go," and all that
rot.

What would they replace it with?
Fantasies of a universe made in
Houston Baker's image?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

When I was in school over twenty years ago, a lot of us thought there was more to life than White Men in History. I still believe that.

There's room for lots of kinds of histories to be taught. And lots of kinds of literatures. What's wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

Again, what's your name...otherwise I'll assume that you have an extremely active imagination.

Geezer

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Dear Geezerlein,

You can just call me WASP in favor of afirmative action, women's studies, and open minds. How's that?

Anonymous said...

**affirmative

Anonymous said...
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Newly Pseudo said...

In response to the commenter who noted that continuing dialogue is easier if people use pseudonyms, I'm adopting one after months of occasional comments. Don't know if it will matter, though, since frequently my comments don't seem to generate much response--I like to think it's because they are so well-reasoned they need none, but I suspect it may be just that others don't find them very interesting.

Gary Packwood--you said that "A truly world class institution of higher education has an image of caring about students...one student at a time." That sounds terrific--but unfortunately, I don't know that it bears much resemblance to how society generally identifies world class institutions.

Harvard, for example, which has a pretty fair reputation as an "elite" university, has long been notorious for valuing research and publication much more highly than teaching, with many undergraduate courses still following the model of lectures indifferently delivered by a professor to a large amphitheater of students, while graduate teaching assistants are responsible for grading, discussion groups, and any other one-to-one contact with students that is unavoidable.

I think this is pretty standard at research universities; in fact, one of the things that pleasantly surprised me about Duke (as a parent of two undergrads) was the relative infrequency with which my kids ran into this situation. The vast majority of their classes were reasonable in size (20-60 students) and taught by relatively accessible actual profs (although some did rely on TAs to help with grading). So I suspect your description of the world class university is more ideal than real.

Do I wish it were otherwise? Of course. And it may be, if you consider smaller colleges focused on undergraduates rather than research universities.

I'm also interested in the various commentary going on about undergraduate majors. While I'm not necessarily defending, say, majoring in women's studies per se, I think some of the commenters on this blog are a bit too rigid in defining only math, hard sciences, engineering and/or business as acceptable majors.

The purpose of a college education isn't necessarily to provide job training; it's supposed to teach students to think critically and to introduce them to some of the available approaches to thinking and to developing knowledge (scientific, philosophical, etc.) as well as to some of the knowledge and ideas those approaches have produced. If students master these lessons, it may not be all that important what they major in, as most of them will end up either doing things for which the specific substantive content of their college education isn't all that important or getting more education anyway. Even those in "job-related" majors like business or engineering often require graduate-level training, or extensive on-the-job training, to get and succeed in the jobs they want.

If the way English, or history, or even engineering is being taught isn't helping students to become better thinkers, analysts, writers, and researchers, than that's a problem that needs to be dealt with. But the problem isn't that English or history--or even women's studies--is being taught in the first place.

Anonymous said...

12:16 Anonymous said...
"When I was in school over twenty years ago, a lot of us thought there was more to life than White Men in History. I still believe that.

"There's room for lots of kinds of histories to be taught. And lots of kinds of literatures. What's wrong with that?"

Absolutely nothing. In fact, as a matter of philosophy, I think that everyone should be proud of themselves, their families and their own unique heritage. And, importantly, they should KNOW their heritage. Too often, heritage and culture is lost.

But noone should seek to diminish another's heritage, or critique a class or group of people, simply to advance their own cause.

And that's what I think the Gang of 88 did. And I followed this from the start.

In my most humble opinion, I remain a,

Geezer

Anonymous said...

Hello, Geezer,

I don't know about anybody else, but I can out-Wasp you if Captain John Smith & company are the earliest you can come up with. (And, no, I don't want to tell you with whom, because I don't want you to know who I am.)

But, what has that got to do with anything? I would be confused. Western Civilization? That's a state of mind, isn't it? And don't all civilizations draw upon those that preceded them? In the case of WC, on civilizations that are in areas non-Western. I'm just asking.

A nice part of history & civilization is the fuzziness at the edges...Lots of greys.

Anonymous said...
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rrhamilton said...

Friends, forget the idea about "if alumni quit giving then Duke will reform". Brodhead and Steel laugh at that idea. Even if all alumni quit donating, it would not change Duke in the foreseeable future.

You want to make Brodhead, Steel and the rest of the Klan feel pain? Do it at the government level. Stop the grants. Stop the student loans. Stop the government research contracts. Get legislation passed that will prevent the government from supporting institutions like Duke that behave in racist and sexist ways.

AMac said...

Hey anonymous(es?) 12:42pm etc.,

How about using a pseudonym(s?) so that the rest of us can make some sense of your highbrow insults. Writing for a readership and all that.

Or perhaps Prof. Johnson could get the thread back on track with a sweep of the

This post has been removed by the blog administrator

pen.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead and the G88 are like the adults on the Comedy Central show "South Park." ABSOLUTELY clueless.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms./Mr./Other Geezer Responder (12:42):

What do you mean by state of mind? In the sense that Western languages have resulted in a form of Western hard-coded logic patterns,...well yes, that's a state of mind. Beyond that, what do you mean?

And yes, all civilizations draw on the past. And yes, in that sense I am an African American, for the roots of my anthropological DNA (as best I know) hail from Kenya or Ehtiopia, etc. I think I'll adopt African-American as my classification for purposes of applications. If everyone did that, the gene pool would surely be murky. Only the Aryan nations would be identifiable.

Yours in the study of class,

Geezer

Anonymous said...

It's too bad the boys already settled with Duke. I'd like to see them skewer the Gang of 88.

Can the boys still sue the State of NC since they settled with Duke, part of the state school system?

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

anonymous perfesser @ 11:19 AM says,

I'm no Marxist ... I assign a variety of books every semester, some of which you might consider Marxist.... I assign the Communist Manifesto. Does it hurt my students? Probably not.

Very interesting, perfesser. I guess we'll just have to take your word for it that you're "no Marxist", eh? Or tell us, Prof. No-Marxist, what books to you assign to balance "The Communist Manifesto"? Unless you're assigning "The Anti-Capitalist Mentality", you probably won't convince anyone besides yourself that you aren't a Marxist.

Anonymous said...

Hey KC, this is off thread and I apologize but you did bring up up the "Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative", recommending "a mandatory 'diversity' course for all Duke students." Diversity? Inclusiveness? You bet. Fantastic! Uh ... who do I see to sign up to chair the Department of Confederate Studies. I could teach "The Lost Cause, the True History of the C.S.A." and "The Reconstruction Era and Jim Crow Laws"?

Anonymous said...

I don't say you should be ashamed of your heritage, but for the life of me I don't abscribe to the thought that celebrating it is more important. As a young child I would hear people ask my father what he was( he had a very thick accent). He would say American. They would continue until finally he would tell them he used to be Italian. Then the would berate as tell him he should be proud of that. My dad was a fan of MLK and "not by the color of their skin but the content of their character."

I think it is a shame if all you can be proud of is your DNA. That's not a personal accomplishment. For a class assingment my daughter had to do a family tree. (Both my parents were dead, had lived under communist regimes, had never told us much of their life. My husband grandfather had been adopted from Europe and knew nothing of his background.)Before the due date, most of her classmates were bragging of their heritage, some all the way back to the Mayflower. Well, we made one up. 25 years later we still laugh about it. We sprinkled the family tree with bandits, heroes, poor and priviledged. It was fun. The sad part was the currency it gave my daughter in the eyes of her classmates and teacher. Celebrate who you are, and if you come from great stock, thank God. Not everyone is that lucky.

Anonymous said...

Hey --- 1:15

What about a course entitled "The Concept of "Honor" in the Ante-bellum Southern Plantation Lexicon" or "The New South: Alabama and Mississippi: A Study of States Whose Militia Reports to the State Governor"

Geezer

Anonymous said...

Two extraneous thoughts:

First, "civilization" is not a "state of mind", it's a way of behaving. You know a person is "civilized" not by how s/he thinks (or claims to think) but by how s/he acts.

Second, for anonymous @1:15, how could you chair a department of Confederate Studies when you fail to mention that today is the anniversary of the third day of Gettysburg? In fact, Pickett's division would be stepping off just about now, 144 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Geezer,

I know you're trying to be funny, but who were you before you aged so suddenly?

Is this Inman?

P

Anonymous said...

And if you read "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara you can get an excellant account of Gettysburg, the strategies and tactics, and the personalities involved.

That battle was really won the prior day when Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain held the Union left at Little Round Top -- after expending all ammunition repelling the Confederates (I think it was Hood's Texans)-- by making a charge with bayonets fixed.

Imagine that,...Chamberlain, a Bowdoin College professor, wielding a sword in defense of something in which he believed.
Even the Union had "honor" in those days.

Bet he wouldn't post anonomously.

Geezer Inman

Steven Horwitz said...

Newly Pseudo at 12:40 wrote:

In response to the commenter who noted that continuing dialogue is easier if people use pseudonyms, I'm adopting one after months of occasional comments. Don't know if it will matter, though, since frequently my comments don't seem to generate much response--I like to think it's because they are so well-reasoned they need none, but I suspect it may be just that others don't find them very interesting.

I'll chime in and say that THIS comment was "spot on" as the British might say. I wish those who continue to believe that majoring in the humanities or social sciences is a waste of time would reread your post and understand what a truly liberal education is about. This bit is absolutely right on:

The purpose of a college education isn't necessarily to provide job training; it's supposed to teach students to think critically and to introduce them to some of the available approaches to thinking and to developing knowledge (scientific, philosophical, etc.) as well as to some of the knowledge and ideas those approaches have produced. If students master these lessons, it may not be all that important what they major in, as most of them will end up either doing things for which the specific substantive content of their college education isn't all that important or getting more education anyway. Even those in "job-related" majors like business or engineering often require graduate-level training, or extensive on-the-job training, to get and succeed in the jobs they want.

It may be true that some faculty don't promote the skills you talk about, but that's a faculty problem not a disciplinary one. I know from talking to employers who recruit at my liberal arts college that what they are looking for are kids who can think, analyze, and communicate, and they don't much care what major they had.

newly pseudo said...

Well, geez, RR Hamilton at 1:07, I'm not your "anonymous perfesser," and I agree that it would be much easier to evaluate a syllabus for possible bias if one saw all the books on the syllabus, but I don't really follow the logic of your post.

You seem to be saying that assigning the Communist Manifesto in a class establishes a presumption (perhaps rebuttable?) that the assigning professor is a Marxist. So if someone assigns "Mein Kampf" in a German history class, is he/she a Nazi? If someone assigns Freud, a Freudian? St. Augustine, a Christian?

Surely you did not mean to suggest that professors should include in their reading lists only books that reflect their own views, which would seem to be a prime example of the kind of academic rigidity and insularity many posters here rail against. Yet you seem to assume that professors will, necessarily, share the views of the books they assign. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Geezer,

Actually that was the Alabamans making the charge at Little Round Top. The Texans had cleared Devil's Den earlier.

The Masked Texan

Haskell said...

Geezer -- spot on. I had a couple of previous anonymous posts mentioning the film "Gettysburg" and in particular Chamberlain (Side A, scene 8) and Armistead (Side B, scene 17).

1:29 -- I thought it was common knowledge that this was the anniversary of the High Tide of the Confederacy. Johnston Pettigrew and his North Carolinians should be remembered as well.

The only reason I brought this whole Confederate Studies thing up is that it kind of like Holy Water to a bunch of Vampires.

No justice, no peace said...

The Declaration of Independence takes on some new meaning...

“In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” - Declaration of Indepence

Read this as if it were the three young men approaching Brodhead. They, like the founders, were incredibly patient as their pleas fell on deaf ears and the usurptations increased. (Gang of 88 promotions, CCI appointees, etc...)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Read this passage in the context of the BOT and Brodhead stacking the deck with leftist that want CCI pap are core requirements and orientation mandates.

Their power is derived essentially from the alumni and students.

AMac said...

Newly Pseudo at 12:40pm --

Great comment. There's something to the converse, too: the hard sciences are about the expansion, organization, and interpretation of certain sorts of knowledge. Most of the time, cutting-edge work in the sciences requires the use of complex, high-tech tools. But the tools are secondary to the application of logic, insight, and imagination to the properly-chosen and -defined problem. When seen up close, the best works of great scientists resemble the works of great artists--more than they resemble the 'average' output of 'average' scientists. In my opinion, this is a hard concept to convey convincingly, even at the advanced undergraduate level.

From my perspective, the seeming dreariness of much of what is produced and taught in some Humanities departments speaks poorly of the Academy's definition(s) of Excellence, and of the fruits of politicization. But the flimsiness of much (not all) of the Group of 88's scholarship is not an indictment of their disciplines. The classical fields of study remain valuable and timeless; it's the practitioners who have lost their ways.

Steven Horwitz said...

Sorry NJNP, but you can't analogize the leadership of a *private* institution to government officials. The students of Duke have no "rights" to claim against their administration in the way that citizens do against a government. Their arrangement with Duke is that of a contract and they have agreed to the rules of the game by choosing to attend.

That doesn't mean that allowing students to have a voice in university governance is a bad thing, nor that the Duke Administration screwed this up, only that your DofI analogy doesn't hold.

No justice, no peace said...

In re: Shades of Back to School when Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) hires Kurt Vonnegut to write a paper on Vonnegut's novels. Upon turning in the paper, Melon's suspicious professor says, "Whoever did write this doesn't know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut."

I've posted this before, but is on point regarding the 88 and your comment. This exchange deals with a self-assesment by Winslow of his great painting, The Gulf Stream, and Duke professor Wood's meta-narrative of the same.

The Gulf Stream, Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer’s own words:
“You ask me for a full description of my Picture of the “Gulf Stream” – I regret very much that I have painted a picture that requires any description – The subject of this picture is comprised in its title…I have crossed the Gulf Stream ten times & I should know something about it. The boat & shark are outside matters of little consequence. They have been blown out to sea by a hurricane…” – Winslow Homer, a reply to a request to explain the painting “Gulf Stream”
Duke Professor’s book reviewed (Amazon):

“In “Waiting in Limbo; A Reconsideration of Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Steam” Peter Woods, ties the painting to race and slavery and colonialism. “Perhaps no other American painting is at once so familiar and so little understood as Winslow Homer’s The Gulf Stream (1899). For more than a century, scholars have praised the artist and yet puzzled over this harrowing scene of a black man adrift in the open sea, in a derelict boat surrounded by sharks. Critical commentary, when it has departed at all from the painting’s composition and coloring, has generally viewed The Gulf Stream as a universal parable on the human condition or as an anecdotal image of a coastal storm.
There is more to this stark masterpiece, says Peter Wood, a historian and an authority on images of blacks in Homer’s work. To understand the painting in less noticed but more meaningful ways, says Wood, we must dive more deeply into Homer’s past as an artist and our own past as a nation. Looking at The Gulf Stream and the development of Homer’s social conscience in ways that traditional art history and criticism do not allow, Wood places the picture within the tumultuous legacy of slavery and colonialism at the end of the nineteenth century.

Dangerfield:
Too funny, one wonders if professor Wood ever studied "Back to School" or the works of Rodney Dangerfield.

"Hey Buddy, what are you doing running the streak naked.?"

- "Because you came home early."

"My daughter flunked her driving test...she couldn't get use to the front seat."

"The other day, I went to the Dr. and said, 'Hey Doc, every morning I look in the mirror and feel terrible, what's the matter with me?

- He says, "I don't know but your eye sight is perfect."

rrhamilton said...

newly pseudo asks if "assigning the Communist Manifesto in a class establishes a presumption (perhaps rebuttable?) that the assigning professor is a Marxist. So if someone assigns "Mein Kampf" in a German history class, is he/she a Nazi? "

No, newly pseudo, assigning Marxist literature to students does not create a rebuttable presumption of Marxism. Given what we now know about American academia in the early-21st century, just being a professor, outside of the "hard sciences", establishes a rebuttable presumption of Marxism.

I'm a little tired of the claims of academics who say things like "just because I do this doesn't mean I am that". It's like hearing, "you can't say a man is 'homosexual' just because all his sex partners are men. After all, how do we know that man we carelessly call 'homosexual', who has sex exclusively with men, doesn't have lustful thoughts for women? Let's give up our right to judge and label!"

No justice, no peace said...

Steven Horowitz...

My apologies for my lack of clarity.

The point is that the alumni and students are "the governed" and if they took their money elsewhere, then they are exercising just power. When consumers don't like what they have jamned down their throats they tend to make changes.

The prior paragraph struck me regrading the comparison between the young men attempting to work something via reason, in a calm and dignified manner, much like the founding fathers. We'll see if it costs Brodhead his job as it did King George. It should.

Locomotive Breath said...

The opening sentence: “African & African-American Studies is placing an ad in The Chronicle about the lacrosse team incident.”

Kleban's column misuses magazine quote
By: Wahneema Lubiano

Issue date: 1/25/07 Section: Letters
Last update: 1/25/07 at 7:40 AM EST

I write to correct the misrepresentation of my thoughts about the "listening ad" currently under discussion in The Chronicle. In Dave Kleban's recent column ("Time for understanding, not caricatures," Jan. 23) he continues a misrepresentation of my views from the source that he consulted: an article published in ESPN Magazine. Kleban quotes from that article without letting his readers know that he is not quoting "my" language. Instead, he simply repeats what the writer of that article asserted-that I "knew some would see the ad as a stake through the collective heart of the lacrosse team." I said no such thing. In the original article, the absence of quotation marks around those words that Kleban quotes indicate that the writer of that piece was imagining what I thought, not reporting what I actually said.

Wahneema Lubiano

Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies and Literature


http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2007/01/25/Letters/Klebans.Column.Misuses.Magazine.Quote-2677692.shtml

Steven Horwitz said...

rrhamilton:

I assign my students sections of Capital as well as material from Engels in my Comparative Economics course.

Am I Marxist? Am I a communist? (Oh wait, that's been done around here.)

Locomotive Breath said...

Meant to hit "Preview" and got "Publish".

Lubiano has been claiming that the "Listening" Ad was not about the lacrosee team but about campus culture in general. She's gonna have to make up her mind. Is it or isn't it?

mac said...

RR Hamilton,

Your story reminds me of the 88,
as they paint pictures that are
little better than copies of
others' work:

They demonize the students,
defining them as hideous monsters -
(Grendels all) - and place CGM on
a pedestal, transforming her into
a virginal damsel, and faultless.

Talk about digital thinking!

This is a good illustration of why
most of the 88 who have history or
literature backgrounds should be
fired: they can't see how they've
plageurized an old story and made
it appear as their own!

mac said...

BTW,
John Gardner's "Grendel"
is a great read.

Anonymous said...

Unless the most qualified students in the nation and alums stop their generous giving, Duke will continue down this path.

Donald Kagen wrote in 2006 documeting Derek C Bok, who had take over for Summers, and how he felt about criticism:

Such naysayers, among whom Bok names the late Allan Bloom in The Closing of the American Mind, (1987) have no end of complaints:

"As they see it, discourse on campus is seriously inhibited by the orthodoxies of political correctness. Affirmative action has undermined the integrity of faculty hiring. The great canonical masterpieces have been downgraded to make room for lesser works whose principal virtue seems to be that they were authored by women, African Americans, or third-world writers. The very ideals of truth and objectivity, along with conventional judgments of quality, are thought to be endangered by attacks from deconstructionists, feminists, Marxists, and other literary theorists who deny that such goals are even possible. "

These would seem to be serious concerns indeed. But they do not worry Bok.
" In the first place, he writes, the critics are one-sided polemicists who in general see “little that is positive about the work of universities or the professors who teach there.” For another thing, if the critics’ indictments were “anywhere close to correct, prospective students and their families would be up in arms. . . . [and] students would hardly be applying in such large and... alumni demonstrate their contentment by giving increasing gifts to their alma mater."

Now he was worried about another matter:

"Many seniors graduate without being able to write well enough to satisfy their employers. Many cannot reason clearly or perform competently in analyzing complex, non-technical problems, even though faculties rank critical thinking as the primary goal of a college education. Few undergraduates receiving a degree are able to speak or read a foreign language. Most have never taken a course in quantitative reasoning or acquired the knowledge needed to be a reasonably informed citizen in a democracy. And those are only some of the problems.

Beyond the measurable shortcomings in the intellects of college graduates are deficiencies of character. According to Bok’s findings, recent graduates lack self-discipline. Employers complain that they are habitually tardy, lazy, and unable either to listen carefully or to carry out instructions. Bok blames this, too, on their undergraduate experience: grade inflation has undermined standards and professorial laxity has encouraged negligence. “If undergraduates can receive high marks for sloppy work, routinely get extensions for assignments not completed on time, and escape being penalized for minor misconduct, it is hardly a surprise that employers find them lacking in self-discipline.”

So does Bok think Presidents or boards can "fix" this?

"But Bok makes it clear that administrations are largely powerless in this respect, and so are boards. “Ultimate power over instruction and curriculum rests with the faculty,” with administrators and trustees paralyzed by “fear of arousing opposition from the faculty that could attract unfavorable publicity, worry potential donors, and even threaten their jobs.” Nor should we expect many college presidents or deans to take up the good fight. I am not aware that Bok himself ever attempted so daring an effort in the twenty years of his presidency—which may explain why he enjoyed so peaceful a time.
--------------
to read the entire piece by Kagan

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/cm/main/viewArticle.html?id=10108&page=all

bottom line:g88 rules Duke

Anonymous said...

Does anybody have a constructive and practical recommendation for Duke -assuming the advice was requested ?

No justice, no peace said...

Inre Kagen: "... alumni demonstrate their contentment by giving increasing gifts to their alma mater."

Typically the alumni want good seats in...the helmeted sports arenas.

Anonymous said...

2:58
Yes,
Alumni committee (of diverse ideology) oversight in hiring, tenure and promotion decisions in every department/school. No decision would be final without committee approval. The rank and file Duke faculty member would be apoplectic over such a suggestion...and, from my perspective, all the more reason to adopt it. "Academic freedom" is not a constutuional right.

Another suggestion would be alumni "lecture" monitors. They would have the authority to randomly sit in on and evaluate faculty performance, classroom culture, and student satisfaction. Low marks would equal lower pay. Yup guys, a market incentive to play it straight. Don't you just hate those capitalists?

Many more to pass on...but, time to do some real work!

Anonymous said...

Advice for Duke. Hmmm. Darn good question.

(1) Sell the Gang of 88 to Tuskegee University and use the proceeds to hire real professors studying important things.

(2) If you can't sell them, rent them and use the rental proceeds to get a structured settlement and then hire real professors studying important things.

(3) If you can't sell them or rent them, then make them stand in the corner. Time out. For a long time. A very very very long time. Then we'll see if they can be good.

'nuf said

Steven Horwitz said...

326: by what "right" should alumni have any voice over hiring decisions? I think doing so is a bad idea, but let's leave that aside for now and just explore the logic.

What is the claim that alumni have to have veto power over hiring at an institution they no longer attend? What standing do they have to have such a voice? Why does their alumni status give them that standing?

Haskell said...

Advice for Duke, provided they have sense to heed it. Caveats:

In the private setting, the Board of Trustees holds the cards. For non-profits, the board is expected to do "due diligence". Private boards basically write checks and rubber stamp the actions of the sitting administration. The board has already signed off on the financial settlement and is unlikely to back down from their stand. Practically, since no one in the Duke administration appears willing to fall on their sword, outside forces need to be brought to play to effect change. Public opinion (the 3 books), alumni contributions, and declining numbers and quality of applications seem to be the best sources of leverage.

Here is the bad news: maybe those fools do not want change. Maybe they just don't know any better (my own belief) and the yuppie parents and wanna be preppy students get a fancy diploma and a chance to be a Cameron Crazy. The G88 and their ilk continue their delusional lifestyle. I mean, that seems to be current culture supported by the choices that these people are making.

Gary Packwood said...

KC quoting Ranhana Khanna,

...Horrified by the substance of the allegations against the lacrosse team,” Ranjana Khanna, who just took over as director of Duke’s Women’s Studies program, demanded in early April 2006 that the administration institute “a pedagogical response of some sort to the more generalized problems of sexual violence, sexual coercion, and racism on campus, as well as an examination of the culture that surrounds athletics, a sense of class entitlement, and institutional complicity in this.”
::
If any of this is true, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will revoke Duke University tax exemption to include the tax exemptions for all endowment (sheltered) funds...if someone asked them to do so.

The institutional complicity charge leveled by Ranjana Khanna is another way of saying that Duke is a criminal enterprise.

The IRS takes a dim view of non-tax revenue generating criminal enterprises.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Steve H,
Bait, cast, catch. Wondered how long it would take to get a fish (was hoping for Stanley though)...seems it takes about 16 minutes in blog time. The Duke faculty have behaved like "terrible twos" tykes who certainly need some supervision. BTW, the alumni have something that most Duke profs do not: a Duke degree.

Steven Horwitz said...

357: thanks for not answering my question. Why does having a Duke degree give them a legitimate claim to have a say over hiring (and why just faculty? Why not custodians?)

mac said...

2:58
Limit studies of - say, human
sexuality - to those who have
taken prerequisites in medical
sciences. Especially pertinent
for instructors and professors.

Example:
Sexuality studies should require
Anatomy and Physiology, Gross Anatomy
(med school level, 2 semesters);
a class on The Brain and Nervous
System (with the textbook written
by Lennart Heimer:
"The Human Brain and Spinal Cord:
Functional Neuroanatomy and Dissection Guide")
and lots of courses that the
professors and instructors would
have to have taken, themselves.
(None of this "Seen one, done one,
taught one," that Med schools are
so infamous for.)

Limit silly-studies, and degrees
in silly-studies should have
a very large percentage of
real science with hard data, not the
false data that was such a large
part of the fuel for the current
controversy, stull like
"rape victims don't lie."

Eliminate "angry studies."

Literature courses should emphasize
language development, the study of the
structure of language and word origins,
as well as a requisite study of
languages that feed into the
common language we are all
more-or-less using presently.

This should be applied to the Arts,
as well, particularly the Fine
Arts:
Art History should precede
Studio Art, and Studio Art should
teach a lot less of the "how one
can express ones self" and more
technique - emphasis on how the
Masters accomplished such magnificent
works. Example: techniques of
the Luminists; the Dutch Masters;
the Hudson River School.
(I wonder how many instructors can
teach those techniques, or even
begin to understand the techniques,
much less apply them?)

More than this could be said, but
as usual, I'm too wordy already.

newly pseudo said...

steven horwitz and amac--
Thanks for your thoughts on my post. You are both people whose posts I look for, as they are always thoughtful and interesting.

rrhamilton--
Thanks for your response, which gives me a clearer idea of your thinking. Perhaps I did misunderstand your original post, or perhaps I read it out of the context of a longer exchange. Although I don't completely agree with you, I see your point, and I doubt anything I would say will change your mind.

no justice, no peace--
You may well be right about the helmeted sports as a donation draw at a lot of schools. But probably not at Harvard (I don't think it's too hard to get tickets to ivy league football games these days), and definitely not at Duke, where they can't give football tickets away. Alums do have to contribute heavily to get Duke basketball tickets, but not to the university as a whole--directly to the Iron Dukes.

Jack said...

mac @ 4:10

Spoken like a true non-academician. The insularity of those in "higher" education, and in particular the soft studies areas at Duke, make it unlikely that change will occur. Self governance by the self righteous can not lead to objective self examination. Like asking Congress to impose term limits, abolish PAC funding or lower taxes. To paraphrase Brodhead - "you are only a layman; you do not understand".

No justice, no peace said...

Steven Horowitz. The alumni are the consumers, both in terms of advanced degrees but more aptly with their children.

It is also the alumni who endow chairs and influence corporate giving.

Their children are prospective students.

As consumers they just quit giving. In many cases they will not even explain themselves.

One wonders how many estate plans have been modified by this fiasco.

Why would any give money with so little transparency, so little governance, and such a woeful lack of leadership?

Who has more ultimate control?

One wonders how tranparent the planned giving group has been regarding the hoax?

Just because alumni don't write signs that incite violence and bang pots doesn't mean they can't be heard - loudly and over time.

I doubt Duke needs any clarifying statement.

Steven Horwitz said...

NJNP: I totally agree that alumni should be on financial strike against the institution if they are upset by the behavior of the G88 or the president or anyone else. That's the best way to get the school's attention.

But my question to the other poster was on what ground the alumni have a say over faculty hiring? Why are they entitled to that? Is it because they give money (not all do)? If so, why does that entitle them? I donate money to the Red Cross, but I don't get a voice in who they hire, nor should I in my view.

newly pseudo said...

3:57--
I'm wondering the same thing as Steven Horwitz. Your second comment (re "fish") suggests that your first one might not have been entirely serious, but assuming it was, why alumni? To be sure, many alums do remain very involved with their universities, but many others don't--and it's not clear what their stake is here, unless you are contending that their interest in preserving the reputation value of their degrees is enough to justify this major role in micromanaging the university.

Even if one accepts the basic idea, the devil is surely in the details. Some of the biggest problems are prefigured by your own suggestion that the participating alumni be "of diverse ideology." Such as? Would covering the two-party system be enough, or would one need socialists and perhaps libertarians as well? What about "economic conservative, social liberal" or "social conservative, economic liberal"?

What other kinds of qualifications or litmus tests would there be? Would the alums need to have (or perhaps not to have) advanced degrees or real-world expertise in the particular field? Would they need to know something about developments within the field in the last few decades, or would someone with a 1960 degree and no further relevant study be okay? Would they need to have been good students while at Duke?

No justice, no peace said...

Steven Horowitz, but you do have a voice.

If you quit giving based on the operations or the leadership, you are impacting the hiring.

Fundamentally the alumni are entitled because they have authorshp in the brand.

Let's face it...wasn't Duke established in the style of Princeton because A.B. Duke wanted terms to his pledge that Princeton refused?

He took his marbles and went to Durham. Not all refuse and even if they do, if enough funding dries-up it will alter behavior.

Anonymous said...

Don't you think these lists of greatest this and greatest that are all just lists? I mean, there is plenty of room for a lot of smart people. I assume smart people don't think the only smart people in history have been white males. Especially since "white" is a construction...

Jack said...

Virtually any donor may direct their money, or condition its application. When one gives to the General Alumni Fund, or what ever a school calls it’s big, non-discretionary pot of money, then you take your chances. You may write a check specifically for the Business School, the Men’s tennis team or for renovations to the Chapel. What can not be known here is what is going on behind the scene among the more influential members of the Board and the Alumni Association. My guess is Melissa Gates does not see the world in the same Right vs. Wrong, objective, measurable way many here see it. Richard Waggoner sits astride a failing, miserable industrial piece of crap that, like Duke, can not, or will not see the rust and decay that will eventually bring it down. But he gets a new Escalade every six months!

Anonymous said...

The Chronicle article could have been from the BOT chairman rather than Broadrot:

When the presidents's resignation was announced on August 5, I tried to take great care to indicate that I was not fingering him as responsible for this. What I said was that given the history that we were in the middle of living through, if and when we started the rehiring of faculty, it couldn't be on the same terms as in the past. We needed to close one chapter and start a new chapter. Changing the president was just one of the necessities that came along with that. There was no pleasure to be taken in any of these decisions, but I think they were inevitable and it's all very well 15 months later to look back and say, "You should have done things differently."

mac said...

Jack 4:23

Yeah, I'm probably too much of
an idealist. And my interests
lie in those areas, so I guess
I'm guilty of pushing my own
agendas.
Thanks.

Duke 85 said...

I hope everyone here understands that the phrase "open mind" means just exactly the opposite. If you have your own opinion and haven't bought into the propaganda of those who consider themselves the "intellectual elite" you are closed minded and obviously a candidate for reeducation. The group of 89 believe to their core that they are right because they don't believe in the individual only in the social construct as they see it. Reality holds no sway.

Anonymous said...

to Duke 85: A George Orwell comment comes to mind.

"One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool."

Anonymous said...

Gary Packwood made a very interesting point. To wit:

"KC quoting Ranhana Khanna,

...Horrified by the substance of the allegations against the lacrosse team,” Ranjana Khanna, who just took over as director of Duke’s Women’s Studies program, demanded in early April 2006 that the administration institute “a pedagogical response of some sort to the more generalized problems of sexual violence, sexual coercion, and racism on campus, as well as an examination of the culture that surrounds athletics, a sense of class entitlement, and institutional complicity in this.”
::
If any of this is true, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will revoke Duke University tax exemption to include the tax exemptions for all endowment (sheltered) funds...if someone asked them to do so.

The institutional complicity charge leveled by Ranjana Khanna is another way of saying that Duke is a criminal enterprise.

The IRS takes a dim view of non-tax revenue generating criminal enterprises.
::
GP"

My observation:

What is most telling is that Ranjana Khanna used a specific phrase: "sexual violence, sexual coercion, and racism on campus" in refering to problems on campus. Surely, to levy such a charge, which a reasonable person could only infer involves felony acts, requires that one have specific knowledge and proof, not just innuendo or hearsay. And if she, in fact, was in possession of such knowledge or proof, would she not be required to report that knowldge or proof. Finally, if she didn't report it, would she not be abetting a potential felony act(under either state[sexual violence] or Federal (racist crimes / civil rights)law)?

Perhaps she should be invited to provide a deposition.

I'd be delighted to see her squirm under penalty of perjury.

Thomas Inman '74

Anonymous said...

“For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago....

William Faulkner, Intruder In The Dust”

Anonymous said...

steven horwitz, aside from a careless reader, I don't know what you are.

rrhamilton says at 2:27 PM,
No, newly pseudo, assigning Marxist literature to students does not create a rebuttable presumption of Marxism.

steven horwitz says at 2:39 PM,
rrhamilton: I assign my students sections of Capital as well as material from Engels in my Comparative Economics course. Am I Marxist? Am I a communist?


R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

mac at 2:44 says, RR Hamilton,
Your story reminds me of the 88,
as they paint pictures that are
little better than copies of
others' work...


Thanks, mac, I think, but what story was it that I told?

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

6:41 Thank you for that Faulkner reference.

It reminds me that 41st Virginia under Billy Mahone stood in reserve to the left of Pickett's line at the edge of the woods, arguably to repulse a Union counterattack, if one came. (Go to Gettysburg to confirm, if you'd like.) At Petersburg, Mahone's Brigade was ordered to repel the Union at the Battle of the Crater, which they did.

A diversity curriculum views with much distaste, and even abhors, the fact that one could extol the virtue of a Great Great Grand Uncle who carried the flag (yes, the Stars and Bars) for Billy Mahone's Brigade at that great moment. But despite their distaste and abhorence, I can still take my children to Blandford Church (a memorial on the Petersburg National Battlefield) to see the name of their forebearer memorialized to a few who gave their life in that struggle.

Oh, and by the way, Blandford Church has 13 wonderful original Tiffany stained glass windows -- memorializing each Southern state.

Worth seeing.

Anonymous said...

newly pseudo says at 4:16 PM,
rrhamilton-- Thanks for your response, which gives me a clearer idea of your thinking. Perhaps I did misunderstand your original post, or perhaps I read it out of the context of a longer exchange. Although I don't completely agree with you, I see your point, and I doubt anything I would say will change your mind.

Are you a professor?

If "what you would say" did not contain sufficient facts and reasoning, then you're right: you would not change my mind once I have formed a judgment -- And why should it?

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Wow, I mention that this is the anniversary of Gettysburg (to the poster who wanted to become Dean of Confederate Studies) and all the Shelby Footes (Feet?) come to life. :)

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

After reading some of today's comments, I am confused. If I assign Marx, I am a Marxist, yes? But am I a Marxist economist, historian or political scientist? Does this depend on what I teach?

If I assign Derrida or Fouccault, does that make me a something else?

And when I assign the novels of Zola, Austin or Kundera, what do I become?

Can't I simply employ a work of literature for a particular pedagogical reason without becoming a proponent of that particular point of view? Just wondering...

Michael said...

I just finished reading the replies to Erlich and there was one positive comment on his article to the 58 negative responses.

One of the posters there tried to defend the 88 Ad and another poster just copied in the current article as a response. It's nice when you can just cut and paste a well-researched article loaded with facts. Something that the "something happened" crowd can't do because the facts disprove their claims.

mac said...

RR Hamilton,

Uh, sorry. That was a Beavis
and Brodhead moment.

2:27 No Justice No Peace did
the honors for which I congratulated
you. Apologies to both.

mac said...

7:54
Don't assign One Flew Over the
Cuckoos Nest, Or...

Good point.

Anonymous said...

What I assign changes every semester. Otherwise, I'd get BORED!!!!!

No justice, no peace said...

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” —Samuel Adams

Thank you Mike Nifong, Gang of 88, Brodhead, MSM and abettors. You may confidently say, you have dissolved the principles and manners of our country. Where is your virtue? Who among you is noble?

Silly questions...

No justice, no peace said...

7:54 inre: "Can't I simply employ a work of literature for a particular pedagogical reason without becoming a proponent of that particular point of view? Just wondering... "

The fact that you have to ask, suggests that maybe you cannot. What other works to you contrast with Marx for pdedagogical reasons?

Anonymous said...

9:33

The question was rhetorical. And, guess what, NJ,NP: not all teaching is binary. Some of us don't feel a need always to "contrast" one work with another. Some curricula don't lend themselves to it. Moreover, our students aren't so stupid as to need this kind of kindergarten teaching...

Marx, for example, is an historical subject who can be usefully located in an historical place. The context for his writing is probably as important as his writing.

And on it goes. Good teaching isn't a balancing act of left & right, whatever these terms may mean, social constructions that they are.

I sure wouldn't want my kids in any university you might teach at if, as it seems, you want to teach by some formula of "left" and "right" and "checks" and "balances."

Anonymous said...

ooooh, no justice, i might assign other marxists to show who marx influenced...that would be a good learning experience.

newly pseudo said...

R.R. Hamilton--
Since you ask, I am--not a professor, exactly, but an adjunct composition instructor at a non-flagship state university (and a non-practicing lawyer--odd career path, I know, and decidedly downwardly mobile, but the length of time it would take to explain far outweighs the relevance).

As for why you should change your mind, there is of course no reason whatsoever. I didn't mean for my response to be dismissive, though I can see now that it might have been easy to interpret that way. It's late and I'm tired, but I'll try to clarify.

The original post on which I commented seemed clearly to me to be implying that to teach a text is to agree with it (at least unless one is clearly also teaching a directly oppositional text). That may have been a misunderstanding on my part, as I acknowledged. I tried to respond to that point, which seemed to me clearly incorrect. It certainly is in my own case, since I try to assign readings with a variety of views on an issue; if I agreed with all of them I'd be a confused mess.

Since that is apparently not what you were trying to say, however, there didn't seem to me to be any reason to continue that discussion.

The point you made in your responsive post--that "just being a professor, outside of the "hard sciences", establishes a rebuttable presumption of Marxism"--is one that I also do not agree with, although--as I noted--I understand that, as with many overstatements, there may be some anecdotal or even empirical evidence that tends to support it in part. But I didn't choose to argue that point because I don't see why I should have to marshal evidence to disprove your unsupported rhetorical flourish--and, to be honest, I don't care enough to invest the necessary time and energy.

I was really just trying to politely agree to disagree. If you want to interpret this as a clear victory on the merits for you, be my guest.

Steven Horwitz and 7:54--thanks for expressing my original point more clearly and effectively than I did.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

newly pseudo:

First I didn't interpret your post as dismissive of me. I wasn't sure how to interpret your post, so I responded in the bland way that I did.

And you are absolutely right: For me to say that merely being a "soft studies" college professor creates a rebuttable presumption of Marxism was (1) an overstatement albeit one supported by anectdotal and (at some colleges) empirical evidence, and was (2) not worth an effort to marshal an argument against it.

I'll try to identify my overstatements in the future. I don't actually use them very often. It was just that the question posed to me -- Does assigning Marxist texts create such a presumption? -- just seemed too juicy a pitch to take for a ball.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

like the fraud foundation that was stolen from the ford family and advanced anti american agendas...duke has stolen its past...my broadrot and his ilk live in infamy like nero his hero

Anonymous said...

Polanski,

I've said here more than once that the real money at universities comes more from government than from alumni. The way this ties into your post is that I believe government dollars are tied to "diversity" -- that is, as a university looking for grant or research dollars, you must show that you have met all the diversity quotas, or at least, come closer than your competitors.

This "bias for diversity", in addition to the sheer size of the government's component of higher education funding, is why I've said that in order to stop the diversity rot in American academia, you must go to the legislature and get changes made.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

I was really happy to see Polanski speak up for friend Karl Marx. He really was an original thinker & what worries me about some of you is that you'd politicize reading Marx with presentist assumptions unless someone--apparently certified non-left--told you he was worth reading in and of himself. And, he is. Even if Capital is just dead boring.

There is an entire literature by early socialists/Marxists that is really interesting and useful to read, no matter what your political viewpoint. The French utopian socialists are absolutely fascinating.

It speaks of closed minds that some of you would be going on about "what do you balance it with?" rather than focusing on the intellectual stimulation.

Anonymous said...

R.R. Hamilton,

Diversity is important. And not all non-white males are less intelligent/less desrving than white males.

We learned a lot about how women could do many jobs that had earlier been limited to men during the First and Second World Wars. They also compete academically. Ditto non-white males.

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

Polanski 10:13 here.

...Why are people asking SH stupid questions about relationships between his personal beliefs and the books he assigns his students? Marx was a genius and an original thinker--the iconoclast extraordinaire. You'd be negligent NOT to assign his work to your students.
...to newly pseudo 2:58, who wonders about practical solutions to Duke's Angry Studies problem:
...The academic Left at Duke, as elsewhere, uses the accusation of racism as a sledgehammer to ENFORCE an egalitarian agenda to redistribute resources from "the majority" to "people of color." That is why I refer to the paychecks of AAAS and other crap studies professors as academic welfare. It's a transfer payment.

A PRACTICAL WAY TO ELIMINATE THE G88 PROBLEM AT DUKE

1. Estimate the entire cost of all the personnel and buildings that house the mediocrities.
2. Concerned alumni then take out a full-page ad in the NY Times announcing the end of racist/sexist/classist studies in favor of giving a nice sum to a private Durham foundation that would use the money for practical things to help minorities--daycare, housing, technical school, etc
3. Formally announce that racial and gender discrimination (a k a affirmative action) will no longer be tolerated at Duke.
4. Form outside committee to make recommendations for academic excellence at Duke.
5. The above, of course, is dependent on Duke alumni removing Brodhead and BOT and installing a merit-oriented management philosophy.
::
Well said. Very thoughtful.

I think I would expand # 2 to include an experimental comprehensive heath care research based delivery model for all children in Durham who have no health insurance/medicaid or other government program.
The federal government put up $2 for each $1 Duke provides. Prevention programs - including diabetes/obesity prevention would become part of the new DukeEngage program...and Duke students become involved...especially the athletes ...teaching activity programs for kids and families.
::
GP

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Polanski...

You often comment ....

What are you bona fides ...

Just curious ...

Geezer

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

Isn't Duke a state school?

Anonymous said...

10:51---

Yes "Diversity is important. And not all non-white males are less intelligent/less desrving than white males."

Who has indicated otherwise??

Yes ... "We learned a lot about how women could do many jobs that had earlier been limited to men during the First and Second World Wars. They also compete academically. Ditto non-white males."

What's the point?

Just because there are examples that show success of individuals within a particular race, class or gender does not automatically extend the notion to the entire race, class or gender.

And for academic pedantic rage to assert that a particular race or class or gender deserves a free ride ...or that a particular category of individuals (such as lacrosse players) deserves condemnation or EVEN SPECIAL OBSERVATION such as that evocative "LISTENING"... by virtue only of that race or class or gender or association... is the worst kind of discrimination.

Please refrain from the obvious. Please look for the nuance.

Thomas Inman '74

Anonymous said...

Polanski,

Impressive credentials. Sounds like fun.

Me...I am a mathmetician who has applied himself in the subject matter of derivative finance, which neccesarily involves an investigation of stochastic processes. I am also one who is burdened with the weight of many generations of significant contributions to this Country. Accordingly, I have a twofold objective...to defend what has preceeded us and to discover new stuff (in an area where new stuff is hard to find.)

Geezer <---- by the way, I like that moniker --- kinda fits and ridicules a prior and patently absurd attempt to ridicule logic

Anonymous said...

Greetings to Tom Inman 74 from David White 73. I read the blog reguarly and occasionally check out the comments. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Is that D White....damn, I still remember when you and T Howard threw me in those damn bushes with the thorns...thank God I was drunk or near drunk or....whatever...it would have really hurt otherwise. Broadhead would've nailed your arse for that...SOB has no sense of humor.

I still also tell folks of the name you gave me ... to go through life as a "Bubba" ...

What the heck.

Hope life has treated you well!

Best,

Bubba aka Geezer aka Thomas Inman '74

PS...Good God...now do I have to tell the Feds of all these aliases???

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Tom Inman...lol

I was going to throw in the "Bubba" but I figured you might not care for that too much any more!

I occasionally see some of our guys, like Pop Warner. Amazingly, our group produced a Major League Baseball GM (Snap) and a TopGun/ Blue Angel boss, Dom. And even a Wall Street whiz like yourself.

I'd like to think we would have agitated Brodhead, Burness, Group of 88, etc. to no end if we were undergrads while this went on.

Cheers.
D White

Anonymous said...

Polanski,

Ito is central to much of modern mathematical finance. But my favorites are Fischer Black, Myron Scholes and Robert Merton. And I must acknowledge with great respect Mark Rubenstein at UC Berkeley. Also, Nils Hakkanson who had some very innovative thoughts.

D White,

Good-god-a-mickey-mighty....Brodhead would have been toast in our era.

Of course, we were in the era of anyone could get a seat at Cameron for any game including the Heels. And just for the record, Rick Wagoner played in Cameron when we were there. Just goes to show you that there's no substitute for a good inside fake.

Best to all!

Bubba Geezer <---- This gives me authority among the trinity of race, class and gender

Gary Packwood said...

GlenfromABQ 11: 41 said...

...Isn't Duke a state school?
::
No. Duke is a large private and excellent university...with a rather large endowment.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Have any new policies been put in place at Duke (or elsewhere)?

I'm thinking of something along the line of whom can speak on behalf of Duke University or for a department, rather than as an individual. Or perhaps, a policy on transparancy in funding of things like ads?

Anonymous said...

Duke really isn't large, at least in terms of undergrad enrollment, as compared to UNC, state, etc.

For a private university, it isn't small, but I still wouldn't call it large.

Anonymous said...
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rrhamilton said...

Polanski, I just came back. I don't know if you're still awake, but a brief search by me turned up this regarding affirmative action mandates for government contractors (which would definitely include universities):

http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/ofccp/fs11246.htm

Notice, specifically:

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION REQUIREMENTS

Each Government contractor with 50 or more employees and $50,000 or more in government contracts is required to develop a written affirmative action program (AAP) for each of its establishments.

A written affirmative action program helps the contractor identify and analyze potential problems in the participation and utilization of women and minorities in the contractor's workforce.

If there are problems, the contractor will specify in its AAP the specific procedures it will follow and the good faith efforts it will make to provide equal employment opportunity.

Expanded efforts in outreach, recruitment, training and other areas are some of the affirmative steps contractors can take to help members of the protected groups compete for jobs on equal footing with other applicants and employees.

Now the mystery is solved as to how the likes of Holloway, Baker, Farred, Lubiano got jobs at a top flight (or even bottomrung) university.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Duke's stated goal of having a diverse population of faculty and students fail if they only look at race and sex. Group think is not diversity.

Though I thought he was a jerk, James Watt made a good point by making a sarcastic remark. Of course he had to resign 2 weeks later.

Furious when asked about the diversity of his staff, he said "I have a black, a woman, 2 Jews, and a cripple."

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