Sunday, September 30, 2007

Brodhead Remarks: Full Text

Given its significance, it seemed worth re-posting the remarks, which included an apology to the 47 lacrosse families along with the president's first acknowledgment of the inappropriateness of the Group of 88's statement.

This conference is not just about the Duke lacrosse case. It is about a kind of event that has taken on a central place in American culture: the legal case that creates a national community of attention, the case the public consumes every “fact” of with an endless appetite for more. Cases like these typically combine scandal, celebrity, and highly combustible social issues, race and sex perhaps chief among them. And having become one of America’s principal forms of shared public life, these cases highlight crucial problems of our culture -- problems of achieving justice in a media-saturated society, problems of fundamental fairness to individuals, and problems in the way the American public is informed and misinformed about the world we live in.

The Duke community lived through a classic example of such a case. When a case like this is over, it’s tempting to think that the facts so clearly established at the end of the day must have been equally clear throughout the process. This was not the case. When the accusations were made, our students said emphatically that they were innocent. On the other hand, the district attorney made a series of public statements expressing absolute confidence that a crime had occurred and that the students were guilty of criminal charges. These starkly opposite versions of the truth created deep uncertainty about what had happened.

Added to this, the local and national media began weeks of highly sensational coverage, creating an air of instant, uncritical certainty that fed on itself in a remarkable way, with each day providing new “revelations” that became known around the world, confirming and re-confirming public assurance that an outrage had occurred.

Given the uncertainty at the heart of the case and given the tides of passionate prejudgment the DA’s comments and media accounts touched off, I staked out a position on behalf of the university that contained three principles. First, the type of crime that had been alleged had no place in our community. Second, the presumption of innocence is fundamental to our legal system, and our students were entitled to that presumption. And third, this whole matter had to be entrusted to the criminal justice system for its resolution.

As president, I had responsibility for the statements the university made and the actions the university took in a virtually unprecedented situation, and I take responsibility for them now. But I didn’t come here to retell the story or explain the logic of our acts. We are now in the aftermath of this extraordinary case, and the aftermath, we have to hope, is a time for learning. Having spent my life in the cause of teaching and learning, I am not at all unwilling to learn lessons of my own. I am happy for this chance to share some of those lessons.

First and foremost, I regret our failure to reach out to the lacrosse players and their families in this time of extraordinary peril. Given the complexities of the case, getting this communication right would never have been easy. But the fact is that we did not get it right, causing the families to feel abandoned when they most needed support. This was a mistake. I take responsibility for it, and I apologize.

Second, some of those who were quick to speak as if the charges were true were on this campus, and some faculty made statements that were ill-judged and divisive. They had the right to express their views. But the public as well as the accused students and their families could have thought that those were expressions of the university as a whole. They were not, and we could have done more to underscore that.

Third, I understand that by deferring to the criminal justice system to the extent we did and not repeating the need for the presumption of innocence equally vigorously at all the key moments, we may have helped create the impression that we did not care about our students. This was not the case, and I regret it as well.

Fourth, this episode has taught me a hard lesson about the criminal justice system and what it means to rely on it. Given the media circus and the public reactions it fed, I thought it essential to insist that the matter be resolved within the legal system, not in the court of public opinion. As far as it went, this was right. But what this case reminds us is that our justice system -- the best in the world -- is only as good as the men and women who administer it. In this case, it was an officer of this system itself who presented false allegations as true, suppressed contrary evidence, and subverted the process he was sworn to uphold.

Relying on the criminal justice system in this case proved to have serious limits. But for the university to strive to set the system to rights -- for instance, by attacking the District Attorney -- presented problems as well. For one thing, none of us can lightly speak as if the system itself is tainted because some of our own have been accused of a crime. I was also concerned that if Duke spoke out in an overly aggressive fashion, it would be perceived that a well-connected institution was improperly attempting to influence the judicial process, which could have caused the case to miscarry in a variety of ways. Finally, there was no legal recourse against the District Attorney, for me or anyone else. Under North Carolina laws, no one had authority to take an active case from a DA absent the DA’s own request, as finally happened in January.

Even with all that, Duke needed to be clear that it demanded fair treatment for its students. I took that for granted. If any doubted it, then I should have been more explicit, especially as evidence mounted that the prosecutor was not acting in accordance with the standards of his profession.

The larger problem for society is how to create and maintain the optimal balance between the independence of the legal system and protection of individuals from false prosecutions. If this state should ever again have a rogue prosecutor on the loose with no more remedies than were available last time around, the failure to have learned the lesson of the Duke lacrosse case would be intolerable. I do not want to create some instant legislative “solution” that opens the door for new injustices tomorrow. I recognize that it is not easy to get the checks and balances right when two such important interests are at stake. But it’s essential for all relevant parties to work to create these mechanisms, and I trust the current conference will contribute to this cause.

Closer to home, this case highlights challenges universities face when students are tied to serious criminal charges. This challenge has many aspects: how the university advises a student in these circumstances, how the university regulates the presence on campus of students charged with serious crimes, how the university interacts with parents, and many more. My colleagues in the Duke administration are going over all our procedures to see what we can learn from our experience. But these are complex questions, and they aren’t ones Duke can or should hope to solve on its own. To work through these difficulties and see that their lessons are learned not only here but around the country, we will be hosting a national conference of educators, lawyers and student affairs leaders to discuss best practices in this important field.

I’ll end with the deepest lesson this case taught me. When I think back through the whole complex history of this episode, the scariest thing, to me, is that actual human lives were at the mercy of so much instant moral certainty, before the facts had been established. If there’s one lesson the world should take from the Duke lacrosse case, it’s the danger of prejudgment and our need to defend against it at every turn. Given the power of this impulse and the forces that play to it in our culture, achieving this goal will not be easy. But it’s a fight where we all need do our part.

Much of me hopes the Duke lacrosse case will be forgotten someday. But if it is remembered, let’s hope it is remembered the right way: as a call to caution in a world where certainty and judgment come far too quickly.

186 comments:

Anonymous said...

KC - What is going on here?

Anonymous said...

Too little too late Dick. Open your coffers lawsuit on its way

Gary Packwood said...

Seems to me that the settlement with the coach and his players required that Duke admit that mistakes were made.

And that just happened.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

good speech..

Anonymous said...

"Sorta" is the only word I can come up with for this so called apology.

Anonymous said...

Well-written; eloquent; almost humble. So why am I feeling like it is too little, too late, and well misses the mark of any significance.

So he was cowardly? So what? More words don't fix it.

He was NOT a friend of students and THAT was his primary job. He job was not to outwit the DPD, or the DA, or the media, NOR THE FACULTY. His job was the students. And he failed miserably on that account.


If I were giving him a grade, I would give him a D-, and I would require him to write me a LONG paper on what he REALLY learned if he wanted to stay in my course of study. No spin; no excuses; and a LOT more soul searching.

Might start with putting himself in the shoes of the parents.

Title might be "How I Would Want my Son's School to Treat me if I were the Parent of a Lacrosse Player".

Cancelling the season and firing the coach are NOT exactly expressions of objectively waiting for the truth.

Sorry Brodhead. Your treatise continues to offend me. Basically, I don't think you have learned anything, and I think if you had to do it over you wouldn't have any more guts the second time around.

Off with you. Go somewhere else and take your spin.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if he is sincere, however, good to see Brodhead take some responsibility and apologize. It should have come MUCH sooner. I don't know how the lacrosse families will receive this very belated apology. I'm afraid if it were me, I would feel so bitter toward Brodhead by this point that his apology would be a bitter pill to swallow. I have always admired how the lacrosse families handled themselves during the entire episode. Again, not sure I could have remained as poised if my child was being falsely accused of a horrific crime.

Steven Horwitz said...

254 writes:

He was NOT a friend of students and THAT was his primary job. He job was not to outwit the DPD, or the DA, or the media, NOR THE FACULTY. His job was the students. And he failed miserably on that account.

Actually, no it wasn't. His primary job was the institution as a whole, that's why he's the president. Don't get me wrong, I think he failed in that job too, but there were others who failed in their primary jobs of looking after students: members of the faculty and especially Dean Sue and Moneta and the rest of the Student Affairs staff, whose jobs are *precisely* to work with students when issues arise outside of the classroom.

College presidents have the whole institution to be concerned with, and Brodhead failed in that task. This speech/apology helps some in that at least he's publicly admitting "mistakes were made." But don't blame him for trying to balance other concerns alongside those of the students. That IS what his job is as the president: ensuring the health of the institution as a whole.

If you think the "institution as a whole" is much less healthy today than on March 1, 2006, you can, rightly in my view, lay that at Brodhead's feet for his performance in the LAX case. But you can't blame him for trying to balance the interests of the students with those of other parts of the institution.

Anonymous said...

The guy apologized and called-out the G88. I thought it was a good speech and appropriate for the forum. What 2:54 above is looking for wasn’t going to happen there. IMO, no apology can ever satisfy the truly injured - almost nothing can! Settlements and jury awards can get close. I think the guy went about as far in his speech as anyone could in that setting, and I am surprised that he did it, and I think his call for a conference on how to handle such matters on campus is a good idea and a way to move forward. Whether he stays or goes is a matter for Duke and their alumni. I get the sense that he learned something, but whether he can effect change, which takes a really long time to do in a university setting, is something that we will have to wait for.

Anonymous said...

Just ONE question for Pez Brodhead. How is it that there appear to be a significant number of Duke Profs who feel that if they expressed their genuine feelings about how the whole LAX scandal was handled that they might be out of a job, or be personally ridiculed or even endangered?

How is it that freedom of speech for the Gang of 88 was protected, even though it was vile, and those who tried to speak for the students were subjected to ridicule, or even worse ignored?

Nope. Won't fly. Brodhead is a cowardly front for the sexist racist diversity agenda. If he stays at Duke, that will continue to be his agenda.

It is NOT about freedom of speech or protection of the innocent if we don't like who they are, or what they want to say.

Such hypocrisy!

Debrah said...

I hope that any commenter who has the lack of knowledge about what goes on in Wonderland will make note of how many posters here often disagree. And with KC.

Brodhead's speech was NOT powerful.

He did NOT hit any high notes or come out like a man and delve into the actual problems that will be the residue for many people as a result of his actions and inactions.

He gave a very nervous and contrived speech.

Brodhead is still fighting for Brodhead.

At least James Coleman is man enough to dismiss this silliness of "heroism".

Dear G/d! The man was just doing what the rest of the law school should have done---or they should stop taking a salary from Duke University.

Have we come to define heroism as doing what any decent person would have done? Instead of sitting back like lazy paper shufflers?

John Burness is pathetic. Any time I post something really negtive and truthful about him--such as what an obese obfuscator and liar he is--it can't be posted.

There are a few of KC sources he will protect and coddle. Even if they are mere redneck Durham liberal clowns.

Jackie Brown is now Bill Bell's biggest vocal supporter. Perhaps the old bag will go to the Regulator to schmooze.

And some wonder why Mike Nifong was able to get away with his kind of sleaze for three decades.

I have to remind myself that KC doesn't know as much about Durham as some of us who live in the Triangle area.

Don't worry, I'll try not to have a dance with reality as it relates to some of KC's local "heroes".

Truly sad that some of these people are elevated to such a position......when they were/are a part of creating the horrible place that is Durham...and its banana-republic reputation.

Indeed, what is going on with KC? Do we have to reinvent history now?

Anonymous said...

3:05 Horwitz.

I understand your perspective. However, the educational institution exists for two main purposes, as I see it.

1. Education of students
2. Furtherance of knowledge through research and writing.

#2 was not at stake.

And all of the other resources are there to accomplish #1. Faculty fit into either or both of these categories, but IMO, Brodhead failed to give primacy to the MAIN purpose of the educational institution. Just as hospitals exist to care for the sick, Duke exists to educate students. All the other support systems should exist to reach that goal.

I still think he failed miserably on all counts, and that Duke is definitely a less productive, focused, or desirable place to send a son or daughter for an education since Brodhead's "Reign".

Anonymous said...

It would appear a little more heartfelt if he had announced the firings of Burness and Alleva, his own resignation, and a call for Steel to resign as well. Just remember the moment in UPI where the guys scream and hold their heads at news that these cynical, old weasels have cancelled the season. A pox upon their houses. sic semper tyrannis

Anonymous said...

I wish he would stop calling it the Duke Lacrosse Case and start calling it the Nifong/Mangum Case

Anonymous said...

3:32 said,

"I understand your perspective. However, the educational institution exists for two main purposes, as I see it.

1. Education of students
2. Furtherance of knowledge through research and writing."

This seems very outdated. Education has been replaced with indoctrination and there really is no such thing as knowledge.

W. R. Chambers said...

If one thinks of the Duke case as a contest between President Broadhead and former D.A. Nifong, the way Duke handled the matter is a bit more understandable. Broadhead is an academic, perhaps idealistic, comfortable in the academy living with ideas. Nifong was a streetfighter. Broadhead trusted Nifong as the human embodiment of the criminal justice system. Nifong couldn't have cared less about Duke. In fact, he seems to have despised Duke. Nifong wanted to get elected and to get a larger pension. Broadhead, taken from the library and thrust in the middle of a media firestorm, lost perspective. The allegations assaulted his view of the academy. Egged on by the gender and race professors, Broadhead defended the academy against the allegations as if they were true. He must have been worried about race riots so virulent and unending was the utterly irresponsible stories by most of the media, including the always charming likes of Nancy Grace and Wendy Murphy. Although he didn't know it, Broadhead was playing in an arena in which most of the other participants were not playing by the rules. He thought they were, especially Nifong. The thought of obeying the rules never crossed Nifong's mind. Yes Broadhead handled it badly. Yes he caused harm. Yes he fell short of what one would hope from the president not only of a great university but of any university. It is worth remembering that he was not alone. The chairman of Duke's Board of Trustees seems to have running alongside if not leading Broadhead. A lot of people lost their pespective. A lot of people were silent who should have spoken up. The list of people who didn't do what they should have done in the Duke case is very, very long. The list of people who kept their heads and got it right is very short. Everyone has something to learn from the Duke case. I wonder who, other than President Broadhead, will publicly admit he was wrong and that he is willing to learn from his mistakes.

Louis said...

The stupidest, most vapid, most disingenuous part of the whole thing is the notion that the university and its professors are disconnected entities. "I had responsibility for the statements the university made." And then concerning the fulminations by the Duke 88: "... the public as well as the accused students and their families could have thought that those were expressions of the university as a whole. They were not, and we could have done more to underscore that."

No, they were not statements of the university as a whole, they were statements of its very heart, its faculty. A faculty are more responsible than anyone else for the character of a university, and in turn the university has a right and a duty to require its faculty to be responsible. The president's special responsibility is to see to it that the faculty live up to theirs, which Brodhead has not done.

Faculty employment tenure is not absolute. Among the few grounds for dismissal of a tenured faculty member is gross moral turpitude. The Duke 88 were at least accomplices in racial hate mongering, and that surely meets the definition of moral turpitude.

A strong university president (I know, I know -- what planet am I from?) would have pointed that out to the 88 and demanded that they individually and collectively retract their published statements in the case and unreservedly apologize to the accused players, to the lacrosse team, and to the university. Failing which, each one would be dismissed, if deemed a ring leader, or suspended without pay until the required retraction and apology was forthcoming, if deemed only guilty of signing what others pushed on him.

This still ought to be done. Until it is, it is wrong for Brodhead to say "We are now in the aftermath of this extraordinary case," and particularly wrong in him to claim that he is taking responsibility for the statements and actions of the university.

Steven Horwitz said...

I still think he failed miserably on all counts, and that Duke is definitely a less productive, focused, or desirable place to send a son or daughter for an education since Brodhead's "Reign".

No argument from me. My point was that to claim that the president's job is to put the students above all else is factually incorrect, nor do I think that's what the president's job should be.

Like a private sector CEO, who must balance the interests of her Board of Directors, her employees, her customers, and her suppliers (among others), same goes for a President. Yes, there's no business without the customer (or the student) but they are not the only ones who count in the day to day management challenge.

I would have been bounced out of my associate dean job had I paid attention only to the interests of students without considering those of the faculty and staff who taught in my program. And rightly so.

Anonymous said...

I dunno. Whatever Brodhead did was bad enough. Nice of him to muster some backbone so long after the game is over, but I still think, as a Duke alum, that he's overstayed his welcome and it's time for him to retire, maybe in New Haven...

Anonymous said...

Having watched Brodhead's speech,I have rarely seen a more miscast individual. I'm sure he'd be happier and more fulfilled spending his time reading and writing about Shakespeare and teaching English literature than being a university president. He's just unsuited for leadership; and that isn't necessarily his fault. A change at the top will ultimately benefit both him and Duke.

Anonymous said...

OK, so now, who of the G-88 is going to "apologize" next?

Anonymous said...

If Brodhead actually learned that "deepest lesson" that (did he really say "actual")"human lives were at the mercy" of "instant moral certainty" why does he hope it will all be forgotten someday? I think his warning that we all 'must defend against prejudgment' (if sincere) would have included his own admission of guilt and his vow not to do it again.

If I honestly believed he had learned the important lessons of this tragedy, I would actually believe he might be the right man to lead Duke.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion brodhead is stil a coward. Anytime he wants to get something done he calls for a forum or conference or some committee to discuss it for months before finally he says nothing. A president of a major university must make decisions. brodhead cannot make decisions. How could this possibly be his decision to apologize now when everyone in the world thinks is it part of the settlement duke made with the 3 that were hoaxed.

weak, weaker, and today weakest

patrick said...

I think Steven Horwitz has it right about a modern university president's job having responsibilities that go beyond its students. The degree to which this is now true is, it seems to me, one of the problems with modern universities offering proper value to their undergraduate students.

That's why Brodhead's speech reads to me like the totally predictable sort of speech that someone in his position would make. In tone, language and content it is the speech of a high official walking his way through what he perceives to be a mine field. I'm sure he had the university's attorneys review it, and I am sure he was advised not to take questions, whether that was his own inclination or not.

Therefore we have the classic and bloodless "mistakes were made" speech. (What is the passive voice for if not excuses.) There may even be a template for such speeches in the largest law firms in America.

To be fair, I don't think he could have made any other kind of speech. Couldn't, that is, unless he suddenly morphed into a more heroic person than I take him to be. Said for instance that he was more than just sorry, he was actually angry with himself for having gone weak-kneed at the the defining moment of his professional life. Admit that he had failed at that moment and therefore he was honor bound to resign.

It really doesn't take a lot of courage to say you made a mistake. It takes an enormous amount of courage to say you failed at the moment of truth because you were afraid of making a mistake.

In Bertold Brecht's "Galileo," someone says to Galileo: "Unhappy the country that has no heroes."

To which Galileo replies: "Unhappy the country that needs heroes."

Anonymous said...

Notwithstanding Brodhead's pleas that it was a difficult situation, he admitted that he and Duke made mistakes, that people were hurt by those mistakes, that he takes responsibilities for those mistakes and that he is sorry for his actions. It seems pretty clear that he realizes not only his error, but that history will remember him for his cowardly responses.

Anonymous said...

Why is it Duke feels the need to pull the President from academia, preferably Ivy League academia? Some of Dukes most effective Presidents have come from other areas (remember Uncle Terry?) Anybody here think this would ever have happened with TS in the Presidents office? Maybe Duke should consider pulling from Politics or Business in NC or the Southeast.

Anonymous said...

"I’ll end with the deepest lesson this case taught me. When I think back through the whole complex history of this episode, the scariest thing, to me, is that actual human lives were at the mercy of so much instant moral certainty, before the facts had been established. If there’s one lesson the world should take from the Duke lacrosse case, it’s the danger of prejudgment and our need to defend against it at every turn. Given the power of this impulse and the forces that play to it in our culture, achieving this goal will not be easy. But it’s a fight where we all need do our part.

Much of me hopes the Duke lacrosse case will be forgotten someday. But if it is remembered, let’s hope it is remembered the right way: as a call to caution in a world where certainty and judgment come far too quickly."

It will take me a while to digest the rest of President Brodhead's statement, but this section seems very genuine to me. While I do not want to gloss over deficiencies in the remarks (such as the families "feeling" abandoned, as if anyone could plausibly argue the families were not actually entirely abandoned by the University administration and much of the faculty), I welcome this statement as an important step in the serious business of publicly expressed personal reflection and atonement, a process that may take some time.


Observer

Anonymous said...

"I did not have sex with that woman". Wow, Bill Clinton's statement is actually more truthful than Broadhead's. I notice his last whimperings were for the whole sordid episode to go away. "Ouch, make it stop".

patrick said...

Excellent suggestion from 4:28. The multiple constituencies to which a university president has to answer can paralyze the decision making of a person too weak to know you can't please everybody. College professors are used to being liked, admired. It's not the best preparation for making tough decisions.

Steven Horwitz said...

Patrick at 416 has it just about right, IMO.

Steven Horwitz said...

Patrick at 449:

I think there's much truth to what you say. However, let me raise two considerations on the other side:

1. Presidents who come from within academia have usually risen through the administrative ranks where it becomes clear quickly that if you want to be liked, you'll fail at the job. It's true that some slip through the cracks, but not many. Brodhead's problem is not so much that he wants to be liked, but that he shares the analytical framework of the faculty who made hay of this.

2. Pulling university presidents from outside academic runs the risk of them not understanding the culture well. Now for many here, that would be an ASSET not a problem. However, as much as you claim to care about the students, a corporate or political sector president can quickly screw up a college to the detriment of the students. Again, some can pull it off, but in general, it's a dangerous strategy.

Anonymous said...

A well-lawyered apology. Who knows if it is genuine. I think W.R. Chambers, 3:40, hit the nail on the head with his assessment; Broadhead is not suited for this role.

I miss Uncle Terry. The man had a true sense of right and wrong and was willing to take unpopular stands regardless of the price. Desegregation. Gulf War.

I miss the Duke of my four years (mid-80s)(I don't think I recognize much of that place any more).

I imagine those members of the 88 who are truly rabid are furiously decrying Broadhead. I can only imagine the invective that will be thrown his way, and how hard it must be for one as weak as Broadhead to face such anger. Personally, I believe it's better to be right than to be popular (and I am trying to teach my children to share that belief). Some of the best professors I had at Duke reinforced that very lesson my parents had taught me. Some of those same professors seem to have decided it's better to be righteous than to be right. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brodhead failed in his mission. He needs to resign. Today.

AMac said...

Well, now we know that mistakes were made, and that "and some faculty made statements that were ill-judged and divisive." Perhaps it is time to form a Duke Faculty Culture Initiative committee. Its mandate would be to examine the range of faculty actions during the Hoax/Frame, and analyze how they helped or hindered students, the University, and the broader community in dealing with the crisis.

For this committee, I'd suggest that signers of the Listening Statement and other Hoax enablers not be appointed as members.

AMac said...

President Brodhead,

What is your view on discovery? Is it something to be avoided, e.g. through private settlements of lawsuits? Or are there documents involved in aspects of the Hoax/Frame that should be made public? Can the right lessons of the Hoax/Frame be learned if some parties remain tempted to hide behind a shield of plausible deniability?

Anonymous said...

What sophistry! IMO, Brodhead and Nifong cut a deal whereby Nifong closes the book on 43 of the lacrosse players (so Duke can "move on") and the other 3 are thrown under the bus to "Durham justice" and whatever Nifong decides to do with them. Thus, Brodhead uncritically shut his mouth and supported this joke of a "process" all through that lonely summer.

No more revisionist crap from this feckless loser! The lawyers have to keep suing and the alumni gave to cut Steele and Brodhead loose. Anything less than that will invite more of this type of thing in the future, and who in the world will reign in the left-radical proffesoriate?

Anonymous said...

Brodhead's apology now takes its place beside Nifong's many non-apology apologies. Brodhead did not "[fail] to reach out to the lacrosse players and their families...causing them to feel abandoned when they most needed support." He actually did abandon them.

And "versions of the truth" - what's that supposed to mean? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

3:21 is wrong. Not a repudiation of the 88. Some of the 88 reviewed the statement in advance of its delivery.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if a requirement of Duke's settlement with the 3 lax players was an apology from the University by its president.

miramar said...

I consider this to be a very good speech, but we are in September 2007. In September 2006, this would have been a great speech.

Whether Brodhead has learned something or if he is now more concerned about disgruntled alumni than disgruntled professors, I am glad he has finally stated the obvious about the G88: "some of those who were quick to speak as if the charges were true were on this campus, and some faculty made statements that were ill-judged and divisive. They had the right to express their views. But the public as well as the accused students and their families could have thought that those were expressions of the university as a whole. They were not, and we could have done more to underscore that."

It wasn't that long ago that this blog revealed that Brodhead was telling alumni groups that the listening statement was not that bad, but it seems that he has now concluded that it was bad enough.

Anonymous said...

patrick said...
"I think Steven Horwitz has it right about a modern university president's job having responsibilities that go beyond its students. The degree to which this is now true is, it seems to me, one of the problems with modern universities offering proper value to their undergraduate students."
"
That's why Brodhead's speech reads to me like the totally predictable sort of speech that someone in his position would make. In tone, language and content it is the speech of a high official walking his way through what he perceives to be a mine field. I'm sure he had the university's attorneys review it, and I am sure he was advised not to take questions, whether that was his own inclination or not."
"
Therefore we have the classic and bloodless "mistakes were made" speech. (What is the passive voice for if not excuses.) There may even be a template for such speeches in the largest law firms in America."

"To be fair, I don't think he could have made any other kind of speech. Couldn't, that is, unless he suddenly morphed into a more heroic person than I take him to be. Said for instance that he was more than just sorry, he was actually angry with himself for having gone weak-kneed at the the defining moment of his professional life. Admit that he had failed at that moment and therefore he was honor bound to resign."

"It really doesn't take a lot of courage to say you made a mistake. It takes an enormous amount of courage to say you failed at the moment of truth because you were afraid of making a mistake."

"In Bertold Brecht's "Galileo," someone says to Galileo: "Unhappy the country that has no heroes."

To which Galileo replies: "Unhappy the country that needs heroes."

9/29/07 4:16 PM

From the beginning, I have said that universities have become "disconnected" from their "customers" (the students) and that lack has created institutions for which (much like federal agencies) the primary focus is on their own survival and aggrandisement. (Think increasing the endowment and moving up in the US News and World Report rankings.) Thus, college and university presidents, like Brodhead, are not hired because they are "educators" in the old sense of the word, but because they are perceived as superior fundraisers and as adding to the presige of the school (I believe that Steel wanted Brodhead to bring some Ivy League panache to Duke)

I am also firmly convinced that Duke's response to the initial information about the events at 610 Buchannan was based upon the administration's desire "to make an example of" one of the groups that was causing problems vis a vis loud partying and underage drinking. Duke NEVER expected the legal and media situation to get so out of hand- they simply wanted to crack down on the drinking culture. They egregiously erred.

I think Brodhead still thinks he was right, and is only apologizing because the BOT and Duke are still taking heat. He is too self-righteous to even really understand the error of how ways. And he is too disconnected from the real world to be able empathize with his students or their families. Crocodile tears are his forte.
TexasMom

Anonymous said...

Brodhead's "apology" is an act of desperation imposed upon him by his spin-meisters now that he realizes that this little lacrosse thing isn't going away, no matter how hard he tries to ignore it. On top of that reality, some alums are calling for his head. Imagine what Brodhead must be thinking...and what advice he has been offered by his loyals.

Brodhead: "Umm... umm...what should I do?"

Burness: "Well, maybe you can issue a non-apology apology; people eat that shit up, particularly if you look sincere, even if you aren't. You're good at looking sincere, right Dick?"

Two dates for you all here in Wonderland: December 23, 2006 and April 12, 2007. Ring a bell?

December 23, 2006: The day after Mike Nifong dropped the rape charges. Where was Brodhead's "apology" then?

April 12th,2007: The day after Roy Cooper declared on national television that the Duke Three are innocent. Where was Brodhead's apology then?

IMHO, Brodhead made a calculated decision to go into the "four corners", hoping to run the clock out on this fiasco. The last paragraph of his "apology" today confims that cowardly approach.

Brodhead is not a leader. He needs to return to his snug faculy office in New Haven where he can wax eloquent on all things Ivy. Now, more than ever, it is clear that Brodhead needs to go.

Anonymous said...

The pathetic "apology" speech by President Brodhead lacked one important element -his resignation. Duke managed to survive another politically correct president whose tenure finally ended in 1969, but President Brodhead's incompetance has done even more damage to the university. The majority of the alumni are outraged by the actions of President Brodhead and the Board of Trustees over the past 18 months. Many have registered their dismay and disgust in letters to Chairman Steel only to receive the most cursory and superficial replies.
The infiltration of faculty by radicals , many with questionable academic credentials, begs for a wholesale housecleaning of several departments and complete elimination of other departments.
In purely monetary terms the cost to the university may be overwhelming. Large numbers of Duke alumni have eliminated all gifts to the university and estate bequests. Who wants to support costly (and secret) legal settlements to the injured students and coaches while those guilty of causing the damage remain at the helm?
It is time for President Brodhead, Chairman Steel and the Gang of 88 to leave Duke University.

Duke '53

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with amac at 5:14 that the University's postmortem of the hoax should include the establishing of a Duke Faculty Culture Initiative that examines the role of faculty in this crisis, and the role of faculty in using students to pursue personal and political agendas in and out of the class room, and the role in general of faculty creating divisiveness on campus to further political agendas.

I also agree with steve horwitz above about the failure of student affairs personnel (Monetta, Dean Sue, and others)during this crisis. Their role should be examined closely. They served neither the students nor the president well.

(My guess is that student affairs people were afraid of the outspoken Group of 88 leaders, as were Brodhead and Burness and probably Steel, and that they felt that giving support to the lax players was not only politcally incorrect but was also very unwise, given the virulent, outspoken, gang-like agendistas on campus.) The university lacked the leadership to call off the dogs.

Duke Alum

js said...

Brodhead faced an unprecedented situation. I followed the case only casually originally and never dreamed that there could be such prosecutorial abuse as was later documented. We all learned a lesson.
Yet Brodhead responded abysmally at every turn. Despite giving lip service to presumption of innocence, his every act belied his words. It's an understatement to say he acted cowardly. An apology at this point, more than a year after there was clear evidence that the case had major flaws is hardly satisfactory. Now that his job is on the line, I'm sure his apology is sincere but it is much too late.
Brodhead will always be associated with one of the sorriest episodes in Duke's history, indeed in any school's history. The only way Duke will deserve a fresh start is if Brodhead leaves and takes many of the group of 88 with him.

Anonymous said...

Re: W. R. Chambers:

I find your reasoning to be extraordinarily perceptive and kind. It gives Brodhead the benefit of doubt. It almost makes me sympathize with a man who was cast in a job ( Steele's Man) for which he is ill-suited. He has his head in the idealist world and no doubt fancied himself some type of pacifier or peacemaker.

But the Lacross scandal was one for which nothing had prepared this man.

And like in real life, we only get a few chances to be real heros, and it is always at a time of chaos or danger.

Brodhead simply proved himself to be a man without the kind of moral fiber necessary to stand against all odds, and accept the lonely mantle of leadership when NOBODY understands, and lead the university through the crisis.

He'd probably be okay now that it is past, except for one thing. He has lost the respect of everybody. I'm sure the Gang of 88 have no respect for him, for even this speech. And I am certain that those of us who are alumni and who love Duke will never be able to give him a fair hearing on anything, because he blew it when he lost our trust.

He needs to move on. For himself, certainly, and for Duke.

Someday the LAXers and their families may be able to forgive him. But that will not undo history and it will not restore trust.

Basically, Brodhead has a vote of "No Confidence" among the major constituencies. The speech just reinforced his impotence and shallowness. He is sadly lacking in character.

Anonymous said...

This morning, I had worked up a "Seinfeld" parody that I called "Brodfeld," which takes place in fictional President Richard Brodfeld's apartment.

The story would have been about how Brodfeld and his friends, Lubiana, Barness and Halloway entered into a "contest" to see which one could be the "master of his or her domain." That is, which of them could resist the urge to publicly lynch their own students the longest.

Because of Richard Brodhead's speech, I am going to shelve today's world premiere of "Brodhead." I understand that politics may have had something to do with the timing and content of the speech, but I feel that the content of the speech is such that it deserves some recognition.

That does not mean that I take back all the fake letters, inter-departmental e-mails and memos that I posted under the pseudonym "Richard Brodhead's Spine," or the parodies of the Minutes of the Gang of 88 meetings, in which Brodhead was made an honorary memeber. It just means that Brodhead finally, finally got it kind of right.
_________________

For old time's sake, the GANG OF 88 PLEDGE* for your pleasure:

I Pledge allegiance,
to the cause,
of the destruction of corporate amerika,
and to the hatred,
of rich mankind,
one agenda,
underhanded,
with hostility and vitriol for all.

*Not real pledge
__________________

Overheard in Durham: "Does K.C. Johnson blog in his sleep?" "No, K.C. Johnson doesn't sleep." (9/29/07). MOO! Gregory

inman said...

I am now at a slow boil, the corners of my mouth pursed in concentrated disgust.

I am stunned by Broadhead's final appeal:

"Much of me hopes the Duke lacrosse case will be forgotten someday. But if it is remembered, let’s hope it is remembered the right way: as a call to caution in a world where certainty and judgment come far too quickly."

That is the moral equivalent of saying that one hopes that Gettysburg be forgotten. Or that pogrom's throughout the millenia be forgotten. Or that Bunker Hill is better left to fade into history's lapse of memory.

And a "call to caution" ... that is the pluperfect example of a politician's statement of 'lets do nothing'. The Duke Lacrosse Burning was not a call to caution.
If anything, it is a clarion call to action, echoing in the halls of justice. Trumpets of the legions, formed in phalanx against injustice, call forward those who cannot tolerate, who will not tolerate, the flagrant foul of not only the system that placed at great risk some of its best young people, but also the attitudes of so-called intellectuals who would sacrifice both their implied in loco parentis responsiblities and their implied guardianship to advance a political agenda that can be considered specious, built on uncertain and unproven assumptions, but certainly responsive to pot-banging vocal outburst.

I, for one, do not and will not accept this apology. Brodhead's enabling of such a damaging enterprise cannot be allowed a coward's retreat. He must face the fire; his speech today was only a plea to avoid that fate.

Anonymous said...

4:20 You are so right - History will think of Broadhead that way - no matter what he does or says. I never would have imagined that would bother him but looks like it does. Sure the 88 are not happy with his statement. Take that 88 dopes.

Anonymous said...

Where's Bob Steel's apology?

Bob H. said...

Not to worry, all you who lust for Brodhead's...head. He will resign, it has been decided, and it will probably be announced before the end of the semester,”to allow sufficient time to search for a replacement”. That process is already under way, internally. No public announcements until then, and the Board will not consult Professor Johnson, much less debra or her fellow cybernauts. Brodhead’s liability to the University is manifest, his effectiveness is nil, his reputation a shambles. Duke’s has been embarrassed, shamed and degraded as an institution. So forget your calls for resignation, it is already a done deal.

Gary Packwood said...

AMac 5:14 said...

....Well, now we know that mistakes were made, and that "and some faculty made statements that were ill-judged and divisive." Perhaps it is time to form a Duke Faculty Culture Initiative committee. Its mandate would be to examine the range of faculty actions during the Hoax/Frame, and analyze how they helped or hindered students, the University, and the broader community in dealing with the crisis.
...For this committee, I'd suggest that signers of the Listening Statement and other Hoax enablers not be appointed as members.
::
Most people here seem to want some type of training for faculty however...that is not what Broadhead announced today.

In Saturday’s remarks, the president announced that Duke would host a national conference of college student affairs administrators to discuss procedures for handling students who get into legal trouble.

http://www.newsobserver.com/front/v-print/story/719627.html

Interesting that we don't see a thread here (DIW) or on Lie Stoppers about Student Affairs at Duke. But Broadhead has announced a NATIONAL conference for student affairs administrators.

Not the faculty; not the BOT; not the academic managers and not the campus police officials but administrators in student affairs!

Now we know much more about the enablers you mentioned.

Student Affairs at Duke is a $10M per year operation.
::
GP

rrhamilton said...

Pres. Brodhead says...

"When the accusations were made, our students said emphatically that they were innocent. On the other hand, the district attorney made a series of public statements expressing absolute confidence that a crime had occurred and that the students were guilty of criminal charges. These starkly opposite versions of the truth created deep uncertainty about what had happened."


Won't fly, Dick: The Bowens-Chambers Commission that praised you criticized other Duke administrators for "acting on second-hand information" for listening to the initial reports from law enforcement that CGM was "not credible". The only first hand information that you received was from the players -- who you say, "emphatically maintained their innocence". But you claim that was balanced by the third hand information that you were getting from the DA.

I don't think when Bowen-Chambers said you shouldn't act on "second hand sources" that it meant you should act on "third hand ones". Your students ... your students were the only first-hand sources you had, and those are who were entitled to rely on your good faith and fair dealing. And you let them down. In the hour of their and Duke's greatest crisis, you failed.

becket03 said...

Brodhead embodies the old saw, "The secret of success is Sincerity: once you can fake that, you've got it made." He has a way of sounding soothing and real, but upon further examination his remarks prove hollow, slippery and weak.

Notice that the name of the man Brodhead unfairly terminated, Mike Pressler, never crossed his lips. The last thing he wants is for people to draw a correlation between Pressler's fate and his own. He's desperately trying to hold onto his job, and the reason for these remarks at this time is in furtherance of that goal.

beckett

LaRrY said...

I am tired of every time a decision by brodhead has to be made he delays it with the reality of having another forum or meeting or initative on how to fix it. Come on now, decisions are made by leaders and brodhead is missing some trait here. Duke should be able to figure out for itself what went wrong, They dont need to bring in every other dang PC correct nutball from all over the country to discuss it. Brodhead, we accept your apology. Now move on.... and let us restart Duke' great reputation that it earned before you were talked into coming to Duke. Mistakes can be corrected with more than an apology. Mistakes can be correct by making a change. You are that change that needs to be made mr brodhead.

Like they say in Cameron when an opposing player fouls out. >>>aaaaahhhhhhhh Ceee -YA<<<

patrick said...

Steven Horwitz at 5:03:

Both points reasonable and well taken. However,

"Brodhead's problem is not so much that he wants to be liked, but that he shares the analytical framework of the faculty who made hay out of this."

Mutatis mutandis, I think there is such a thing as being a "good old boy" in the academic world. There are always rebels and misfits, but they don't make it into the administration. That's why PC is as powerful as it is where it is powerful. It may be more than that, but it is surely also a way of fitting in to a certain world. It's too crude to put it, as I did, that he "wants to be liked," but I think we are close to saying the same thing. Brodhead could not transcend the mentality of the world in which he has lived and is comfortable. I seconded the suggestion of 4:28 as a possible way of breaking that mold.

As to your second point, also reasonable, it seems true enough that pulling in somebody from outside the academic world runs the danger of his not "understanding the culture." The fate of Larry Summers at Harvard being a case in point. But there aren't that many successful people out there who haven't had a good dose of academia in their background. As students themselves, perhaps as graduate students and/or as parents of college students. Educated and sophisticated people in early twenty-first century America are everywhere. Many of them with much broader culture and experience than people who have "risen through the administrative ranks" of universities. In any event, no reason to exclude them a priori, which of course is not what you said.

Finally, I think we would both agree that is is a demanding job and the necessary skills are not simple or altogether obvious. Brodhead clearly was in a tough spot, and just as clearly he was not up to what he had to face. That doesn't make him a bad man, just the wrong man for the job.

Perhaps it's overly romantic on my part to envision a great university president as somebody who would have called those boys into his office, sat down and had an eye to eye straight talk with them. Decided they were telling the truth and put his job on the line for them. Sounds like something from the era of "Tom Brown's Schooldays" perhaps, but with all the responsibilities that we have agreed weigh on a university its undergraduates remain at the enduring core. Do right by them, and I would bet the rest of it would fall in place.

Anonymous said...

He fails to understand how his "whatever they did was bad enough" comment completely undercut his call to remember that the accused are innocent until proven guilty. His very actions completely undercut his stated goals. Without an acknowledgement of those shortcomings, this "apology" is merely a start.--Buddy

Anonymous said...

I just finished watching the webcast of Brodhead's "apology". KC, are you okay? Brodhead's speech was anything but "powerful". Given the gravity of the topic, his demeanor was revealing. It was as if he was reading from a Sears lawn mower repair manual. On a scale of 10, his passion mojo was a 1.0. A standing ovation? Did the Duke Drama Dept. send a couple dozen students to the Law School to rehearse a standing ovation?

Substantively, Brodhead's "apology" stunk. In the few portions of his talk that could be reasonably be characterized as apologetic, he hedged his bets with caveats and escape hatches. Beyond his milquetoast, caveated "apology", he spent the remainder of his talk blaming Mike Nifong. I think Brodhead is now out of Nifong mileage.

I used to think that Broadhead was basically a nice guy; a gentle academic who was a bit weak-kneed. I now feel that he is a duplicitous idealogue. As my high school running buddies would say of Brodhead: "He ain't straight up." Brodhead needs to go...NOW!

Anonymous said...

I wrote Dan Blue (head of committee evaluating Brodhead's first 3 years in office) and said that I'm from his era, and that was my point exactly--I cannot see this ever happening when Sanford was at Duke. Terry's first full year and my freshman year were the same year at Duke. I didn't appreciate then what a great leader he was, but I have certainly learned that since!

Anonymous said...

BTW, I was surprised to get a very nice reply from Dan Blue--and not some auto-generated thing. I think he'll do a good job evaluating Brodhead's first 3 years, and I'm interested in the outcome.

I don't see them not renewing his contract. If I had to guess, I'd guess they'd encourage him to find another opportunity and make it a less public vote of no-confidence. Just my best guess.

rrhamilton said...

Steven Horwitz said...

My point was that to claim that the president's job is to put the students above all else is factually incorrect, nor do I think that's what the president's job should be.

Like a private sector CEO, who must balance the interests of her Board of Directors, her employees, her customers, and her suppliers (among others), same goes for a President. Yes, there's no business without the customer (or the student) but they are not the only ones who count in the day to day management challenge.

I would have been bounced out of my associate dean job had I paid attention only to the interests of students without considering those of the faculty and staff who taught in my program. And rightly so.

9/29/07 3:45 PM


Nicely stated principle, Steven. Now can you apply it to the facts of the case?

Can you complete your train of thought if I start you off with this:

"A college president cannot consider the interests of only the students but also must also consider those of the faculty and staff. In the Duke case the interests of the students were ________________; the interests of the faculty were ________________; and, the interests of the staff were ________________. Therefore, in the Duke case, in line with the principle and the facts just enunciated, the actions the President should have taken were _____________________________________________________________________________________________________."

Anonymous said...

This "apology" really fails to acknowledge his actual role and responsibility. Anyone who read this statement and did not know the case well would have no idea just how incompetently evil this pathetic man is. This "apology" could have been read by coach K -- or anyone who by virtue of his/her power probably could have done more.

Without going into the full detail, which really requires a combined total of KC Johnson's book and Mike Pressler's book along with this entire blog, for any one of his many unconscionable actions, a man of honor would provide a full detailed acknowledgement of his role, resign, liquidate all of his assets and turn them over to the victims of this case (he still would live decently on Social Security -- he would not be in poverty), go somewhere so nobody would ever hear from him again (after an actual apology, resignation and these actions) until his death.

Without recounting the full stories, he would have to fully discuss his actions (or non actions) associated with Houston Baker, Grant Farred, Chauncey Nartney, his "Othello" observation, Castarate, "whatever they did is bad enough," Mike Pressler, Burness, the Duke emails, and the many, many other matters he has responsibility for.

He never will do this.

As evil as Nifong is, this guy is worse because if he was not so utterly incompetent and controlled by an orthodoxy (like a drug addicted surgeon who opposes the concept of antiseptics) he had the means to stop Nifong and the others. Instead, he helped them.

He never will.

Anonymous said...

President Boradhead STILL doesn't get it. Instead of apologizing for not "reaching out" to the players and their families in their time of need, he should have taken responsibility for his inexcusable refusal to refuse to meet with the parents while, at the same time, pushing their children in front of a speeding bus. He fired the coach, canceled the season, told the local chamber of commerce that "whatever they did was bad enough", permitted a substantial portion of his faculty to take out a full page add thanking the pot bangers who paraded under a banner calling for the castration of some of Duke's students and now expects to get away with apologizing for "failing to reach out" to the players and their families?? How gullible does he think we/they are??

Until Broadhead stops trying to minimize his role in this fiasco and begins to acknowledge and accept responsibility for the unnecessary pain and anguish that he caused to the players, their families and to the Presslers, his words will continue to carry very little weight.

Anonymous said...

I do believe that the Fong made a half assed apology like this once, then continued to call the drug addled stripper a "victim"

I wish this man nothing but ill will.

Anonymous said...

Wow.

Too bad this didn't come long before the 'move on' speech.

Amazing what a raft of lawsuits might do.

Anonymous said...

what an arrogant bastard.

Anonymous said...

Lousy apology. Lousy timing. Weak. Close to useless really. Only a Jackass would think otherwise.

It only seems good in comparison to the last 1 1/2 years of Duke Univ behavior/comments.

I'm waiting for the Gang of 88 to comment.
--
--

.....Whatever they did was bad enough.. #@!$%#@@!

Guy is a jerk.

Anonymous said...

HEY BRODHEAD!!!!

That apology riff you laid out today - not even close.

What you need to do, slick, is get all those hits off Google and put a stopper in the something happened crowd and GIVE THEM BACK THE TIME THEY'VE DONE!!

Anonymous said...

"Don't hire or promote racist faculty" doesn't appear to be one of the things Brodhead has learned.

Anonymous said...

You folks are making this far more complex than it need be...

Brodhead was the PRESIDENT of a major University with a prestigious LAW SCHOOL.

He was serving the role of Captain of the ship of Duke - and failed on so many levels and with such incompetence and cowardliness that he deserves to "walk the plank".

People serving is leadership positions should never get more that one major failure in managing a crises...

In this crises - Brodhead needed only to take a position of cooling the flames of racism from his own faculty and stand behind the Constitutional mandate of "presumed innocence until proven guilty"..

Hell, it doesn't take a damned genius to handle that - yet he failed.

This is Brodhead's final "jump the shark" moment...
He should be GONE, GONE, GONE.....as will lots of Duke's money as a result of Brodhead's incompetence.

Anonymous said...

As usual, I agree with KC. It was, to me, a strong acknowledgement of of the many mistakes he and the University made, and I accept it. At least he has the decency to admit his errors and take responsiblity for them.

KC, at this point, I think the blog has run its course, I hope you will focus your enormous abilities elsewhere. Although I don't know what I will do without it, by continuing DIW at all, you run the risk of diluting all of your magnificent work. The comments to your postings are appear limited to a small group and are not helpful anymore. I know that many of the commenters are passionate about the case, but the refusal to accept apologies or give Brodhead the benefit of the doubt that his apology was sincere makes them sound as intolerant as the Group of 88.

Duscany said...

Brodhead says that "First and foremost, I regret our failure to reach out to the lacrosse players and their families in this time of extraordinary peril."

If Brodhead really regrets his decision to not reach out to the lacross players and why doesn't he explain why he didn't do it? What was going through his mind when he decided to let the players twist in the wind? Meeting with the families of the players would seem an obvious common sense thing to do. So why didn't Brodhead do it?

The only answer I can come up with was that he feared the outrage of the citizens of Durham a heck of a more than he feared abandoning innocent students.

There's one other thing in in his speech at Brodhead gets wrong. He says early on in his apology that when the whole mess started he "staked out a position on behalf of the university that . . . the type of crime that had been alleged had no place in our community."

The man is morally dense. He is still acting as if a violent gang rape had occurred." Of course gang rape has no place at Duke. It has no place anywhere. Yet Brodhead still thinks he needs to condemn it. He just doesn't get it. No one approves of gang rape and furthermore no such conduct occurred.

Ralph Phelan said...

This bit of weaseling is infuriating:

"Given the complexities of the case, getting this communication right would never have been easy. But the fact is that we did not get it right, causing the families to feel abandoned when they most needed support."

Brodhead did not just "make them feel abandoned". He really did abandon them.

His phrasing turns it into an issue of PR and the families' perceptions rather than his actions or lack thereof.

He's still blaming the victims, and he's still seeing all actions in terms of PR rather than truth.

Bastard.

Ralph Phelan said...

"This was a mistake. I take responsibility for it, and I apologize."

Liar. If you really took responsibility, you'd be cleaning out your desk right now.

Ralph Phelan said...

"But the public as well as the accused students and their families could have thought that those were expressions of the university as a whole. They were not, and we could have done more to underscore that."

Like anything at all?

To anyone other than a mathematician the use of "more" implies you're starting from someplace other than zero. By using the word "more" in this context Brodhead is lying about his record. Lies in a statement of apology ten to reduce its value.

Plus it's not too late - If he really meant this he still could discipline the faculty who misused university funds. If he doesn't, he's further proving his insincerity.

Ralph Phelan said...

"we may have helped create the impression that we did not care about our students. This was not the case,"

Liar.

He put PR ahead of students' welfare, and rather than apologizing for it he's claiming it didn't happen.

Lying about what you did also tends to reduce the value of a statement of apology.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Even with all that, Duke needed to be clear that it demanded fair treatment for its students. I took that for granted."
Really. How is that consistent with tolerating the DPD's explicit policy of charging Duke students more heavily for the same offenses than they would other Durham residents? How is that consistent with your never protesting Gottlieb's longstanding record of mistreating Duke students.

Liar.

"If any doubted it, then I should have been more explicit, especially as evidence mounted that the prosecutor was not acting in accordance with the standards of his profession."
Would that have been when he did the chokehold or when the DNA evidence came back and he didn't drop the case? In under a month it was pretty obvious that what was going on was a campaign-driven race-baiting railroading.

Brodhead's implication that the uncertainty about the prosecutor's good faith wasn't resolved early and against him makes him either a liar or an idiot.

Ralph Phelan said...

"This challenge has many aspects: how the university advises a student in these circumstances,"
Telling them not to get lawyers is probably a bad idea.

"how the university regulates the presence on campus of students charged with serious crimes,"
Having professors fail them out of spite is probably a bad idea.

"how the university interacts with parents,"
Ignoring them is probably a bad idea.

"and many more."
Allowing posters with their faces on them to be posted around campus is probably a bad idea.
Having your faculty publicly libel them is probably a bad idea.

"My colleagues in the Duke administration are going over all our procedures to see what we can learn from our experience. But these are complex questions..."

No, really, they're not. At least not the points above.

By implying that careful study and policy analysis are required to see that the actions listed above were wrong, Brodhead is once again lying and dodging rather than apologizing.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Well I just finished reading the whole series about the conference. My random thoughts are:

1. The whole claim that universities don't think to hire PR firms is just so laughable. They have entire PR departments.

2. Brodhead decided in this case that he needed innoculation against the charge of being president of an institution that produced students using racial slurs far more than he needed to worry about due process and those students.

3. The prosecutor while biased and stupidly claiming Mangum was a victim was right that Nifong would have gotten away with what he said if there was some evidence of a crime. What was alledged if a neutral prosecutor believed the story would have been publically condemmed with no problem for the prosecutor. While it was not directly charged or proven Nifong was disbarred for knowingly prosecuting innocent people to win an election.

4. I thought Brodhead's speech was an attempt to rewrite history. He was at least an honorary member of the 88. As for his hope that the Holocaust or Mangum-Nifong hoax are soon forgotten is not a very good way to learn. Every generation produces a DA like one in the Scottsboro boys cases. Every generation it seems produces an little dictator like the midget from Iran. So the case should not be forgotten but remembered as why we need checks on prosecutors.

Ralph Phelan said...

"I’ll end with the deepest lesson this case taught me. When I think back through the whole complex history of this episode, the scariest thing, to me, is that actual human lives were at the mercy of so much instant moral certainty, before the facts had been established."

Lying by ommission. That "moral certainty" in advance of facts, or even after the facts had come out, came from a very specific group of people, who Brodhead is still working very hard to avoid seeing as the problem.

As a university president, the lesson he should be taking from this case is that he has a real problem with some of his faculty.

But the reason he didn't include that single most important fact in this statement is the same as the reason he made this statement at all - he wants to keep his job.

Overall I give this speech an F-; it's quite remarkable for a statement of apology to leave me angrier than I was.

What a whiny, pathetic weasel this man is.

Ralph Phelan said...

Debrah asks:
"Have we come to define heroism as doing what any decent person would have done?"

When talking about Durham and Duke, yes. That's because ordinary competence and decency are as rare as true heroism would be in a normal setting.

Anonymous said...

8:05 PM Bob H. said [and plausibly] ...
Not to worry, all you who lust for Brodhead's...head. He will resign, it has been decided ...

To believe history, Professor B was competent, Dean B was competent. President B has been a dud. Dr. Peter strikes again. Now the BOT is off to

...search for a replacement”. That process is already under way...

IMHO, a candidate should have demonstrated leadership skills, educated but not necessarily an academic. A diverse racial heritage would be a plus. It won't happen, but visualize reactions to mention of LtGen Russell Honore. Known for ability to let one know (s)he's stuck on stupid.

no, not that Glenn

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Well, there's certainly a Greek chorus in full cry against the President of Duke. I needn't add to it.

So, attempting to be constructive, let's try some historic recall.

Remember the era before Columbia University slumped into its current sewer of political correctness, wherein its students are allowed to attack and thump speakers with whom they do not agree with only the feeblest token of discipline from their President. Columbia once had a President who not only had some substantial accomplishments in the real world. He was not an academic, but was a man who could make clear decisions and take responsibility. Of course, that was General Dwight Eisenhower. Under him, Columbia was more an educational institution than it is today, and its speakers (liberal AND conservative) were heard instead of thumped.

And I should suggest, in case the Presidency of Duke ever becomes vacant, that we currently have a PhD (NOT an academic) whose service to the country includes turning around a very nasty situation which has been called a 'quagmire' by all the professional defeatists. At this he was so effective that said defeatists felt obliged to take out a full-page ad in the NYT to slander him in exquisitely junior high school style - a style strikingly similar to the pronunciamentos of the G88 at Duke.

He is, of course, General David Petraeus, and no one would be able to flush the Augean PC stables of Duke University as cleanly as he might do, were he persuadable to accept the job of rescuing the University from the hyper-PC straits into which it has now fallen. Unlike Duke's current President, he is well able to take decisions, and to communicate clearly under adverse circumstances.

Lonetown said...

If the "Gang of 88" won't apologise, why are they still there?

Anonymous said...

Brodhead's Apology is a start and give him some credit for having the courage to admit mistakes were made. But, and big But, where is the apology to Mr. Pressler and his family? Also, he puts the blame solely on Nifong....how about recognizing that the Durham Police Department was a key player and contributor to this fiasco. Brodhead still does not get it completely and he is still spinning the story (probably with the help of spinmeister Burness and blessing of Steel) from his narrow view of reality. Jay Bilas has it right, Brodhead and Steel should both resign.

Brodhead, or his successor, must take immediate and forceful action to make sure the DPD will treat Duke students as human beings with civil rights going forward. No more complicity with or passes for Durham and the Durham Police Department in dealing unfairly with Duke students! This issue must be addressed...it is not about reflection on the lessons learned, it is about leadership and fixing the problem straight on.

AF said...

Watching Boardhead give that speech reminded me of watching those who have been taking prisoner reading a statement written for them by his/her captors. He looked more like a CGM type in church!

As for the Faculty Initiative, as long as Boardhead, Burness, and Moneta have anything to do with it, you could only expect the first honorees of this committee to be Wah-Wah-Wah for Pukester Prize for writing, Karla "KC wannabee" Holloway for sensitivity training, Marc Anthony Neal for calm, rational thinking at the helm, Grant Farrad for the the Dopel Prize. After all, this would be the same type committee that supposed Chauncey to be worthy of an award.

AF said...

An apology is the last thing that many of his critics want to hear from Brodhead...especially a sincere one.

1) Did anyone truly believe it was sincere? I think not for far too many opportunities have passed when it could have at least given the impression of sincerity.

2) To have given the illusion of sincerity and honesty, Boardhead could have brought along the Krazy Klan of 88 and, like a dutiful parent whose child has wronged a playmate, said "Now Klan, you apologize to Collin, Reade, and Dave a well as the other 44 players on the LAX team". "Do you understand me?" might have been necessary.

3) Where was his apology to Mike Presslar and his family? Does he not believe he turned their lives upside down wrongfully too?

4) In a conciliatory move, he could have fired the whole rotten Klan, leaving Wahneema to WahWah and Karla to kry. It's not too late Dicky boy.

5) Don't forget to tender your resignation. It can be your treat to Duke. After 18 months of tricks, lies, and deceptions (not to mention a blatant violation of the civil rights of the students), it's time for you to find a new rock to crawl under. We wouldn't want you to go alone. Take the 88 with you. Find them a rock!!!!! (or a pot).

Anonymous said...

Wow. I have to admit I didn't see this coming. The timing of the apology is a testament to the impact and effect of K.C.'s book. The decision to go through with this apology is interesting on many levels. My take:

The motivation: If Broadhead felt this way the entire time, it wouldn't have taken so long. He probably has learned from this story, but this has all the markings of a "Geez, I hope this saves my bacon" mea culpa [See Knife-ong's resignation on the stand]. There may be elements of truth, but it is self-serving at this point.

The 88: I think this was significant. Of course, he paid token homage to their "right" to speak (even if such speech was knee-jerk prejudgment based exclusively on the races of the parties involved), but he finally acknowledged that what they did/said was frowned upon. Didn't we all just assume he was never going to admit it? While these words are a small (probably lonely) step in the right direction, have his ACTIONS reflected this sentiment? It is hard to see that he has taken any corrective action in public. The decisions to appoint these expensive pets to prominent "task forces/Study grous" would seem to undermine the existence of any private punishment. While I welcome any action that some amount of accountability for the 88 is even conceivable in the minds of Dook Administration, it is interesting to note the language this Poet used in this speech. He surgically limited his criticisms to the effects of certain action by certain people. Gone is the familiar *cough* broad brush that painted the familiar "Whatever [broadly unlimited] they [treating the team as a group, not individuals] was bad enough...". The real point is missed: did our hiring criteria bring in a bevy of people predisposed to prejudgment, based on their academic schtick? Do people prone to prejudgment even belong in teaching positions at this school is the real question?

3) Lessons learned, but will they be incorporated? This is the [amount undisclosed; product of privileged settlement negotations]-Dollar Question. 12:38 is dead-on. If Brodhead's public position is that the true lesson of this case is to protect against the danger of prejudgment; and some of the most glaring instances of prejudgment came from within the dook campus, shouldn't some actions reflect that the Dook Administration is willing to incorporate the Dook Administration's official lesson of this Tragedy?

If the risk of prejudgment is the greatest danger, and he has a bunch of diversity-hires on his staff WHOSE ENTIRE SCHTICK IS PREJUDGMENT OF ANY GIVEN ISSUE ON RACIAL, CLASS AND GENDER LINES, doesn't it inevitably follow that they have to go? Is there anything that would support an argument that these people DIDN'T prejudge this case along racial lines? Seriously, what is the Administrations competing plausible explanation?

The Diversity-First hiring bender produced a cauldron of look-different-but-think-exactly-alike worshipers at the nondenominational Holy Church of the Modern Liberal Academic Trinity of Race, Class and Gender. It takes no mental fortitude to predict how the initial reports of this case played in the "white innocence means black guilt..." echo chamber they have over in Dook's Ivory Tower. In fact, it only takes a subscription to the free Campus Newspaper: they were kind enough to print their PREJUDGMENT of this case for all the world to see. Again, where is his argument that HIS PEOPLE didn't prejudge HIS STUDENTS? Brodhead makes the point that his faculty is free to speak out; but that is not absolutely true. If it was, he probably wouldn't be signing undisclosed settlement checks behind closed doors. Given that the terms are so staggering as to require confidentiality, I am guessing it wasn't quite as "free" as Brodhead would hope.

Nothing Brodhead said will make me think he is the right fit at Dook, but it is important to give him credit for at least acknowledging that there were significant missteps in his house.

If he really means it, time will tell when the heads either do or do not roll.

Finally, as a lawyer (granted, training which Brodhead doesn't have, so I can't say we come from an apples to apples perspective), the REAL lesson of the Dook Lacrosse case is the much-discussed failures of the 84-indictments-in-90-minutes-grand-jury process. No serious person thinks this is anything other than a rubber stamp.

WHAT I HAVE NOT SEEN DISCUSSED is the harm that accusing-witness-anonymity created in this case. The Left/Women's groups pushed hard to pass Rape Shield Laws that basically make a woman's past sexual history irrelevant on the issue of her consent in a given case, with certain limited exceptions. I can see where they are coming from (both logically AND politically) and if I suspend disbelief, it makes since in the class-room abstract. The problem is no one throws college-aged parties in classrooms: they throw them in bars, private houses and clubs. Anyone who wants to debate me on whether a woman's past sexual history is disregarded in these contexts knows where to find me (and NOT just by the guys and the alleged perp, but by every woman at the party). The real world is the ultimate leveler of purportedly well-intended but illogicial academic nonsense.
IF THE LAWS AND MEDIA POLICIES OF THIS CASE WERE DIFFERENT, we would have known EARLY ON:
1) The accuser was a hooker who had a history of alcohol abuse and mental illness;
2) The accuser previously filed a gang-rape charge that was not substantiated (Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!);
3) The accuser was discharged from the Navy well before the expiration of her initial enlistment;
4) The accuser was NOT an honest, hardworking, single-mother/full-time student, as Leftists in the media FRAUDULENT AND DISINGENUOUSLY tried to portray her, all the while shielding themselves from the public fact-checking that charade by witholding her identity;
5) the Rape Shield Laws foreclosed early discovery into facts that would have led to the fact that this skank was a stripper and a hooker, and that "the human crime scene" that liberals love to bemoan in rape cases was actually industrial equipment for this skank, and THE FACT THAT SHE USES HER SEX ORGANS TO PAY HER RENT WAS THE REASON FOR THE 'DEFUSE EDEMA' rather than some phantom sex assault. IF THE GRAND JURY HAD KNOWN THAT, WOULD THIS CASE HAVE GONE ON?

TO SUM UP: Brodhead's decision to apologize is a testament to K.C.'s work, contains some signs of progress, but the timing of it makes me think (well after the pronouncement of innocence, after the books drop, and closer in time to his own review) show me it is self-serving. The REAL LESSONS of this case are as follows:
1) We need a real grand jury system. We can afford one.
2) We need to re-write the laws to see the whole picture. Politics is nice, but at the end of the day, the maxim "better to let xxx go free than one innocent person go to jail" applies even in those cases that feminist groups don't want it to.
3) Elite Universities should employ reasoned, mature, qualified intellectuals only. If some of the most eggregious cases of prejudice came from within the walls of the Ivory Tower, then it is clear there are intruders and they must be purged.

Kilgore said...

Brodheads speech? Hollow and anemic.

If his mistakes were simply not having mentioned that the students should be presumed innocent then the speech would have gotten a C. What goes unmentioned is much more important and is essentially swept under the rug. Brodhead went far beyond simply not saying they should be presumed innocent. He:

1. Cancelled the lacrosse season based on his presumption that the players were guilty (and the unindicted players were covering up the crime).

2. Fired the team's beloved coach in a time of crisis when they really needed their leader. This was heartless and calculated to intentionally create chaos.

3. Passively accepted the outrageous 88 statement.

4. Allowed the university to be used as a hammer by turning a blind eye to the wanted posters.

5. Allowed the protests with "castrate" signs to go without the university protecting its own students.


Etc, you all know the drill. In his speech the most important things were ignored.

Brodhead must go. CGM needs to be on trial for her false accusation.

haskell said...

anonymous 6:41

"3:21 is wrong. Not a repudiation of the 88. Some of the 88 reviewed the statement in advance of its delivery."

Are you kidding me? If the speech had to be vetted I am really concerned that Brodhead is still too much under the sway of those who would use him. Instead of calling them down, and making them accountable, he asks, in effect, "Is this OK?" Bad news.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead needs to go back to class to learn the lesson of a real apology. His ridiculous fake apology amounts to --- I'm sorry if YOU THINK I did anything to offend you, but I only was being honest to myself and my own values. If you are offended it only shows how retarded you are.

Resign now, Brodhead. We are not as stupid as you think we are.

Richard Aubrey said...

The bulk of the talk was in the verb tense called "past perfect exonerative".

I want to hear from the bozo who told the guys to meet with the cops without lawyers.

Anonymous said...

I think most of you are mistaken. It's important to remember that the posters to this blog are a self-selected group. Many of those who post to this blog, you may recall, also confidently predicted that Duke's applications would get hammered, its fundraising would take a big hit, and its reputation would go down the tubes. None of this has happened. IMO, Brodhead's speech did very little for those who are angry at him (which obviously includes most of you), but I think it may do a great deal for the vast majority of the larger Duke community (including myself) who really are looking for a coming together and do not view Brodhead's resignation as a major issue. I'm likely biased, but I think his speech took a major step in this direction.

The most important words I heard spoken at the conference, though, came from Jim Coleman. I'm paraphrasing him, but he essentially observed that those who had been most harmed by the case -- the three accused students -- seem to have put their anger behind them and gotten on with their lives. Their behavior is worth emulating. This doesn't mean forgetting what happened, but it does mean honestly placing things in their proper perspective.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead on the Group of 88's statement.

"ill-judged" = Brodhead scared to say "wrong."

"We could have done more to underscore that [that the 88 didn't speak for Dook]."

By "done more", doesn't he mean "done something?"

Anonymous said...

S.I. Hayakawa is long dead.

Anonymous said...

The watershed moment of this case in my mind is that hoisting of the "Castrate" banner at the Potbanger's Rally, and that it might very well be high water mark of what a parody of itself the modern Left has become.

If you look close enough, that banner says more than just one word. Here's what it means:
"We, as self-appointed smartest, most caring people in the room, declare that solely on the basis of our race-and-gender-based- prejudgment of these allegations, said prejudgment having been drawn well in advance of the receiption, review and analysis of any actual evidence in this case, but rather being based on what matters most in our political viewspoints: prejudgment based only on the race and gender the respective accuser/accuseds are, which we on the Left find to be a much more accurate gauge of right/wrong in any given issue, find the accuseds guilty of this heinous crime. Since it is committed by a white man and the accuser is not a straight, protestant, white male, it is also a hate crime (with no further findings of fact). Accordingly, we on the Left enter the following verdict and sentence.

VERDICT: GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!, BASED SOLELY ON THE ACCUSEDS' RACES AND GENDERS. [88 voices rejoice in the background! Emmitt Till is avenged!]

SENTENCE: A BARBARIC ACT OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE.

By the Order of this Court, any known dissenters are all henceforth and hereafter racists. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz said:
"Like a private sector CEO, who must balance the interests of her Board of Directors, her employees, her customers, and her suppliers (among others), same goes for a President."

Um, no...any employee who contacts the media without pre-approval from senior management would be disciplined. There is NO such thing as free speech and it certainly does NOT include slamming other employees or customers. This is cause for dismissal.

mac said...

"Human lives were at the mercy of so much moral certainty, before the facts had been established."

Well, Dick, after-the-fact, too. Did you get it, did you understand before or after you allowed - (or picked) - Chauncey Nartey to be given an award for student leadership?

On the other hand, I think I understand why the 88 wouldn't apologize now: it would never be enough. People would never be satisfied, even with a sincere, down-on-the-knees confession. It's understandable. As was considered in another thread, people like Grant Farred's peculiar scholarship isn't the main issue, it involved his actions. Apologies should be accompanied by something of substance.

I'd say this is about the best you're gonna get from President Brodhead, though; I don't think he is going to be allowed - (by the BoT, by his lawyers) - to explain where he thought his train went off the tracks, nor when. I don't think he'll have any power to personally make things right, and if he does, somehow, I doubt anyone will give him credit.

Gotta give him some credit for hoping to learn from this:

"I am not unwilling to learn lessons of my own. I am happy for this chance to share some of those lessons."

The best way for him to learn this lesson would be to read "UPI" and "It's Not About The Truth," though I suspect he already has.

The best way for him to share some of those lessons is for him to dismantle a certain department, starving it of funds, and to remove the people whose narrative was made more important than the lives of three innocent young men.

The pack has not been dismantled; the story is not over. There are still battles yet to fight.

On the other hand, you can't blame him nor the BoT for wanting to distance themselves from the evil pond known as the City of Duhhh. With Peterson and the Cat-lady running as leading candidates, with people in the Dee Pee Dee still on the loose, with the HS still mouthing its undeniable lies, it's a little like living in the same neighborhood as Ninevah in Nahum's narrative.

Anonymous said...

Great apology, Brodhead: just a few minor quibbles -

"…Cases like these typically combine scandal, celebrity, and highly combustible social issues, race and sex perhaps chief among them...The Duke community lived through a classic example of such a case. When a case like this is over, it’s tempting to think that the facts so clearly established at the end of the day must have been equally clear throughout the process."

Absolutely! Sheesh, who could possibly have known or guessed that the accused could be innocent? It all sounded so right to you that you thought it particularly important to pander shamelessly to the agendists and the black community, to show that things would be absolutely “fair”. So fair, in fact, that the LAX players could not be morally exonerated even if they were legally exonerated. "Whatever they did do was bad enough..." - or do you not recall saying that?

"…instant, uncritical certainty … fed on itself in a remarkable way, with each day providing new “revelations” that became known around the world, confirming and re-confirming public assurance that an outrage had occurred."

Each day’s revelations conformed and reconfirmed what? To what outrage are you referring? The outrage of the 88’s assaults on decency and due process? The outrage of your clearly-stated assurance that something "bad enough" certainly happened? The outrage of Duke's method of counselling the accused students?These outrages were clear early on to any but those lost in the ecstasy of seeing their metanarrative become flesh.

"…I staked out a position on behalf of the university that contained three principles. First, the type of crime that had been alleged had no place in our community…"

Yeah: this position was also clearly staked out by Nifong - but then he was on the moral high ground playing to exactly the same crowd as you, wasn't he?

"…Second, the presumption of innocence is fundamental to our legal system, and our students were entitled to that presumption."

Not true, Brodhead. You did not stake out this position; what you staked out was quite a different position. That the LAX should have the chance to prove themselves innocent in court was not just a slip of the tongue on your part, was it?

"...some of those who were quick to speak as if the charges were true were on this campus, and some faculty made statements that were ill-judged and divisive. They had the right to express their views. But the public as well as the accused students and their families could have thought that those were expressions of the university as a whole. They were not, and we could have done more to underscore that."

Yes, the world could easily have thought that such “ill-judged and divisive” and (offensive and disgusting and blindly malice-filled) views were expressions of the university as a whole. Strange, indeed, if the world thought otherwise. And you did very little if anything to disabuse the world of this notion.

"…Given the media circus and the public reactions it fed, I thought it essential to insist that the matter be resolved within the legal system, not in the court of public opinion."

Your statements, your public reactions – and repellent inactions, particularly in the case of the imported race-intimidators - formed part of the media circus and the public reactions it fed.

"I was also concerned that if Duke spoke out in an overly aggressive fashion, it would be perceived that a well-connected institution was improperly attempting to influence the judicial process, which could have caused the case to miscarry in a variety of ways…"

Instead, with your help it was perceived that a well-connected institution stood pretty much foursquare with the baying race-gender crowd, which fact very nearly caused the case to miscarry in a truly terrible way.

"Duke needed to be clear that it demanded fair treatment for its students… I should have been more explicit, especially as evidence mounted that the prosecutor was not acting in accordance with the standards of his profession."

You both explicitly and implicitly encouraged those who saw no need for fair treatment for the students – or rather, who saw the reviling and railroading of these students as utterly fair.

"[we need to consider] how the university advises a student…how the university regulates the presence on campus of students charged with serious crimes."

While you’re at it, could you consider how the university regulates the presence on campus of groups like the NBPP? Like, I dunno, maybe seem a little less welcoming next time?

"…actual human lives were at the mercy of so much instant moral certainty, before the facts had been established. If there’s one lesson the world should take from the Duke lacrosse case, it’s the danger of prejudgment and our need to defend against it at every turn..."

“instant moral certainty”? Dr. Brodhead, it was certainty, and it was instant, but it was not moral.

AMac said...

A couple of months ago, an anonymous professor left an insightful comment at D-i-W. S/he made four points about how the Lacrosse Rape Hoax/Frame would hurt Duke's reputation--including the idea that the G88 type of person remains invested in "something happened," and the prediction that Hard-Left faculty at other institutions would take the continuing furor as evidence that Duke was in the grip of a right-wing hysteria.

Those ideas might be worth revisiting in light of Pres. Brodhead's "lessons learned" remarks, but I can't locate the comment. Thanks in advance if another reader can supply a link to it.

Anonymous said...

Finally got to see the speech on WRAL web site. He appeared nervous as well as he should be. He handled the HOAX rather badly. His speech was eloquent though. But dont we expect that from someone who can almost hypnotize an audience with his prose? Isnt that why Steel hired him (talked brodhead to come to Duke even though brodhead had doubts about coming to Duke) and all the early positive comments about brodhead. I dont remember anyone at the tiime saying he was going to be the great next leader that Duke wanted and deserved. His body language suggested to me that this was something he did not want to do but had to as part of a previous agreement with someone. I suppose there was no agreement to answer questions after the apology. Just fade into the sunset. The standing applause (I would not call it a sanding ovation) was deserved becasue he finally came forward with most of the right words to admit wrong doing. It is hard to envision that brodhead would have done this on his own so I am assuming that this was part of the agreement with the 3 players and their families. I would also suggest that if it was an agreement it was to cover the whole LAX team and not just the 3 falsely accused. Thats just the way the team is, all inclusive.

Should I accept the apology? Absolutley. Should brodhead continue being the strong leader that Duke needs right now? Absoluetly NOT. He does not need to hold more conferences and such to know what decisions he needs to make for DUKE UNIVERSITY. Thsi case was not a national event except in the press. Bodhead cannot make decisions period. He needs to go into the sunset just like his speech yesterday ended with him riding off into the sunset.

Good bye dick and good luck

Anonymous said...

Some of the tenured faculty of the Group88 ilk have moved on to be honored and tenured and extolled elsewhere for their academic accomplishments. They still profit in their positions of privilege and promote their positions on race/gender/class without remorse or consideration of others, and yet, it was character that was front and center to all of the particpants . . . something none of the DukeGroup88 taught or were taught.

dave said...

One does get the sense that the brodhead statement was a required part of the settlement with the players families

It does seem cowardly not to apologize to specific victims who were harmed by their treatment

Finally there is no acknowledgment of the septic environment in the departments that foster the gender, race, victim based false scholarship that Duke's administration has made a hallmark of the University's academic and scholarly life.

Anonymous said...

Is Brodhead a Communist?

psych said...

I don't visit the blogs for one day and I really miss a lot.

This so called apology seems a little bit late. It also seems disingenuous.

At the time of this statement the three biggest victims of this hoax are no longer affiliated with Duke. Dave Evans has graduated. I wonder if he has framed his Duke Diploma. I wonder if he has it displayed. Did Brodhead sign it? Why would he want to look at Mr. Brodhead's signature hanging on his wall? Do you think the "apology" would change his feelings?

Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann chose not to return to Duke. If a real apology had come when the Lacrosse team was reinstated perhaps Mr. Seligmann and Mr. Finnerty would have returned to Duke. We will never know but if Mr. Brodhead and Duke did the right thing maybe Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Seligmann would be getting a Duke Diploma. They instead have realized that the damage was too much for them ever to get one. That damage was not caused by Mr. Nifong or even by Crystal Mangum. That damage can be laid right at the feet of Mr. Brodhead.

Once again, I don't know if Mr. Brodhead signs the diplomas but if he does, who would want to see his signature? It seems hard to me that any of the Lacrosse players that he threw under the bus would. Who if any Duke graduate would?

This statement also comes at a time in which rumors are about that Duke may be sued because of its handling of the situation. It is also after a prominent Duke alumni has called for his resignation. If one reads carefully he does not take responsibility for his refusing to meet with the Lacrosse players families.

All in all I would say too late and too little.

miramar said...

After reading Brodhead's words again this morning, I still think (as I wrote yesterday) that it was a good speech for September 2007, but that it would have been a great speech for September 2006.

What occurs to me today is that Baghdad Bob Burness has been saying of late that KC presents "one version" of events, implying that other, equally plausible versions also exist. Naturally, Burness does not indicate what those versions could be, nor does he indicate where the errors in KC's version may lie. Following Brodhead's speech, it now appears that Duke's official version of events is not too far off from the one found on DIW. Less passionate perhaps, but Duke has finally admitted what the truth was and where the responsibilities lie, which is a major step in the right direction, no matter how late in the game.

There has been no doubt for quite some time that Nifong had no case and that he was completely dishonest. Now Duke admits that the G88's statements were "were ill-judged and divisive," which is academic speech for stupid and insulting. Brodhead also admits that he hung the players out to dry and that he did not do his job properly at the university's time of greatest need.

The sound you heard yesterday was Brodhead throwing in the towel on the lacrosse hoax. I hope he follows that with his resignation. He would probably be an excellent president at a small liberal arts college, but he is in over his head at Duke.

Anonymous said...

To the racist G88 & their sychophants,

It's Sunday morning, time to confess.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long Broadhead labored over “ill-judged and divisive.” It seems awkward in a carefully prepared statement from a man of letters. Is an “ill-judged” statement one that is false, prejudicial, inappropriate? Or is an “ill-judged” statement one that was misinterpreted (misjudged) by its audience. Describing a statement as divisive characterizes its affect on others not its substance.

Judging (no pun intended) by some of the commentary about Broadhead’s statement, I think Broadhead has succeeded in creating the appearance of being critical about some faculty statements while preserving his ability to contend otherwise when confronted (e.g., by the G88). Is this leadership or cowardice? I believe it is the latter.

sceptical said...

A few comments on Brodhead's statement:

1) Why now? Dick Brodhead has remained silent as he has been (justifiably) villified in the blogs and media but most recently and harshly in Newsweek in an excerpt from "Until Proven Innocent", in that book itself, in Pressler's book, and in letters from prominent Duke alumni.

I believe that this silence was part of a strategy, probably crafted by John Burness, to hope that the whole thing would blow over. Since this hasn't happened, Brodhead decided that he would need to address some of these criticisms. The Duke legal forum provided a safe place to do so, since he was on his own turf, before a friendly audience (standing ovation), and he would not have to answer questions from the media.

2) I do believe this was a sincere apology, but he was somewhat limited by the pending lawsuits. However, Brodhead continues to attempt to rewrite history by claiming he did not speak out because of uncertainties about the facts of the case. There may have been uncertainty in March and April, but certainly by June, 2006 (with Prof. Coleman's letter and two articles in Newsweek) it was clear to almost any objective observer that the charges were a hoax. His revisionist history attempts to explain why he did not speak out until December, 2006 but his explanation does not bear scrutiny. Similarly, his comments about the difficulty of "getting right" communications with the players and their families does not conform to his history of refusing to communicate at all with them and refusing to review the defense evidence.

3) His comments about faculty statements are an oblique criticism of the Group of 88 because he criticizes those who were "quick to speak as if the charges were true." He implicitly scolds those who rushed to judgment, but at the same time does not challenge their right to hold those views and to express them. He does not acknowlege that freedom of speech is not absolute, and that people who engage in lies and slander deserve to be criticized and punished. He emphasizes that he should have made clear that these people did not represent Duke; what he should have said was that what they were saying was nonsense.

4) His speech is a clear admission that the Duke line of relying on the legal processes was disastrous in this case because the legal system in Durham was flawed and his students were not receiving fair treatment. His explanation that he did not feel he had to call for fair treament is weak, given the history of relations between the Durham PD and Duke students long before the lacrosse case.

5) He again attempts to pin the most of the blame for the case on Mike Nifong, ignoring the enablers in the Durham PD, prosecutor's office, and many individuals from Duke University (Tara Levicy, Joe Alleva, John Burness, Sue Wasiolek, Larry Moneta, etc.).

6) His speech makes it obvious that he knows he has lost his moral authority as President of Duke University. Perhaps he think his "mea culpa" will help save his job, but his credibility has taken too great a hit. I predict he will be gone after a decent interval to save face for him and the BOT.

Anonymous said...

To 8:16 - I think you got this right, and you expressed it way better than I did in my 3:16 from yesterday.

There was one poster that claimed the G88 reviewed the statement. Any more on this?

mac said...

To reiterate a point:

The best way for President Richard Brodhead to apologize, to show true repentance following his statement, will be to dismantle the AAS and WS departments, restructure the University so the wrong people aren't heads of departments etc, retroactively remove all references to Chauncey Nartey as a winner of any student award...in other words, clean up, clean up, clean up.

In other words, Mr. President, fumigate the place, call in some Academic Orkin to remove 88 + Orks who somehow managed to overtake the castle.

Then let the door close slowly and quietly behind you, Dick. Just like you left the stage.

Anonymous said...

Back to the "actions speak louder than words" concept. OK, he apologized, but what's he actually going to DO now? A little indication that something will really change now would be nice. A pretty speech is nice but is it still going to be business as usual?

They don't have to look far for a new President. I'm an alum and I'd be happy with Jim Coleman. Or someone that has nothing to do with academia, and I don't mean Johnny Edwards when he finally quits running for President.

Kilgore said...

Here's a link to the WRAL video of Brodhead's speech.

Anonymous said...

he feared the outrage of the citizens of Durham a heck of a more than he feared abandoning innocent students.

Brodhead is not the only one. The Attorney General is afraid of them. Even the lawyers for the lacrosse players tip-toe around the topic of prosecution of Crystal Mangum for fear of upsetting the Durhamites.

Once the cooler weather comes and the fear of riots has diminished perhaps we will hear stronger statements of condemnation.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead now says that the faculty statements were "ill-judged and divisive", and that he should have made it more clear that they did not speak for the university as a whole.

Really, Dick? Then why did you keep REWARDING and HONORING those who made such "ill-judged" and divisive (and stupid and despicable) remarks?

If they didn't really represent Duke (and yourself), nobody expects that you would revoke their tenure and fire them, nor should you restrict their free speeech. It might even be too much to expect you to show enough courage and integrity to exercise your own free speech right to publicly criticize them.

But you could have ignored them -- or, at the very least, avoided giving them positive reinforcement, encouragement, special appointments, honors and awards. How hard would that be?

You think we have forgotten all that you did to signal APPROVAL of those meatheads -- back when your conduct made a big (negative) difference?

You phony bastard.

Anonymous said...

The only reason "Dick" Broadhead apologized is because he is more concenered about his future employment and trying to pacify donors to Duke. I am sure if Broadhead is forced to resign over the handling of the Lax case you will see him on Larry King in a few years pulling a "Dan Rather."

Anonymous said...

In the hopes that Mr. Brodhead will be a man and resign, I have to add to the thoughts of Insufficently Senstive at 3:52: what current university dean or administrator who would like to move up in his career would actually be interested in Duke? Would they really want to take that on? I agree with Mr/Ms Sensitive -- Duke needs someone very very strong from outside of academia.

Luke said...

Mr. Broadhead failed as the moral leader of the Duke community, and for that he needs to be held responsible.

Anonymous said...

The Chancellor's position is open at Vanderbilt. Houston Baker will be part of the new Chancellor's welcoming committee.

Please Dr. Brodhead, take this as a hint.

Anonymous said...

8:16 says...Many ..confidently predicted that Duke's applications would get hammered, its fundraising would take a big hit, and its reputation would go down the tubes. None of this has happened.

You speak too soon. If their "applications" didnt get "hit", then why did the number of Asian enrolees double in one year (class of '010 to '011)? I think out of state whites (especially males) have gotten the message. The alumni retrenchment money wise may be coming, and certainly their reputation has been affected, like it or not.

What I want to see, as do many other bloggers, is some kind of change at the top in how they handle their radical faculty. Those people have to go back in the closet or this type of thing will happen again. Or even worse, they will eventually succeed in transforming Duke into a PC Haverford or a weak version of an Ivy League school. A tepid apology 18 mos. later is not going to be enough.

Anonymous said...

Recently I watched the movie "Breaker Morant." In one scene, there was a discussion of the fate of the 3 young Australian officers who were on trial for their lives. There was a line that brought tears to my eyes, to the effect that if we could just "sacrifice these 3 in order to achieve a peace conference, it would be worth it."

This is what I believe Mr. Brodhead did. He attempted to buy off the K-88, the media, the NBPP, etc., by sacrificing those 3 young men. He kept silent for over a year and when the problem did not go away, he came up with this weasel-worded, sniveling excuse for an apology. Get thee gone, Mr. Brodhead

hman said...

Brodhead claimed that he intended to fashion his Universitys response along three clear lines:
1. The crimes alleged were not acceptable within the Univ Community.
Wow, gasp, you mean a brutal gang raping is unnacceptable at Duke? What silliness. What hollow posing. Brodhead expects anyone to take this at face value?
2. Presumption of innocence. OK, that would have been nice. But even this statement is pretty ridiculous because what else was he going to say? Actually admit to a bias and an agenda?
3. Let LE handle this: Yes, right, because Academia has never felt entitled to comment on the workings of Law Enforcement in high profile cases.
His comments are virtually meaningless, if studied for a moment. There is evidence, it seems to me, of a nearly pathological level of detachment from reality, in his latest public utterings.

Anonymous said...

8:16 Agree completely. As someone wrote earlier, In history, Broadhead will forever have his name tainted by this case. Sometimes that is all the revenge you get. Although a couple of million certainly help folk with "movin on." The last thing to do is pay money to the rest of the team.

Anonymous said...

This is my first chance to read the whole of Brodhead's speech (it's been a busy weekend...) Overall, while I think it's excellent (sadly, even a perfect speech would be robbed of its power by waiting so long to give it) the following piece struck me as still a sad misunderstanding:

"But for the university to strive to set the system to rights -- for instance, by attacking the District Attorney -- presented problems as well. For one thing, none of us can lightly speak as if the system itself is tainted because some of our own have been accused of a crime. I was also concerned that if Duke spoke out in an overly aggressive fashion, it would be perceived that a well-connected institution was improperly attempting to influence the judicial process, which could have caused the case to miscarry in a variety of ways."

If Brodhead is talking only about the perceptions of idiots and morons, then he is correct. There was a certain species of mental deficient who, no matter what was revealed about the credibility of the charges, or of the accuser, or of the police "investigation", or of the district attorney, would dismiss that all as "oh, that's coming from the defense team" (even if it wasn't). In short, these mental midgets would have thought it was "improperly attempting to influence the judicial process" for anyone to do or to point out anything that didn't benefit the prosecution.

Jim Coleman stood up for the integrity of the judicial process. He pointed out that the players were only identified by a procedure that violated standards on several levels. He found courage to stand up to the mental midgets. It's sad that Brodhead declined to follow his example and decided instead to stay silent as injustice went on right under his nose, for fear that he might be perceived as insufficiently tolerant of the corruption of the judicial system.

Anonymous said...

1:34 you are so right. Francis of Azzazi wrote "it is better to forgive than to be forgiven." We are all passionate about the event but your assessment of many of the bloggers is right on.

AMac said...

Seventh paragraph:

"Second, some of those who were quick to speak as if the charges were true were on this campus, and some faculty made statements that were ill-judged and divisive. They had the right to express their views. But the public as well as the accused students and their families could have thought that those were expressions of the university as a whole. They were not, and we could have done more to underscore that."

This leaves me terribly puzzled.

With the words "some of those," "some faculty," and "they," Pres. Brodhead is referring to certain professors at Duke. But I have no idea who they might be!

Similarly, Pres. Brodhead mentions "their views," "those," and "they" in his speech. Again, I'm perplexed. Does he have any particular statements, advertisements, interviews, Op-Eds, articles, or blog posts in mind? Surely he doesn't mean to criticize every faculty pronouncement on the Hoax/Frame--because that would include wise words by Profs. Coleman, Baldwin, Gustafson, and others.

It seems that the quoted paragraph in Pres. Brodhead's speech may require a Clarifying Statement.

Anonymous said...

Duhh...
well of course it was vetted. He's an English scholar. Didn't you notice how it said some faculty members "quick to speak."? That was the way to make the statement not about the 88's printed ad, except in the minds of people who don't read the "nuance" of language as well as him and his 88 colleagues. I am surprised at the easy misreading of all of y'all.
It was vetted. The 88 are satisfied he did not come after them but went after the more outspoken faculty who said things in class. Learn to read people! You missed the point entirely.

Anonymous said...

I've seen lots of posts here at DIW asking "Why won't Brodhead apologize". I always knew that when he finally did, the response would be "too little, too late" or that the apology wasn't good enough.

Good grief folks. Get a life.

Gary Packwood said...

Dave, Reade and Collin have apologized for the (Good idea at the time) party and now Broadhead has apologized for the response or lack there of, from Duke.

But what about the G88 and their worldview of race/gender/privilege as the root source for all problems that are associated with being human?

I for one did not know that such a worldview was held by such an organized group of people across the country and I certainly did not know that such people function as mercenaries or hired guns for their peers paid for by university endowments.

Now, I do know about these people but I need suggestions for how to get this knowledge out to others in our universities so that they will not be visited by this lynch mob and their plague of hate.

I have sent copies of KC's and Stuart's book to all universities in my hometown and as an alum of three universities, I have become quite vocal but...what else can I do to get the word out that these hired guns are alive and well and they are suckling on the endowment funds of our great universities?

I no longer feel that we can trust the ...TRUSTees of universities to exercise their fiduciary responsibility and that is especially galling.

Perhaps DIW should transition to IT IS ABOUT THE TRUTH...and identify those who seeks to harm our young people from inside our great universities. Would it make any difference if we assumed the role of voluntary trustees for the academy?
::
GP

Debrah said...

"Brodhead is not the only one. The Attorney General is afraid of them. Even the lawyers for the lacrosse players tip-toe around the topic of prosecution of Crystal Mangum for fear of upsetting the Durhamites.

Once the cooler weather comes and the fear of riots has diminished perhaps we will hear stronger statements of condemnation."


****************************************

You know, there are some people who might laugh this off as a joke; however, this is closer to the truth than most comments I have seen.

It's sad to watch from afar...like watching a mother abusing and slapping her child during a walk in the park.

Everyone knows what Durham is all about; however, they just seem to stand by and watch the overt racism and the corruption---doing nothing---that is so much in the fabric of the place.

scott said...

Brodhead said ...

"I was also concerned that if Duke spoke out in an overly aggressive fashion, it would be perceived that a well-connected institution was improperly attempting to influence the judicial process, which could have caused the case to miscarry in a variety of ways."

Those of us who are critical of the Brodhead / Steel response in this crisis know that there is some middle ground that the Duke administration / BOT could have taken between "overly agressive" action and being the toadies of the Nifong / G88 faction that they were.

Some of the things that Brodhead mentions -- meeting with the lax players and their parents and a firm denunciation of the G88 remarks as anything supported by Duke as an institution -- could easily have been done without creating a perception that the university was trying to use its position to influence the outcome of a legal matter.

I'm also pleased to hear that Brodhead has gained some appreciation that the legal system (like all other systems) is only as good as the people involved. Given the climate in Durham, it is impossible to believe that taking the matter to trial would have afforded the laxers an opportunity to prove their "innocence."

The fact is that a defendant is never granted the status of "innocent" in a court of law. Not guilty is as good as it gets. Thanks, then, for Roy Cooper's declaration on April 11, 2007.

And in Durham (had a change of venue motion not been granted), even given the fact that the defense would have been able to rip Nifong's case to shreds, my guess is that there were two possible outcomes -- hung jury (95% chance) or guilty (5% chance). Such is the disdain I hold for the city of Durham -- the armpit of the Piedmont.

It's highly unlikely Brodhead will face other crisis like the Lax frame job during his term as president. They don't happen all that often. But there will be other challenges. The jury is still out on whether or not he has truly learned the lesson of not being a toady.

Duke1965 said...

To Steve Horowitz,

I agree with you that a university president, like a corporate CEO, must balance a number of interests, but I think that needs (pardon the expression) a "clarifying statement". The various interests should be considered so as to best acheive, under the circumstances, the ultimate mission of the organization. The interests should NOT be balanced so as to merely appease those interests. For example, if the mission of the corporation is to maximize return on shareholder equity, the interests should be balanced with that goal in mind. From this perspective, I think Broadhead's biggest failure of leadership was his attempt to "appease" everyone involved, instead of doing his best to accomplish the university's mission.

I realize that the above is just one way to analyze the problem, and may seem somewhat cold give the emotions involved....... the emotional aspects are certainly valid as well........ I certainly would never want my child to be thrown under the bus........

AMac said...

Dear Pres. Brodhead,

I understand why you are so reluctant to directly address the conduct of the people at Duke University who contributed, each according to his abilities, to driving the Hoax forward. After all, some of them are your friends and allies. Others are powerful and ruthless enough to do real harm to your reputation and your professional prospects.

So I'd like to ask a different question.

Duke's faculty played only an auxiliary role in framing your students for an imaginary crime. While the D.A.'s office did most of the heavy lifting from mid-April 2006 on, the early stages of the Frame must be entirely credited to agents within the Durham Police Department. Please review this summary by LieStoppers poster 'JSwift'. Heck, why not check out the entire 'Tony Soprano' LieStoppers thread on the subject?

Pres. Brodhead, the DPD is not one of your, or Duke's, core constituencies. They played a large role in severely damaging your, and Duke's reputations. Plus--if it matters--what they did was morally contemptible and very probably illegal.

Your university is located in a city with a corrupt, incompetent police force that has earned its reputation of willingly trampling citizens' rights. Hard Left faculty aren't generally passionate defenders of Law Enforcement: some might even approve of Duke (belatedly) raising questions about DPD's unethical procedures--the same procedures that often target minorities and poor people.

So, what would you think about abandoning "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" as far as this aspect of the Hoax/Frame?

patrick said...

To Anonymous 8:16:

"I think most of you are mistaken. It's important to remember that the posters to this blog are a self-selected group. . . . IMO, Brodhead's speech did very little for those who are angry at him (which obviously includes most of you), but I think it may do a great deal for the vast majority of the larger Duke community (including myself) who really are looking for a coming together and do not view Brodhead's resignation as a major issue."

The posters to any blog are of course a self-selected group, just like those Victorians who wrote long and learned letters to the Times in the nineteenth century. Your own contribution was of course also self-selected. So what? Some of those letters were brilliant, and some of these posts have been brilliant.

But most significantly the commentary on this blog is based on a foundation of accumulating facts and statements about those facts. And the anger you see in these posts today is sitting squarely on an eighteen month pile of those facts and statements. What you are seeing is well merited and well documented outrage.

Speaking for myself, I had never posted to this blog until a week ago, though I have kept an eye on this story from the beginning. Perhaps there is some way of identifying how many separate individuals have posted here in the last 18 months. It might well be in the thousands. And this is not the only blog that has addressed this case. You may be right that "the vast majority of the larger Duke community . . . are looking for a coming together." But I think there are many alumni and parents out there, and who have posted on this blog, who might dispute that.

The fact is that this sorry episode passed beyond the concerns of the Duke community a long time ago. From the beginning at least three major American institutions staged a very public and very complete failure: the law, the media and the university. I do not include the NAACP (an organization to which I used to send money) because they sank from their once lofty moral heights into no more than another interest group a long time ago.

However slowly and inefficiently, the law has tried and is still trying to correct itself. The media are too broadly free (and rightly so) to ever be "reformed." But they can be shamed, and they have been. That leaves the university. And that leaves Brodhead standing there giving the speech he gave.

There is not a single negative posting on this thread from the angriest to the most analytical that I think is unjustified. There are too many facts, too many statements, too many despicable characters known to the people who have kept up with this remarkable blog for Brodhead's self-serving boilerplate to placate them. They have seen enough sham. They know what it looks like.

You have written a civil dissent and I have tried to address it with civility. But when you all join hands and sing Kumbaya down there at Duke, you should realize that a good portion of this country has learned to view your administration and your undergraduate faculty with outraged contempt.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 9:37.
Fact. Prominent 88ers were invited to the talk, and assured it would not be about them and that the statement would be vague enough to lure the detractors into thinking it was.

Anonymous said...

The divine Ann Coulter has a commentary on "free speech" at Columbia U and college campuses generally -- plus a prominent plug for KC's book!

RRH

Anonymous said...

It would be a very nice change if the various awards given out this year were actually merit-based. This gets to the concept of actions speaking louder than words. Duke has no shortage of students who are deserving of such recognition. Unfortunately, some have now graduated -- but this does not justify continued wrongdoing. It is an injustice that activists are allowed to skew the distribution of these to their own ends.

While there are many professors who were silent, this is part learned wisdom and only part a lack of courage. Still, there were those who did speak out, and it would be fitting if Duke would consider them when it comes to choosing whom to spotlight for meritorious contributions. This would have real significance and would send a meaningful message. It might even start to address what is apparently very deep-rooted cynicism about how things work in the academy among those who make their way through life in this environment.


The G88 should recognize that they have done more harm to their own causes than the entire population of those in opposition. There is a pattern here and if they really wanted to advance these causes, they would do well to learn and to teach what they have learned to others. From this standpoint, a sincere apology and admission of mistakes would be in their own interests and might help to begin to undo the harm they have inflicted on themselves -- or at least to help those who follow to avoid the same errors.

Instead, extrapolating from events of the recent past, they are likely to whine about how they are not supported and are getting nasty e-mails. They try to extort concessions without regard to reality. Seeing this stop (or at even stopped), at least for a time, would be another positive sign. One can hope that at least some in these self-constructed groups can now see things as they are and might seek to improve on the past. If the administration truly cares about these departments, they would try to help them to see and would take this opportunity to increase academic diversity as a means of helping to produce more viable ideas and respectable scholarship.


As for Broadhead's apology, the bit about Duke standing up actually undermining the cause of justice is clearly after-the-fact rationalization. If handled well, doing right would not have had such results and things would now be much better all around. It seems a clear step in the right direction. It is very, very late and it could have been much more convincing, but it is welcome nevertheless. The real test is in what is actually learned. Holding this conference was good; if it was part of a settlement agreement, this is to the credit of those who sought such an arrangement.


I still think that Broadhead specifically avoided the truth, when it was becoming increasingly apparent. I see the avoidance of the students, the defense, and the parents as a means to avoid the truth. If someone was advising him to do so, he ought to outright fire that person now, or at least, the instant all of the settlements are signed. In the end, he was head and can make no excuse but if he leaves, he should at least do what he can to clean up the mess in the administration. Lots of the trouble is centered in student affairs and an honest conference to examine some of the issues in this area would be another positive. One has to ask why it is that Broadhead would try so hard for so long to embrace what really was an obvious, apparent system of lies. To me, this is the most interesting question about the man – and the apology did not speak to this at all.

Anonymous said...

WTF, Brodhead still hasn't resigned yet?

rrhamilton said...


Anonymous said...
I wonder how long Broadhead labored over “ill-judged and divisive.” It seems awkward in a carefully prepared statement from a man of letters. Is an “ill-judged” statement one that is false, prejudicial, inappropriate? Or is an “ill-judged” statement one that was misinterpreted (misjudged) by its audience. Describing a statement as divisive characterizes its affect on others not its substance.

Judging (no pun intended) by some of the commentary about Broadhead’s statement, I think Broadhead has succeeded in creating the appearance of being critical about some faculty statements while preserving his ability to contend otherwise when confronted (e.g., by the G88). Is this leadership or cowardice? I believe it is the latter.

9/30/07 9:25 AM

Hear, hear!

Is that you, "Duke Prof"?

Whoever it was, excellent point!

Anonymous said...

Dick's dilemma:

How to atone?

A few thoughts from Claudius in Hamlet:


O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;

..
Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will:
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent; ...

Then I'll look up;
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn?...

May one be pardon'd and retain the offence?...

What then? what rests?
Try what repentance can: what can it not?
Yet what can it when one can not repent?
O wretched state! O bosom black as death!
O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engaged!

Anonymous said...

The problem with apologies from politicians is that you don’t know if they are heart felt or if they are just part of an ongoing political calculation.

Given the evidence I tend to think the later.

Steven Horwitz said...

Duke 1965 writes:

I agree with you that a university president, like a corporate CEO, must balance a number of interests, but I think that needs (pardon the expression) a "clarifying statement". The various interests should be considered so as to best acheive, under the circumstances, the ultimate mission of the organization. The interests should NOT be balanced so as to merely appease those interests.

Agreed. Everything a university does should be in service of its educational mission. But saying that is not the same as saying "the students should be the primary/only concern of the president." Sometimes what serves the immediate interests of students does not serve the educational mission of the institution. (Again, in general, not speaking of the Duke case specifically.)

Anonymous said...

I just watched the tape of President Brodhead's statement. The apology is not perfect, but it goes a good portion of the way. It's the complete change of course, though, that is most startling. The mantra of keep quiet until the storm passes and all is forgotten thankfully has been supplanted. If this last statement is to be the capstone, it is at least far more satisfactory than anything President Brodhead has said previously and easily surpasses continued silence.

Will the statement save Mr. Brodhead's reputation or position at Duke? I sincerely doubt it, and I do not believe that was President Brodhead's expectation when he wrote it. But the apology as is serves a much more important function than the purported rescue of an individual career. Acknowledgment of grave error--even if somewhat obscured--can be understood within the confines of President Brodhead's words, and although that public acknowledgment delivered quite late in the process cannot really absolve President Brodhead, it can stand as a beacon for the future and, I hope, serve as something of a balm for the aggrieved families.

Observer

P.S. As noted at the conference, Jim Coleman remains the shining star at Duke. Although President Brodhead would disagree, everything Jim Coleman said, President Brodhead could have and should have said. The honorable professor of law belongs on every college president's speed dial. Now, if the G88 could only take a cue from President Brodhead and choke out something halfway reasonable...even now...it would help.

Anonymous said...

It took 18 months to get this much from Brodhead. I welcome the words. But actions speak more eloquently. Last time I looked, Paula McClain was still Chair of the Academic Council, Sally Deutsch was Chair of the Arts & Sciences Faculty, Nartey still has his awards, AAAS it still a full department, Pressler is still fired, Alleva just got rehired, Curtis is still teaching, Reade and Collin are studying elsewhere. Brodhead still has not met with the lacrosse families, and he is still President of the University. So the true victims remain victimized, and the victimizers keep their rewards. That does not appear to be the way for the Duke community to put this episode behind us. Now Brodhead talks of appointing new commissions. He has forfeited that right, after the disgraceful Bowen/Chambers committee and the CCI. Any committee appointed by Brodhead or his administration is tainted before it meets.--Buddy

Anonymous said...

LARRY SUMMERS for Duke President

We will see a rabid protest from the Gang of 88, but the message Duke will send to the world will be: Free speech is embraced at Duke, and Gang of 88, your radical PC agenda and bullying days are over -- at Duke, if don't like to hear other points of view -- MOVE ON! There are openings at Harvard, Columbia and Vanderbilt and you will be embraced and well-compensated. Duke will be cleansed of these tenured do-nothings as they run with their tails between their legs, and new faculty appointments will be based on academic merit, not political agenda, race or sex. Larry of course will need to sign an airtight contract with Duke that will give him permission to voice an opinion or ask a question without the risk of his demise. Signed, Female AND Engineer

Anonymous said...

To 11:34
Hush Wahneema. Stop sniping from the shadows. You have had your 15 minutes of fame.

rrhamilton said...

Horowitz for Duke President ... yes, the REAL one.

Lest we forget:

Speaker Raps Leftist Professors, Programs

By Paul Bonner--The Herald-Sun--03/08/06 [<--- note the date]

DURHAM -- A feisty David Horowitz inveighed against leftist professors and programs Tuesday, facing down a chorus of giggling hecklers at Duke University's Page Auditorium. [According to the Duke student newspaper, the protest was the brainchild of soon-to-be 88er Diane M. Nelson, Director of Undergraduate Studies and a tenured associate professor. Other 88ist faculty involved were Jocelyn Olcott and Caroline Light.]

The conservative writer defended his new book, in a speech to a mostly student audience of about 500 people. [More than even KC.] His appearance was sponsored by a Duke chapter of a national organization Horowitz founded to promote an "Academic Bill of Rights" against tendentious teaching and was televised live on C-SPAN.

Pseudo-intellectual radicals are entrenched on the faculties of Duke and other university campuses and wield the real power on campus, he said.... [Does it get any more prescient than that?]

Earlier Tuesday, Horowitz met briefly with Duke President Richard Brodhead, who in an e-mail said a prescription such as the Academic Bill of Rights might open the door to governmental regulation of universities' intellectual life and "freeze people in rigidly fixed attitudes." [President Brodhead said his university had no need to adopt an Academic Bill of Rights to protect students from faculty misbehavior.]

Anonymous said...

"But the public as well as the accused students and their families could have thought that those were expressions of the university as a whole. They were not, and we could have done more to underscore that."

This statement can't be reconciled with the fact that Duke is paying for releases of the faculty from liability. The school should let the faculty fend for themselves!

Anonymous said...

1:34 AM.

Speak for yourself. You don't have to participate.

But there is MUCH more left to be done, and much more accountability, especially with Durham, DPD, and Nifong.

DIW will not have "run its course" until just has been served.

I do not think that most of the bloggers are willing to accept Brodhead's "Too little, too late" little verbal offering, because it has NO ring of sincerity or true accountability. He did not even own up to the more egregious faults.

So, I, for one, deeply hope that KC will continue to provide this forum for the exchange of information and insights, if it is only updated once a week or so.

KC and Stuart have been the catalysts for massive cultural reevaluations.

The job has just started.

I hope that KC can / will agree to do periodic regular posts. Otherwise we have no other place to turn for the same quality and depth of analysis.
dsl/ nc

One Spook said...

Wow! The comments on this posting have been absolutely outstanding. Note that there is a huge number of Anon comments that I suspect are mostly from people who have never commented here before. Brodhead's "apology," however lame, is a tipping point at a minimum.

Professors of Speech and Communication should copy Brodhead's speech and these comments for use as an important teaching tool.

Here are a few points that have amazed me from the beginning about Brodhead and thus Duke's reaction:

1. With all of the resources available to Duke's president, he chose to consult with a small group of radical faculty and took his "talking points" from them. He had vested his credentials, as it were, with this group upon his arrival at Duke. So extreme are these radicals that they then quickly took the initiative and criticized Brodhead's early reactions (such as a vague "presumption of innocence") as too soft on the accused students and not sensitive enough to the accuser whom the radicals knew for certain was a "victim." Small wonder then that he did not enjoy support from a broad base of Duke faculty, and that the reasonable among the faculty remained silent.

2. Even though well reasoned legal minds exist at Duke, Brodhead obviously ignored them. His statements indicate an almost childlike understanding and faith in the judicial process and, if he did ask for legal advice available to him, it was not apparent in any of his comments until he stopped commenting entirely (which silence probably occurred on the basis of "damage control" legal advice).

3. With the exception of the subject "apology," and a few puff pieces in the Duke Alumni Newsletter, Brodhead wrote all of his own speeches and replies, and handled all of his own press relations. Brodhead should have sent Burness on a one-year sabbatical to Siberia in March '06. Again, there are no doubt, experts at Duke in Communications. Brodhead's arrogance in assuming that since he is competent in parsing Chaucer and the allegories of Blake that this qualifies him to easily handle crisis communications was fatal. His early efforts at communication were dreadful and I cannot help but believe that communication experts at Duke read those and cried for their university.

Brodhead's replies might have suited a faculty tea audience, but his writing as evidenced in his comments appears stilted, cumbersome, and vague for an audience of typical newspaper and TV audiences, the "something happened" crowd, the blogesphere, and the sane among our citizenry.

4. Brodhead ignored two very key people at Duke who spoke with clarity and reason early on --- James Coleman and Provost Lange. Lange's letter to Houston Baker and his comments amidst the very shock of confrontation with the "pot banger's" in his front yard, are excellent examples of how Brodhead should have responded. Even though many in the legal community were miffed by Nifong's actions, James Coleman identified the problem by June 06. After reading Coleman's commentary, Brodhead should have had Coleman, Lange, and Duke legal counsel in his office at once, imploring them to help him structure his responses from that day forward.

A leader in an organization as complex as a university cannot lead alone. Brodhead did not utilize the very talent he had available to him. His failure of leadership is well documented in the comments on this posting, and he has demonstrated his lack of fitness for the office he holds.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Is it safe to assume Wahhneeemahh is not working on the perrrfekt apology?

Anonymous said...

I have a nomination for the new President of Duke University and it is Dr. Condolezza Rice.

She is 1. Black 2. Female 3. Brilliant Scholar( Phd in Russian Studies I think) and 4. Able to straddle both conservative and liberal streams ( One of her mentors was Madeline Albright's father, if I recall correctly)

So there.

Dr. Rice's diplomatic and negotiating skills would bring some needed administrative abilities to Duke. Her impeccable academic credentials would definitely elevate the current standing of such. And she could talk to the diversity group on terms they might not like but they would have a lot of trouble arguing with.

She is "sufficiently sensitive" and artistic ( accomplished concert pianist), LOVES sports ( especially football), has an international presence, etc. etc. etc.

I don't know if she would even consider the move... but she's gonna be out of a job soon, and Duke could only dream of having somebody of her caliber at the helm. I can doubledam guarantee you that the faculty-instigated charades would not have happened on her watch!

We desperately need somebody who can elevate the dialogue at Duke and restore respect in all channels.

yep. Dr. Rice would be a winner.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: 3:40 "...Nifong was a streetfighter..."

Nifong is not even close to being a street fighter...

Nifong is the worse kind of bully picking fights with those that must give in before any punches are thrown.

This time he came across some that would fight and Nifong continues to get his cowardly teeth kicked in...as he should.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "...Steven Horwitz has it right about a modern university president's job having responsibilities that go beyond its students..."

Generally speaking I would agree, however this was all about the students and he tossed them aside to abet the faculty.

The faculty made it about the faculty by their dishonest push of the race/gender/class b.s.

A CEO would make the crisis primary, Brodhead did not. He let the frauds withing the faculty drive the conversation. The crisis revolved around the students not the faculty.

Brodhead kicked the students in the nuts and abetted the indefensible behaviour of his faculty.

Though he has other responsibilites he was voluntarily chose to side with those that were wrong.

Anonymous said...

Had this mea culpa come months ago-- particularly prior to his job performance review-- Brodhead's contrition would have had credibility. It now smacks of self-service. Perhaps he is sincere, and late is better than never, but I imagine this is small comfort to the lacrosse families and does little to restore the erosion of confidence in the trustworthiness of the Duke administration or American higher education institutions in general. His lack of responsible leadership has continuing consequences that his contrition cannot overcome.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "...That doesn't make him a bad man, just the wrong man for the job..."

Are we talking about Brodhead or the Captain of the Valdez?

haskell said...

One Spook, 5:54 Nice post.

"With all of the resources available to Duke's president, he chose to consult with a small group of radical faculty and took his "talking points" from them."

The radical faculty is still driving the bus, make no mistake about it. I would hope that some of the more affluent readers of this blog would fund a foundation, something like mindingthecampus.com, and hire KC and maybe David Horowitz to dissect the PC faculties across the country. What a great service that would be.

Anonymous said...

"yep. Dr. Rice would be a winner."

Ditto.

She has made it pretty clear though that she wants, more than anything, to leave the State Dept. for an appointment as commissioner of the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Until Brodhead and the 88 get the boot, the war isn't won

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: Steven Horwitz: "...Sometimes what serves the immediate interests of students does not serve the educational mission of the institution..."

At that point in time the immediate interests should have been the students, it was not.

Looking at a job description versus acting upon what is happening on the ground are two very different things.

Brodhead chose to throw them under the bus and support the race, gender, and class frauds.

Anonymous said...

Did Brodhead fire the Prof who failed the Lax players for simply being on the team?
The players should demand her dismissal as part of any settlement.

Debrah said...

"Though he has other responsibilites he was voluntarily chose to side with those that were wrong."

Oh, such a succinctly accurate statement!

Precisely.

Anonymous said...

Broadhead allowed himself to be overwhelmed by shrieking faculty radicals who practice exactly this sort of tactic to extort untenable distortions of the free market of ideas (among other distortions).

It seems likely that sometime shortly after the inflammatory e-mail was released, he also took a call from Steele -- rather than assert that there was serious and growing doubt about the substance of the allegations, he chose to go on an offensive against something that wasn't, except in the media and among the activists. Of course this became a major source of sustenance for the lie and made everything much worse. It became “Not About the Truth.”


As I write this, I'm watching a piece on Clarence Thomas on 60-minutes. It speaks volumes that so many of the G88 seek to portray him as a villain and are willing to resort to such base tactics in order to do so. Dr. Rice is another example of this, there are numerous others.

Jay said...

Brodhead says of the 88 that "They had the right to express their views" while calling these views "ill-judged and divisive". But within Duke only Provost Peter Lange said that at the time. Not Brodhead. Instead, Brodhead appointed prominent 88ers to prestigious new leadership positions at Duke, including the CCI, which had the effect of tacitly endorsing and approving these views. When did Brodhead see the light? He does not explain this, and of course could not explain it, because it is logically inexplicable. Praising the 88 with faint damns makes a lie of his apology.

Anonymous said...

Responsibility without consequences is meaningless.

If Brodhead had concluded his apology with his resignation, then his assumption of responsibility would have had meaning.

Mr. Brodhead... resign now.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think when Bowen-Chambers said you shouldn't act on "second hand sources" that it meant you should act on "third hand ones"."

I must disagree. I think when the Bowen-Chambers report said you shouldn't act on "second hand sources" it really meant you shouldn't act on sources that don't support the view of lacrosse players as fiendish evil miscreants who are surely guilty as soon as they are accused.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead HAS TO GO. We, here in New Haven, welcome him especially since fall brings such beautiful colors on trees.
Really, PLEASE do come back and leave the Duke presidency to someone with more guts.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead HAS TO GO. We, here in New Haven, welcome him especially since fall brings such beautiful colors on trees.
Really, PLEASE do come back and leave the Duke presidency to someone with more guts.

rrhamilton said...

Anonymous said, quoting me...
"I don't think when Bowen-Chambers said you shouldn't act on "second hand sources" that it meant you should act on "third hand ones"."

I must disagree. I think when the Bowen-Chambers report said you shouldn't act on "second hand sources" it really meant you shouldn't act on sources that don't support the view of lacrosse players as fiendish evil miscreants who are surely guilty as soon as they are accused.

9/30/07 9:51 PM


Of course, you are right, since Bowens-Chambers oozed with PC diversity racism. I used the B-C (Blame-Caucasians) Commission Report only to show that Brodhead couldn't hide behind even its recommendations.

xutag77 said...

Th apology was written by lawyers for lawyers. We should accept the apology for what it is. "I did nothing and caused bad things to happen, but you won't hear from me about the things I did do." After all there are still lawsuits going on.

There are many stories of how corporations (yes Duke is a corporation also) handle crises. The once that survive handle the crises head on and get their story out, the one that don't let others do the talking for them and try to cover up the problem. Duke let the story get away from them and as paid the punishment in the court of law and public opinion.

Dr. Broadhead good luck in your future endeavors, but at Duke you have proven to be absolutely clueless.

Anonymous said...

To One Spook re you 5:54 post: I would add Coach K to your list of Duke talent that could have helped to save Brodhead from himself. In "It's Not About The Truth", the authors quote Coach K as saying that he offered his advice and counsel in his capacity as a "Special Assistant" to Brodhead. Presumably, Brodhead did not take Coach K up on his offer. If there is anyone at Duke who is best equipped to offer counsel on handling media smears and feeding frenzies, it is Coach K. The hoops program is under constant attack by a cadre of media and academic "usual suspects", and Coach K has found a way to defend the program with savvy while staying above the fray. Unfortunately, many of the "usual suspects" in academia are a mere quad away from Cameron Indoor. Brodhead's decision to play ball with them and isolate Coach K was, to borrow a phrase from Brodhead, "ill-advised".

Anonymous said...

Dear President Brodhead,

The train has already left the station.

Anonymous said...

The Bilas letter made the 11 o'clock news tonight.

don t. said...

From an article in Highlands (N.C.) Newspaper by John Armor:

"If Duke is honestly interested in promoting justice and avoiding wrongful charges and convictions (referring to the investment of $1.25 million to establish a center to fight against wrongful convictions), it would have spent $36.08 to accomplish the same result immediately, rather than over the next five years. That would be $35.67 to mail a letter to each of the 87 faculty members who published the full-page ad assuming the students to be obviously guilty. The letters would say 'Your services are no longer required'. (one of the 88 professors apologized).

The last 41 cents would be for President Brodhead to mail a letter to the Board of Trustees letting them know he was leaving......."

"Duke ....is a once proud institution that is dying a slow suicide......(Duke) forgot the lesson that Scottish poet Robert Burns taught in 1786 in 'To a Louse;

"O wad some Power the giftie gie us, To see ourselves as others see us"

The feckless stumblebum and his cronies, including steele, really have to go.

trinity60

Anonymous said...

KC. I am a BIG fan of your book, and your courage and your intelligence. But I don't understand your seeming softening toward Brodhead.

Are you running for Vice President?

Steve Wehrly said...

My god! He's halfway there; this blog should consider it a major victory. KC has achieved -- but there is much more to be done. You're abdicating responsibility for the results of your superb work, KC: the beauty of the internet is that you can certainly continue, if even in a truncated fashion, the important work you have devoted the past year and more, to. Don't leave your finest work undone, KC! -- Steve W.

One Spook said...

haskell @ 7:01PM writes:

"I would hope that some of the more affluent readers of this blog would fund a foundation, something like mindingthecampus.com, and hire KC and maybe David Horowitz to dissect the PC faculties across the country. What a great service that would be."

Thank you for your compliment on my earlier post, haskell. I think that your idea of KC and David Horowitz working together would work about as well as Wahneema Lubiano and David Duke working together on a "Race Relations in America" Blog.

Remember that on the Cliopatria Blog, where KC has been a key contributor, they use "Horowitzian" as an ubiquitous adjective to describe anything "bad."

And to the anon @ 10:41 who suggested to me that Coach "K" could have been added to those talents that Brodhead could have utilized, good point. Actually, I recall KC posting some public comment(s) about the incident that Coach K had made. As I recall, several posters here criticized that commentary as essentially too soft, and some criticized Coach K for not saying more on the matter on his own. If Brodhead did in fact rebuff Coach K's offer, the coach can't be blamed for being silent. Why am I not surprised that Brodhead didn't take Coach K up on his offer?

One Spook

Anonymous said...

1) If the greatest danger is prejudgment, and some of the most glaring instances of public puprejudgment occured by his people on his watch, what is he going to do about it?

2) W/R/to the people who prejudged his students on his campus, does Brodhead see any common traits or characteristics amont them?

3) Given the considerable settlement amounts that were paid because of that prejudgment, would he like to screen against those traits in future hiring, retention and promotion decions?

4) Re the prejudgers, does each of them have a demonstrated history of objectively-verifiable scholarship that offsets the clearly evidence risks (as manifest by past settlements of civil actions) of retaining them on the faculty?

5) If not, why should I squandor considerable-but-replaceable funds for tuition for my irreplaceable children to attend Dook? Should I expect that at the next politically convenient moment, you will again disregard the truth and throw my child to the appease the (false) lions on your faculty?

Anonymous said...

I vote for Rice for Duke President. She'd be great.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with One Spook's assessment of the President's behavior. But I have a slightly different take on WHY Brodhead acted so badly --- he's a stupid, arrogant, conceited ass.

Anonymous said...

One does not get to be President of Duke by being a Stupid a$$. Is he arrogant - looks humble to me. Conceited - probably - having been at two of the best teaching institutes in America - sure might make any one a little "conceited." I doubt that he cares about folk on the bloggs - Bob Steele, for sure.

Anonymous said...

I'm still wondering who had a swipe card and let the police into the dorm.

I'm glad he apologized. I hope he is sincere. Hard to read it from this far away.

Ed

Anonymous said...

the cops followed folk into the Dorm when the door was open.

Anonymous said...

10/1/07

Do you REALLY have evidence of that?

Were those DPD cops or University police?

Why would DPD cops be on University property unaccompanied by University personnel?


Or were you just joking???

Anonymous said...

That is what has been written from the beginning. They were DPD cops and the tale is that the University cops were notified the DPD were coming to the campus. I do not know why the DPD were unaccompanied by the University cops. The DPD and Mayor called it a simple "Knock and Talk". Perhaps, one of you link types could hook this person up to the KC's article on this event.

Anonymous said...

From the second paragraph:

"[The] students said ... they were innocent..."

"the district attorney made ... public statements ...that the students were guilty of criminal charges."

" These starkly opposite versions of the truth created deep uncertainty about what had happened."

When his apology conflates gross distortions & bald-face lies vs. truthful protestations of innocence as a mere two "versions of the truth," we can see he has learned absolutely nothing.