Saturday, September 29, 2007

N&O: Brodhead Apologizes

Jane Stancill on the president's speech.


Anonymous said...

At best, this seems to be a headfake in the direction of an apology...not the real thing.

The text of his speech has two micro-apologies

- Not explicitly saying the University supported it's students, which of course it does/did (not!)

- Not making plain that the Klan of 88 did not speak for the University as a whole (no comment on the violation of the Faculty Handbook Violations, grade retaliation, "farmyard animal" commets, etc.)

LAME. Apparently the polling numbers told Dick it was time to apologize, but this did not hit the mark and is likely to fan the flames yet higher. my alma mater REALLY this disfunctional??

ES Duke 1990

M. Simon said...

From the article:

Brodhead said he hoped that the case would be forgotten someday.

I bet.

Except "Nifonged" is now a word.

Anonymous said...

Too little, too late.

Wonder if this is part of a settlement -- the three or the ongoing talks with the lawyers for the others.

Anonymous said...

No thx to Broadheads efforts this case will NEVER be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

This “apology” looks honest and sincere.

So what if it’s a little nuanced here and there. It seems the case that President Brodhead considers it in fact an apology. There are the necessary elements of contrition and remorse. And furthermore, it is a long way from the typical liberal non-apology in the form of “I’m sorry if you were offended by my/our remarks, actions, or whatever.”

I wonder why he picked this particular time to make this statement. Hmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

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

Now maybe we can let this die the way other issues live out their lifespan and die.

Not forgotten, but dead. Like the things in Jena LA are doing now...

Anonymous said...

thank you, Richard

Anonymous said...

The reason brodhead did it now was becasue he was told to do IMO as part of the settlement, becasue the alumni expected it and brodhead is trying to headoff the other suits pending by the rest of the lacrosse team. Brodhead just told us he does not want the lacrosse hoax to be his legacy. Guess what dick, the lacrosse case IS your legacy. We forgive you, now move on. We dont need you at Duke anymore.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with 3:47. Nothing Brodhead EVER does will allow him to rise above his sorry performance. I'd hate to be judged on the worst day I ever had, but he had dozens of them, week after week. He needs to resign. Any person of integrity would already have done so. And as commented on in another thread he would have fired some of his subordinates before doing so. That would have been the minimum he should have done. The apology is far below the minimum, and most likely a condition of the settlement with the three falsely accused. I give him no credit for the too-little, too-late apology that did not spring from remorse but from a contractual requirement.

Anonymous said...

This apology could have, should have, been tendered not later than mid-April of 2006. I can't help but conclude that Brodhead is apologizing now for some unknown, ulterior motive. I don't think he has an ounce of integrity, nor does he have a spine.

gs said...

You can bet that any settlement with the remaining Lax players would require a public apology.

Brodhead is also currently in the middle of a job review.

He has tarnished Duke, allowed faculty to use students a political pawns, and is costing the school millions in settlements..

Time for him to go.

Debrah said...

The media are in a frenzy to help rehabilitate Brodhead.

And KC has just struck a chord in that direction.

But I guarantee there will be no orchestra behind this ill-conceived composition.

bill anderson said...

Had President Brodhead been willing to stand up last year, or even earlier this year, a lot of the really bad feelings would have been mitigated. A lot of LAX families simply wanted to hear an apology and an admission that Duke University did not hold their sons to be a bunch of rapists.

I am glad he said something, but I only wish it could have been sooner. Also, by permitting John Burness to slime the players, he really helped to make a bad situation worse.

alum said...

It happened today because the Trustees are meeting yesterday, today, and tomorrow morning at Duke. The Law School conference was an ideal time for maximum visibility to the local and national press etc. I'd guess that he told the Board yesterday what was going to happen today, although I'd be surprised if he didn't made sure that the Executive Committee of the Board knew at least on Thursday if not earlier.

Anonymous said...

Broadhead resign now. Nothing you can say or do will erase your horrible past behavior. Get out now.

Anonymous said...

Far, far too little and far, far too late. Brodhead is just trying to save his sorry ass from a firing.

Didn't the "rotund" Buress once say, in efect, "apologize, for what?" I guess he must now know.

Pathetic. Duke should fire him now more than ever. Brodhead is just killing Duke. Nothing, and I mean nothing will "move on" with Brodhead at the healm. Nothing.

Anonymous said...

The apology is far too late and quite insincere. To those of you that accept it fine. I do not believe the apology was anything but a calculated move by the Duke board in order to impose some sort of damage control. A person dpes not change their fundamental core ever. Broadhead has not changed nor has the culture of the faculty.
Do not forget that Broadhead rewarded the thug Chauncey Nartey after he made threats against Coach Pressler's family. We must not let things be swept under the rug.

Anonymous said...

Clammering for an apology from the Duke crowd has gone on for eighteen months. finally, one is issued and now id is "to late." WTF?

Anonymous said...

Brodhead's head is no longer enough. To sate this beast--a beast of Duke's own creation--Steele and others must also resign.

Duke will never be able to *begin* to repair the vast damage until it cleans house, big time.

The time for mere words passed long ago. It is now time for actions--specifically, resignations effective immediately.

Anonymous said...


Your speculation is cynical, but everyone has their own opinion.

I might opine, however, that his detractors STILL have not heard an apology. It would be welcome by me, but it has to be founded in acceptance of the REAL problems(88+ of them, to put a fine point on it), not nit-picking errata.

ES Duke 1990

Donna said...

"...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..."

This was not the case? I beg to differ. Complete indifference to the rights of the accused students was very much the case. A real apology would acknowlege that Brodhead's loyalty to Duke and its students was tossed aside for political reasons.

And now he's feeling the political repercussions of his actions and inactions. Enjoy it, Mr. Brodhead. That burning sensation means you still have a job. The heat will cool to room temperature the day you resign.

Anonymous said...

Reading this, I have to say that many of you come across as mean-spirited and vindictive. Seeing the webcast, I thought he was sincere and chose the law school conference as an appropriate time to mend fences. Should he have done this earlier? Probably. Does that make his actions contemptible? I wish you would look inside yourself before your bitter denunciations of what seems, at least to naive me, a well-intentioned apology.

Anonymous said...

Even if the apology was not sincere; even if it was prompted by selfish considerations -- consider what a milestone it represents and consider what it achieves. No one can pretend anymore that Brodhead and the Duke administration did everything they could have been expected to do; Brodhead himself has publicly stated that they should have given support to the accused students that they did not give. Next to that, whether he was sincere or just covering his ass when he says he's sorry that they failed in their responsibilities is IMHO less significant.

Anonymous said...

Come now. Apologizing is the right thing. Folks who continue to demonize various players in this debacle need to move on. I expect the timing had something to do with the other players talking settlement and Jay Bilas' letter.

Anonymous said...

I respect those who beleive we should move on and that Brodhead's apology is sincere.

What should not be accepted by Duke students, alumni and faculity - is the lack of leadership and courage required in such position as President.

Jay Bilas is correct as are countless others - Broadhead should resign immediately.

Last, I find interesting, some believe all will be well after all is forgotten. Perhaps, but I will not forget the Group of 88, Broadhead, Nifong, Lacy, DPD, the media circus and so many others.

Anonymous said...

Very extremely nice of Mr Brodhead.

Now let him go to a lesser university to do his conniving.

Legal Eagle said...

At best, this was a forced apology, outlined in the various settlement details. At worst, it's an out and out lie.

Go back and think of how different things would have been if Brodhead had been a man - instead of a foul taint on a once great university.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Brodhead at least tried to apologize, but I agree with 5:11 - the bigger problem here is the lack of leadership (and spine) Brodhead showed.

"if they didn't do it, whatever they did was bad enough"

I can't see him living those words down.

I'm with Jay Bilas. Brodhead should go.

D said...

If a large organization behaves badly, one of the things you need to see is change.

Certainly settlements and apologies are part of setting things right. But there must be

Changes in policy
Removal of the worst actors
Punishment for their enablers

Nothing has changed at Duke, except the bank balance after the settlement. Burness is still there. Dean Sue is still there. The entire Duke PD is still there. They still hire Gottlieb for security. They are still part of Crimestoppers. Of course, no member of the 88 has been disciplined in any way. Even those without tenure continue to teach as if nothing has happened.

Anonymous said...

Debrah said...
"Did anyone address Brodhead's elevating the academic cesspool to full departmental status?"

Oh, what a significant question that is.

That represents only one element of residue from Brodhead's performance.

But today......."he feels pain".

Get rid of this self-serving weakling who supported the Gang of 88 demands and criminality.

It would be the same thing over again for such a PC-infested poet.

Debrah has said it all. Professor, we need to discuss this. It's payback time.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead, who self-professes to be smart, bleats about the "complexities" surrounding the Duke Hoax in his faux mea culpa.

Remind me again: Just what the Hell was so "complex" about an effort to transparently railroad 3 factually innocent students? Evidently, everyone in the world could see the obvious save, of course, for Brodhead, Steele, and the G88ers.

Does Duke seriously want to entrust its institutional future to folks like these--the last to "penetrate" through these so-called "complexities"?

If so, Duke deserves to get taken out by the so-called "leadership" from Brodhead, Steele, and the AA "faculty."

Anonymous said...

It's something. With so many people completely unwilling to admit any mistakes or make any type of apology, I do appreciate that Broadhead is able to make some apologies. I do wish he had specifically addressed the firing of Coach Pressler though; because that seems to me to be one of the biggest mistakes made. I imagine they probably think the settlement with Pressler ... well ... *settles* this issue. However, I do not think it does. The details of the settlement were not made public. I can only hope that it covered Pressler's financial damages. Still, Broadhead's talking head, Burness (If anyone needs to be eliminated, Burness needs to go first.) was badmouthing Pressler in the press fairly late in the game. Also, Coach Pressler's dismissal was not merely damaging to the Pressler family. His firing helped solidify the impression that Duke felt there was something wrong with the lacrosse team as a whole. Later explainations about the move being necessary for the things to "move forward" did not help this impression. In a nutshell, Pressler's firing indicated Duke's administration believed his team of students did something bad (enough.) I would like to see an apology for creating this impression; but I somehow doubt we'll ever see it.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Brodhead apologized. Clearing the ground for his replacement, and settling of the lawsuit with the remaining Lax players.

Bye Bye Brodhead.

Anonymous said...

Dick. Forget it.

Anonymous said...

To all those who say: Let's move on

If a rattlesnake apologizes after biting you, are you naive enough to believe that he's not going to bite again?

A man's actions are determined by his character. Brodhead's character remains what it was.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

The 5:43 & 5:57 posts say it all. I'm a Duke alum and while it was nice to _finally_ see an apology, Brodhead must go. Time for me to get busy writing a letter to the review committee.

BTW, the Herald-Sun carried an article on the front page today about the Jay Bilas letter. Hopefully this article will get a bunch more local alums fired up since the Bilas letter wasn't in the print version of the Duke Mag.

The article (by Ray Gronberg) says that the Herald-Sun interviewed Jay Bilas, and he said he sent in the letter to Duke Mag. on June 10, "a few weeks after relaying his views to Steele", and that he "warned Brodhead about it" during a meeting with him on Aug. 27.

The full article is on the H-S website but you have to "register" to see it.

There is another front-page article about the Duke Law conference (also by Ray G.), but no mention of KC :(

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 5:12 said...

...Very extremely nice of Mr Brodhead.
...Now let him go to a lesser university to do his conniving.
A lesser university?


Then the young students will be Children of a Lesser God (Tony Award, 1980)?

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty lame and way too late, but what's really going to happen is that no one's going to be happy. We're not, but can you imagine the hue and cry from the 88 when they hear he apologized in any shape at all? They'll be spoplectic! Can't wait!!! They will go NUTS that he's dissing their "victim!"

gs said...

KC you got to love the NY times (LOL).

reprinted AP version 5 hours ago..

But even as Nifong won indictments against the players Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans, it became clear the charges had no merit.

55 minutes ago changed wording..

But even as Mr. Nifong won indictments against the players, Reade W. Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David F. Evans, there was growing skepticism over the charges.

I guess no merit was too much for the NY Times to allow.

Anonymous said...

4:31 p.m.

Clammering for an apology from the Duke crowd has gone on for eighteen months. finally, one is issued and now id is "to late." WTF?

At least as vociferous as the clamor for apologies have been the calls for Broadhead's head, and the heads of the G88, et. al., if not more so here at DIW. From just the threads of this past week, one reads at least a half-dozen comments in the "any-apology-at-this point-is-useless/pointless/forced/insincere" vein.

The problem with any belated apology, however sincere, is that the apologizer is no longer being judged by the remorse he expresses, but by a million second guesses as to what motivated the apology besides remorse, based on the million compounding things that have intervened between the deed and the apology.

The purpose of an apology is to express remorse and, if possible, to make amends. At this point we'll never know how "remorseful" this apology really is. Everything else has been forced by attorneys.

Anonymous said...

It's easy for Brodhead to speak for principles and courage now. It's always easier after the fact. Principles and courage are real only when relied upon and used in tough situations. When his university and students needed his courage and principles all they got was timidity and amoral pandering.

Anonymous said...


There is no doubt in my mind that the alumini forced this non-apology. The negative feedback must have incredible.

I am afraid this statement doesn't really change anything. The damage is done. Brodhead will have to leave Duke and the students will have to be paid.


Anonymous said...

I concur with legal eagle, I believe this apology was part of a settlement from the current potential lawsuit against Duke. His apologizing likely mitigates their liability.
If this is true, then it really isn't an apology, but a way of trying to keep his job under ever increasing scrutiny.


Anonymous said...

The players were exonerated months ago. But, Brodhead did not apologized until now - just before a committee of trustees and professors would issue its final report on his job performance.

In other words, he apologized only because his job is on the line.

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...

Many have opined that it was sincere. The people on this site seem to me awfully vindictive and hateful.

I think the comments prove that no matter what he does, it would never be enough.

If he resigned tomorrow, he'd be chased after and demonized at whatever institution he moved onto.

It's no longer about Duke, instead it seems really personal.

Is it *possible* that he's seen the error of his ways and would do things differently in the same situation?

Only the most cynical persons would say 'Completely Impossible!'

Donna said...

11:58, color me cynical.

Anonymous said...

Call me cynical. Remorse is NOT repentance. And the ability craft a crafty speech is done by politicians all the time.

Some lawyer wrote his speech.

And YES, you're very perceptive, it is DEFINITELY personal. After all, those were PEOPLE he destroyed!

Maybe, after some rehabilitation, he could write letters to Nifong, who will need some pen pals from prison.

Anonymous said...

My take on Broadhead is that he's not a bad person. There is plenty of evidence that he was an excellent professor in the classroom; and that he was well loved before he came to Duke. The best teaching professor does not necessarily make a great administrator or a leader. I do not think Broadhead is cut out to be the president of a major university. I think he was over his head and perhaps relied too much on the bad advice of others. He likely relied on Burness heavily; and I think Burness is truly vile and just an extremely bad PR guy. I really wish it was possible for Broadhead to step down (I wish there was a better term than step *down* though.) without shame and go back to the job he was actually good at.

Anonymous said...

"Many have opined that it was sincere. The people on this site seem to me awfully vindictive and hateful.

I think the comments prove that no matter what he does, it would never be enough.

If he resigned tomorrow, he'd be chased after and demonized at whatever institution he moved onto.

It's no longer about Duke, instead it seems really personal.

Is it *possible* that he's seen the error of his ways and would do things differently in the same situation?

Only the most cynical persons would say 'Completely Impossible!'"

Oh, I'm sure if the whole thing were to happen again, he'd do things differently. I'm sure he's learned his lesson in that respect. But, that's only a credit to his intelligence -- not to his morality, or his integrity.

"I think the comments prove that no matter what he does, it would never be enough."

Yes, you're right. It's been nearly half a year since the Attorney General of the State announced that their investigation found no credible evidence to support the charges. An apology from Brodhead then might have been meaningful. Instead, he's just gone ahead acting as if he never pressured Mike Pressler to resign, as if he didn't go up in front of a public audience and assert that whatever the accused students did was "bad enough" (though of course he didn't know what they did...)

So, I think you're right. After Brodhead has spent so long pretending that he didn't do a single thing wrong, there isn't anything he can do that will convince most of us that he's suddenly actually sorry.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that Broadhead is playing to bloggers. His concern is the BOT, Duke and Alumni. I also dooubt he needs this job. His place inn history is not going to be changed by this speech.

Legal Eagle said...

Some here seem to think Brodhead's behavior in the Duke case was something new. Well, it wasn't.

Like when Brodhead was dean of Yale College:

"On December 4, 1998, senior Suzanne Jovin was found stabbed to death and left at an intersection in a neighborhood adjacent to the Yale campus which housed many Yale professors and graduate students..."

"Within days New Haven police and Yale officials publicly fingered political scientist James Van de Velde, Jovin’s senior essay adviser. He was a star lecturer and had been a residential college dean..."

"Yale administrators did not care that there was neither evidence nor motive linking Van de Velde to Jovin. Her body had been found a half-mile from his house. Just as at Duke, Brodhead spoke eloquently about the principles of due process, but moved to subvert it. Citing the New Haven Police Department’s naming of Van de Velde among “a pool of suspects,” Brodhead cancelled Van de Velde’s spring-term lecture, explaining that “the cancellation of the course doesn’t follow from a judgment or a prejudgment of his hypothetical involvement in the Jovin case.” As at Duke, Brodhead insisted that due process would prevail. Despite Van de Velde’s stellar student reviews and distinguished record, Brodhead then let his contract lapse. Van de Velde left New Haven, his career in shambles." - see:

Ralph Phelan said...

"If he resigned tomorrow, he'd be chased after and demonized at whatever institution he moved onto."

If he got a job as an administrator, heck yes!

If he got a job as a teaching professor, maybe not.

If he got a job outside of academia, we'd forget him entireely.

Anonymous said...

In the South, we have a saying: "What goes around comes around".

Brodhead will get his sooner or later.

The sad thing for me, after reading his "apology", is that I think that this is all this man is capable of.

I think he is so indoctrinated in his whole PC mishmash that he is not capable of thinking independantly or courageously.

He missed the most important moment he will ever have to set the record right. Simply because, he has never really seen how wrong it all was.

So very sad. I have moved from contempt to pity.

Debrah said...

TO 6:12 PM--

It's a saying used everywhere.

And it's pretty accurate.


no justice, no peace said...

Richard Brodhead is for clean water. Most others are for clean water.

From there, things part quite rapidly.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead should resign, resign, as he is dragging the School into the mud deeper deeper deeper deeper

see the Feb 21 08 fresh lawsuit

it is lose lose situation but Lax student players and families have the righteous reason to chase Nailhead out