Thursday, September 06, 2007

Questions for the Blue Committee

Tuesday’s Chronicle featured a news analysis on the Trustees’ committee conducting a three-year review of President Brodhead’s performance. Chelsea Allison reasoned that “although administrative reviews are regular University protocol, some have speculated that the tumultuous external events during President Richard Brodhead’s first three years could draw more attention to his assessment.”

That the seven-person committee includes a Group of 88 member (Sherman James) suggests it is unlikely to hold Brodhead accountable for his performance over the past 18 months.

Below are ten questions that the Blue Committee might want to consider. I invite DIW readers to suggest additional questions in the comment section; I’ll post the ten most interesting ones on Sunday.

1.) On April 20, 2006, President Brodhead made his first off-campus appearance after the arrests of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. He told members of the Durham Chamber of Commerce, “If our students did what is alleged, it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough.”

In retrospect, does the president consider those remarks to be appropriate? And what did Seligmann and Finnerty—who attended a party they played no role in organizing and drank some beer—do that was “bad enough”?

2.) That same day—appearing at a Duke panel described as combating the “culture of crassness“ on campus—the president shared the platform with Dinushika Mohottige, the only person to admit to publicly distributing the vigilante posters with the lacrosse players’ photos; and Group of 88 member Mark Anthony Neal, who affirmed, “I have an alter ego—my intellectual alter ego. My intellectual alter ego is thugniggaintellectual—one word . . . I wanted to embody this figure that comes into intellectual spaces like a thug, who literally is fearful [sic] and menacing. I wanted to use this idea of this intellectual persona to do some real kind of ‘gangster’ scholarship, if you will. All right, just hard, hard-core intellectual thuggery.”

In retrospect, does the president believe that appearing with these two individuals communicated a message that he was serious about combating a “culture of crassness”?

3.) In his April 5, 2006 “letter to the Duke community,” President Brodhead affirmed, “I pledge that Duke will respond with appropriate seriousness when the truth is established.”

On April 11, 2007, the truth was made public, yet the administration’s subsequent response has been a desire to move on.

What occurred between April 2006 and April 2007 that caused the president to abandon his April 5, 2006 pledge to “respond with appropriate seriousness when the truth is established”?

4.) The Group of 88’s statement—for which, in a January 2007 statement, the overwhelming majority of signatories remaining at Duke refused to apologize—claimed the formal endorsement of five academic departments.

In fact, it appears as if none of the five departments ever had a vote on the statement, much less formally endorsed it.

Was any action taken against the person or persons responsible for falsely listing the official endorsements in this instance? And what concrete steps has the president taken to ensure that, in the future, Duke academic departments are not falsely listed as endorsing, in their official capacities, public statements?

5.) In late March 2006, a student named Chauncey Nartey sent an e-mail to the Presslers considered so threatening that Sue Pressler filed a report with the Duke Police. Shortly thereafter, Mike Pressler informed Larry Moneta about the e-mail; President Brodhead was informed about the e-mail no later than a May 2006 meeting with the lacrosse players.

Subsequently, Nartey was: (1) one of five students named to the Campus Culture Initiative; (2) one of a handful of students selected to share the platform with the president at one of the “Duke Conversation” events; and (3) one of around two dozen students who received the Griffths service award. (The latter two developments occurred after the fraternity of which Nartey was president was suspended by its national organization.)

Could the president explain the administration’s decision to shower a student like Nartey with honors and awards?

6.) No later than April 7, 2006, a coach informed President Brodhead of allegations of in-class harassment by members of the arts and sciences faculty against members of the lacrosse team.

What steps—if any—did the administration take to investigate these allegations? As part of this investigation—if any, in fact, occurred—why did no one from the Brodhead administration speak to any member of the lacrosse team about their in-class experiences?

7.) Chapter Six of the Duke Faculty Handbook opens with the following passage: “Members of the faculty expect Duke students to meet high standards of performance and behavior. It is only appropriate, therefore, that the faculty adheres to comparably high standards in dealing with students . . . Students are fellow members of the university community, deserving of respect and consideration in their dealings with the faculty.”

Does the president believe that—with their actions and/or statements in the lacrosse case while a member of the Duke faculty—Grant Farred, Karla Holloway, Ken Surin, and Peter Wood conformed to the Handbook’s provisions, particularly the requirement to treat all Duke students with “respect and consideration”?

If so, how? If not, in what ways were Farred, Holloway, Surin, and Wood disciplined?

8.) In his summer 2006 response to the Friends of Duke University open letter, the president stated that he was “eager for our students to be proved innocent” at trial.

Does the president still believe that the purpose of a trial would have been for the students to prove their innocence?

9.) Evan Thomas’ Newsweek review of Until Proven Innocent opened with the following passage:

On March 28, 2006, the four co-captains of the Duke lacrosse team accused of gang-raping an exotic dancer met with university president Richard Brodhead. One of the captains, David Evans, emotionally protested that the team was innocent and apologized for the misbegotten stripper party. “Brodhead’s eyes filled with tears,” write Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson in their new book on the case, “Until Proven Innocent” (420 pages. Thomas Dunne Books. $26.95). Brodhead “said that the captains should think of how difficult it had been for him.” The misbehavior of the players, said Duke’s president, “had put him in a terrible position.” Listening to Brodhead, Robert Ekstrand, a lawyer representing the captains and many of their teammates, “felt his blood starting to boil,” write Taylor and Johnson. “Here, he thought, is a comfortable university president wallowing in self-pity in front of four students who are in grave danger of being falsely indicted on charges of gang rape, punishable by decades in prison.”

In his report of the president’s April 2006 appearance before the Durham Chamber of Commerce, WRAL’s Dan Bowens noted, “For a few minutes, the school president, who has answered questions on a rape investigation involving members of the university’s men’s lacrosse team for the past month, needed time to vent among colleagues.”

Does the president consider himself a “victim” of the lacrosse affair; and, if so, in what way?

10.) In light of what everyone has witnessed over the past eighteen months, does the president believe that the Duke arts and sciences faculty suffers from a “groupthink” mentality that—in many departments—prevents the free and unfettered pursuit of truth?

Any reader (or at least those, as one commenter correctly points out, with a Duke connection who desires to offer suggestions to the Blue Committee, meanwhile, can do so at: pres-review@duke.edu.

107 comments:

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson posts "Any reader who desires to offer suggestions to the Blue Committee, meanwhile, can do so at; . . ."

Would the committee really be interested in hearing from anyone other than Duke donors/alum/parents/students?

Rather than inviting readers of DIW, of which I am, wouldn't it be more effective if the invitation were limited to those above described? Those, in other words, to which the Committee will - or may - listen. A flood of emails - even those containing constructive questions/criticisms/suggestions - from parties unrelated to Duke in anyway will likely be ignored, IMO.

Chicago said...

While speaking at "A Duke Conversation-Chicago" on April 18, Brodhead defended the group of 88 by stating they were "representing students who felt threatened by the lacrosse incident." Who were these students that "felt threatened?" The only threats at that point were to the lacrosse players who had been plastered all over campus and threatened with a banner stating "castrate." How exactly was the G88 endorsement thanking people for not waiting for the truth to come out defending people who felt threatened?

Anonymous said...

There seems little if any chance that anyone outside the Blue Committee itself will be heard, no matter if one is an alumnus, current student, faculty, etc.

One theme that runs throughout the entire Rape-Hoax is how insular the involved parties are and the degrees to which they will go to remain so.

The Group of 88 revels in their solipsistic behavior, immune from criticism, self-reflection or irony.

The Durham Police Department seems to have had little difficulty following a rogue and criminal prosecutor in his attempts to falsely imprison three innocent young men.

Students, civil rights activists, and the press acted seemingly in unison calling for the punishment of the accused without respect for due process.

And all of these groups, to this date, including the City of Durham itself, still have not come forward publicly to proclaim their contrition.

No, there will be no findings of fact from this or any other commission.

Those involved will be pardoned by virtue of out of court settlements and the like with nothing having changed to prevent this type of appalling behavior from happening again.

Anonymous said...

"'When it was offered, I thought it was highly appropriate,' Duke President Richard Brodhead said of coach Mike Pressler's decision to resign."
Fox News/Goggle

Did Brodhead's actual firing of Coach Pressler constitute a "Guilty Until Proven Innocent" attitude on Brodhead's part or at least conspire with its spread among the Duke community?

J.P.

Anonymous said...

Who appointed KC Johnson babysitter for Duke and academe in general? Go off and push your book, KC.

I just wish I didn't have the feeling you & your blogging chorus wouldn't have been there had the people in question not been white. And, yeah, some of your favorite presidential candidates are black...

KC Johnson said...

To the 1.48:

I can say without equivocation had the Group of 88 thanked protesters who demanded the castration of three innocent black student-athletes I would have responded in the same way.

But I just wish I didn't have the feeling that the Group of 88 wouldn't have rushed to judgment had the people in question not been white.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

My multiple part question for Mr. Brodhead:

Duke has reportedly settled a grade retaliation law suit file by one of the 2006 lacrosee team members.

1. Has he seen to it that the Professor who used the grades of Duke University for their own ends has been punished?

2. Has he investigate whether or not this was the only incident of grade retaliation against lacrosse student or other Duke students who don't conform to the world view of its faculty?

3. Has he in any way reminded the Duke faculty that grades belong to the students that EARN them and do not belong to the faculty to use as they see fit?

Anonymous said...

I thought the question of why the same standard shouldn't be applied to Broadhead as was applied to Pressler (raised by Kristin Butler) was a good one.

Also, why is it that the G88 have actually been rewarded for their behavior (by bestowing departmental status on AAAS, etc.)?

Are any steps being taken to increase intellectual diversity and tolerance?

Would it be appropriate to consider improvements in how Duke Press operates?

Anonymous said...

"Who appointed KC Johnson babysitter for Duke and academe in general?"
anon 1:48 am.

Obviously you weren't going to do it, maybe because the innocent were white?

Methinks thou doth projecteth too mucheth, anon.

["Google"]

J.P.

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson, I think the way you twist the remarks of other people is indicative of your personality--you have to be right all the time, even at the expense of "truth." I suspect if you had the opportunity to live with another being--try a goldfish first--you might become more tolerant of other ideas and recongize that you aren't always right. BTW, I think that given all of your strong statements of support for the (overwhelmingly white) LAX team, your more tepid comment--adding the r-word, natch--about support for non-white athletes speaks volumes about you. And helps provide context for the comments about black-on-white rape, lower standards at professional schools due to "less-qualified" non white (male) students, welfare mothers, etc., etc.

And 2:00--who appointed you KC Johnson's co-baby sitter for Duke? D'you really think anyone with any sense would pay attention to you? Students "own" the grades they "earn"? I don't think this is a property issue.

Anonymous said...

2am:

The 1:57 post was more general. It mentioned "non-white" players. Why'd you respond to an unasked question,ie, "black" players?

M. Simon said...

Reason or intellectual thuggery?

Which should be Duke's guiding principle?

Anonymous said...

1:57
Whats da matta? Things not going your way and you have no means by which to justify your WRONG position. You fell out on the wrong side of the fence and assumed that you would always get your way because "white is bad, black is good"? Your type is why there is a racial divide. Why keep stirring the pot. Put it aside and work on fence-building not building demolition!

AF said...

President Brodhead, you said “I pledge that Duke will respond with appropriate seriousness when the truth is established.” on April 5, 2006. On April 20, 2006, you said “If our students did what is alleged, it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough.” What did the LAX players tell you between April 5th and 20th to make you change your focus? More specifically, what did Reade and Collin tell you personally that led you to believe Mangum's "story" or did you blindly follow your activist professors in believing that "something happened"?

Punditarian said...

I continue to believe that of all the major personalities in this sordid affair, President Brodhead was the most dishonorable, and his behavior the most vile.

Anonymous said...

Questions for Mr. Brodhead:

1. What has Duke done to address the issue of the Durham Police Department targeting Duke students?

2. Is it safe in Durham for a Duke student?

3. What did he and Duke learn from this "fiasco"?

4. What will he and Duke do to address the lessons learned, if any?

5. Has he and has Duke apologized yet to Mr. Pressler and his family?

6. Has he considered resignation so Duke can "move on"?

7. Has he or Duke urged a U.S. Justice Department civil rights violation investigation of Durham in order to protect the civil rights and safety of Duke students?

8. Has he read any "how to" books on leadership?

Locomotive Breath said...

http://www.admissions.duke.edu/jump/applying/finaid.asp

Tuition and Fees $34,202

1) For 47 lax team members that represents a total tuition of $1,607,494 (not allowing for the relatively limited number of athletic scholarships). For that amount of money why did you refuse to meet with the lacrosse team and their parents who foot the bill?

2) You claimed that to start "interviewing" people would be interfering with the police investigation. Yet you made a number of strong statements and decisions. Is putting yourself in a self-imposed information vacuum while taking action the best way to run a university?

Anonymous said...

Kind of makes me appreciate the corporate practice of writing huge checks to failed CEOs and sending them on their way. At least they're gone.

Anonymous said...

Professor Kim Curtis perpetrated grade retaliation against two lacrosse students in her class, later claimed a "grade miscalculation error" in both players' grades, played a speaking part in the potbanger rally, and accused the two lacrosse players in her class of a criminal cover-up. Did President Broadhead actually mean to say, "If our FACULTY did what is alleged, it is appalling to the worst degree. If not, whatever they did was bad enough"?

Anonymous said...

One of my many questions to Brodhead/Burness would be in connection with one of his final statements on the matter, after the indictments were dropped. On his area of the Duke web page(but I don't have a link now) his comments mentioned his willingness to help the Duke community heal (I'm paraphrasing somewhat). I'd like to know what he intends to do to help the Duke community "heal" since I've seen no evidence of any action on his part.

As a Duke alum, I got plenty of emails from the administration when this was hitting the fan but I was deafened by the silence as the truth emerged.

Ginger said...

What is Brodhead's pay package? Salary, house, non-contributory retirement, car, travel allowance?

Ralph Phelan said...

Given "That the seven-person committee includes a Group of 88 member" and a board member who has publically supported Brodheads actions and asked people to "move along" I assume the fix is in, and this is as pointless a waste of time as the Chalmers report on the police department. Still, I'll shoot:

Why is Kim Curtis still on Duke's payroll?

Why doesn't the Faculty Code of Conduct apply to certain faculty?

Anonymous said...

Someone is a little cranky this morning...get over yourself. If you were a regular DIW reader you would know that had the faculty turned against players of a different color, KC would have defended them as well.

However as KC and 99.9% of the readers know this would never have expolded had the players been black.

Anonymous said...

Questions for the Panel to be posed to President Brodhead:

1) "Given that several additions to the faculty that were hired during a transparently "diversity-first, merit-second" hiring binge (self-described by an influential Dean as a tool to "change" the perceived "whiteness" of Dook, his words), reacted so irresponsibily as to provoke the University to write undisclosed settlement checks to at least five families, have you given any thought to restoring merit to the top of the hiring criteria at the University you have been entrusted to steward?"

2) "What tangible steps have you undertaken to combat the widely-noted belief that left-leaning politics now dominates your curriculum?"

3) "First, congratulations on achieving a substantial amount of ethnic diversity on your faculty. Do you feel there is sufficient ideaological diversity in the social sciences department at your University?"

4) "Do you agree with the statement that the reason leftward leaning faculty fill the ranks of your faculty--to the virtual exclusion of other viewpoints--stems from the fact that liberals tend to be more intelligent people than conservatives? Do you even know who on your faculty made that statement?"

5) "How long do you think the current faculty at your University can continue to trade on the esteemed reputation earned by faculty hired during a by-gone merit-first era?"

6) "What tangible steps have you undertaken to achieve a greater intellectual diversity on your faculty?"

7) "What risk-management steps have you undertaken to avoid having to sign additional undisclosed settlement checks (also drawn off of other people's money), in case members of your faculty are again presented with a political issue they are not mature enough to handle?"

8) "Why don't you think any faculty from the law school signed the Group of 88's advertisement?"

9) "What due dilligence into the substance of the allegations did you undertake before demanding the resignation of Mike Pressler?"

10) "Do you think you treated Mike Pressler, Collin Finnerty, David Evans and Reade Seligman fairly, prior to signing undisclosed settlement checks?"

Anonymous said...

11) "If you could only change 88 things about your University during the remaining time of your tenure as President, what would they be?"

Ralph Phelan said...

As I stated on another thread:

Due to its board structure Duke is essentially "owned" by the Methodists of North Carolina. At the upper levels of church hierarchy they are a very PC bunch.

I can only assume that Brodhead is doing exactly what his employers want him to do.

miramar said...

Once again, Duke students have shown themselves to be the real heroes of the lacrosse hoax. I am proud to say that my daughter is one of them.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be great to get the definition of "leadership" from that great scholar, Mr. Brodhead?

Anonymous said...

2:35 writes "KC Johnson . . . you have to be right all the time, even at the expense of "truth." I suspect if you had the opportunity to live with another being--try a goldfish first--you might become more tolerant of other ideas and recongize [sic] that you aren't always right."

Someone is a little nasty so early in the morning. But when one is unable to formulate a reasoned argument, petty insults will do I suppose.

Truly sad.

Anonymous said...

KC has noted that, "But I just wish I didn't have the feeling that the Group of 88 wouldn't have rushed to judgment had the people in question not been white." In case anyone has any doubts that KC's right, just remember that when a young black man allegedly raped a white Duke freshman last year, the faculty did not take out any ads or make any statements, and no one was banging pots outside the house. This particular house is within walking distance of 610 N Buchanan, so the potbangers could have gone there very easily if this alleged crime had fit within their particular view of the world.

Anonymous said...

5:47 am,

You'll notice the post didn't ask mention "black." It mentioned "non-white." You & your master, KC, seem to think that non-white equals black. FWIW, I don't hate whites. Like any other "race," it's a constructed identity.

I find people like you--if you really believe your stupid post ("you fell on the wrong side of the fence...you are responsible...you hate whites, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah")--to reflect the stupidity that makes the US the laughing stock of the educated world.

You have no idea what I think. I noticed KC didn't read the post well. And, having read many of his posts here and elsewhere, I agree with those folks who think his support for Barak Obama is a kind of long distance version of "some of my best friends are black."

Anonymous said...

Duke needs a new beginning. This race baiting by the Duke faculty and staff cannot continue or be allowed. Given this behavior, the ability for Duke to move forward with present administration and unpunished staff is problematical at best.

no justice, no peace said...

Regardless of the comments submitted to the committee, I stongly suggest the questions be framed so that a yes/no answer is NOT a choice.

Brodhead has so much to answer and we need to hear, in detail, how and why he has responded and NOT responded...what he has done and left un-done.

pres-review@duke.edu

Anonymous said...

Ah, in 2:35's post we find the hurt, petulant tone of those without an argument left, and whose only response amounts to "You big meanie."

KC Johnson, I think the way you twist the remarks of other people is indicative of your personality--you have to be right all the time, even at the expense of "truth."

It's quite possible that for the Group of 88 and other enablers of the hoax, as it is for you, "hav[ing] to be right all the time" is seen as a personality flaw and something to be avoided (which they do very well). But KC, in contrast, is a scholar, and supporting claims with facts (in your terms, "be[ing] right all the time") is his professional responsibility. Your phrase "at the expense of 'truth'", complete with scare quotes, is inadvertently amusing -- you probably aren't familiar with Prof. Lubiano's famous phrase, "it's not about the 'truth'." Maybe you can take it up with her.

I suspect if you had the opportunity to live with another being--try a goldfish first--you might become more tolerant of other ideas and recongize that you aren't always right.

KC would surely find it easier to recongize that if you provided some specific examples of where he has deviated from the facts.

Orson Buggeigh said...

To 1:48 and 2:35. Are you faculty at Duke? Members of the G-88? Or only fellow sympathizers? Since you ask the question, the reason Duke needs a babysitter is the unconscionable actions of a significant portion of its faculty, its administration, and trustees. Clearly the trustees, the president, deans and administrators are not living up to their responsibilities to protect the rights of their students.

In the case of the administrators, this is particularly disgraceful. They are supposed to be the ultimate people responsible for the welfare of the students. These administrators ignored faculty members who engaged in grade retaliation (Curtis), participated in a virtual lynch mob )pot-bangers protest), utilized university funds and equipment to produce the wanted posters, faculty who made university policy statements (signing the listening statement as departmentally approved) without department votes or normal shared governance, and generally ignored the faculty conduct code. Not to mention violating the rights of the students by providing access to student records without court orders to do so, or the administration telling accused students not to tell their parents or obtain legal council.

Do you, 1:48 and 2:35, believe that these actions are acceptable, responsible actions for a university administrator? The faculty are nearly as bad. Eighty-eight of them joined the mob, and a vast majority of the faculty were silent, allowing the mob to go about its work unimpeded by any demands for due process or the rule of law. Do you feel proud of this? Is this what you would pay $35 - $40 thousand dollars a year for if you were a parent? Or would you like to send in the babysitters?

I don't think Duke needs babysitters. It needs wholesale resignations. The president, and all members of the administration who supported the action of the G-88 should all be dismissed. Faculty who participated in grade retaliation, or in any way assisted in the violation of the rights of Duke students should be dismissed. Members of the G-88 should not be allowed to serve on faculty personnel committees or as graduate faculty, nor should they be allowed to teach classes that are graduation requirements.

Is this harsh? Not nearly as harsh as 30 years in prison. Especially for a crime that you didn't do. Since the apologists for the university won't admit wrongdoing, it suggests they do not think they did anything wrong. They did. The university's faculty and administration, with the fullbacking of the board of trustees, tried to railroad innocent men to support their race / class / gender metanarrative. That is wrong. It is unconscionable. They failed their duties as faculty and administrators. If they had any sense of decency, they would resign.

Anonymous said...

11:02--Trust me. If KC were such a hot scholar, he'd be at a better school.

He makes errors of omission all of the time in his blog & he frames arguments to back his right-wing, in my opinion, racist, assumptions. And he provides a safe home for racist commenters in the blogosphere. That's his business, but, old son, it ain't scholarship.

Meanie? No, I don't think I'd say that. He's more whiney. The Eddie Haskell type crossed with one of the kiddie show hosts. I mean, in look/style. But, you asked!

And, dearest, it's never about truth & KC knows it. It's about how you play your data.

I've provided KC plenty of examples & sometimes--after being bothered long enough, like w/ his DUP post--he modifies. I don't need to do it everytime, ok?

Thanks for defending him. You keep his picture over your bed at night, too?

no justice, no peace said...

Dr. Brodhead, as one who has abetted and directly contributed to the destruction of the Duke brand, a brand built by many honorable people over many years, damaged through the severe and possibly illegal treatment of students, former students, and faculty, what are the top ten action items you will do this year to restore the Duke name?

What do you personally intend to do to restore the trust?

Anonymous said...

I think some of you are hilarious. I hope no one on this committee wastes any time whatsoever on the questions KC-as-Fuehrer-of-Duke has posed or on those that many of the posters as good little KC juniors have posted.

When are you guys gonna get something new to talk about? I've given up hoping you'll get lives.

KC Johnson said...

To the 11.12:

"Trust me. If KC were such a hot scholar, he'd be at a better school."

As I have noted previously, before coming to Brooklyn, I taught at Williams (US News ranking, #1, liberal arts colleges). I turned down an offer to be brought up for tenure immediately to remain there. I realize that someone as status-conscious as it appears you are might not have made the same choice I did.

The reasons that I came to Brooklyn--a desire to live in New York, a commitment as the son of public school teachers to public education, support for the Chancellor's educational reform agenda--remain the same for me now as they did in 1999.

moving-target said...

10:44 AM

I’ve read a great deal of this blog for the past year, yet never felt compelled to comment since a great deal of what I might have added would have merely been repetitive.

You attack KC for having the supposed temerity to know what you are thinking, and at the same time apparently think you know what he is thinking (Obama) and judge him for your assumption.

I for one am proud of KC for doggedly and irresistibly dragging this sordid episode in our culture out in to the light of day for all to see. It has been a Herculean task and the end result is an accomplishment I shall share with my children one day when they consider attending any college.

The thing which saddens me about your post and others like it is that you choose to attack KC in any way that you can, for his views, his perspective, his methods, his opinions or any other convenient target. So what if he has occasionally interjected his own opinion in to the telling of this story, I would challenge anyone to produce this volume of material and not occasionally lace it with your own perspective. What you should be remarking upon is his consistent even keel and occasional dry understatement.

In any event, to attack him is to miss the point. To offer your own views as some how superior smacks of elitism or worse. I abhor the intonation that KC or any of his supporters do not "get it" in some fashion or other.

What. Ever.

The real issue is that you don’t care for the message, and what it implies, and so you shall attempt to shoot the messenger.

xutag77 said...

Dr Broadhead,

Will you continue to support Duke's student athletes as well as you supported the men's lacrosse team during an investigation from a rogue District Attorney?

mb said...

The suggestion that Broadhead is in any way a "victim" comparable to the Lacrosse 3 makes me want to vomit.

By the way, I picked up my copy of "Until Proven Innocent" yesterday and paid the full $26.95 price, gladly, as a show of support for K.C. (and Taylor). I live in a college town with an uber-PC Tier 1 research university, and (coincidentally?) found the book very difficult to locate. The single copy on the shelf was buried among others in the law section of the social sciences/history area. In contrast, one of Catherine McKinnon's recent feminist tomes was prominently displayed for easy access. Hopefully a lot more people will be seeking-out this book and my bookstore will see the error of its ways. However, given how beholden to PC and the university my town is, I won't hold my breath.

So far, two chapters under my belt, I find the book a fascinating, riveting read. While I've been a loyal visitor and sometimes-commenter to this blog, I'm finding nuggets of new information on every page.

Good show K.C. and Stuart!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if things would have turned out differently with the G88 if Affirmative Action (AKA-Quota System) had not been in place. How many of those 88 would have even been there? And now they push Diversity to soften-the-blow, so to speak. One wonders what's wrong with the pendulum.

Not many of them must be outdoorsy as they don't seem to understand that when you walk in the snow you leave tracks.

DG

Debrah said...

TO 11:15 AM--

I haven't seen such frustration and distasteful envy on anyone since former grade school classmate Cynthia Bost lost her bid for most prolific Girl Scouts cookie peddler.

You need to grow up. If KC and his book were not so significant, you wouldn't be here flaming anonymously...in futility.

Don't tell me or anyone here to stop participating and observing one of the most significant events to occur this past year on our national landscape.

This case will be discussed and the book will be read by law school classes for decades to come.

Will you still be throwing spitballs at your betters?

Anonymous said...

Some more questions for Broadhead. Do you agree with the Group of 88s characterization of their listening ad as a response to general conditions on campus regarding race relations and sexism issues or do you believe that in the context of the timing it was released, it was dealing with the alleged gang rape on March 13?

If you agree with the groups characterization of the ad as being a social commentary on the Duke culture - why do you feel you should continue to be president of a university which is apparently rife with racism, male privelege and sexism?

no justice, no peace said...

Well stated 11:08.

One point - inre: "...Especially for a crime that you didn't do..."

There was NO crime. Nothing happened.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "11:02--Trust me..."

That is the whole point. Few ever trusted you in first place and those remaining will never trust the likes of you and yours again.

Those closest to you realize there is no upside in associating with you. Do you sense the movement away? What about returned phone calls? What about people politely excusing themselves from you at parties? It is ever so slight...listen...watch...observe...

You no longer get invited to play cards. You see, knowlingly sending innocent people to prison for thirty years is worse than being a cheater at cards. Abetting those who exhibit deplorable racist behavior after-the-fact is even worse.

The light switch is on.

Anything said, written, or relayed will be challenged, written-off, or deeply discounted.

And that is from the people who give you the benefit of the doubt.

Most are well beyond that and will actively try to deconstruct the foundations of what little power you thought you had.

Bob said...

KC,
Here’s another way to frame one of your questions. President Broadhead you disciplined an innocent lacrosse team by canceling their season and firing there coach. What discipline has been meted out to your faculty and administration for their less than innocent behavior?

Anonymous said...

For 2:35, truth, or at least "truth", was something of value, that KC is criticized for neglecting:

you have to be right all the time, even at the expense of "truth."

By 11:12, 2:35 has made a startling reversal:

it's never about truth & KC knows it. It's about how you play your data.

2:25/11:12 would be more persuasive if s/he could decide whether this is something to criticize or to uphold--something that anyone commenting on the Duke hoax must do.


11:12 continues:

The Eddie Haskell type crossed with one of the kiddie show hosts. I mean, in look/style.

Perhaps this is the core of 2:35/11:12's argument against KC. We at least get a perspective on what s/he considers essential.


Earlier I referred to 2:35's "hurt, petulant tone." In his/her reply, s/he writes:

And, dearest, ...

I don't need to do it everytime, ok?

You keep his picture over your bed at night, too?

If on nothing else, s/he and I can agree on the accuracy of my description.

Anonymous said...

What was the amount of money used as a pay0ff to Lacrosse players from Duke?

Has anyone ever found out if Crystal was really a college student officially enrolled anywhere at the time of the alleged incident?

Anonymous said...

"And, dearest, it's never about truth & KC knows it. It's about how you play your data."

It's ALWAYS about truth you horrible person. Quit trying to drag us down into the same hole that you're in.

Debrah said...

Members of Duke's Gang of 88 are showing up now that they see themselves exposed to the world.

Rather than continuing to behave like children...coming here to issue anonymous attacks on someone they can never best, they should debate KC openly and sign in using their names....

.....like the professors they claim to be.

Debrah said...

I agree with those folks who think his support for Barak Obama is a kind of long distance version of "some of my best friends are black."
***************************************

You have to be one of the most disgusting members of the Gritty Duke Gang.....holding onto nothin' left to hold onto.

LIS!

What a bigot.....who, no doubt, makes his/her living fighting for the rights the othered.

LOL!!!
LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

No, 1:23, I am not horrible for stating the obvious: in attacking the G88, KC plays the data. There is no "truth," capital T about their work. You aren't horrible either for assuming there is one "TRUTH" about the G88. Mostly, you are STUPID. You know, STOOO POD. KC plays data in his attacks on the G88. DATA. What is the "truth" about these people's research? You are much safer in talking about data.

KC is indulging in academic politics. Oh, yes, he could have stayed at Williams. It's a good school as he is so fond to tell us. A small, good, rich kids school FOR UNDERGRADUATES. A research power house? Not hardly. And, I'm so glad he had a commitment that brought him to Brooklyn. It ain't Columbia. It ain't NYU. It ain't even Fordham or Hunter. And this is the man you let explain the research of people well outside his field...can he read the languages of all of their research? And that's just a first question.

But, it's funny to hear all of you barking. And calling names. And so wanting to force people to do stuff.

And, Debrah, you would be hilarious if you weren't pathetic. I feel sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Debs,

I'm sure nobody can best KC in your small mind, but guess what? We don't wanto to. We've got better things to do.

And you know what? You can stop us from being academics.

Debrah said...

Well.....I'd like to ask Dan Blue if he could sit down with that profiling Roman thugintellectual, Mark Anthony, to help him understand that just a small display of GRACE might be a good thing.

Slave to the rhythm dear Thug....and chill.

No need to lecture on diversity when you actually live it.

Soobs said...

Why is it that the only true "men" in this whole fiasco, were 46 young adult students?? They've proven to be more mature than the whole lot of Duke admin.

haskell said...

1. Blue Committee: Don't forget to ask about Duke's Good Neighbor policy -- to hell with an administration that encourages the local police to target students for minor infractions. How bad is that?

2. Debrah 1:23 Funny how you can always tell the G88ers. They are the ones pointing fingers and calling people names. A serious question, how do you refute an ad hominem attack without stooping to the nanny-nanny-boo-boo level? Well, a fairly serious question anyway. KC better brace himself for the 9/11 Duke visit, I would anticipate some outrageous, rude and boorish behavior.

I would comment that the G88 and supporters cannot divorce themselves from the nouveau riche, bourgeois, and superficial concepts of A Large Prestigeous University and a Fancy Academic Title as somehow being an end in themselves. That reminds me of one of my old observations: The worst drivers drive the "prestige" cars -- when I was young, it was like: Look out! Here comes a Cadillac!!

Debrah said...

And, Debrah, you would be hilarious if you weren't pathetic. I feel sorry for you.

GOL!!!
GOL!!!

ROTFLM-T's-O !!!

Debrah said...

To haskell--

Most stunning for me is their lack of grammatical skills....the choice of words used to express themselves.

I remember when I used to look up to professors.

Beyond the comedy, I do feel a strong sense of sadness for upcoming university students.

hman said...

To 3:16
KC Johnson has written a book about the Duke No-rape case which by all appearances is going to be read by lots of people and maybe even studied in Law` Schools for generations. After all, the case became an extremely high profile affair, (largely due to the efforts of the PC crowd in Durham). All told, it was by far the highest profile example of a dishonest prosecution in modern American history. And there are obviously more interesting days ahead as the civil lawsuits gather speed.
If you guys are credible "academics" (and there is nothing we can do about it!!!) why not write a book or two about this matter?
As things stand today, KC and S. Taylor are owning this story and the gang of 88, Brodhead, et al are bleeding all over the floor and will continue to do so. No one seems to be making an effort to defend them other than with silly ad-hominem taunts like. "But you are a right winger!!!" If that is the best you guys can do you are not going to like the future.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:14 wrote "And, I'm so glad he had a commitment that brought him to Brooklyn. It ain't Columbia. It ain't NYU. It ain't even Fordham or Hunter."

You're right. And Williams "ain't" Duke and Duke "ain't" Princeton. Rather than attempting to imply that Prof. Johnson is not qualified to critique profs at Duke - "a research powerhouse" - because of where he teaches, please explain why a history professor is not qualified to offer critiques of the scholarship of, say, a cultural anthropologist.

You state "And this is the man you let explain the research of people well outside his field...can he read the languages of all of their research? And that's just a first question,"; is that accurate? Are the individual fields within the broad field of the humanities, and perhaps the social sciences, so dissimilar in language that the work of a particular scholar in one field can not be critiqued by another? (I would assume that certain social sciences, such as economics, would , because of its very technical language, have no relation to cultural anthropology, and thus support your conclusion.) And what does your theory mean with regard to the rise of interdisciplinary studies?

I'm very serious in my question; I have posted questions in the past about the group profiles on this blog. Prof. Johnson has posted responses that many institutions will have tenure review committees which consist of profs. outside of the candidate's field as a defense to his profiles of scholars outside of his field. Is that not appropriate in your opinion? Without insults, because I really am interested in a reasoned response to Prof. Johnson's position, are you able to articulate why, for example, a historian can not offer a valid critique of the work of a cultural anthropologist? You've indicated that the language of a particular field may pose a barrier to a scholar of another field in offering a valid critique; what other considerations are there to support your position?

I'm not an academic but I'm interested in the issues raised by the group profiles.

Anonymous said...

It appears the Duke faculty and the students and the majority of the student leadership do behave synchronously. The "high standards" are subjective.

Their actions, behavior, and intellect ("real kind of ‘gangster’ scholarship") are uniform, and robotically consistent at worst.

So what is the problem? If you don't fit this profile, don't apply. Conversely, if you did well in "perp"-school...by all means go to Duke and thug out.

by the way...........................................is Duke a state school?

Anonymous said...

If you don't like the prevailing campus attitude at Duke, apply to Syracuse or Univ. of West Virginia or Univ. of South Carolina. All are good schools.

Stu Daddy said...

Debra...

Love the Grace Jones and Madonna videos. Vox pop is your thing!

Could you please translate following?

"GOL!!! ROTFLM-T's-O!!!"

I am so not hip. Thanks!

Stu Daddy said...

Hey... What's wrong with Fordham or Hunter?

No Longer Anonymous said...

Mr Snob says Anon 3:14 wrote "And, I'm so glad he had a commitment that brought him to Brooklyn. It ain't Columbia. It ain't NYU. It ain't even Fordham or Hunter."

You're right. And Williams "ain't" Duke and Duke "ain't" Princeton. Rather than attempting to imply that Prof. Johnson is not qualified to critique profs at Duke - "a research powerhouse" - because of where he teaches, please explain why a history professor is not qualified to offer critiques of the scholarship of, say, a cultural anthropologist.

People are so incredibly stupid: Should I go to Illinois or Duke--blah blah blah--------------

People who are talented and hard working succeed wherever they go--this US News ranking stuff is as scientific as arguing that a meatball sandwich is inferior to a BLT.

The Untalented, which encompasses most of America, including "elite" America, need their stupid status symbols.

The Talented take calculus and physics and create--OK?

Debrah said...

TO Stu Daddy--

GOL = giggling out loud

ROTFLM-T's-O !!! = rolling on the floor laughing my (T's are the pair sported only by women) off.

LIS!

:>)

AMac said...

Anon 4:56pm --

That's a good comment. I'd like to make a related point.

Prof. Johnson has done what the NTSB does after a plane crash--a "failure analysis." Usually, NTSB investigators find a number of contributing factors, and so Johnson has found here. The Durham Police's incompetence, an unethical DA pressed to win a primary, unhinged Hard Left "community activists," racial animus... a pretty long list.

One piece is the involvement of certain of Duke's faculty in facilitating the Hoax. In particular, Johnson has highlighted their Rush to Judgment, their record of making sometimes unethical and false statements, their inability to admit error. And weaknesses in the scholarly record of some. (I think he's shown that the scholarship is a mixed bag, ranging from solid to lousy. I can't evaluate much of the work that's been described.)

Boy, this part of Johnson's Failure Analysis ticks some people off!

Pro-Group of 88 Anons, why not present your alternate view of the faculty's role in the Hoax/Frame? Resolved:

-- The G88's scholarship is uniformly up to Duke's high standards.

-- There are crummy scholars among the G88, but so what--the proportion is typical for academia.

-- Granted that there is an excess of lousy G88 scholarship, but this had no bearing on the Frame/Hoax.

You get the picture: pick the idea that you think is correct, and then explain the evidence that led you to that conclusion.

At some point, it might start to look like you don't have a compelling meta-narrative (i.e. failure analysis) to offer--you just want it to be known that you're mad.

Anonymous said...

3:16 PM

What arrogance . . . you have stopped yourselves from being acacemics . . . and you have stopped yourselves from being honnest brokers of knowledge long since. Put the pumpkin back over your head and yell aloud . . . .

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of my son who is a senior at Duke and feel so strongly that the current "leadershhip" has miserably faliled its students and the University itself.

Collin, Dave, Reade and their families came through this trial by fire with courage, dignity, character, and yes, class.

They have set an example of strength in adversity which will be long remembered. That they are no longer a part of the Duke community of families is for me one of the greatest losses of all.

Their integrity has been a shining light throught this ordeal.


In contrast, I am stunned and embarrassed that Duke's leaders so utterly failed that same firey trial.

The soft underbelly of weakness at the Board and Administrative levels has been exposed for all the world to see...

and a significant number of faculty have scared the hell out of everyone with their staggering ignorance and folly.

Their poor judgment and cowardice under pressure have diminished Duke's reputation.

I love this great university and long for strong leadership to begin the rebuilding.

We need new blood and new vision.

Grave mistakes were made and tolerated at every level.

We need a Board of Turstees, not a Board of Lemmings.

The silence of thier apparent "group- think" was deafening.

Is there any hope that some pretty serious resignations will be offered and accepted?

Remarkably, donations to Duke have soared.

I believe that generosity is more motivated by sympathy and love for this great University than suppot for current "leaders" and their hapless performance.

A Duke Mom

Anonymous said...

11:12 said --

"Trust me."

-- and then offered absolutely no reason to. No real need to repeat any of the anon's statements, since not a single one of them, not even the most defamatory, was offered with even a single supporting fact.

One of the reasons KC is so highly respected is that he doesn't simply say "this is my opinion, just trust me that it's right". He gives us the evidence that leads him to his opinion. If 11:12 is jealous of the respect KC gets, he/she might try doing what KC does to earn that respect.

Of course, perhaps 11:12 is only capable of tossing unsubstantiated insults.

Anonymous said...

4:16 pm,

When I was young, we always worried about the drivers of "wrecks," ie, older cars, often souped up by teenaged boys. (My father, an insurance lawyer, was particularly concerned about such cars and their drivers.) As the female driver of a large, prestige, foreign car, I find that lots of men in small, cheap domestic cars feel obliged to road past me on the highway. Often, they pass in the wrong lanes, etc. So, my experience is opposite yours.

In any case, I think Debrah calls names on here. So, too, do others. My take is that people notice the name calling more when it is used to attack thinks that they believe in or agree with. If the names are used against someone with a dissenting voice, people notice it less.

sulax88 said...

Anon 3:14 states...
"A small, good, rich kids school FOR UNDERGRADUATES. A research power house?"

I graduated from one of those...my main professor in my major was an NIH scholar who LEFT A RESEARCH POWERHOUSE BECAUSE HE HATED THE POLITICS...HE HAPPENED TO BE HISPANIC, AND FELT THAT EVERYONE THOUGHT HE GOT HIS GRANT FOR THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT BECAUSE OF HIS ETHNICITY...HE GOT IT BECAUSE HE WAS A GREAT SCHOLAR!!! ONE OF THE FINEST MEN I'VE EVER MET. HE PUSHED US HARD, AND MADE US WORK. HE CALLED MY DORM ROOM WHEN I MISSED CLASS SICK!!! HE CARED!!!

In my class of eleven premeds, all of us are now practicing physicians, six of us are/have been med school faculty at some point...not a bad legacy. Oh, BTW of those eleven, FOUR were also minority students, who all went on to become med school faculty.

My message, GO SHOVE IT...you know nothing about academic prestige or about what really matters in academe. I've been there, done that...both as a student at an "elite" undergrad only school, and as a faculty at several different publicly funded medical schools...FWIW, I still get invited to referee papers and asked to speak to students and residents, despite having stepped away from academe in medicine due to disgust with the politics.

sulax88 said...

BTW...the "elite" undergrad only university I attended was also a Methodist school...chartered not long after DOOK!!!

mac said...

A question for the Blue committee:

"Do you want Duke to get sued again - (or face further threats and make additional settlements?")

Seems that's a good question to ask, considering the direction the leadership's been taking Duke.

mac said...

Another question for Blue:

If you were advising someone at another university, would you recommend that they keep the same leadership in place?

mac said...

Another question:

How many years of ham-handed leadership will it take for Duke to follow in the steps of RMWC, and become another institution entirely?

Anonymous said...

4:56:

I don't know how it is at Brooklyn College, but at the universities with which I am familiar (and at a lot of other places) the tenure & promotion process is more or less as follows (Please note I am not taking hours to explain this perfectly, because I frankly don't have them; I'm simply trying to provide information. I hope it is all accurate and clear.):

1. The home department (anthropology, criminalogy, etc.) asks for letters of recommendation for the candidate from experts in the relevant field. These letters, which vary in number, are used by tenured members the department to vote tenure and promotion. (I have written some thirty over my career; they have all been for people in my discipline with one exception. The exception was for someone who did similar work in a related discipline.)

2. The case then goes up the academic ladder, which varies, I assume, depending on the size and structure of the university. Those letters serve as the basis for the case, together with the departmental vote. Often the college, in my case, Arts & Letters, has an elected body of faculty representatives that functions as a college level personnel committee. Then there is another at the university level...
2a. There is often a parallel administrative vote: Dean, Provost, President...
3. At every level above the department, the NON SPECIALISTS are supposed to read the recommendations of the experts as well as the general materials supplied by the candidate.

Usually, the non-specialists take the word of the specialists and/or the department concerning the specific value of the candidate's research. All of the materials for candidates are supplied at all levels, so a representative could read all of the work of every candidate. In the larger universities, there may be more than 20 or 30 people coming up for both tenure & promotion and perhaps another 10 or 15 coming up for promotion for full in a large college. It is a great deal of work--and responsibility, which most faculty take very, very seriously--to read the letters and the general background material provided. (It is also a great deal of work for the candidate to provide all of the written documentation.)

Is it likely that a historian representative on a committee would read and attack/dismiss/disparage the work of say, a sociologist candidate for t&p who had strong department backing? Unlikely, although I'm sure there are cases.


I hope this provides a context for what some seem to understand as unfair criticism of KC Johnson. If it doesn't, I'm sorry in advance.

Anonymous said...

In 4:56, I mean "roar."

Ralph Phelan said...

haskell said...
"KC better brace himself for the 9/11 Duke visit, I would anticipate some outrageous, rude and boorish behavior."

Given history of both the treatment of un-PC lecturers on collegs campues and the history this particular case (i.e. threats of drive-by shootings), I strongly suggest he take stronger measures than mere "bracing." This could get physically dangerous.

KC Johnson said...

To the 7.56:

Since this blog is about Duke, and not about Brooklyn College, it seems to me that Duke's personnel situation is the most relevant.

As Duke's Faculty Handbook notes, "The Advisory Committee on Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure is charged with evaluating the dossiers forwarded to it, consistent with standards enunciated in this document. If the AP&T Committee has questions about materials in the dossier, or if it lacks certain documentation, the committee will ask the chair, director of the program, or dean of the originating unit for clarification or additional materials. The AP&T Committee may supplement the outside letters received about a candidate with additional letters or reports from evaluators who are competent to judge the candidate's scholarship. Should the AP&T Committee decide, in its sole discretion, that it needs additional advice, it reserves the option to establish an ad hoc panel to review the dossier."

The AP&T must consist entirely of people outside a candidate's field.

So: while you might not be certain about the situation at Brooklyn (though you can find info on the web to satisfy your curiousity), at Duke, profs from outside a candidate's field have power to affect the candidate's continued employment at Duke based on their evaluation of the candidate's scholarship.

This system makes it quite striking to see the contention of some Group sympathizers that people from outside a prof's field lack the qualifications to simply describe a prof's scholarship.

Anonymous said...

As a Duke alum, a couple of questions for the Blue Committee:

1. Has student enrollment in classes taught by any member of the "Group of 88" declined this semester? (A boycott would have been appropriate.)

2. How many $.88 donations has the University received thus far? (This would be a measure of alumni discontent.)

I don't think Pres. Brodhead should survive this debacle. I understand that at the outset his decisions must have been shaped by the real fear that the lacrosse players and even Duke students in general would be targets of violence if he didn't take steps to validate the accusations and abhor the nature of rape. However, he has had ample time and evidence to reconstruct his response and place blame where appropriate, and instead appears cowed by the G88 faculty. Unless there are repercussions for these faculty members no true lessons will be taught nor learned from an internal University perspective. The trustees should take the first step in this process by terminating Brodhead's contract.

Ralph Phelan said...

My only real question for the Blue Committee:

Why should anyone take you seriously?

Anonymous said...

KC, I think if you reread the entry I was responding to, you'll see that it wasn't about Duke. It was a general question.

And, ta very much for the info about Brooklyn, but I'm not interested...That wasn't the point of my response.

You just can't stand it can you when someone explains why people might take exception to something you've done, can you? Again, I suggest spending more free time with animate objects and less with your computer. And lose the bow ties.

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.22:

I'd urge you to direct your concerns to President Brodhead and Provost Lange. Their email addresses can be found on the Duke website.

After all, if you're troubled by a historian describing the work of non-historians, I imagine you must be outraged by Duke's personnel system, which gives to non-specialists power over the employment future of tenure-track Duke faculty.

Anonymous said...

KC,

Don't you get it? I don't care what you do. You're not in my field and I am glad, because I think it would be much less collegial--and probably no better--if you were.

I don't care how Duke tenures and promotes. Not. at. all. (Do you read me?)

I was simply explaining to some person who asked why people might be offended by your presumption that you should be able to comment on everyone's work. I personally don't take the word of any monolingualist on subjects that require other languages very seriously.

My comments weren't about you. They're weren't about Duke. They were an attempt to make something clear to someone.

Sorry I tried. It's your blog, I know. But it isn't always about you. Or Duke.

Anonymous said...

To KC's most recent comment: I'm not outraged about Duke's system. As I noted, I was trying to explain something to someone.

I must say, however, I do wish that Brooklyn had managed not to tenure you. You seem really difficult to be around: you're somewhat thick when you choose to be. You put words into people's mouths and onto their comments. A bad idea. I'd think you'd be a better historian if you didn't do that.

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson at 12:29, this post is another example of how you twist people's words...that's why I wouldn't read your book and wouldn't encourage people to.

I wouldn't believe you if you told me the sun was rising in the east unless I could check.

KC Johnson said...

To the 12.45:

Many thanks for the kind words.

To the 12.43:

I see. So you're concerned with a historian describing the works of non-historians, but don't care about (a perfectly appropriate, in my opinion) personnel system in which non-specialists can decide the fate of profs. Thanks for clearing that up.

Anonymous said...

It must be nice to belong to the AA Dept. (Affirmative Action of course) ...

It gets you a job, it allows you to say and do anything you like about anybody, no matter if anybody gets hurt or not by your comments or actions.

If anybody complains then simply play the race card.

When somebody like KC comes along and spoils your little party by telling the truth with evidence to back it up, simply attack his Blog with silly and juvenile comments, anonymously, of course, and attack him personally because you can't attack his credentials or scholarship, as he has shown yours to be inferior.

Yep, it sounds like the perfect gig...

DG

sulax88 said...

KC,

The troll factor in this particular thread has gotten huge. I admire you for standing in here and going toe to toe with these guys. You have done nothing more than describe the events as they occur with some thoughtful interpretation and contextual referencing. Hmmm...lemmeseeeeeeeeee...

I think that would be a fair description of what a historian does!!!

They are the ones who don't get it.

-LIS

Anonymous said...

No, KC, at 1:36, you don't see, because you don't choose to. You don't argue well & I'm surprised that so many people think you do.

I was describing a general system of tenure and promotion to someone who asked. It had nothing to do with my opinion about the way the system at Duke or anywhere else works. I wasn't making a value judgement. I was trying to explain why others might.

I have enough to do running my own life without trying to run those of others.

Your deliberate misreading of my words makes me increasingly distrust you. And, you can evaluate all of the people you'd like. Do I have to take you seriously? Nope. And I don't. I actually feel sorry for you. You have to live with yourself.

KC Johnson said...

To the 4.27:

Thanks for clarifying. It appears that now your argument is that at some (unnamed) institution (and not at Duke, the subject of this blog), the P&T process is handled entirely through experts in the field, with no one else having any say in evaluating a candidate's scholarship; and that this situation explains why some (unnamed, and not, apparently, you) people would claim that a professor from outside the field cannot describe others' work.

I rather doubt that many people would find such an argument compelling.

Anonymous said...

NJNP, you say:


Inre: "11:02--Trust me..."

That is the whole point. Few ever trusted you in first place and those remaining will never trust the likes of you and yours again.

Those closest to you realize there is no upside in associating with you. Do you sense the movement away? What about returned phone calls? What about people politely excusing themselves from you at parties? It is ever so slight...listen...watch...observe...

You no longer get invited to play cards. You see, knowlingly sending innocent people to prison for thirty years is worse than being a cheater at cards. Abetting those who exhibit deplorable racist behavior after-the-fact is even worse.

The light switch is on.

Anything said, written, or relayed will be challenged, written-off, or deeply discounted.

And that is from the people who give you the benefit of the doubt.

Most are well beyond that and will actively try to deconstruct the foundations of what little power you thought you had.

9/6/07 12:08 PM

======================

This is a very important point. I am on the A&S faculty at Duke and would have never imagined that some of my colleagues could do this kind of thing, and try to defend it with the arguments I have been seeing: the intellectual and moral dishonesty of what they say and write is arresting.

Now I know, and I imagine I am not the only one who has taken notice in recent months.

I don't have yet a clear sense of what might happen but as NJNP suggests, these people have lost my trust and from now on I will take everything they say very differently: I fear that I will second-guess them and assume the worst unless proven wrong.

I have read UPI and find it well researched and honest, even when I disagree with it. How anyone can think that attacking KC's (presumed) politics or the ranking of his institution (relative to Duke?) is a serious critique escapes me. (According to this argument McClain should not have been hired at Duke...)

If the best that they can do to discredit the book is come here and write this kind of nonsense, admitting that they have not read it and plan not to, then I can only shake my head in disbelief. The more they do this kind of thing, the more people will scrutinize their qualifications and wonder whether Duke in fact has a double standard.

rrhamiton said...

anonymous perfesser says...

I was simply explaining to some person who asked why people might be offended by [KC's] presumption that [KC, a historian] should be able to comment on everyone's work.


Something I've told my kids: The most important field of study is history. If you study medicine, you'll learn medicine; if you study engineering, you'll learn engineering; if you study law, you'll learn law; if you study a science -- including a social science -- you'll learn a science. But if you study history, you'll learn a significant amount about every field of human endeavor and experience.

A study of history is the best preparation for writing about every aspect of the Duke Lacrosse Hoax -- including examining the scholarship of the 88ers.

RRH

Anonymous said...

First typo in the book: Page 7, 6th line, "...on a collision course with thier increasingly radical professors..."

Sheesh, spellcheck alone should've gotten that one.

Anonymous said...

First typo in the book: Page 7, 6th line, "...on a collision course with thier increasingly radical professors..."

Sheesh, spellcheck alone should've gotten that one.

9/7/07 11:20 PM
-----------------------------------
Congratulations. You have just won the Richard Brodhead Award for Advanced Literary Criticism.

Anonymous said...

RRH, I'm the anonymous you quote at 11:03.

I'm an historian--a full professor, etc. with lots of publications (before the bloggers ask//No! I will not tell you who I am or where/what I teach because I don't want to be bothered by some of you, so feel free to reject my comments out of hand)--and I am uncomfortable with some of KC Johnson's critiques of the G88's work. I have learned much studying history, and because I am multilingual, I have studied a variety of kinds of historiographies, but I would not attack so strongly as he has the work of others in fields that were far away from mine without doing a great deal of research beforehand. I mean months, maybe longer, for as many people as he critiqued.

This is my opinion & I figure I'm allowed to hold it.

Anonymous said...

4:32 Good morning KC Johnson The more you twist my comments the more I laugh at you. I didn't mention an unnamed institution. If you'll read back, you'll notice that I commented on writing numerous tenure evaluations over the years. So, buddy boy, we're not talking about one institution. Try your silly misreprentation tactics on other people. Is this really how you do history? By responding to comments that weren't made using words that weren't used? You really do deserve Debrah as your fan club.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
First typo in the book: Page 7, 6th line, "...on a collision course with thier increasingly radical professors..."

Sheesh, spellcheck alone should've gotten that one.

9/7/07 11:20 PM
-----------------------------------
Congratulations. You have just won the Richard Brodhead Award for Advanced Literary Criticism.

9/8/07 12:13 AM



Thanks, where do I collect my award? I think I should get one for being first to find that error. :) RRH

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson and 4:27:

I posted the comment at Anon 4:56 asking 4:27 why s/he opines that it is not appropriate for Prof. Johnson to comment on the work of a scholar outside of his field. I appreciate the response at 7:56 which, as a non-academic, I found informative. Anon. 7:56's exchange with Prof. Johnson, however, belies any evidence of professionalism illustrated in his/her cogent response at 7:56. As an attorney, I argue as an advocate daily, but I've never addressed any adversary with the scorn and disdain that is regularly directed to Prof. Johnson. I find it a sad commentary on the state of the academy that the minimal debate rules of courtesy and respect can not be adhered to when discussing a topic. While Prof. Johnson is not without elbows sharpened by sarcasm (of which I am an admitted fan), his taut arguments and overall polite presentation of fact and argument DO NOT invite the vitriol that appears to come from other members of the academy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
RRH, I'm the anonymous you quote at 11:03.

I'm an historian--a full professor, etc. with lots of publications (before the bloggers ask//No! I will not tell you who I am or where/what I teach because I don't want to be bothered by some of you, so feel free to reject my comments out of hand)--and I am uncomfortable with some of KC Johnson's critiques of the G88's work. I have learned much studying history, and because I am multilingual, I have studied a variety of kinds of historiographies, but I would not attack so strongly as he has the work of others in fields that were far away from mine without doing a great deal of research beforehand. I mean months, maybe longer, for as many people as he critiqued.

This is my opinion & I figure I'm allowed to hold it.

9/8/07 5:18 AM


First, professor, be careful here with saying "an historian". Some pedants here will ding you for not saying "a historian". I swing both ways on that one, though I too have been called a grammar-Nazi.

Second, ... arrghh, I'll have to try to finish this later. The missus is out of town and my three girls (a/k/a "the Menendez sisters") are needing some Daddy time.

RRHamilton

Anonymous said...

12:10, The professor who answered your question here. My vitriol--Yep! That's what it was--was directed at KC because he kept misrepreresenting what I had written toward his own ends. I got tired of it quickly. Read back through this thread and I suspect you'll notices he responds to things I didn't write to make his points.

As I told him multiple times, I did NOT care how Duke tenured and promoted people. It wasn't my business. I did care about trying to answer your question to the best of my ability.

If you're left with any doubt that many (if not most) American universities place a great deal of emphasis on what are often called "outside" letters, I suppose you could go to the websites of a variety of universities and check their rules.

If I'm not overwhelmingly polite to Professor Johnson, it's because I don't like his misrepresetnation of my words and intent. His treatment of my comments makes me suspicious of him.

Anyway, I'm glad that you found my explanation useful. BTW, I would like to reiterate that candidates for tenure and/or promotion provide huge amounts of material to support their cases. They effectively have to provide a summary their careers to date. In triplicate.

Anonymous said...

12:11: The pendants can go on all they like! This grammar fascist thinks that aspirated and unaspriated "atches" and such things matter and are to be reflected in writing...

Anonymous said...

To Prof. at 12:56 from Anon at 12:10:

I appreciate your point and your frustrations if you believe Prof. Johnson misrepresented your arguments and/or provided evasive responses to your posts, but you responded by an attempted smear of his life style choice and his wardrobe. If you find his arguments unconvincing, so state rather than insulting him for choosing to live as a bachelor or without a partner or for choosing a bowtie over a necktie. In combing through your rhetoric, you appear to have some valid points which are lost in your personal animus toward Prof. Johnson.

Thank you, nonetheless, for joining the fray.

Anonymous said...

Finally getting back to my 2:11 PM comment... I see that there have been several comments since then.

First the professor commented on my comment about pedants who will complain about "an historian" vs. "a historian" (while I think either is acceptable): "The pendants can go on all they like!" Prof, we have only one commenter here who may be both a pedant and a pendant (certainly the latter). I only hope she doesn't read this. :)

An attorney commenting about the same time as I did said, "As an attorney, I argue as an advocate daily, but I've never addressed any adversary with the scorn and disdain that is regularly directed to Prof. Johnson." Yes, but that's because we attorneys can say "You're a knave!" with the most flowery and fawning language. It's a dark art that we should not expect non-lawyers to have mastered. I've said here before that watching professors argue is like watching little girls fight -- all the shrieking and hair-pulling, etc., with so little real damage done.

Finally, and thank God -- for I still have a bachelor-dad night with three non-driving daughters before me -- another commenter who I suspect is an attorney (the same as 12:10?) posted a 2:06 response to the professor. It is not exactly what I would've said, but with a little editing ...

"I appreciate your point and your frustrations if you believe Prof. Johnson misrepresented your arguments and/or provided evasive responses to your posts, [and with the mean-spirited, ad hominem attacks by some commenters on any critic of Prof. Johnson]. If you find his arguments unconvincing, so state [without responding in an understandably angry way]. In combing through your rhetoric, you appear to have some valid points which are lost in [unnecessary personal remarks about] Prof. Johnson.

Thank you, [Professor], for joining the fray.


RRH