Monday, October 01, 2007

Chronicle on Brodhead Apology

As expected, the Chronicle offers first-rate, comprehensive coverage of the Brodhead apology--with an article, an editorial, and a news analysis of the event.

147 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I thought the University brought nice language and higher thought to a knife fight."

- Sergio Quintana, local reporter for NBC 17

BINGO!

Anonymous said...

Burness is quoted in the Chronicle article as saying that "it [the case] brought us [Durham and Duke] closer together." If he means that the case gave Duke faculty and Durham residents the chance to unite in expressions of racist hatred for the lacrosse team, yeah. Otherwise, he needs to get himself to detox pronto.

jim2 said...

I loved the comment to the Chronicle piece disputing that Brodhead had shown courage. It went something like, "Anyone can pretend to be John Wayne when the Indians have all left."

Brodhead would have shown actual courage if he had made some similar statement well over a year ago when it just might have made a difference.

Anonymous said...

"Burness ... said Brodhead had been seeking an opportunity to make such a statement for some time."

Oh for Pete's sake. He's the president of a major university. Anytime he wants to make a public statement, he can have Burness set up a press conference. For that matter, anytime he wants to apologize directly to the lacrosse families, which he still hasn't done, he can pick up the phone.

He certainly didn't have the slightest difficulty finding an opportunity to speak out in condemnation of the team last year.

Anonymous said...

The op-ed should go a ways to dispel the notion, put forth by many DIW readers, that David Graham is some sort of shrill for the administration.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Brodhead's words were both necessary and unusually direct..."

Oh. My. God.

If that's "unusually direct" what does he usually sound like?

Anonymous said...

The Chronicle also noted that Brodhead received a standing ovation for his apology. KC, were you standing?

Anonymous said...

"KC Johnson, a history professor at Brooklyn College and author of the "Durham-in-Wonderland" blog, said Brodhead's remarks were appropriate, but added that his sincerity would be reflected in his future actions."


You got that right! I would start with some housecleaning John Burness, and Kim Curtis spring to mind.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead said "The media had rushed to stereotype so fast in this case, and it was a case that was a perfect [public-relations] story."

Yes, the media rushed to stereotype in this case but the Duke administration and the Gang of 88 handed them the "metanarrative" on a silver platter. Which came first..the media or the metanarrative?

No one early on ever defended the lacrosse team or, for that matter, Duke University itself. No one took the position that Duke is a great university and that Duke does not cultivate a culture of racism and sexism.

Instead, the administration and the Gang of 88 in particular rushed to create their own story and, as Evan Thomas bizarrely noted, "The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong."

The Gang of 88 and their cohorts were practically tripping over themselves as they rushed to get their negative opinions about the lacrosse players and Duke in print and on the airwaves. It seemed almost like a competition among the Gang of 88 to see who could come up with the most outrageous smear.

If Brodhead had stepped up to the plate and emphatically asserted that Duke was not the bastion of institutionalized "white male privilege" that the Gang of 88 so wanted everyone to believe, the Duke fiasco might have been stopped in its tracks or, at the very least, Duke would not be paying out millions for their treachery.

Anonymous said...

Is Burness a Communist?

Anonymous said...

1:03

Sorry, Duke and most other elite universities (boardrooms, white-shoe law firms) remain bastions of white, male privilege. That the Lacrosse "case" was a complete screw up from beginning to end doesn't change the situation on the ground.

Anonymous said...

One issue everyone who posts here seems to be ignoring: what place, if any, do varsity team sports have on university campuses? I'm not convinced our universities wouldn't be better places--and perhaps, maintain the high standards so many advocate--if varsity sports were abolished. Or at least sports scholarships.

Debrah said...

The article, editorial, and the news analysis were interesting reads.

The new analysis piece was the best. More honest. More pointed.

Out of all the comments, I am with Ken Larrey--one thousand percent. Brodhead was most certainly forced into his little impromptu session--(supposedly planned a month ago)--by the Trustees.

Larrey exposed Burness once again for the massive and obese teller-of-untruths that he is. How I detest that glutton!

It's amazing how some were so quick to applaud this horrible speech from Brodhead since it was so clear in his delivery that it was forced and insincere.

Some on these fora--from the academy--have periodically opined that nothing will change, fundamentally, with respect to those like the Gritty Gang of 88.

I find that apathy and complacency...that sense of resignation....almost shocking.

Is a profession only about playing it safe until retirement? Going along to get along and never offending?

In the name of academic freedom?

How far is this particular brand of freedom allowed to go before it is checked and blunted?

Until some radical 88-esque seat warmers cause a riot that actually kills a student one day?

After students walk away with an expensive degree that is essentially worthless because of the caliber of professors teaching at their school?

After KC has spent a year of his life on this blog.......a soft apology from a gelled and prosaic invertebrate such as Richard Brodhead is supposed to calm the waters?

The next phase for those in the academy is finding someone who will fight this cancer and make it his/her mission.

This will require someone whose comfort zone does not rely on being popular or having chums within the academy. It will require someone with a talismanic view.

There will be funding available from many places in the private sector...simply because so many are sufficiently repulsed by this sorry state of affairs.

Many have used this analogy when explaining situations in need of drastic and heroic measures.....and I believe the cancer inside our university campuses calls for such a measure:

What is required now is someone who can pull the trigger.

Will we see such a person emerge?

Anonymous said...

is 12:25 David Graham or John Burness?

Debrah said...

"Sorry, Duke and most other elite universities (boardrooms, white-shoe law firms) remain bastions of white, male privilege. That the Lacrosse "case" was a complete screw up from beginning to end doesn't change the situation on the ground."


Such stereotypical, hyperbolic ignorance.

I'll bet you also thought Dickey's speech was powerful.

Anonymous said...

To 1:03:

What is wrong with "bastions of white, male privilege? !!!

Anonymous said...

1:50- how about we eliminate the letter D from the alphabet?

maybe take Nitrogen off the Periodic Table?

since none of the Hoaxsmen appear to be or have ever been varsity athletes at the university level, I hardly see how eliminating sports will help us in correcting their evil ways.

please try to remember, the players were INNOCENT.

Debrah said...

TO 1:50 PM--

Perhaps you need to take a seat beside Ashley...although he has toned down a bit from the days when he and his paper were helping railroad the lacrosse players:


Balancing athletics, academics

Sep 30, 2007

As Ray Gronberg reported on the front page Tuesday, Duke University is embarking on a major effort to develop a strategic plan for the athletics department.

Among the items President Dick Brodhead urged Athletics Director Joe Alleva to "pay particular attention to" were three, at least, that could have broad financial implications.

Brodhead listed "a strategy to address facilities needs," a charge likely to focus attention on, among others, Wallace Wade Stadium. He's also asking for the strategy "to bring the athletics budget into balance going forward and to bring football to a level of athletic performance consistent with Duke's mission in athletics, to 'frequently produce winning seasons and the realistic opportunity to compete for team and national championships."

Coincidentally, Gronberg's report appeared as The Chronicle of Higher Education published and posted on its Web site an analysis of recent athletic fund-raising at major colleges and universities.

The report should unsettle anyone concerned about the mushrooming growth of and emphasis on college athletics.

"As the country's biggest athletics departments have sought ways to pay for multimillion dollar facility expansions, coaches' salaries, and other rising costs, their fund-raising operations have experienced enormous growth," The Chronicle reported.

"But contributions to sports programs are eating up an ever-larger share of donations to colleges."

Citing an article in the Journal of Sport Management, The Chronicle noted that "while donations to the country's 119 largest athletics departments have risen significantly in recent years, overall giving to those colleges has stayed relatively flat. ... In 1998, athletics gifts accounted for 14.7 percent of overall gifts. By 2003 sports donations had reached 26 percent."

That's the context in which Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other top-tier colleges and universities struggle.

Even though overall fund raising at Duke and UNC keep reaching record levels, and they have scored head-spinning major donations this year, they are bound to be influenced by the nationwide arms race.

Witness, for example, the sharp increase in what UNC thought it must pay to attract a top-rank football coach -- and Duke's concern about aging Wallace Wade Stadium.

(Of course, this is an area where age and cramped and quarters can, under some circumstances, work in a university's favor. Think Cameron Indoor Stadium.)

Intriguingly, we compete very well here in the athletic fund-raising sweepstakes, according to the Chronicle report. In fact, of the 64 (out of 73) colleges in the six major conferences that responded to a Chronicle survey on athletic fund-raising, the top spot is held by none other than UNC.

Our flagship state university raised $51 million in 2006-2007 for its athletic programs, according to the Chronicle, almost $6 million more than second-ranked Virginia.

On top of that, UNC has raised $230 million in capital campaigns for athletics in the past five years, one of the very highest totals among the 64 schools.

Duke has been no slouch. The Chronicle research indicated Duke has raised $25.5 million, fifth-highest total in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 17th overall among the 64 schools. Duke's capital fund raising was a healthy $150 million in the past five years.

Nationwide, the hunt for athletic donations shows no sign of letting up. "Over the next few years, big-time athletics departments hope to raise an additional $2.5 billion for new buildings," the Chronicle reported.

The bar for fielding competitive football teams, for example, will keep rising, even as Duke aims to improve its suffering program.

We are fortunate here that our two top-division schools, Duke and UNC, have maintained their sense of balance between academics and national prominence in many sports far better than many schools.

But those who worry about the increasingly daunting challenges in keeping athletics in perspective, about pressures on academic standards and competition for finite dollars, are right to be concerned.

I don't envy presidents, athletics directors and coaches who seek to reconcile priorities and philosophies that may defy reconciliation.

Bob Ashley is editor of The Herald-Sun.

Debrah said...

H-S letter:


Just lacrosse settlement

Several recent letters have asked the lacrosse guys to show compassion for the citizens of Durham by withdrawing their $30 million settlement demand. A lawsuit is unnecessary, the argument goes, since they were ultimately declared innocent.

What the letter writers are asking of the lacrosse players is to overlook the emotional anguish they, their parents, family and friends suffered, as well the financial disaster and academic setback. The mistake was admitted, all is over, so please be nice. Otherwise, the lawsuit will burden Durham citizens with a tax increase.

The argument is, in part, correct. The argument is wrong only because it cast the net too broadly. The argument does not discriminate.

Let's be just. Let's distribute the cost of settlement or award not among the citizens of Durham generally but only among the following: The citizens who voted for the race baiting Nifong, the members of the Durham Police Department who mismanaged the arrest, the mayor's office who is blocking investigation for fear it may support the suit's allegations, the gang of 88 at Duke and the editorial board of The Herald-Sun, which refused to extend the presumption of innocence to plaintiffs.

None of these citizens was compassionate when they had the chance. But the plaintiffs are now supposed to show compassion. What a shameless double standard.

FRANK S. WOODY JR.
Chapel Hill
October 1, 2007

Anonymous said...

1:47PM

"Sorry, Duke and most other elite universities (boardrooms, white-shoe law firms) remain bastions of white, male privilege."

I have to disagree. Today, Duke's undergraduate population is 49 % women and likely to increase. Duke may have been a bastion of "white, male privilege" in the past but, at present, I don't believe the demographics support that characterization.


If Duke Admissions was considering two applicants with identical academic resumes, one a "privileged white male" and the other an underprivileged black female, I think Duke would select the woman. I don't doubt that there are "privileged white males" at Duke but their "bastion", or well- fortified position, has certainly crumbled in the past decade.

AF said...

Burness said "The media had rushed to stereotype so fast in this case,"

Okay, so your fearless leader must be media. "whatever they did" doesn't exactly fit as anti-stereotype.

Burnass, Boardhead, Vendetta er Monetta, et al were all there stereotyping and banging. Took absolutely no courage and no guts. Wow!! It didn't even take brains (obviously).

Dicky boy, if you want to hold another conference, why not? A little more national exposure can only keep the tarnished image in the public eye. As for an apology, why did you apologize to the conference attendees? Did you screw their lives up? The apology should come to the 47 LAX players, their families, and the Presslar family. They are OWED apologies. You hooligans who masquerade as faculty and administration of Duke University (and yes, you fit the definition perfectly) should each and every one hit your knees and beg forgiveness. The travesty of justice was not committed by the LAX team and coach but by the Duke administration and some of its faculty. As Gomer would say "Shame, shame, shame.

Then again, Gomer obviously had more sense than some of you. He didn't have an agenda to push forward. He was just a kind and compassionate human being. Maybe you should aspire to that. Try the Chapel, there's some repentance needed there too. It may be a Methodist school but some good old Catholic confession might help save some of you from facing the devil (pun intended) in the hereafter!

inman said...

1:47 Re: Bastion of white male privilege ... you might want to consider the facts. These are the statistics on undergraduate students in the Fall of 2006
(obtained from www.duke.edu):

"STUDENT Enrollment (full-time) . . .Fall 2006
Undergraduate . . . . . 6,197

African-American . . . . 10%
Asian American . . . . . .17%
Hispanic/Latino . . . . . . 7%
Caucasian . . . . . . . . . 54%
International . . . . . . . . 6%
Other/Unknown. . . . . . .6% "


Now lets assume that the student population is roughly 49.9% anatomical men, 49.9% women anatomical women and .2% anatomical "other" (wouldn't want to leave out a transgender operation in progress or omit any potential anatomically correct hermaphrodites).

If so, then only about 27% of the undergraduate population are white males.

Now, are you suggesting that 73% of the student population has willfullly forgone rights and privileges to allow the maintenance of so-called white male privilege?

The South is endowed with numerous colorful anecdotal phrases. With respect to your assertions, one came to mind.

(((First, imagine a wide grin and a twinkling eye.)))

"That dog don't hunt."

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 1:47 said...

...Sorry, Duke and most other elite universities (boardrooms, white-shoe law firms) remain bastions of white, male privilege. That the Lacrosse "case" was a complete screw up from beginning to end doesn't change the situation on the ground.
::
Several here have asked for an example of a 'narrative' that the G88 talk about.

This comment from 1:47 is a narrative that you just keep repeating over and over and over.

It doesn't have to be true or false...it is just 'bait' waiting for some poor fish to swallow hook, line and sinker.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

"One issue everyone who posts here seems to be ignoring: what place, if any, do varsity team sports have on university campuses? I'm not convinced our universities wouldn't be better places--and perhaps, maintain the high standards so many advocate--if varsity sports were abolished. Or at least sports scholarships."


Do you wish to eliminate basketball? Have you looked at how much money basketball brings in? What do you think happens to that money? … Scholarships, Endowments, Salaries.

Duke provides a place for people interested in both sports and academics. If you take that away are you are changing what you are offering in the marketplace. Is there a market need for such changes or do you just wish to inflect your own preferences into the product know as Duke?

Parker Smith said...

The apology was insufficient.

A sufficient apology would contain the words "my immediate resignation".

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 10/1/07 1:50 PM said...
"I'm not convinced our universities wouldn't be better places--and perhaps, maintain the high standards so many advocate--if varsity sports were abolished. Or at least sports scholarships."

A year and a half ago I probably would have agreed with you. But for me one of the standout lessons of this debacle is that athletes were a disproportiately large fraction of the (few) decent people involved. Maybe it's just because they were the victims, and if a random fraternity had been the target they would have responded as well - but that's speculation, and that the athletes responded well is fact.

My concerns about for-profit de-facto farm-league teams disguised as "student athletes" remain unchanged, but my respect for non-revenue sports played solely for their own sake has gone way up. They certainly deserve as much respect and support as any other extracurricular activity.

Right after a bunch of amateur athletes showed extreme grace under outrageous persecution is a singularly poor time to question the value of amateur athletics.

Stu Daddy said...

Not only is Duke University not a bastion of white male privilege, neither is the Board of Trustees, which for years has seated women, minorities and students around its table. Nan Keohane was President of Duke University!

The problem with Duke's board and administration, not to mention certain segments of the faculty, is its surrender to the pervasive pressures of political correctness.

Ironically, if Duke was white male bastion, this entire grim episode would likely have been avoided.

Anonymous said...

Ralph Phelan at 3:16, I think now is precisely the time to question the value of varsity athletics, espcially because they are not the same as other extracurricular activities in terms of resources used and privileges extended. (Many clubs do not expect their students to miss classes to participate in said club; nor do most extracurricular activities include the perk of student tutors, to which many athletes have access. Finally, most extracurricular activities don't require their own, often exclusive, and expensive, facilities.)

I have no problem with individual sports, but believe that athletic scholarships are misguided. Unless I'm mistaken, some universities don't give athletic scholarships. While I'd assume this would affect the big-league quality of their athletic programs, I'm not sure how the lack of big-time athletics affects their alumni support...

I don't care so much about de facto farm-league athletics, what concerns me is allocation of resources.

Anonymous said...

2:25 said: "If Duke Admissions was considering two applicants with identical academic resumes, one a "privileged white male" and the other an underprivileged black female, I think Duke would select the woman."

A stronger case could be made for taking an underprivileged black male over a privileged white male. Admissions officers are desperately trying to recruit males regardless of race so they don't end up with 70% females. It's the privileged white females who need 800 SATs and 4.0 high school GPAs. C'est domage!

Steven Horwitz said...

Ralph's last point is well-taken: there often is a big difference between the major revenue-generating sports at large research/Div. I schools and the non-revenue ones. It's the latter that tend to be the focus of scandals involving unengaged or underprepared students with low graduation rates. Athletes at Division II and III schools tend to be less of an issue academically across the board along those lines.

Eliminating college sports altogether probably does more harm than good, but there's no doubt that there are real costs associated with the "professionalization" of the big-time sports at the big-time schools.

For me as a faculty member, it is one of the advantages of teaching at a Div. III school (other than for men's and women's ice hockey and skiing) that the downsides of athletics are less of a problem.

One other issue to consider is any possible differences between male and female athletes with respect to these issues. The women's LAX team showed great character and leadership as well. My own experience is that female athletes often tend to be among the better students I teach.

Anonymous said...

Please define "bastions of white, male privilege." I understand white, I understand male, and I am pretty sure about "bastions" - but "privilege" gets thrown around a lot and I would like 1:47 to give me a definition.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ralph @ 3:16. I'm not a big fan of the money sports, or even team sports in general, but I see a great deal of value in high school and college athletics. I read somewhere that young folks in their teens and early 20s crave the kind of bonding that comes with team sports or military training.

It takes years of parental involvement to achieve any kind of sports scholarship. I have 2 nieces going to college on volleyball scholarships and this process started before they were 12. This kind of involvment combined with decent, dedicated coaches can have very positive influences on kids. Combine this with the fact that such scholarships help kids get an education that they might otherwise not be able to afford. I don't see how anyone could think we would be better off without sports.

Anonymous said...

The article posted above at 2:16pm about big increases in athletic giving to the academy seems like a huge devalidation of the abolish sports cant so common among 88ers and other pc forces. Significant numbers of people making voluntary statments with money must be a real tooth-grinder for the 88 crowd. Comparable, perhaps, to seeing KC's book being carried by a student.

Anonymous said...

This is totally off topic, but it is being widely reported Britany Spears is having to give up physical custody of her kids to Ferderline.

Now my question is, does Crystal still have her kids, and if she does, why? Given her issues that are more extreme than Britany, what kinds of values are being impressed on these kids.

ANd I have to say that it's a sad day when K-fed appears to be a better parent. Yeesh.

Anonymous said...

sports had nothing to do with this Frame. get it through your pointy head, there was no crime that fits the metanarrative. get over it.

Anonymous said...

Inman, your percentages are just fine and dandy, but they say very little about relations within the university among your various anatomical parties. Isn't that actually one of the stereotypes that hurt the LAXers? They were so easily presumed guilty because they were considered part of a white male elite. A bastion of power isn't necessarily measured only by numbers.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, Duke and most other elite universities (boardrooms, white-shoe law firms) remain bastions of white, male privilege."

Sorry, but the exploits of the Group of 88 in the Duke non-rape Hoax prove without question you are completely wrong.

Sweet Thang

Anonymous said...

4:30, No one said sports did. You blind or just can't read?

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve Horwitz,

How does eliminating sports do more harm than good if what you mean is elimating varsity sports?

My experience is opposite yours: my female athletes (I'm at a much bigger state university) aren't necessarily better students. What I see is variation by sport. Swimmers, both sexes, have tended to be fairly good students. For example.

A general comment: it's not clear that basketball and football are necessarily revenue-producing for all Divison I schools, is it? Building a successful program can be very expensinve. Sometimes, the money doesn't produce results.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 4:30 seems to be talking to a phantom poster. Please clarify. I scrolled up and didn't find anyone arguing that sports had anything to do with "this Frame." Nor did I find discussion of any metanarrative. Which one do you mean?

Anonymous said...

If Dook's faculty had in fact been a bastion of white, male privilege, there is NO CHANCE you would have had the hormonal, visceral, group-nonthink that resulted in the Listening Ad. Absolutely, zero chance. There was no endorsement, official or forged, from the Department of European-Male Studies BECAUSE THERE IS NO SUCH DEPARTMENT!

Please stop reciting the metanarrative and learn the lessons of this case. The facts have peed in your race-flavored Kool-Aid, so stop gulping!

OPEN YOUR MIND: the Left's fixation with race, class and gender resulted in the influx of the identity-"studies" "academics" [giggles uncontrollably while typing the last two words] and their usurpation of positions formerly reserved for deserving, accomplished scholars WAS THE PROBLEM!

Anonymous said...

1:03

Duke and other universities are bastions of agendist victimolatry (the worship of that condition Whaneema called "victimage") masquerading as intellectual endeavor. This cult has clearly lowered the bar everywhere, and has diminished the overall quality of discourse at all universities.

The claptrap coming from the race-pimps and gender-pimps often seems superficially funny, but it really isn't. He who describes Yao Ming as a threat to American empire is simply a nuisance - but if he adds that white students registering to vote are secret racists, then he has become objectionable enough to deserve to be sent away and forgotten.

Would privilege be strong enough to save a white fool who uttered the same "quality" of remarks? Is it really a service to blacks, or to women, or to transgendered Chicanos that we expect so little in terms of rigor or logic when we appraise their "intellectual" gems?

I ask you, Whaneema: does expecting less not actually enshrine their inferioritage?

Anonymous said...

Nifong is sitting at home laughing his a%% off. He kicked this off for votes and election. Now most everyone who came in contact with the case is a criminal, etc. good work bloggers.

Anonymous said...

I think this outcry over the $30m demand in the potential Civil Suit reiterates the point I made a while back about the underrated wisdom of the abolished property-ownership prerequisite to voting.

One wonders whether Nifong would have been elected if the electorate had, as the Founders intended, been limited to people literate and accomplished enough to own and responsibily maintain taxable property. Since they are the people who are going to be bearing the brunt of the hit on this $30m suit ($25m of which will go directly to the taxpayers), why shouldn't they get more say?

I live in Wake County, so no big deal for me, but my goodness: how mad would I be if I owned a business in Durham, worked hard to provide jobs around all of the red tape and entitlement mentality, and was essentially disenfranchised by an ignorant-and-easily-race-baited plurality that elected Mike Nifong over my objection. The thanks I get is that MY taxes go up when THEIR candidate did this??????

Durham is a pre-Katrina New Orleans: run by idiots, for idiots, with civic-management malpractice just waiting to be exposed by a natural disaster or some other triggering event so that pre-existing local mismanagement can be blamed on someone else.

Either learn your lessons, or pay the civil judgments. For goodness sakes, don't ignore accountability of your voting decisions and asked to be spared the consequences of your own stupidity after the fact?

What thinking person thought there was one reason to elect Mike Nifong by the time the general election rolled around? If you ask me, the players deserve to receive every nickle and the city deserves to pay it. If only I had some confidence that the true consequences would be visited on the imbeciles that fell for Nifong/Mangum's schtick.

J. Publius in Raleigh

mb said...

I always get leery when people start throwing around accusations of "privilege," especially the "white male" kind. It has so far inevitably been the case that such folks don't understand the linkage between privilege and responsibility, nor the concept or "earned" and "unearned" privilege.

Leaving race out of the picture, let's look at privilege: Wahneema and her 87+1 pals enjoy much privilege, as can be seen by the way Duke has coughed-up beaucoup bucks to protect their sorry butts from a major spanking in civil court. They were able to make racist, sexist, classist, etc., comments, incite rioting, castration, etc., with impunity. Now that's privilege.

On the other hand, consider Dave Evans' poise and grace in the news conference immediately after being indicted. He had very little privilege compared to Wahneema, Broadhead, et al., but he came across as far more articulate and admirable than I ever witnessed any of the G88+1 were in this matter.

Which brings me to the concept of earned privilege: If Dave Evans has gained any privilege, "white male" or otherwise, IMHO it's because he's earned it via his performance and behavior throughout his relatively short career. I'm not sure about Broadhead, but I get the strong feeling that the privilege Wahneema and her fellow activist profs enjoy is of the unearned type.

If lots of white males enjoy "privilege," it just might be that case that they've actually earned it. However, I doubt that this concept is familiar to the G88 types.

rrhamilton said...

Anonymous said...
One issue everyone who posts here seems to be ignoring: what place, if any, do varsity team sports have on university campuses? I'm not convinced our universities wouldn't be better places--and perhaps, maintain the high standards so many advocate--if varsity sports were abolished. Or at least sports scholarships.

10/1/07 1:50 PM


Ralph Phelan answered this at 3:16 PM and, as usual, I'm tempted to simply adopt his response as my own. However, in this case, I think Ralph fails address separately the twin criticisms of scholarship athletics.

The first critical question is, Should athletes be given scholarships; the second is, should admissions standards be lowered to admit standout athletes.

Well, we have music scholarships and journalism scholarships -- why not athletic? Surely sports participation [note: I was not a college athlete] is a goal colleges should encourage. I would go even farther: Let the players be paid for performance. After all, a student on a music scholarship gets paid when s/he plays for a rock band for a student dance. (More personally, I was paid for working on my college newspaper -- and would've been paid the same whether I had been on scholarship or not.)

The second question, Should academic standards be lowered to admit the standout athletes? To this I would answer, "No, colleges should NOT be used as 'proving grounds' for professional sports leagues. Let the NBA and NFL do like major league baseball and set up an extensive enough 'farm system' so that college basketballers and footballers who turn pro are the exceptions rather than the rule."

So, yes to athletic scholarships; no to lowered academic standards.

That's R.R. Hamilton's opinion.

Anonymous said...

4:34PM

"A bastion of power isn't necessarily measured only by numbers."

I agree with this but in the case of the Duke fiasco who exactly wielded the power? Certainly not the lacrosse players.

Anonymous said...

J. Publius:

Regarding your "One wonders whether Nifong would have been elected if the electorate had, as the Founders intended, been limited to people literate and accomplished enough to own and responsibily maintain taxable property."

It isn't necessary to go back to the bad old days of literacy tests and property ownership to explain why Durham voters elected Nifong. Many of Nifong's supporters were some of the most educated and well-paid people in Durham. Isn't that a main point of this blog?

Ken Duke
Durham

Debrah said...

TO 5:17 PM--

So very many of the Durham residents who openly supported, voted for, and still wish to minimize Mike Nifong's unlawful deeds are also living off the public.

So what do they care about taxes going up from the lawsuits?

Except they might have a longer wait down at the Social Services office.

This is the disgusting part of it all. Those who are most culpable will pay nothing.

miramar said...

To Inman 2:45.

Your statistics are of course correct, as anyone can tell by walking around campus. Unfortunately, one of the things that we have learned from the lacrosse hoax is that some people won’t let facts get in the way of a good metanarrative. I guess truth is less interesting than fiction, especially if you have an ax to grind.

inman said...

Anon @ 4:34

Huh?

You seem to find facts distasteful when they do not square with your agenda. You also seem to be suffering from a rectal/cranial inversion.

Suggestion, get you head out of your arse.

Second suggestion. Try to get to know one or more of those who you consider white, male and privileged. If you throw you bias and agenda away, you may find them likable. Sure there are probably some who deserve contempt, but believe me when I say this, white males do not have a monopoly on behavior deserving of contempt.

Hence, the notion of the "great unwashed masses."

Finally, people who would judge me based on a stereotype such as "white privilege" have gotten very tedious ... purveryors of ennui. Privilege is like intimidation. No person can intimidate me unless I allow it. No one can have a privilege unless I grant that privilege in my own self interest.

I or anyone can adopt an anarchist view and attack the system in which they find themselves. Be advised however that there are consequences.

Steven Horwitz said...

Again, perhaps my experience at my place (Div III, top 50-60 SLAC) isn't generalizable, but our athletes, on average, out perform the student body as a whole by a bit, and particularly the women. I think that varsity sports, again at least in the world of Div III, creates opportunities for collaborative work and leadership that complement coursework and are very valuable in the world after graduation.

Students who play varsity sports also have to learn to manage their time better and understand that damage that overindulging in the "temptations" of college life can do. Here, at least, they tend to be somewhat more conscientious and successful students.

We have teams that are weaker in the classroom (football being one of them), but athletes are not a problem academically. Of course in Div III, athletes have to meet the general standards for admission. I have no doubt the situation is different in bigger state schools in Div. I.

Bottom line for me is that, for the most part, the existence of varsity athletics does not impinge upon my ability to educate my students, nor on theirs to acquire an education.

Anonymous said...


Debrah said...
TO 5:17 PM--

So very many of the Durham residents who openly supported, voted for, and still wish to minimize Mike Nifong's unlawful deeds are also living off the public.

So what do they care about taxes going up from the lawsuits?

Except they might have a longer wait down at the Social Services office.

This is the disgusting part of it all. Those who are most culpable will pay nothing.

10/1/07 6:01 PM


This is one of two points I've been meaning to address, hopefully in a creative and constructive way: How do we ensure that burden of the damages paid to the lax players (and Elmofasa and others) are borne proportionately by the voters most responsible for the causes of those damages?

The first method would be to increase taxes on the more culpable precincts, but it seems to me this would be difficult to do. It seems far better to prioritize spending according to the voting precincts that caused this damage. For instance, if a fire station or a police sub-station needs to be closed, then it needs to be closed in a Nifong precinct. If street potholes need filling or streetlights replaced, then the streets of the anti-Nifong precincts should be smoothe as glass and lit up like Christmas before dollars are spent in the guilty precincts.

Some will call this "racism", but those are the people who can't distinguish racism from justice.

RRH

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

Thank you for not waiting...

Anonymous said...

7:23PM

"Maybe we ought to require the 88 to get off their butts and go do some healty exercise, and learn to function as a team with some people they don't necessarily like."

Interesting idea. I've often wondered exactly how many of the Gang of 88 ever participated in a team sport on any level?

AF said...

I have a suggestion for Duke athletics. Give men's basketball a slice of the budget proportionate with Coach K's support of the LAX team. Give faculty raises and departments and appropriate slice of the academic budget to reflect their support of their students (but let the Chronicle determine that support--if Burnass and Vendetta get in there, they will hang the LAX'ers.
As for athletics, big time D1 athletics makes admissions policies a sham. If you don't believe it, look what happened to NC State under Jim Valvano. He recruited some great talent, it's just that some of them weren't even as educated as functionally illiterate. And before you Heels and Dookies start getting the big head, you guys have done it too.
Athletics can be a great motivator and teach real discipline. The only problem is, it is usually the "minor" sports athletes who learn this lesson. Cagers and footballers usually have such a distorted view of their worth that they can't handle a reality check (nor can they get their heads in the door).
Much has been made of the shame that the LAXers brought on themselves by hiring a stripper who happened to be a slut. Do these potbangers also condemn the vaunted basketball team? Haven't heard that one yet. How about football? Seems they had a party or two as well (and theirs wasn't cake and ice cream either). It's okay for them, right????? You 88--what say you on this point? It is to be condemned by the LAX team but you suddenly have super-glued lips about football and basketball. Whazzup wid dat??????????

Apologies might have saved some money. Not the kind that are read by zombies on TV. Sincere, honest apologies where remorse is obvious. Duhh, don't wanna pay the $30M? Get out there and kick some booty in the DPD, DA's office, and the city council. Their stubbornness and hypocrisy may just cost you a fortune!

AF said...

7:53

Oh come now--you know they played a team sport. It's called sniping!

They were National Champs in '06 too.

Anonymous said...

Steve H: "Of course, in Division III, athletes have to make the general standards for admission." Hogwash!!! Desired D-III athletes are given preference (perhaps not to the extent as D-I athletes) in admissions. The same is true for Ivy schools, although neither D-III schools nor Ivies give "athletic" scholarships. I have advised numerous student-athletes on college placement decisions; while I like the D-III model, it is not, from a recruiting and admissions standpoint, as far from the D-I model as the D-III schools suggest.

Jacob said...

Thanks for your wonderful discourse on this critical subject. I suspect, however, that this particular case of government misconduct is darker in motive than what we've seen in the past. The Duke case represents an epidemic, on a smaller scale, of the illness at the federal level as politicians wield their power and status against the citizen. Some of those citizens are Generals, some are talk show hosts and others are our neighbors. These citizens all exhibit a single attribute, however, that places them clearly in the line of fire: they nurture opinions not endorsed by the politicians.
The 2008 election maneuvering is filled with this type of unbounded behavior and we should expect it will get worse as the election nears.

Anonymous said...

1:03

Sorry, Duke and most other elite universities (boardrooms, white-shoe law firms) remain bastions of white, male privilege. That the Lacrosse "case" was a complete screw up from beginning to end doesn't change the situation on the ground.

the fact is IF yoou look out the window little man, YOULL SEE AN AMERICA BUILT BY primarily white men

IF you look at history you will see a NATION DEFENDED by white men who gave their lives so vermin and envious can criticize them as a matter of freedom of speech

IF you LOOK into your heart youll realize that you are no DIFFERENT than the group 88 who selfishly see only their self interest NOT the nations

i wish you all the success in the world to fail so that my chiildren will have great careers while you complain without ever making an effort

Anonymous said...

Does anyone believe that the person who replaces Brodhead will be any different--politically, philosophically, pro88ically?

I certainly don't.

Carolyn said...

Broadhead has to be kicked into doing the right thing. And even then, he does it badly.

I won't listen to his pathetic speech. But I will listen - and agree - to a former Duke athlete - Bilas who speaks more eloquently and truthfully than Broadhead ever could.

I agree when Bilas says Broadhead "was more concerned with liability than responsibility" and when he calls Broadhead's apology "woefully inadequate". But I most agree when Bilas says the most important thing of all - "Broadhead has to go".

Steven Horwitz said...

Farred was a soccer player and coach, and a pretty good one too I believe.

Anonymous said...

"This is the disgusting part of it all. Those who are most culpable will pay nothing."

How true. An ignorant vote is worth as much as a well educated vote. Those who are calling for the $30M law suit to end, are likely the same ones who were too stupid to realize months ago that their support of Nifong's unjust prosecution would lead to the $30M law suit!

Far too many problems are the direct result of lack of consequences.

At least Nifong's taxes will increase.

M. Simon said...

KC,

I note the analysis had you down as a mere blogger as opposed to a best selling author.

Interesting.

Anonymous said...

Refusing to listen to a speech but choosing to comment on it, is laughable. Don't let a little something like facts interfere with your complaints. And you all wonder why the BOT pays "you no mine." Broadhear's admittance of error was sincere, in my opinion. I. of course, read what he had to say. I never thought the day would come when I would have empathy for Broadhead. The persecuation and comments on this board has done it. Who would have thought?

Anonymous said...

6:01 What is disgusting is the overt racism in your post.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...


Interesting idea. I've often wondered exactly how many of the Gang of 88 ever participated in a team sport on any level?

10/1/07 7:53 PM
-----------------------------------

Kim Curtis: Synchronized potbanging

Wahneema Lubyanka: Competitive hot dog eating

gs said...

There is not a lot doubt that until Duke apologized, that the issue will hang over Duke.

There is little doubt that the apology would be a key to settling the remaining possible lawsuits.

The only question is did the BOT ask Brodhead to clear the road for the next president?

Debrah said...

TO RRH @ (7:23) PM--

And we are all still engaging in this game of...not really saying what we really mean...for fear too much honesty will come out....aren't we?

Everywhere, and especially on this blog.

I am convinced that almost nowhere in academia will there be found the kind of courage needed to pull the trigger on this madness.

Why must anyone apologize for telling the people who helped perpetrate a Hoax--a crime--the truth about themselves?

Do you think that we would be tap dancing around if we were talking about any other race of people?

It's becoming a sickness in this country.

This case was about race.

You can embroider it with all the various features so the weaklings will find it palpable; however, this case was about race.

And I will not be silenced into the kind of impotent dead weight of a Richard Brodhead.

Bizarre and useless people like Grant Farred can take their soccer balls and shove them into a dark place.

gwallan said...

Anonymous 1:50 PM said...
One issue everyone who posts here seems to be ignoring: what place, if any, do varsity team sports have on university campuses? I'm not convinced our universities wouldn't be better places--and perhaps, maintain the high standards so many advocate--if varsity sports were abolished. Or at least sports scholarships.

The reason the "diversity" crew dislike sports is that sport actually achieves that which they themselves are patently unable to do - bring people together. They depend on division. Without it they are nothing.

Think on this. For a "privileged white male" sport is the only arena where ability is the thing that matters. In any other area the "white male" is subjected to selection criteria that have nothing to do with talent.

Debrah said...

TO 9:34 PM--

Get used to even more honesty.

That's what happens when deliberate harm is done to innocent people.

Those harmful people are the actual bigots who wish to live by double standards.

I'm afraid these people have outed themselves, and they shall be characterized by their actions.

Accountability can be a bitter pill for those who aren't used to the concept.

no justice, no peace said...

Doing away with sports is a red herring.

The discussion must decide what to do with the fraudulent Gender and AAAs studies first.

They generate no real money and instead are a transfer of wealth. They do not raise the human condition. And the opportunity cost of allocating those funds elsewhere may be incalculable.

If my child has cancer, I don't need so race-baiting feminist fraud manufacturing lies about today's social conditions.

Anonymous said...

KC is moving on to Israel. Don't think there is too much time left for racist "honesty." Thank Heavens. Then Durham and its all its citizens will be left in the soup together,

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

P O S T O F T H E D A Y


gwallan said...

The reason the "diversity" crew dislike sports is that sport actually achieves that which they themselves are patently unable to do - bring people together. They depend on division. Without it they are nothing.

Think on this. For a "privileged white male" sport is the only arena where ability is the thing that matters. In any other area the "white male" is subjected to selection criteria that have nothing to do with talent.

10/1/07 9:56 PM


They really hate the swim team.

Anonymous said...

For Debrah at 9:52:

Yes, this case was about race and nothing but.

Unfortunately, history has been so falsified that it's hard to see the tunnel, much less the light at the end of it. As I've said here before, my kids in public school are being taught To Kill A Mockingbird as NON-FICTION.

Everything is upside down in American universities -- especially if one believes in any sort of cosmic justice. At American universities today, affirmative action admissions go to the descendant of the West Africans who enslaved and sold their fellow blacks. You know who suffers? The descendants of the white Federal soldiers who died to set those blacks free. So, on the basis of race alone we reward the children of the enslavers and punish the children of the liberators.

Like I said earlier, what they call "racism", any decent and educated person would call justice.

R.R. Hamilton

Anonymous said...

inman said...
Off topic:....

I looked at him and said "What's the matter."

He said, "My car is in Hamilton."


Couldn't you've said that differently? Ow.

RRH.

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

Many have already stated some of the benefits of college athletics. Another one I can think of is participation in the Olympics.

As far as the money, it seems that we have become so used to the PC lifestyle of athletics, that we have forgotten why they don't pay for themselves. Title 1X. Some of you are too young to remember what it was like before. I'm all for inclusion, but let's face it, women are not as interested in sport's participation as men. And women who are spectators, often don't like to watch women.

Before you call me names, just look at the stats. It did not matter what sport it was, if it was female, the attendance was terrible. It put a lot of pressure on the male teams, they had to make enough money to keep their program going, they also had to support the female programs that couldn't recruit or get attendance.

As a young student, living in a dorm, no car, little money, I was greatful to be able to go to a game with friends and socialize.

elena

Anonymous said...

This case was only about votes and Nifong's election. Not to understand that is not to understand the case. I do not care how these kids get into University - I don't care about their SAT scores, The more education the better for everyone in America. A few spots for athletics, minorities or disabled is not hurting anyone. Can't you folk go to a race blog? This is supposed to be about the Duke Lax Case.

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

jacob:

Just going by the photo, I owe you a great deal of thanks -- more than can be put into words. Still, words do sometimes manage to convey meaning or more: thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Refusing to listen to a speech but choosing to comment on it, is laughable. Don't let a little something like facts interfere with your complaints. And you all wonder why the BOT pays "you no mine." Broadhear's admittance of error was sincere, in my opinion. I. of course, read what he had to say. I never thought the day would come when I would have empathy for Broadhead. The persecuation and comments on this board has done it. Who would have thought?
10/1/07 9:30 PM"

You are of course entitled to your opinion, but it seems as though, to defend your opinion, you are cherry-picking the worst you can find of the comments which differ from your view and holding them up as representative.

Here's why I don't think Brodhead's apology was sincere: if you read it carefully, it isn't actually about Brodhead. Instead, it's a careful description of some other college president -- let's call him, oh, Deedorb -- who also handled the lacrosse scandal less than ideally, but far more acceptably than Brodhead did. Deedorb, you see, may have failed to impress upon the world the importance of not prejudging the players' guilt or innocence, but he didn't assert to the world that it was okay to pass judgment on the players before innocence or guilt was determined, as Brodhead did by telling the Durham Chamber of Commerce "if they didn't do it, whatever they did was bad enough." Deedorb failed to say loudly enough "the university does not support these ill-advised and divisive statements being made by some of our faculty and our students", but unlike Brodhead he didn't turn around and reward the faculty and the students making those statements, as he did with Wahneema Lubiano and Chauncey Nartey.

I wish that Brodhead's apology had been sincere, but how can it be? He didn't apologize for his actions, but only for his inactions, and I think that comes not from sincere remorse but from a desire to have people mistakenly think that inaction was all that he was guilty of.

Anonymous said...

Actually 12:43, I was replying specifically to the poster qho wrote "I won't listen to his speech but...". No cherry picking here.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant analysis, 12:43.

The conclusion is worth repeating, and adding to: "I wish that Brodhead's apology had been sincere, but how can it be? He didn't apologize for his actions, but only for his inactions, and I think that comes not from sincere remorse but from a desire to have people mistakenly think that inaction was all that he was guilty of."

I would add that he has not apologized for his inactions either. Before I say anything else, I better recount a colloquy I had with a Duke law professor last May. When I raised the issue of the 88, the law prof claimed that Brodhead couldn't do anything to them so long as the boys were in danger. I asked him, this being after the AG's pronouncement, so that the boys weren't in danger now, so why hasn't Brodhead moved against the 88 ... the law prof responded with silence.

We know that if those boys had been found guilty -- of anything!! -- that Brodhead would've dropped the hammer on the whole team. He'd be strutting around with the scalps of a lot of teenaged boys and today be basking in the praise of the diversity racist regime that governs American academia today.

Well, the teenaged boys were not found guilty. The middle-aged faculty are the ones who are guilty. Brodhead, so macho about taking on young men, hasn't show the cojones for taking on the middle-aged thugs in his own midst. In fact, and this gives the lie to every word of his "apology", he has promoted the most heinous of the faculty lynch mob -- including making AAAS a department!

I do feel sorry for Brodhead -- in a sense he appears to have been the terrified (remember Summers at Harvard?) hostage of the most viciously racist, classist, and misandrist forces yet arrayed on an American campus. Did he, like Patty Hearst in 1974, join his kidnappers? In the end it doesn't matter. They must be brought to justice and he is self-evidently not the man (or woman) for the most important job in the history of Duke University -- creating a diversity-racist-free zone throughout the campus.

R.R.Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Ken:

Let us not confuse educated with thinking. Indeed, there is so very little thought that goes into knee-jerk, race-baiting. That is the folly of the "scholarship" of identity studies. All those people, each brandishing PhDs or at a minimum master degrees, simply look at the races of the parties when they draw up sides:

To wit:
a) Black accuser v. three white accuseds? (where there is little if any evidence to support the charges)
A Listening ad gets published (by purportedly educated but I would argue not thinking people) commending the mob for "not waiting", due process is essentially repealed. Nifong elected after the DNA results come out.

b) White accuser v. black accuseds? [Jena 6; where there is no question as to the existence of a racially-motivated violent crime---a "hate crime" under any other circumstances---commited by these accuseds)
Suddely these "scholars" and the race industry rediscover civil rights and due process for criminal defendents.

As I said in my original post:
What thinking person thought there was one reason to elect Mike Nifong by the time the general election rolled around?

J. Publius

Anonymous said...

Check out Rush Limbaugh's website for his comments on Brodhead's pathetic apology. Rush says it is motivated by lawsuits against Duke. I agree.

Anonymous said...

I read Broadhead's apology. I read KC's analysis of it. Professor, I have a great deal of respect for your work on this case, and I respectfully disagree with your conclusion.

Powerful is not the word I would have chosen to describe President Broadhead's apology. Pathetic? Maybe, but more accurately, I'd sum it us in a word as

Predictable.

The Klan of 88 and its groupthinking allies on the Board of Trustees really don't think they have anything to apologize for. They really, truly don't get it. Still. And they are still controlling the university. They haven't paid any real price for any of what has happened, nor is it likely that they will, unless the alumni get angry enough to put away their checkbooks. Because that's about the only thing that will effect any real change on most university campuses. Dollars talk, bulls**t walks. Dollars have been generally supportive of the Klan of 88. So I wouldn't expect an apology to hurt their feelings, let alone hold them accountable.

President Broadhead's apology is really pretty thin gruel as apologies go. Much more of the politician's "mistakes were made" general murmuring of regret. It really doesn't address any specifics of the many ways that Duke's faculty abused their positions of power and authority; it doesn't hold anyone accountable for flagrant violations of the university's policies or the apparent willful violations of federal laws protecting student privacy, it just says that some of the faculty may have exercised poor judgment.

It would be nice to think that an honorable man would have fired the administrators who oversaw this fiasco, such as VP's and Deans, who are generally at-will employees, and followed up with his own immediate resignation. That, of course is wishful thinking. What happened is pretty much what I expected, given the lack of strong words of apology at the logical moments in December, 2006 and April 2007. Powerful? No. Pathetic, yes. And utterly predictable.

R.R. Hamilton's post at 1:39 is pretty much on point, and he raises an interesting issue. I suspect most university presidents are, unlike Lawrence Summers, not able to hold their own opinions against strong contrary views. An interesting question, though: are the people who become university presidents more inclined to be supporters of the race and gender bigots, or are they, like Patty Hearst, Stockholm Syndrome survivors?

Ralph Phelan said...

anonymous10/1/07 3:56 PM said...

"Ralph Phelan at 3:16, I think now is precisely the time to question the value of varsity athletics"

Well, based on recent performance, my answer to the question is that my estimate of their worth has shot way up.

It's reasonable for a university to be concerned that they are producing students who are good at bs-ing their way through things and turning in the minimum required without active thought, and are closed-minded, insular and incurious about anyone outside their group.

One would much rather produce students with genuine intellectual curiosity and a genuine respect for those different from themselves.

Based on the performance of various subsets of Duke University over the last year and a half, athletics seem to be effective at producing the second sort of person, while the departments of Womens Studies and African and African American Studies mostly produce the first.

If Duke wants more students with quiet dignity and fewer screeching loons, if Duke wants more graduates who are nationally known civil-rights lawyers and fewer who are unpublished "scholars," experimental evidence suggests that they should shut down WS and AAAS and give their budgets to athletics.

Ralph Phelan said...

rrhamilton 5:50 said:

[What I was trying to, only more clearly.]

I'm a graduate of MIT, which is inordinately proud of the suckitude of its sports teams - but is also inordinately proud of the large number and variety of sucky sports teams it has.

I'm not real big on the value of having "your school" win when "your school" is represented by a bunch of thinly disguised pro athletes with SATs 2000 points lower than the rest of the student body and a majors in a gut department created just for them. I do believe in the value of a group people getting obsessed about acheiving a common goal.

Anonymous said...

"Is Haagen a communist?"
---------------
This is either Wahneema's stupid question just to irk us, or Karla's, while holding hands.

Anonymous said...

"Actually 12:43, I was replying specifically to the poster qho wrote "I won't listen to his speech but...". No cherry picking here.

10/2/07 12:52 AM"

And I was replying to your declaration "And you all wonder why the BOT pays "you no mine."" (emphasis added) You are clearly replying to one person who made that declaration, but announcing that it is therefore logical that the Board of Trustees should ignore all of us. (If you disagree, please do explain your non-standard usage of the "And you wonder why" construction.)

By the way, I cannot find the phrase you quoted, "you no mine", anywhere on the page. I can only guess that it was part of the 7:23 PM comment that was deleted by the blog administrator. Do you think it's appropriate to take deleted comments to represent some sort of zeitgeist?

Ralph Phelan said...

anonymous 10/1/07 9:01 PM insightfully said...

"Far too many problems are the direct result of lack of consequences."

Crystal Mangum who can try to run over cops with a car, or start a fiasco that coasts her city $30,000,000, and never gets punished.

The group of 88 who have a long history of ignoring all rules for faculty behavior and getting away with it.

Academia in general. Tenure - need I say more?

Prosecutors, for whom seeing one of their own get punished for misbahavior was pretty much a historic first.

The press, with a long history of bias, shallowness and lies, and Supreme Court armor against libel judgements for any but the most incredibly extreme behaviors.

Black "civil rights" organizations, who the press for whatever reason has designated as immune from ever being asked a non-softball question.

I'm sure others can come up with examples.

Anonymous said...

To those who advocate the closure of Women's Studies Programs:

My relatively few Women's Studies students (undergraduates) have been head and shoulders better than my relatively few student athletes, especially male athletes.

I say, shut down varsity athletics! NOW!!!!!


For your information: I am not now nor have I ever been a member of the Women's Studies Program where I am tenured.

Anonymous said...

to the 12:56:

It's scary that someone who exhibits your anger and stereotypical comments against males is tenured - anywhere. You come off more like a bigoted, sophmoric student than a tenured professor. What happned to reasoned expression, especially in the face of (real or imagined) adversity? Amazing.

Ed

lulu said...

Re: value of sports and varsity sports.

Ah, the Greek ideal has been lost. But varsity sports adds a lot to a college experience. My son played varsity football at an ivy league university during 2000-2004. Oh, his SAT scores were not bad, 1550.

Yes, he missed some classes especially as a freshman when he was exhausted by his 5 hours commitment to conditioning, team meetings, practice, squad work outs etc. He would go off to the gym after lunch and on Saturdays when the rest of his classmates sat on the lawn sipping lattes and playing grab ass. He frequently wanted to know what the privileges were that he allegedly had. We paid waaaaayyyy too much money for him to be "used" as I believe varsity athletes are. In retrospect he would have been better served by going someplace where atletes were appreciated not discrimitated against. He clearly had two situations when he lost grades because the TA just didn't think football players were smart.

However, I have tremendous respect for what he learned and observed there. I was in awe of the leadership skills of his team captains. How many of the 88rs or of us have the courage to face some really big guy trying to knock you over, or to fail miserably on the field (miss a catch, or a block or a point after)?

I was impressed by the team members respect for the service workers who made it all work (food people, bus drivers,equipment guys), hardly arrogant. Most of all I was humbled by the sense of commitment especially by those guys who went to every practice, suited up every game but NEVER PLAYED A DOWN. Lets hear it for varsity "helmet" sports.

His friends who played lacrosse work just as hard, with just as little respect.

And, without the varsity athletes you would have geeks and nerds grinding in their rooms for 4 years. Quite frankly, the varsity athletes add a sense of normalcy to a very strange environment.

Yup, athletes get some extra boost in admissions. Guess what, so do artists, flute players, and actors. Never mind the sons and daughters of famous people (jane fonda's kid, derek bok's kid, kennedys, the odd european personality). I personally think they should throw the applications down a set of steps and save the whole expense of operating an admissions office. That's just me.

Anonymous said...

"Interesting idea. I've often wondered exactly how many of the Gang of 88 ever participated in a team sport on any level?

10/1/07 7:53 PM
-----------------------------------

Kim Curtis: Synchronized potbanging

Wahneema Lubyanka: Competitive hot dog eating"

Awesome post, including the spelling. LOL!!!

Here's one: Houston Baker, Grant Farred, Wendy Murphy, Nancy Grace:

Coed jello wrestling.

Sweet Thang

Anonymous said...

A bit off-topic, but, as this is a Chronicle-on-The Apology thread, there are a couple of other interesting online evaluations of The Apology and the NYTimes coverage thereof:

Thomas Sowell, who points out that The Apology, after the Times' breathless and baseless coverage of the Duke scandal, merits a bottom-of-page 28-opposite-the obits mention. Appropriate, that.

Also,

Scott Johnson one of the blogging attorneys at Powerline, offers another plug of UPI in the course of eviscerating the Times. In a separate post, it is observed that there is a direct line from NYTimes' reportage of Anita Hill's never-substantiated accusations against Justice Clarence Thomas (the Times offered her column space today to rebut his new book) to the reportage of Crystal Magnum's accusations against the Duke lacrosse players.

inman said...

12:56

What you don't seem to understand is that whether or not your "women's studies" students are heads and shoulders better than your student athletes, your student athletes (both male & female, black & white, latino or asian or American, hetero or homo, or even bestial) have substantially better prospects in the job market.

Unless of course they plan to pursue an academic career in angry studies / women's studies / specieist studies / floating genital studies, etc., in which case, they are the ones that command a market premium.

Athletics has a tradition longer than the academy. Just think about the ape throwing the bone at the start of "2001: A Space Odyssey" -- the quintissential depiction of the first competition, predecessor to the modern shot put.

Anonymous said...

inman @1:53pm

Just think about the ape throwing the bone at the start of "2001: A Space Odyssey" -- the quintissential depiction of the first competition, predecessor to the modern shot put.

It always struck me as the equivalent of firing a round into the air after decimating the attacking platoon. More like a victory lap than a shot put.

Agree with the rest, however. And it now appears we must add English to your list of dubious academic pursuits.

Anonymous said...

Dear Inman,

I'm not sure which job market you mean. My university classmates--none of whom studied any of the areas you've named--all got jobs. If not in academics, in the State Department or they went to law school. None of them was an athlete as an undergraduate.

Nor have I noticed my students who are athletes getting into better graduate programs (MBA/Med/Law).

I've actually heard of relatively few MDs or scientists who were former varsity football players, basketball players, or baseball players, although I am sure there are some.

It must depend on what sort of jobs you mean and what sort of post-AB degrees you're looking at.

This holds true for men and women in my experience.

I don't advocate doing away with athletics; I simply think varsity athletics (big-time athletic scholarships/jock dorms/special tutors, etc.) have no place in serious educational institutions. If you think differently, you're welcome to.

I would like to mention to you, however, that everytime you use "Angry Studies," I think you're twelve years old and not very bright. Too much inbreeding, eh?

Michael said...

re: 12:56

Do you often make major financial decisions based on insignificant data?

What is the course that you teach and where do you teach it?

rrhamilton said...

prof at 12:56, meet lulu at 1:35.

And I reiterate here my 5:30 PM conclusion: "So, yes to athletic scholarships; no to lowered academic standards."

Anonymous said...

Ed,

The relatively fewer female athletes did better than the male athletes. The Women's Studies students--I didn't gender them, Ed--simply were very good students overall.

Too bad if these facts make me a sophomore in your eyes. I have the feeling I'd be appalled if you had a high opinion of me. You are looking for fights when there aren't any.

Need a fork lift to get the chip off yer shoulder, boy-o?

Anonymous said...

To the misandryst at 12:56 who says..My relatively few Women's Studies students .. have been head and shoulders better than my ..male athletes..I say, shut down varsity athletics! NOW!!!!!

There are already roughly 2 to 1 women to men on college campuses ,and I guess "you people" won't be happy until that number is 4 to 1, will you?

That said, the day they chuck college sports but retain all those worthless anthropology/womens studies/ BullSpit programs that have no value outside the academy, will be a cold day in Hell. Even your feminist male enablers won't go along with that. And you self lovers can't run the world by yourselves, even though you might like to.

Gary Packwood said...

lulu 1:35 said...

Great comments and good summary of the issues.

The connection between flute players and football is awesome. I'll remember that.

When you go that extra mile whether as a flute player or student athlete the traffic gets to be very light.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

anonymous@2:09 p.m.

I would like to mention to you, however, that everytime you use "Angry Studies," I think you're twelve years old and not very bright. Too much inbreeding, eh?

"Angry Studies" is one of the most brilliantly- formulated pejoratives to have appeared on this website. I laughed out loud the first time I saw it, months ago. The phrase's referents are immediately and unmistakably recognizable to anyone remotely familiar with academia. It aptly and concisely summarizes the informing heuristics, methodology, and most of the output of the particular, ahem, disciplines that it describes. As Bulhak and Sokal have demonstrated, with their Dada Engine and "scholarly article" hoax, the gobbledygook that characterizes most of the writing in these, ahem, disciplines can be generated mindlessly or by computer (the computer can be programmed to produce grammatically correct sentences, a serious advantage over many "Angry Studies" scholars) and soon comes to resemble nothing so much as sheer– rant. "Angry Studies," if you will.

By comparison, as a pejorative, the ad hominem "I think you're twelve years old and not very bright. Too much inbreeding, eh?" is clunky, puerile, and desperate.

inman said...

Dear Anon @ 2:09,

Your second paragraph actually supports my view when you say:

"My university classmates--none of whom studied any of the areas you've named--all got jobs."

This in no way rebuts my statements. I would expect them to get jobs because they DID NOT take courses in the areas I mentioned.

Your next statement:

"I've actually heard of relatively few MDs or scientists who were former varsity football players, basketball players, or baseball players, although I am sure there are some."

...is symptomatic of a mypoic view of the world. One of my fraternity brothers is now an MD -- and was an All-American athlete. His name along with numerous other fraternity brothers can be seen on the wall inside Cameron Indoor stadium. Another frat brother is a scientist associated with a prestigious research facility -- he was a very competitive ACC athlete. I know of at least two MD's who were starters on the football team and who lived in the frat section when I was a freshman. (One actually treated a cut on my arm at the Duke ER when I had my first tequilla "experience".) He was at that point studying in DU medical school.

Extending beyond science, you might note Senator Bill Bradley was a Rhodes Scholar and a superb basketball player. Or how about Stephen Friedman, former Chairman of Goldman Sachs (you've heard of them haven't you?) who was a wrestler in college. Or how about George H. W. Bush, who played baseball at Yale.

I could go on, but surely you get the gist.

With respect to scholarships,... at a need blind school like Duke, I'd bet that every single lacrosse athlete would still have wanted to play for Pressler or Danowski even without an athletic grant-in-aid,...and would have been able to play for them because they'd receive financial aide otherwise directed to other deserving students. The athletic scholarships (I believe) come from the athletic department and accordingly relieve the general fund from obligations for those students. (I have personal experience in this regard.)

In your next to last paragraph, ... please do not end a sentence in a preposition. Surely, you can express yourself according to accepted rules of grammar.

Oh...and I'm not 12...I'm 11. Don't all 11 year olds think like this. And I'm also descended from both my sons and daughter and married my sister. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Stu Daddy said...

My take on the opening segment of Kubrick's great 2001: A Space Odyssey is that the monolith inspires the pre-historic man to use the bone as a tool, indeed as a weapon. After beating the lesser apes to a pulp, our newly intelligent man celebrates by flipping the twirling bone high in the air, in the manner of a rhythmic gymnast or Cirque du Soleil acrobat.

I'll leave it to the bigger brains on this blog to find how Kubrick's famous movie clip is relevant to the lessons of Durham-in-Wonderland. I can't think of any at the moment.

Gary Packwood said...

Stu Daddy 8:05 said...

...My take on the opening segment of Kubrick's great 2001: A Space Odyssey is that the monolith inspires the pre-historic man to use the bone as a tool, indeed as a weapon. After beating the lesser apes to a pulp, our newly intelligent man celebrates by flipping the twirling bone high in the air, in the manner of a rhythmic gymnast or Cirque du Soleil acrobat.
...I'll leave it to the bigger brains on this blog to find how Kubrick's famous movie clip is relevant to the lessons of Durham-in-Wonderland. I can't think of any at the moment.
::
How about the pre-historic Anger Studies G88 have instilled fear in the traditional faculty causing them to be silenced by politically correctioness...which allowed the G88 and their friends to use their PC weapons to hijack the Duke endowment and beat white male student athletes nearly to death in their need to create an enemy as justification for the fear they instilled... in the first place.
::
GP

mb said...

Re. the opening segment of 2001: A Space Odyssey: You're telling me that was a bone? I thought it was a floating phallus, i.e., a 'boner.'

Damn, and I thought that I had finally found evidence of intelligent life among the Klan of 88.

Never mind...

inman said...

stu daddy @ 8:05

... it was the athleticism of the pre-historic man.

The point was the athletics existed long before the academy. Before the mind made man pre-eminent, athleticism was a matter of survival. Watch a lion at the moment it strikes its prey, the raw and savage power of that moment, a moment that would humble the most pompous of human dexterity and strength. Watch an eland pursued by the lion bound across the plain with moves that would make any pro football player envious. Watch the amazing gymnastic ability of a primate moving among the forest cover in a rain forest. Even watch the mundane and recent, watch in slow motion a great thoroughbred horse racing on a flat track -- Secretartiat, for example -- the muscles flexing in perfect unison, heart beating, lungs not quite bursting with gasps of precious air.

Man's athletic feats are modeled after the noble and instinctual feats of animals, animals that progressed along other paths of evolution.

On the savannah of Africa, a survival skill would be an ability to traverse land with both speed and endurance. (The 100 yard dash -- a measure of the fastest man in the world. The modern marathon -- a measure of the ability to deliver political and strategic messages over long distance.)

Greco Roman wrestling surely had it genesis in civilization prior to either the Greeks or the Romans, for it represents the basic form of battle for survival.
_____________________________

I think it would be fairly easy to extend this hypothesis to other sports. And yes, it would lead inevitably to the athleticism of Australopithecenes, Neanderthals and Cro Magnon man. I'd be willing to postulate that any of early man's seed ancestors would have been remarkable athletes ... in speed and agility, quickness, power and strength.

I now think, with this argument, that athletics allows man to connect with all that is mankind and mankind's history.

As such, it deserves a pre-eminent promotion among the modern academy.

Anonymous said...

As a wrestler and a doctor of laws, it is important for me to point out the support the Duke wrestling team provided for the lax team. K.C. Johnson's book describes it.

Be a pity for a professor to bring his or her stereotypes into a classroom full of wrestlers. Some are pretty dumb, some are pretty smart. All of them except the heavyweight are hungry.

Anonymous said...

re: 2.09 "Nor have I noticed my students who are athletes getting into better graduate programs (MBA/Med/Law).

I've actually heard of relatively few MDs or scientists who were former varsity football players, basketball players, or baseball players, although I am sure there are some. "
:::::::::::::

You have a very narrow view of athletes and what they contribute to the health of our society. With your views, why would any student share their grad school ventures?

You ought to read up on the Athletic Academic Hall of Fame. To be in it, the person has to have excelled in their sport and then excelled in their professional field.

Here are just some examples of outstanding athletes who have given much:

Michael Spence - Princeton, lettered 3 years, Rhodes Scholar, Nobel Prize 2001, Harvard Ph.D. (Bill Gates was one of his students)
:::::
Dot Richardson --Orthopedic Surgeon, 2 Olympic Gold Medals
:::::
Tracy Warren, athlete of the year 1987, Notre Dame law
:::::
Cormac Carney - UCLA football 83, beat Michigan in Rose Bowl, Federal Judge
:::::
Claudia Henemyre-Harris- lettered in 3 sports, Ph.D. in med research
:::::

Pat Hayden USC football, law
:::
Jay Bilas, Duke, basketball, Duke law
:::
Byron White, football, 3 seasons in the NFL, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
::::
Gerald Ford, Michigan football, Yale law, US President
::::

I hope you get the point. Most of them credited sports as one of the areas in their life that helped them as they went on to graduate studies and their chosen profession. Sports beats Angry studies. Let's see the list of Angry studies scholars and what they have contributed to the greater good.


elena

Anonymous said...

Where are stereotypes about wrestlers, 12:03? The only comment I noticed about the classroom achievement of athletes was based on observeable data. Is that to be rejected?

Anonymous said...

Dearest Inman, Baby, please read what I wrote. I know Bill Bradley (PRINCETON!!!!!) was a Rhodes and played basketball. But was he an MD or an attorney? No.

I was very, very narrow in what I noted. And you just can't stand it.

Anonymous said...

Inman,

I suspect my point would be easily proven--and you probably know it--by going down your Goldman Sachs lists for people with ABs and MBAs from top-tier universities who also played varsity BASEBALL, BASKETBALL, or FOOTBALL (Wrestling, a non-team sport wasn't on my list; were you so desparate you had to include it?). Is that number and/or percentage larger than those who didn't? Please feel free to do the stats...

For the rest of you who foam at the mouth when anyone disagrees with you, please note that I limited my comments to my own experience with athletes to teaching in a university classroom setting. I didn't say I didn't like them, nor did I say that they were stupid. I merely stated facts I had observed. [I don't like or dislike students based on how well they do in my class. Grades have nothing to do with my personal opinions of them.]

And you went starkers. Or is that because I had the termerity to call for the end of varsity team sports? I don't particularly care, but it is really interesting that some of you can not stand opposition.

So, Inman and the rest, because you disagree with the facts I observed, you are attacking me? Yes, I think twelve-years old and not very bright is apt.

M. Simon said...

Do you suppose athletic giving is up because it is a way to give to Duke and yet minimizing the amounts channeled to Angry Studies?

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: 2001. It seems clear to me that we are devolving.

If one were to play the film backwards one would hear what the frauds in the AAAs and Gender Studies departments are doing to destroy whites, the monied elites, the Boy Scouts, Ronald Reagan's legacy, the military, McDonalds/Walmart/Disney shoppers, organized relgion, and a host of other classes of people whom they have no chance of ever controlling.

They aspire to be like HAL yet they are lowering the human condition and continue to race to the bottom like barbarians.

The opening scene reminds me of the pot bangers though the music was much, much better than the UBUNTU roll-around beat.

Anonymous said...

You are joking, 10:56, right?

Anonymous said...

2:23 You have a right to our observations, but folks don't necessarily need to disband the college athletics departments because of your "personal observation".

My question is how many really superior athlete/ scholars actually sign up for your class?

Furthermore, after graduation most of these students will need to earn a living. In addition to the luxury of a liberal education, college should facilitate preparation for life. I propose that participation in sports does that better than a single one of the "Angry Studies", and perhaps better than MANY of those offered by the 88.

Somehow I don't buy that your attitude doesn't affect your grading. I would need verifiable evidence of that from your students.

The whole debate about college sports is amusing, but the fact is that they are not going away because the alumni, who enjoy bragging rights, have a lot of fun watcing their schools duel it out on ESPN. Sure beats Brohead quoting Shakespeare on the Book Channel!

Actually, the whole thing is about testosterone. And the Women's Studies group just cannot get their heads (not to mention their hearts... if they have any) around the fact that guys are made MALE and they like to do MALE things like run and bump and holler and tacklet and pump iron. They enjoy their maleness and refuse to apologize for it. That drives the guilt-producers crazy.

No intent to neglect the superb women athletes whose accomplishments make us very proud, but this whole dialogue is primarily about male athletes because that is what this whole case was about. If these guys had been in the English or African studies departments the case would have never made it past April 2006. The potbangers would not have been nearly so angry.

inman said...

2:09 AM

Yes...you are narrow.

2:23 AM

You keep referring to the "facts [you] observed." OK. I'm looking at my computer screen. I see only one screen. Therefore, there are no other computer screens. Accordingly, there are no other computers.

That makes this a very advanced computer with an artificial intelligence sufficient to simulate
a web log complete with comments.

Could my computer be HAL?

Just the facts, Ma'am.

Anonymous said...

2:23 says.." I limited my comments to my own experience with athletes to teaching in a university classroom setting."

Then why, earlier, did you scream..." I say, shut down varsity athletics! NOW!!!!!" I suppose most of your proclamations and world view are based on your "own (limited) experiences " , aren't they? (however unfortunate that may have been).... BTW, were you the ugliest girl in your homeroom? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

"I didn't gender them, Ed-"

To the 12:56:

"Gender" is a noun, except for the term "engender" that has nothing to do with your statement.

I really do wonder that you may be a sophmore posing as a tenured professor.

"Boy-yo?" How kewl is that!

Ed

Anonymous said...

That's easy, Sweetie, at 0:56: because people without any experience at all with Women's Studies and African American Studies were screaming to have those programs closed down. Why is that ok?

I was making a point. My experience would say: keep Women's Studies; dump varisty athletics, especially the team variety. I figure both probably have their place at universities, but a lot of people who post here think Women's Studies doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Ed,

Gender, like impact, has moved from only noun to verb as well...

inman said...

Re: 11:05

Yeah Ed,

Haven't you ever been at a party and wanted to gender some babe?

Anonymous said...

Inman, your point to Ed would be?

Anonymous said...

anonymous@2:23 am

Yes, I think twelve-years old and not very bright is apt.

Of course. What everyone's older sister always says. And threatens to tell Mom.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right, 11:30! But on this blog, everyone threatens to tell dad, ie, KC Johnson!!

Let's list what they will tattle on/call names about: anyone who dare say anything good about the 88 who signed the Listening Statement; anyone who says anything good about Women's Studies, Gender Studies, African-American/Black Studies; anyone who suggests that perhaps varsity athletics might not be excellent students, and so it goes.

I think Anger Studies is more people who post here. They're angry, very angry. I am so glad I don't have to meet many of you anywhere except on line!

Anonymous said...

re: 2001 A Space Odyssey

I think its relevance here lies in the film's predictive failures. As brilliant as it is, the film missed a few things about the future:

The flight from earth to the space station is on a Pan Am spacecraft. (That airline went bankrupt before the 21st century.)

A man on the space station makes a birthday "call" to his daughter on earth via a Bell com-link. (The Bell telecommunications monopoly was broken up several decades before the 21st century.)

In2001 there was the super-intelligent but malevolent H9000. In 2006-2007 there was the G88.

Anonymous said...

Inman's point is that he is going to "computer" me and make certain that he "facts" me with good information. In other words, I will be "Inmaned."

Just kidding, Inman. I'm trying out this new verbalize with nouns craze. :)

"Ed"ified

inman said...

Ed...

Thanks for letting me know that you were just kidding!

I thought I was going to have to tomato you with a stevedore.

Anonymous said...

11:42 am

I think Anger Studies is more people who post here. They're angry, very angry. I am so glad I don't have to meet many of you anywhere except on line!

It is well known that Anger Studies are the most insular in academia. QED.

Anonymous said...

Ed, Remember when "impact" was only a noun and didn't mean "affect"? Words change...

Anonymous said...

to the 1:55-

Impact as a verb is very old (1600's). Recent objections deal more with its use as a perjorative term by politicians and others with perceived specific agendas.

While you may not be on the Dictionarial Usage Panel, you may "gender" something as you see fit. I do not, however, see it as a good example for college students (or professors). MOO.

Sometimes, people use absurd expressions to highlight analogous absudity in others. It can also be a cheap shot. If I "cheap shotted" you, I apologize. Have a good day,

Ed

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter, Ed. People I know use gender as I do. We don't have any problem with it. You & Inman do. Don't use it. I don't think it's a problem for students. Maybe, they're more tolerant than you. Dunno.

Impact may have had an archaic verbal usage, but long was a noun. I think it became popular again as a verb about the time of the First Gulf War. Think about the man who spoke for the Pentegon. It was his favorite.

Cheap shots abound here, so I wasn't suprised.

inman said...

Genderationisticism.

Now that's a real noun. As in:

"Anon at 3:26 relies too much on the concept of genderationisticism of the metamorphatious verb/noun dichotomystion."

Anonymous said...

@3:26 pm

It doesn't matter, Ed. People I know use gender[i.e., as a verb] as I do. We don't have any problem with it. You & Inman do. Don't use it. I don't think it's a problem for students. Maybe, they're more tolerant than you. Dunno.

I do know. It's not necessarily because students are more tolerant than Ed and Inman. They may be more ignorant that Ed and Inman. Certainly they are less educated than Ed and Inman, being, after all, students.

But I give students more credit. I think they are smarter than they'll ever let on to 3:26– too smart to correct an instructor's solecisms in public or private. Students know that grades have been cut for less. Documented case right there at Duke, in fact.

Anonymous said...

What I find fascinating about people like the person who spoke at 4:52 is the assumption that said person knows what all students think and what all faculty do. And the person's assumption of absolute knowledge is stunning.

From a word used in a post, one I goggled, and which does seem to be used, the person makes assumption that the faculty member has used the word in class, the students knew it not to be a "correct" word, but a solecism, but did not mention it, because the students knew their grades could be cut for less.

Am I the only reader who things this is over the top?

Anonymous said...

When I was an undergraduate, I took a couple of history classes. One was "European Intellectual History", taught by Jack Zammito. Now Zammito was basically a bolshevik (by Texas standards) and he and I could get into some good fights. It was he who trotted out the tripe in class the "Americans are anti-intellectual" to which I shot back, "That's because the intellectuals are anti-American." (He was taken aback, but actually acknowledged I was correct.)

Anyway, to get to my point, I thought Jack Zammito was one of the most brilliant teachers I've ever had. Even if he was basically a commie, you had to admire the fact that he knew his stuff. But one day, while he (as usual) wound up and firing off his lecture on World War I like a machinegun salvaged from that conflict, he used the term "Axis Powers". Being near the front row, I said softly under my breath, "Central Powers". He stopped in mid-sentence and quickly realized the misstep and corrected it without further ado.

Later in my undergrad career, I was forced to take Freshman History -- a subject which I had for years insisted that I should be placed out of on account of my knowledge of the subject, but had finally succumbed to wiser minds. Anyway, it was at the beginning of the "diversity hires" era, and so I had this diversity-hire professor (I don't recall his name). I thought his whole thrust of teaching history ("from the bottom up") was crazy bullshit, but I could've lived with that if he knew his material. One day he was talking about the election of 1860 and mentioned the "Continental Union Party". As I was near the front row, I said softly under my breath, "Constitutional Union Party". He stopped, and said to the class, "This boy [I was 25 or 26, having done military service before college] has said that it's "the Constitutional Union Party", but my notes say "the Continental Union Party". I didn't call out the poor professor for this, but neither did I last long in that class. I ended up having to drop the class (too frustrated watching American history being taught that badly) and re-took it under Prof. Lewis Gould, of whom I have heard that he's the "dean" of American history professors now.

So, as to the question whether students should keep quiet when they realize they are smarter than their professors -- or at least is better informed on some topic, I would say it depends on what you are aiming for: a degree or an education.

Post-script about Jack Zammito: Unbelievably, he did not get tenure and was pushed out. The word was that he "didn't publish enough". Hell, he was only the best lecturer at the entire University of Texas; they could've cut him some blankin' slack. He was arguably the best professor I had at Texas, with Robert Hargraves of the government department being the only serious other contender.

Ralph PHelan said...

"The word was that he "didn't publish enough". Hell, he was only the best lecturer at the entire University of Texas;"

When you're bucking for tenure a teaching award is the kiss of death. It's taken as an indication that you don't focus enough on your research. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

Ralph Phelan, you've repeated another one of those urban myths about tenure. At some schools, it's all about teaching. At other schools, mainly research universities, if you've met your publishing requirements and gotten a teaching award, you're pretty much golden.

Are you sad this is true?

Anonymous said...

@11:56

What I find fascinating about people like the person who spoke at 4:52 is the assumption that said person knows what all students think and what all faculty do. And the person's assumption of absolute knowledge is stunning.

1) Oh my. The phrase I used was "I think"-- I think[students]are smarter-- a common-enough locution for "in my opinion" (far more common usage than, say, "I gender"), and connoting just about the opposite of omniscience.

I also posited several possible explanations for students' behavior-- "ignorance," "lack of education," "smart enough to keep silent"-- an exercise that is both unnecessary and misleading for someone possessing absolute knowledge. Anyone who can derive a presumption of omniscience from any of this needs a refresher course in logic.

Presumably, 11:56 does not assume omniscience, either-- except to know that although I never once use the phrases "all students" or "all faculty" (those are 11:56's phrases, not mine) that is nevertheless what I mean.

From a word used in a post, one I goggled[sic], and which does seem to be used, the person makes assumption that the faculty member has used the word in class, the students knew it not to be a "correct" word, but a solecism, but did not mention it, because the students knew their grades could be cut for less.

Nope. Every assertion made above is factually and logically wrong:

2) I neither state nor imply that the faculty member has used "the word" ("gender," as a verb) "in class." I do state that students are too smart to correct an instructor's solecisms in public or private, a deliberate formulation that allows for classroom, office, dining room, email, walking-across-campus, and any number of other possible occasions for a faculty member's display of ignorance in front of a student.

3) Regarding 11:56's untenable assumption that I have assumed the students' knowledge of the correct usage of "the word" (use of "gender" as a verb), see 1) above. I also posit their possible ignorance and lack of education before offering my personal benefit of the doubt ("I think they're smarter...").

4) Careful readers will recognize my statement Students know that grades have been cut for less ..., and the rest that follows, as a transition from the particular (solecism) to the general (any disagreement with a faculty on any matter), as, for example, anonymous @2:11am (whose penultimate paragraph I agree with completely, by the way).

Only the willfully obtuse would construe my final point as "use 'gender' as a verb at Duke and your grade will suffer." (On the contrary, use "gender" as a verb in Angry Studies at Duke and you'll probably enhance your grade.) My final point, as 2:11 correctly understood it, was "disagree with your professor and you could find your grade cut. As happened at Duke." What happened at Duke may not be the best example. There, it was a case of a student not being what the instructor wanted him to be. The poor guy couldn't have said or done anything to prevent that vengeful harridan's grade retaliation.

What I find fascinating are presumptive "faculty" who can neither read nor reason her way out of a paper bag. And who is, as of 7:36 am, the only one who things[sic] my 4:52 comment to be "over the top."

Anonymous said...

1:12, give'm Hell :) I thought about doing the same, but you've done it so much better.