Monday, October 01, 2007

Reflections on the Law School Conference, I

Although his remarks were brief, President Brodhead effectively apologized for five different elements of his administration’s conduct over the past 18 months.

1.) The treatment of the 47 lacrosse players and their families.

As Brodhead noted, “Given the complexities of the case, getting this communication right would never have been easy.” Yet, as he also conceded, “We did not get it right, causing the families to feel abandoned when they most needed support.”

In retrospect, the president clearly erred when he refused to meet with the lacrosse parents on March 25 (the day he canceled the Georgetown game)—especially since he did meet shortly thereafter with a host of campus or Durham groups that were hostile to the team.

The administration also erred in other ways on this front. For instance, despite the extraordinary nature of the crisis that engulfed the team, and despite the seeming good intentions on the matter of Dean Sue Wasiolek, Larry Moneta’s student life apparatus did nothing to reach out to the lacrosse players at any point in the spring of 2006. The (unsurprising) impression: that the administration cared little about their fate.

2.) The activist faculty’s statements and actions.

As Brodhead noted, “Some of those who were quick to speak as if the charges were true were on this campus, and some faculty made statements that were ill-judged and divisive.”

In one respect, the president was only conceding the obvious with these words. (How could the Group of 88’s statement not be considered “ill-judged,” or the remarks of people like Grant Farred or Peter Wood not be considered “divisive”?) That said, Brodhead had shown an unwillingness to recognize the problem until Saturday.

3.) The activist faculty’s presumptiveness in speaking for the institution.

As Brodhead noted, “The public as well as the accused students and their families could have thought that those [statements] were expressions of the university as a whole. They were not, and we could have done more to underscore that.”

In fact, Duke did almost nothing on this score—the administration’s sole action was Peter Lange’s powerful response to Houston Baker’s racist screed of March 29, 2006. Since the Group of 88’s ad (falsely) claimed the formal endorsement of five academic departments, it’s not difficult to understand why many (even on campus) might have assumed that the Group spoke formally for the institution.

4.) The failure to defend the presumption of innocence.

As Brodhead noted, “By deferring to the criminal justice system to the extent we did and not repeating the need for the presumption of innocence equally vigorously at all the key moments, we may have helped create the impression that we did not care about our students.”

In one respect, the president was only conceding the obvious with these words: whatever Brodhead’s intentions, he did not defend the presumption of innocence—at all—in his key statements from April 2006. That said, Brodhead had shown an unwillingness to concede this fact until Saturday, and his accepting the truth is a positive step.

5.) The failure to defend due process.

Brodhead had an opportunity to avoid this problem in July 2006, when the Friends of Duke open letter explicitly asked him to comment not on the players’ guilt or innocence, but to demand that they be treated just like any other Durham resident. I’m sure if he could do things over, Brodhead would have responded to the FODU letter differently.

Brodhead’s apology contained one clear absence: he didn’t apologize for his administration’s failure to investigate the credible spring 2006 reports that several several arts and sciences professors had behaved inappropriately toward lacrosse players in their classes. On that front, however, the president probably was restrained from speaking out by University counsel.

---------

What long-term effect will the president’s statement have? Brodhead had three targets for his remarks.

1.) The trustees. Board deliberations are, obviously, private; and no Trustee except Bob Steel has spoken out one way or the other regarding Brodhead. But several Trustees attended the speech, and it’s hard to believe that the Trustees aren’t thinking hard about what the administration did right and wrong.

2.) The 2006 lacrosse players and their families. No family members commented publicly on Brodhead’s speech. But given the president’s apologetic sentiments, it’s hard to believe that the remarks were not a precursor to a settlement with the families of the unindicted players.

3.) Duke alums and students. Brodhead’s fate, like that of any major university president, will ultimately be decided by alumni support (and donations). Jay Bilas, who last week became the highest-profile Brodhead critic among Duke alums, told the N&O that Brodhead’s apology was appropriate but “woefully late . . . The confidence in his ability to lead has been eroded. While Dick Brodhead is a terrific person and would make a wonderful head of the English department, he has demonstrated his ineffectiveness and his inability to lead, especially in a crisis.”

The question now is whether Brodhead will demonstrate effectiveness and an ability to lead in implementing the principles laid out in his apology.

For instance, he’s admitted that members of his faculty made “ill-judged and divisive” statements about their own school’s students. It would seem obvious, therefore, that the administration needs to ask some hard questions about why so many Duke professors so readily rushed to judgment.

Have the staffing patterns in many humanities and some social sciences departments made these departments unusually susceptible to the shortcomings of groupthink? What concrete steps will the administration take to remedy the situation, to ensure that Duke’s faculty in future, if not in the past, is staffed by professors who don’t tend toward divisiveness, and who exercise better judgment?

Students and alumni should expect answers to such questions as the University moves forward from Brodhead’s remarks; and hopefully, given the tenor of his statement, Brodhead will be equipped to supply the appropriate responses.

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

the faculty made “ill-judged and divisive” statements

What exactly does "ill-judged" mean?.. Not ill advised, or ill thought out, or, say, "inflamatory" ? But ill-judged? WTF?

It seems like this cleverly crafted expression would lead one to think that those of us too stupid to know better, unfairly judged the poor proffessors' statements! Stupid us!

Anonymous said...

As a Duke alum, I've posted the same thought before: Whatever
BroadHead said, it was bad enough. It really is time for him to go ...

Anonymous said...

KC,
Conspicuously absent from your analysis is "why now"? It is going on six months since Roy Cooper made a remarkable, perhaps unprecedented, declaration of the Duke Three's innocence on national TV. That moment is frozen in time for many Duke alums, myself included. I waited, and waited, and waited for Brodhead to sieze that pivotal moment, and speak the truth of this fiasco. I wanted Brodhead to be a leader....Duke's leader. Instead, he hid behind PR guys (Burness: "There is nothing to apologize for"...or something like that), lawyers, and the BOT hoping that time would be his savior. Time has run out...for painfully tardy, milquetoast apologies; and unfortunately, for Brodhead's tenure at Duke.

Gary Packwood said...

The adjective ill-judged has one meaning:

Meaning #1: not given careful consideration
Synonyms: ill-considered, improvident, shortsighted

http://www.answers.com/topic/ill-judged

Very British I would imagine.

::
GP

Anonymous said...

There were many actions, inactions, and statements that would have been wrong even had there been substance to the allegations.

As it was, there were those who acted to inflame things even after it was apparent to anyone who looked at the available information that there was no substance, including acting to spread false "facts".


The first of these points speaks to selective application of principles -- otherwise known as hypocritical and unpricipled behavior. The second, to dishonesty and utter lack of character. In light of all this, what is still missing is some measure of accountability.


If Duke as an institution truely learns from this and Duke settles with those so aggrieved that they have strong legal cases, I'd be willing to focus on Durham from here on. The problem I have is that there seems to be no accountability and no evidence of learning.


I'm waiting for Duham to settle so we can see what transpires in the wake of this. Also, the next election cycle will be revealing...

Anonymous said...

Professor KC Johnson:

Has anyone figured out why Brodhead elevated AAAS to full departmental status so suddenly?

Is there a chance that decision can be reversed?

Duke alum

Anonymous said...

The most important question now: why hasn't attorney general Cooper started a criminal investigation of the corrupt Durham police officers? And why hasn't the U.S. Attorney in Greensboro opened a federal civil rights investigation? When will these two public officials actually do their jobs?

ABC said...

Professor:

Ever the optimist!

WTH does this mean:
"Have the staffing patterns in many humanities and some social sciences departments made these departments unusually susceptible to the shortcomings of groupthink?"

Jungle Jim said...

"Have the staffing patterns in many humanities and some social sciences departments made these departments unusually susceptible to the shortcomings of groupthink?"

KC, this is nothing unusual. You work in academia and should be well aware of this. There are some places like Austin, Madison, and Berkely where you couldn't throw a brick without hitting someone who thinks just like the Dukkke 88.

eric said...

Kim Curtis is still employed

One Spook said...

Some of you might remember an exercise in "Speech 101" called the "One Point" speech (similar exercises exist in writing). A two minute speech is delivered making only ONE POINT. While it sounds easy, if you've ever tried it, it's more difficult to do than it sounds. It is also a simple, yet highly important building block of effective communication.

What strikes me about Brodhead's apology as KC has parsed it in this post using these five elements is that Brodhead (and therefore "Duke") could have made a simple "One Point Response" right at the beginning, stuck to it, and applied it to all of the "events" that occured after.

The only "fact" that anyone knew --- Duke, the public, and the media is that an allegation of rape against some members of Duke's lacrosse team had been made.

The one point response to that is very simply: "The members of the lacrosse team are presumed innocent." I believe that such a presumption is an integral part of due process, and tying those two together in one point would have also been appropriate.

The idea that the "facts kept changing" (now termed in Brodhead's apology as "... with each day providing new “revelations” that became known around the world ..." ) or that, as Emily Rotberg is quoted in the N & O article KC cited, " ... critics of the university's response are usually 'ignoring the context of complete confusion ..." is absolute nonsense. Advancing an argument that "the facts kept changing" and a "context of complete confusion" existed are red herring fallacies used to divert attention from an abysmally poor response by Duke administration.

As I read Brodhead's apology, there is almost no statement in it that could not have been made coincident with the events of 2006/07 and even without the benefit of "20-20 hindsight" had the administration stuck to the one point of presumption of innocence.

The early Greeks playwrights developed a beautiful term to explain of what Brodhead did. That Brodhead prioritized his response based on (his words) "the type of crime that had been alleged had no place in our community" and then crafted all of his words and actions on an expansion of that theme was Brodhead's hamartia, and this is what has led to his failure as a university president.

If you do not think that this one point response would have worked, I invite you to compare Duke's response to another allegation of rape in a student-occupied residence at Duke that happened not long after the lacrosse house incident.

In this second case, Duke's response has been virtually "no response." And, no radical band of "activists" spurned on by Duke professors has marched in front of the residence of the accused in that case; no white supremacist race-baiters have offered to pay the female alleged victim's tuition; and no national media has presumed the guilt of the accused and spread his photo world-wide.

Isn't it amazing what a very simple but strong one-point response of a presumption of innocence could have wrought? And, it could have saved Duke millions of dollars ...

One Spook

Anonymous said...

"If it wasn't for those darn kids being innocent" I'd have been 100% right.
Bh will have to get reformed before he will be equipped to supply the appropriate responses

Anonymous said...

Good analysis, but it seems like Brodhead's "apology" is really his professional epitaph. His words don't sound like those of a leader, and even the Duke board has to have figured out that Duke needs some leadership now.

Anonymous said...

President Brodhead has now apologized. The breadth of the apology is gratifying, even if the tone is guarded and restrained. There is in his remarks only the smallest hint of recognition of the root causes of his administrative “mistakes”, but this was not the context in which one should expect such recognition. My own view, as a friend of Duke and of higher education generally, is that his resignation should be the logical sequel to his apology. But that is a matter for him and his board of trustees to decide, and none of them seem to be particularly effective deciders.

Anonymous said...

Regarding your last point. Remember that Broadhead inherited a faculty hiring plan of Nan Keohane that put preference on diversity over talent.

Why nobody has attempted to take Nan Keohane to task for setting the stage is beyond me. Broadhead is a weak leader, but Keohane is also the culprit (and she has a QUAD named in her honour).

D said...

11:55, "why now?" is obvious - Brodhead's performance is now being reviewed by the BOT.

That he would wait till NOW to make this speech shows he is not bright enough to be a university president. There was no reason for him not to make it shortly after Cooper's statement.

When a large organization screws up badly, there are only 2 things it can do - change policy, and discipline personnel. Duke has done neither. It's clear from Duke's actions that as an institution, it is happy with the outcome.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Brodhead to "ask some hard questions about why so many Duke professors so readily rushed to judgment." I would expect that the Duke administration and faculty will point to their restraint in speaking out against Nifong a proof they have overcome this problem.

Anonymous said...

Well Pot Bangers,

Surely the cat hasen't got your toungues? You're cowards.

AF said...

As Brodhead noted, “By deferring to the criminal justice system to the extent we did and not repeating the need for the presumption of innocence equally vigorously at all the key moments, we may have helped create the impression that we did not care about our students.”

May---May????? Not only might they have created the impression, Duke imposed their opinion on the world. CYA was written all over this apology.
Are we to believe that Tricky Dicky had some kind of duh moment in the last week. If so, he must have inside inof from the BOT. That's the only reason with any credibility. There were so many opportunities to do the right thing. Why did it take 18 months before the first apology to come from his mouth? When will the Klan issue their individual apologies? Just because there is group think does not mean group apology is acceptable. Broadhead has apologized but that does not mean all is forgiven. Confidence in his ability to lead the university is non-existent. He needs to go. And he needs to take his Klan with him. The BOT needs to clean house. Roto-Rooter might be necessary to get rid of all the infestation at Duke.
True remorse hasn't been shown yet. Sure, most of the Klan and administration are sorry. Unfortunately, what most are sorry about is that the LAXers were innocent and no amount of vitriole on the part of the Klan and administration could make them guilty, though we all know they tried.
At present, Mikey is the only one who has truly suffered. Sure, Will-sin lost his job. There are many, many others who need to lose their jobs too. The question is whether the BOT and the city of Durham are willing to take care of their own houses or just pay up to keep the same old same old.

miramar said...

That just about sums up everything that he did wrong. Did he do anything right, except repeat the principle of innocent until proven guilty one time?

GPrestonian said...

KC, I didn't see Brodhead's name on the schedule you posted earlier.

Was he originally scheduled to speak, added later, or just showed up to say howdy?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

11:51--
Well, "ill-judged" could be interpreted as you suggest, but don't you think it could also be a shorthand for "made through the exercise of bad judgment," which is probably what Brodhead intended?

I'm genuinely interested in the vocabulary question here, not intending to debate the merits of Brodhead's statements one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

The Duke professorship made "ill-judged" remarks . . . these are the same people who demand perfection from others . . . who talk and quarrel and then pontificate . . . who have shown themselves to be bigots and very small-mined, intolerant bigots at that as if there could be any other kind of bigot. There is just no excuse for their behavior . . . . Leo Frank

Anonymous said...

I agree that the "ill-judged" statement is actually supportive of the Group of 88. He never admits that Duke department funds (AAS) actually paid for the ad - no apology or criticism. And he never criticizes the representation that various departments supported the listening ad. I think Broadhead is still catering to the Group of 88.

MD Esq

Anonymous said...

Its obvious the timing is due to the rumors of an impending lawsuit, and as KC said not to have cited the mistreatment of players in the classroom was a glaring omission. Add to that the fact that he said nothing about the threats made to Reade Seligmann and it is a classic case of too little to late.

Anonymous said...

11:51, you took the words out of my mouth. Brodhead is too nuanced in his non-apology. Implying that the listening statement was ill-judged is simply another defense of the G88.

hman said...

It is a good thing that Brodhead is making statements that remove all doubt that Duke has done some things for which it ought to apologize. So far, so good. But the serious work of damage repair is un-doing the damage, as far as one is able.
Remember Tylenol and the poisonings? That was not even their fault. They did not issue statements saying:
1. We declare that random fatal contamination-poisoning is contrary to company policy.
2. We should all trust the authorities - the system to handle this because we are just a giant Pharmacutical Com.
No, they just worked night and day to get all of their even potentially bad Tylenol off every shelf in the country. Stop the harm, reverse the harm. That is too simple for the smartest people to grasp, apparently.
But then again, private enterprize type people do not have tenure.

redcybra said...

Anon at 11:55:

John in Carolina addressed the "why now?" issue in his last post:

Brodhead’s Statement: Why Now?

In a statement he read yesterday, Duke University’s President, Richard H. Brodhead, failed to explain why he hasn't criticized “activists” who circulated, within sight of his office windows “Vigilante” posters targeting white students.

Brodhead also failed once again to say anything critical of black racists who shouted threats, including death threats, at Reade Seligmann or to explain to Seligmann, his family and the Duke/Durham community why he hasn't.

But for the first time Brodhead said he was sorry he hadn't met with lacrosse parents eighteen months ago and been more supportive of their sons.

Brodhead’s “I’m sorry” contains a huge element of “Spare me,” but I’ll leave that for another post.

Today I want to offer my answer to a question folks have been asking: Why did Brodhead make his statement now?

In a word: Homecoming

Duke's Homecoming will be held October 11th through the 14th.

Alums will attend the usual "meet and greet" socials and panels on subjects of current interest. There'll be tours of new physical facilities; and parties and dances in the evenings.

Friday, October 12th, at 5 p. m. the Alumni Association is sponsoring a reception which DAA says “celebrates alumni who have been invited to participate in the Volunteer Leadership sessions." ( those are the alums who lead the class fundraising campaigns. – JinC )

There’ll also be at least one event at which alums will have a chance to listen to Brodhead deliver some “State of the University” remarks and then ask a few questions.

Brodhead and the trustees know there’s strong and growing disgust, even anger, among alums over the University's "throw the students under the bus" response to the falsehoods of Nifong, the Raleigh N&O and many Duke faculty.

With Homecoming in mind, let’s look at a portion of Brodhead’s statement yesterday that so far has received very little press attention :

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

But these are complex questions, and they aren’t ones Duke can or should hope to solve on its own.

To work through these difficulties and see that their lessons are learned not only here but around the country, we will be hosting a national conference of educators, lawyers and student affairs leaders to discuss best practices in this important field.


It’s obvious, isn’t it?

All those embarrassing and probing questions alums might ask can now be finessed.

"He's apologized, you know."

“Yes, that concerns me too. But are we sure the students were told not to tell their parents? In any case, some of Dick’s top people are taking a hard look at that. I’m going to wait to hear what they say. Can I freshen your drink? ”

And Brodhead himself:

“Gee, yes, Reade Seligmann. Of course, of course.

Let me tell you something that just happened before I came over here.

Joe Alleva and I were talking in my office; and Joe said there was so much he really, really wanted to say about Reade Seligmann and everything else.

But he wouldn’t do that right now for fear that anything he said might be seen as trying to influence the outcomes of the national conference on best practices Duke will be hosting.

And I must tell you I think we’d all be wise to follow Joe’s lead. I know I’m going to."


Message to President Brodhead and the trustees: Most of us understand.

Michael said...

re: 11:51

I think ill-judged means that the G88 showed poor judgement in their decisions.

re: 11:55

As far as why now: I think that this was hinted at in the article regarding forthcoming settlements to the remaining lacrosse players.

Yes, it would have been better when the three were declared innocent. Or after the bar trial. Or after Mike went to prison. Or before the start of the school year. Clearly there were plenty of opportunities for Brodhead to step up to the plate.

In PR battles, issues frequently just go away due to lack of interest and a waiting approach can work. This doesn't appear to be one of those cases.

Paul Stokes said...

My wife and I are Duke alumni, and we found the conduct of the Duke adminstration simply appalling. It seems to us that unless the trustees do something quickly and decisively to correct the institution's course heading, the damage done by will be irreperable. Broadhead's removal would be a good start.

Anonymous said...

If the Duke community (alums, BOT, students, etc.) permits Brodhead to slink forward and "move on" without holding him actually accountable then the Duke community deserves nothing less than Duke's inevitable fall into "second-tier" status as a college.

Again, I repeat, *nothing* will happen, *nothing* will change so long as Brodhead, Steel, Burress, Dean Sue, the G88, AAAS "dept." et al. remain in charge at Duke.

Anonymous said...

Have the staffing patterns in many humanities and some social sciences departments made these departments unusually susceptible to the shortcomings of groupthink? What concrete steps will the administration take to remedy the situation, to ensure that Duke’s faculty in future, if not in the past, is staffed by professors who don’t tend toward divisiveness, and who exercise better judgment?

This is pretty ridiculous, and it betrays your own background/bias KC. It is silly to suggest that the response to this rather intense incident on Duke's campus is somehow indicative of systemic problems in the field.

Secondly, what concrete steps could possibly be taken? Would you have Duke simply close the departments altogether? How about ask potential faculty candidates what they thought about the LAX case as a litmus test? That ought to identify faculty with better judgment and eliminate the potential for groupthink down the road, right? Right? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Kc: I've read every one of your posts about this Duke Law School Panel. And the more I read, the more I conclude that it was a red herring, meant to appear as if they were really searching for answers, and believing that we are stupid enough, or blind enough, to not see their ploy.

The deliberations and presentations do not have the ring of sincerity or depth, or true grappling with the issues.

Maybe it is due to the fact that we were not sitting in on those sessions and just reading exerpts that I feel this way. (No fault of yours... the reporting was excellent)

But somehow, I feel that the greatest crime that could ever be commited in this whole LAX hoax would be for it to be whitewashed ( or blackwashed, since we seem to have to cover both viewpoints these days).

"Sincere" means "without wax". It is a word that comes from the days when a sculptor might use wax to camoflage the flaws in his work. But in the sun, the wax would melt, and the flaws would become evident.

This describes how I feel about this whole panel this past weekend, and it causes me to be very sceptical about the upcoming Homecoming event this coming weekend where Brodhead will again "wax eloquent".

As a Duke alumni, I feel insulted that Brodhead would think that we are so blind, stupid, and insensitive that we cannot see beyond his waxy, oily words and insincere actions.

It's just a coverup in fancy attire.

Given the reporting of Stuart and KC about the current state of affairs in higher education everywhere in this country, I am not sure that we will find a Brodhead replacement out there in academia whom we can trust to be the genuine article.

Our universities are at a crossroads and I wonder if there are enough men and women of intelligence and courage to stand in the gap at this time. So many of them have been through the PC indoctrination programs for the past two generations and no longer know how to think, speak, and behave with integrity.

Anonymous said...

Why now?

1. homecomming Oct 11-14. Money guys
2. Pending lawsuit(s)
3. IM UNDER REVIEW and some on the board expect this. Jay Bilas must be influential since he talked to steel and probably some of the other board members. <=== could be perceived by brodhead as the most important "why now".

brodhead's leadership.

1. lets form a committe so I (we) can learn from it.
2. lets have a conference so I (we) can learn from it.
3. lets set up a panel so I (we) can learn from it.


for me? brodhead needs to explain what he means by his words about going to court to prove ones innocence. That comment alone indicates to me what his leadership qualities are. Just wondering what a $10,000,000 donor would be thinking if the president of Duke made some equivalent erred statement while chatting with the rich guy?

Ralph Phelan said...

"Since the Group of 88’s ad (falsely) claimed the formal endorsement of five academic departments, it’s not difficult to understand why many (even on campus) might have assumed that the Group spoke formally for the institution."

Why do you say "falsely"? They may not have held a meeting and a vote, but what evidence have you that the leadership and the majority of the membership of those departments didn't endorse the Listening Statement?

Until either those departments or the university as a whole explicitly state that the claim of departmental endorsement in the Listening Statement is untrue I will continue to consider the Listening Statement an official Dukee University communication.

Brodhead's kind of hinted that it wasn't, but would it really be so hard to come right out and say so unambiguously? Apparently so, which shows that the 88 are still running the show.

KC Johnson said...

To the 8.43:

No, I do not believe that asking candidates about their opinion on the case would be appropriate.

While, indeed, this was a "rather intense incident on Duke's campus," the fact remains that the statements that now even Duke's president has conceded were "ill-judged and divisive" came from only a handful of departments.

It seems to me perfectly appropriate to examine staffing patterns in these departments to see whether the departments that dominated the Group of 88 have bunched their hires toward people reflecting one point of view of pedagogical issues.

If, for instance, faculty members from several departments took out an "ill-judged and divisive" ad denouncing pacifist students; and if it turned out that these departments were dominated by military historians, or scholars who focused on literature celebrating war, or profs whose field was how generals represented the ideal path toward masculinity, it would seem to me appropriate to use the case to examine whether these departments had engaged in groupthink in their staffing decisions.

Ralph Phelan said...

"I am not sure that we will find a Brodhead replacement out there in academia whom we can trust to be the genuine article."

Larry Summers. I'm sure there are lots of less famous examples.

The problem isn't the difficulty of finding someone sincere. The problem is that the faculty and BOT wouldn't want such a president.

Ralph Phelan said...

Anon 8:43 am:
It strikes me that shutting down AAAS and WS would be a net benefit to Duke.

I've got a question for folks who know academia better than I ... If you shut down a department (not just absorb it into another, but flat-out say "we're not studying this anymore" like Duke did with its nursing school) what happens to its tenured professors? Does the unversity have to keep them on with nothing to do? Or is "eliminating the position" a way to get around tenure?

Anonymous said...

Is Brodhead a Communist?

Anonymous said...

6:57 AM--

If Brodhead wanted to say "ill considered", he would have said it; its a very common term. But he said "ill-judged", a term I have rarely seen before, and I have done a fair amount of reading in my life.

The Duke 88 have said it all along, in fact they even memorialized it in a published statement. People have misinterpreted their listening statement; they misjudged it.

Brodhead is doing nothing here but agreeing with them. IMO, this apology is a sham, its like an inside joke. He is a member of the Duke 88 club and always will be.

Anonymous said...

re "ill-judged"

It's not as bad as poorly or badly judged--what's the problem?

Steven Horwitz said...

Ralph,

Normally there are only three ways in which tenured faculty can be "terminated." I'm taking some language from my own faculty handbook, but I do not know what Duke's says.

1. Financial exigency - see what some of the New Orleans area schools did post-Katrina. Using this to get rid of tenured faculty is like getting rid of a facial pimple by shooting yourself in the head. :)

2. "Adequate cause" - e.g, professional incompetence, neglect of duty, mental or physical incapacity, or gross personal or professional misconduct. BTW, at my place, administrators, faculty, or students can be the ones to bring charges about anything but "incapacity." The faculty member charged has the right to a hearing by the same faculty committee that decides our tenure and promotion. Thus, professional incompetence is a judgment of one's peers, just as tenure is.

3. "Discontinuance of a program or department of instruction." This is the scenario to which you refer. Some of the NO schools did this as well.

In reality, what tends to happen with 3) is that the faculty might be offered buy-outs, relocated to another department in the university, or some such thing. Rarely is it just "see ya." This option is, for obvious reasons, very politically charged.

But, by the book, Duke could decide to close any department or program and it would be a potential way to end the employment of the tenured faculty therein. Also understand that decisions to end programs are not made unilaterally by VPs or Presidents, and would almost assuredly have to be approved by the BoT. Again, I do not know how Duke works, but based on what I know about my place and others, that's my best guess.

Such a process might well take years.

Ralph Phelan said...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hey KC, are you going to go to Israel and shut this blog down already? How am I supposed to get any work done?

Reader64 said...

KC said "Since the Group of 88’s ad (falsely) claimed the formal endorsement of five academic departments, it’s not difficult to understand why many (even on campus) might have assumed that the Group spoke formally for the institution. "

I am on campus every day, and I never thought the 88's ad was a formal statement of the institution. Such formal statements are not presented in that channel.

The more important aspect is that I did think that the statement, which was followed by no comment thereafter from the president or other high-level administrators despite a great deal of focus on it from inside and outside, likely was consistent with the president's own views at that time.

Anonymous said...

9:05 Ralph Phelan:

What makes you think that the BOT and faculty would not want somebody of integrity and sincerity?

Is it because, except for a handful, NONE of them have stepped up to lead their colleagues by righteous indignation and downright good sense?

WHERE are the leaders!!!!

We are condemning cowardice on the part of the 88, but I am beginning to wonder if they have more guts than the "good guys"!

The 88 did not fear retribution from their despicable actions. They functioned under the protection of the university.

Are there no faculty who do not agree with the 88 who will become a counter-intimidation force?

If the fair and balanced faculty do not show up and speak out SOON, they will deserve to continue to live under these conditions, and students who want REAL education will go elsewhere. Eventually, the mighty DUke will collapse under its own rot. May take awhile, until the endowments run their course, but it doesn't matter how much money you have if your public reputation is ruined. Universities compete for the BEST... the cream of the crop... and unless Duke remedies its reputation SOON, by genuine contrition, and actions the cream will rise elsewhere.

No amount of pay-off money to the LAX team will restore the univeristy's standing and respect in the academic world. They are two separate issues.

The financial settlements are just tangible admission of guilt.

It will take more than money.

It will take a major housecleaning.

DO IT NOW. WHILE THERE IS STILL A HOUSE TO CLEAN.

I hope and pray that the alumni who speak with their money ( apparently the only ones Duke hears) will speak loudly.

And I hope and pray that the honorable faculty and BOT will also speak loudly.

And I further hope and pray that the Feds will take a long hard look at Duke, and Durham and then ACT to clean their house as well.

Pay now, or pay later.
dsl/ Duke '70

Anonymous said...

My take on "ill-judged" means they didn't accurately judge the effect the behavior would have in making them look like the asses they are!

It doesn't mean that they are sorry they did it. It means they are sorry it didn't get the desired results.

They were intent on forcing the innocent students to confess to a crime they did not do. They judged their actions would facilitate that. But because there was no crime to confess to, the "ill-judged" behaviors backfired.

"Ill-judged" may join "Nifonged" as a new word from the LAX scandal.

Basically, I guess we could define it as a judgment that was SICK! ( Or made by sick people)

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but please havea look. A chance to give input into President B's performance appraisal! Text below if from the Duke Basketball report

ES Duke 1990

http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/articles/?p=23479

As you may or may not know, President Brodhead is up for review. A lot of alums may not realize that their voices can be a welcome and constructive part of the process. Whether you support Brodhead or oppose him, we hope you will take a few minutes and send your thoughts in. The more input there is, the better they’ll understand the position of the Duke community. The following is excerpted from the Duke Magazine.

This is your chance to evaluate Duke’s President Brodhead!

Just e-mail danblue@duke.edu & pres-review@duke.edu with your comments by November 1.

You can have an impact on whether or not President Brodhead gets a contract extension — but you need to send in your comments by November 1 to danblue@duke.edu or pres-review@duke.edu, or to the mailing address listed below.

As printed in the latest Duke Magazine (September/October 2007). “Former speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives and trustee Daniel T. Blue Jr. is leading a committee to assess Richard H. Brodhead’s first three years as president of Duke University. A similar review was carried out for Brodhead’s predecessor, Nannerl O. Keohane, after her first three years in office, and also in 2000, as part of a process established in 1982 to evaluate presidents, officers, and deans at regular intervals.

“Blue J.D. ‘72 is joined by trustees Paula P. Burger ‘67, A.M. ‘74, dean for undergraduate education and vice provost for Johns Hopkins University; Alan D. Schwartz ‘72, president of Bear Stearns Companies Inc.; and Anthony Vitarelli ‘05, a student at Yale Law School–and faculty members from the law school, medical center, and Trinity College.

The committee will report to the board of trustees by the end of the calendar year.

Comments should be sent by November 1 to danblue@duke.edu or pres-review@duke.edu, or to:

Presidential Review Committee
Duke University
Daniel T. Blue Jr., Chair
P.O. Box 91627
Raleigh, N.C. 27675

Anonymous said...

For a leader who didn't have the decency even to meet with the parents of the accused lacrosse players, an apology now seems far too late to serve any useful purpose-causing me to speculate on the various reasons (financial and otherwise) on why it was made at all.

Anonymous said...

KC,
The "ill-judged" statements came only from a "handful" of departments?? Maybe I've missed something, but I assumed that Brodhead's "broad" statement would logically encompass those depts. and faculty members who signed on to the LS. Is that your reading of his "apology"? Assuming that is the case, the LS listed 7 of the 42 (or 17%) depts. as departmental signatories. Is that a small "handful"? The individual signatories encompass 16 depts., or approx. 38% of all depts. offering majors at Duke. Is that a small "handful"? I think the problem of idealogical incest at Duke is far more widespread than Duke would like to admit. Attempts to minimize the extremist idealogical biases of the broader Duke faculty seem to assume that if an individual or dept. did not sign on to the LS, or subsequent oral defnses of it, then those individuals/depts. disagreed with the 88 and the LS. Isn't it just as likely that the "silent majority" actually agreed with the 88, but elected to avoid the fray? Whether a particular dept. had substantial representation among the 88 (History..11; English...10) or slight representation (Public Policy...1); the fact remains that there is a broader base of "groupthink" at Duke than has been reported. As for Public Policy, which operates in many ways like a liberal think tank, I wonder how many of its professors privately agree with the 88 and also voted for Nifong (I was a PPS major).

Anonymous said...

These words are a good, if tepid, start; however, if not followed by concrete corrective actions, ultimately will be meaningless. I believe they were uttered in an attempt by Brodhead to retain his job, and not because he believes he did anything wrong. I note that Kim Curtis is still on the faculty, Paula McClain is still Chair of the Academic Council, Sally Deutsch is still Dean of the Arts & Sciences, Kathy Davidson is still Assistant Provost, etc., etc. Firing Curtis should be easy--she has no tenure, and if failing a student for ideological reasons is no sufficient for firing, what is? Without similar corrective actions--not committees--this apology will solve nothing. I have very much enjoyed this blog, but on this point we part company. I do not believe this apology was sincere. I do not believe Brodhead was criticizing the 88, only repeating, in a different way, what he has said all along--that the listening statement doesn't say what all the critics say is says. That, I believe, is what he means by "ill-judged." I am an alum and the parent of an alum. I have written to Dan Blue. Frankly, I don't expect anything good to come from it.--Buddy

Anonymous said...

8:43

"indicative of systemic problems in the field."

Is the electricity out in your ivory tower? Let's take other examples of this field infestation. First, @ Eastern Michigan is the Laura Dickinson "mystery"(according to school executives). Rape, murder, then a cover up by the administration. Secondly, note Columbia's Jewish problem. Muslim terrorists are held in high regards by faculty in "like" departments @ Columbia. Does the “Water Buffalo Incident" ring a bell? Systemic is a nice word, but a catastrophic failure is the better descriptive.

What steps to take? Maybe you should ask this question: Do these departments educate and produce productive, critical thinkers that contribute to society, or do they only indoctrinate their disciples?

For example, compared to nursing, I'm not sure what anyone could do with a degree that focused on studying Central American floating phallus'. I'll agree with you, close the fringe studies departments.

A lie detector test is one possible solution to groupthink. And yes, you could use the Duke Lacrosse Hoax(there's not enough graph space to chart the B.S.) as a litmus test!

Anonymous said...

In the Watergate era, everyone was told to "follow the money." Here, the best way to follow the money is to track who is paying what to protect whom.

The University is going to end up paying money to the unindicted players. In doing so, the University will likely demand -- and obtain -- blanket protection (in the form of a general release) for the individual members of the faculty who signed the ad.

The release will have substantial economic value, since it will ensure that the individual faculty members will face zero financial exposure. There was a palpable chance that the faculty members, as individuals, could be liable to the students for false factual statements that were made and implied in the ad.

The faculty members who signed the ad were not acting in the course of their duties, or in their "official capacities." Rather, they initiated commentary on their own, outside of the classroom. Of course, they would argue that their ad was simply an "opinion," but the Supreme Court did away with that defense long ago. False statements of fact are actionable even if they are embedded within an "opinion" piece. The faculty members also would argue that they were commenting as "members of the academic/intellectual community," but this too has no merit. Being a member of a faculty is not a license to lie. Indeed, one could argue that faculty members have a special relationship to students, and that they accordingly owe them a higher duty of care.

So -- shouldn't the faculty give something up in exchange for getting a release? If not money, then perhaps the apology that everyone has been discussing . . .

Anonymous said...

KC:

“Although his remarks were brief, President Brodhead effectively apologized for five different elements of his administration’s conduct over the past 18 months.”


Effectively apologized? Hello? Where did that come from?

You appear to have been in academia too long. The words “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” are the words I missed in Brodhead’s mini-novel.

Next time someone drags your family through a yearlong nightmare, you be sure to demand a three-page apology complete with a request for an outside committee to look over the situation.

Ken
Dallas

Gary Packwood said...

eric 1:01 said...

...Kim Curtis is still employed.
::
Well said Eric. That is a key point that just seems to be ignored while we slice and dice Broadhead's statement.

What is it about 'apologies' that seems to be so important to educated Duke alums who comment here.

While we are diverted again by Broadhead and the PR people, is anyone watching over the undergraduate students who may be in harms way at Duke?

If Broadhead had said that he was sorry I would have responded, Yup, you surly are.
::
GP

Michael said...

There was a ton of material to read from over the weekend. I was up at Bretton Woods without internet access for three days and it's nice to see that DIW is still on the job.

I wonder if events this weekend will have any impact on the citizenry of Durham and their negative views of the pending civil lawsuits. I would guess not but if Brodhead apologized, then miracles are possible.

AMac said...

Dueling Anonymouses.

Anon 8:48am --

...It is silly to suggest that the response to this rather intense incident on Duke's campus is somehow indicative of systemic problems in the field.

Secondly, what concrete steps could possibly be taken? ... Give me a break.


Anon 2:39am --

When a large organization screws up badly, there are only 2 things it can do - change policy, and discipline personnel. Duke has done neither. It's clear from Duke's actions that as an institution, it is happy with the outcome.

It would be interesting to poll Duke's faculty to ask, "Which of these two comments most nearly matches your own view of Duke's response to the Lacrosse Rape Case?" And then collate the responses.

Department by Department.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:28 --
I've seen exactly one other instance:

"The Stamp Act ... is an ill-judged measure..." -- G. Washington

--no, not that Glenn

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the frame, and important point Brodhead made - and will continue to make - is that this is over, behind us.
It is true that the athletes have to look to the future. They have great parents who will help them do that.
But this isn't 'over'. It will come back again and again, and haunt other issues.
Many people were tested in this excruciating experience. The athletes and their parents were incredibly focused, restrained and exercised judgment.
Others failed. Brodhead stands out, stemming from character rather than circumstances. Due to weakness and failure of judgment, Brodhead was ruthless to his own students in the way Yalies are usually ruthless: highmindedly, indirectly but ruthless nonetheless. He was trying to protect Duke and himself at the athletes' expense, and he damaged everyone instead.
Terry Sanford he isn't. He isn't even Kingman Brewster. He's in over his head.
English department chair. Perhaps a perch at some harmless foundation.

Anonymous said...

Duke Alum wrote

"Has anyone figured out why Brodhead elevated AAAS to full departmental status so suddenly?"

Because he agrees with their proseltyzing agenda. Don't you know that, today, the very purpose of education is to propagandize students into seeing everything through the lens of race, gender, and class?

It is very telling that Duke has such a department -- for which there is very, very little student demand and scant job prospects for its majors.

However, Duke does *not* have a department of business -- for which there is nearly unlimited student demand and great job prospects for its majors.

"Is there a chance that decision can be reversed?"

Yes, but it would require a change in the leadership's educational philosophy.

Duke Prof

Mike Lee said...

I think Anon 10AM and a few others hit the nail on the head. Broadhead seems surprised by (and apologizes for) the fact that his actions were perceived as abandoning the lacrosse players.

How in the hell did he think it would look when he refused to meet with the lacrosse players and/or their families?

If Broadhead didn't know that refusing to so much as even meet with these folks would be a clear sign that Duke was abandoning them he is certainly not fit for his position.

Anonymous said...

eric said...

Kim Curtis is still employed

----------

She was a spousal hire, and will be nothing more, ever.

Brodhead cannot fire her tenured spouse, so she remains at Duke, but rendered essentially harmless by her isolation from actual students.

Trust me, she is marginalized, minimized and thoroughly disrespected where she is. She is idiotic trash, and all of her colleagues know it. Duke pays her to shut up and stop infecting others with her moronic ideas.

rrhamilton said...

Anonymous said...
The Duke professorship made "ill-judged" remarks . . . these are the same people who demand perfection from others . . . who talk and quarrel and then pontificate . . . who have shown themselves to be bigots and very small-mined, intolerant bigots at that as if there could be any other kind of bigot. There is just no excuse for their behavior . . . . Leo Frank

10/1/07 6:59 AM
Interesting that Leo Frank is here mentioned, as there are ominous parallels between his case and the lacrosse case: a black-on-white lie -- with Jim Conley playing the role of Crystal Mangum, followed by a lynching by "prominent" citizens. It's too bad for Leo Frank that he did not have the benefit of electronic time-stamping or DNA evidence in 1913.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "...The administration also erred in other ways on this front. For instance, despite the extraordinary nature of the crisis that engulfed the team, and despite the seeming good intentions on the matter of Dean Sue Wasiolek, Larry Moneta’s student life apparatus did nothing to reach out to the lacrosse players at any point in the spring of 2006. The (unsurprising) impression: that the administration cared little about their fate...."

It was NO impression!

The administration failed in both how they did act (multiple actions WITH Klan of 88 members and abettors) and inaction (team, families, individual players (grad retaliation, McFayden, access to email/rooms, etc.), and those indicted players).

Those events are a long way from framing an IMPRESSION, they are facts.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead said

some faculty made "ill-judged and divisive” statements"

"Ill-judged" is pathetically weak. How about: false, unjust, insanely stupid, guilt-presuming, beneath contempt?

"divisive statements": The Declaration of Independence is filled with "divisive statements." So what?

So Brodhead believes that what we needed 18 months ago was unifying statements? It is evil to seek common cause with those who are bent on destroying the lives of innocent individuals.

What we needed were strong statements (backed up by action) denouncing the unjust behavior of the G88 et al.

Duke Prof

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: an earlier thread; "...Duke let the story get away from them and as paid the punishment in the court of law and public opinion..."

Duke did NOT let the story get away from them. The administration, instead, buys into the lies that are the basis of the race/gender/class pap.

They crafted their response based upon those lies.

It was and remains an affirmation proactive position of the University, the BOT, and what appears to be much of the faculty.

This isn't the Duke shown in the advertising materials misleading prospective students and nostalgic alumni into attending and donating money.

When was the last time a black was lynched. Fifty years ago? That is the basis for the race movement - that it happens all the time. It does not.

When was the last time a woman was raped on the Duke campus? Gang raped, by whites? That is the basis for the gender movement - that it happens all the time. It does not.

Duke did not create the story but they sure kept the ball in the air by how they CHOSE to manage events.

Pitiful...both then and now - the currents attempts to revise their culpability in those events - are pitiful.

Anonymous said...

Compare this from Lawrence Garrett's resignation as Secretary of the Navy following the Tailhook scandal:

“I accept responsibility and hold myself accountable to you and all of the innocent men and women in the Department of the Navy for the leadership failure which allowed the egregious conduct at Tailhook to occur in the first place.”

I personally saw the whole Tailhook thing as an overblow piece of PC crap, but the Navy wouldn't come to grips with the media frenzy. Like Brodhead, if Garrett had spoken up sooner he might have done some good damage control. I consider Garrett's letter a decent apology and his resignation was the honorable thing to do.

Anonymous said...

As much as RB whines about the difficult situation in which the university found itself, a prior comment explained how simple the correct response was for Duke: if Duke had just repeated "innocent until proven guilty" and acted in accordance with that principle, it would have looked like the elite institution it is. Instead, it looks like an immature teenager repeatedly changing his/her fashions in order to keep up with the popular kids. Pathetic.

JWM said...

Thank you to the person above who posted some of my explanation for why Brodhead made his comment now.

This is a good thread with lots of sharp commentary.

Brodhead's statement was carefully crafted to avoid the full and honest explanations and apologies he still owes the players, their families and the Duke and Durham communities.

That's why Brodhead’s statement made no mention of the "Vigilante" poster, the "CASTRATE" banner, Reade Seligmann; and that’s why it offered no explanation of his failure and Duke’s failure to speak out regarding them.

Brodhead’s statement is meant to let him and Duke slip by. That’s why there was so little pre-announcement of it and no questions were permitted after he read it.

Do Brodhead and Steel really think they can put Duke’s disgusting mismanagement of its Hoax response behind it without holding at least one lengthy Q&A information conference to which students, parents, alums, bloggers and press are invited; and at which audio and video recording are permitted?

If they do, they’re like Nixon who tried to get past Watergate without releasing the Oval Office tapes.

Is anyone reassured by Brodhead’s promise to have Duke’s senior administrators take a look at procedures to see what they can learn?

Count your chickens, folks. Brodhead’s turned the foxes loose.

About that national conference on “best practices” for managing something like the Hoax in the future: Is there anyone reading this who couldn’t do most of the conferences “work” right now?

I think you would all say: “And be sure, Duke, the next time things like that happen to white students to react the same way you would if they were black.”

Wouldn’t most of us go on to say: “Abandon your de facto two race student treatment policies.

Replace the administrators who implemented the two race policy and failed to counter Nifong’s, the Raleigh N&O’s and some faculty members’ falsehoods.

Recruit administrators and faculty whose careers demonstrate a commitment to treating both black and white students equally?”

Yes, folks, there needs to be more to the “report.”

But abandoning its de facto two race policy is the essential and most important step Duke must take to avoid in the future the mistakes, gross injustices and perhaps illegal actions involved in its Hoax response.

I’ll end with something Brodhead’s supporters and critics can agree on: hardly anyone’s surprised his statement avoided mentioning the important matters I’ve cited here.

John in Carolina

Anonymous said...

It seems to me perfectly appropriate to examine staffing patterns in these departments to see whether the departments that dominated the Group of 88 have bunched their hires toward people reflecting one point of view of pedagogical issues.-KC

It may indeed seem reasonable to your readership. Anyone within academia would recognize this as a non-starter. It would be easier for them to simply close the departments in question, and that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to KC, DiW, and a handful of clear-thinking bloggers, it's painfully clear that from the beginning of the Hoax, the "patients" were running the "insane asylum" that is/was Duke.

Pres. Boardhead, offered his spineless wisdom at the time regarding the lacrosse team, "...that whatever they did was bad enough..."

Actions at the time included: the march of the potbangers, "castrate" signs were trotted out, "wanted" posters swarmed the Duke campus, death threats were uttered in a court of law, and a group of 88 guilt-presuming Duke professors took out an ad that contributed greatly to hyper-inflamed anti-lacrosse tensions. Did I mention the lacrosse season was cancelled and the lacrosse coach was forced to "resign"?

Now that the truth of the Hoax has been establish unequivocably, some semblance of justice is slowly beginning to emerge. A settlement here, an apology there, and more is expected to come.

However, much of the storm damage from the Hoax remains essentially unaddressed: the work of the unrepentent Group of 88, whose historic ad was the subject of a change of venue motion filed by attorneys for the wrongfully accused lacrosse students. Wouldn't it indeed be truly fitting for the powers at Duke, in a true "eye for an eye" moment, to "cancel" the "Anger Studies" season and to force the resignation of the lead G88 perpetrator, Wahneema(?) Lubiano.

Nah, just wishful thinking!

Sweet Thang

Anonymous said...

Is Kim Curtis a tenured Communist?

Anonymous said...

From experience, I know a statement like this was very deliberate. Someone (or a team) deliberated over each and every statement that was made. The pros and cons of aletrnative phrases and statements were discussed and discounted until the RB speech reflected EXACTLY what was desired. No more - and no less. Every word, and in particlular the key adjectives, verbs, and adverbs in the speech were selectively chosen for the desired impact. The choice of words, the elements of ambiguity, and the specific omissions were all very deliberate. Do not think for one second that this was a 100% reflection of RB's true views or feelings. The speech and its delivery were designed as Duke leadership's next move in a strategic "chess match" that RB and BOT members are playing to try to satisfy all constituents and make this issue go away. This speech was a caluclated move and should be interpreted by all "analysts" as such. Now the question for us to evaluate is "will it work the way RB and the BOT hope?" Have they struck a balance that will minimize the impact on all stakeholders going forward - and save their jobs, their school's reputation, prevent flight of key faculty members, get donations from alums. etc. NOTE: there were no elements of the speech that implied determining accountability or making structural changes in the near future at Duke. This was a deliberate omission so the expectation of any changes would not be raised...because none are planned. If they were planning to hold persons accountable or implement changes, they would have at least alluded to it, knowing this would shore up more support from some key constituents such as the alumni. The omission is very revealing with regards to their planned next steps to deal with this confidence crisis. Pressure from blogs like this, the media, alumni, outspoken BOT members, and other constituents is what it will take to get RB and the majority of the BOT to act any differently than the current course they are on. They have made their move. They are watching YOUR reaction. They hope it is sufficient to make this problem start fading into memory. If you want different results than this...advocates of change must continue to press forward. RB and BOT do hope that drowning the analysis with committees and investigations filled with aposing views and hindsight will make this "back page news" and everyone can move on. The first overture to placate "the community of stakeholders" was just made. Will you stand for it? Will the silent majority of Duke faculty stand for it? Will Duke Alumni stand for it? Will the students stand for it? Time will tell how committed each constituent is to ensuring the root causes of this confidence crisis at Duke are identified and held accountable. The leadership want it to fade away into the night. Do you?

Anonymous said...

If Kommie Kimmie Curtis gets divorced, will someone ceremoniously throw her over to Central?

Anonymous said...

WOW 1:09 !

Thank you

Anonymous said...

"WTH does this mean:
"Have the staffing patterns in many humanities and some social sciences departments made these departments unusually susceptible to the shortcomings of groupthink?""

Assuming you're serious, I'll unpack this for you.

"Groupthink" is a social pattern in which groups of otherwise intelligent people start making bad decisions. The cause is that the belief that the group is intelligent and will therefore make intelligent decisions has grown to displace the actual process of making intelligent decisions, particularly questioning the "accepted wisdom" or questioning the current plans. Individuals in a group that has succumbed to groupthink often feel pressure not to engage in such questioning, feeling that it will be perceived as disloyalty to the group or as a sign of lesser allegiance to the group's goals.

Now, in some college departments, the faculty who are already in a department actually play a major role in deciding which faculty get hired next. Obviously, they should make such decisions on the basis of whether the prospective faculty member knows their subject and can teach their subject -- not on the basis of the prospective hire's politics. But among the Group of 88, we have seen faculty members such as Wahneema Lubiano assert that "Whether I'm thinking, teaching, or engaging in politics ... I think that it is part of my privilege, my work, and my pleasure to insist that those three activities are not clearly demarcated." If Lubiano insists that there be no clear demarcation between her politics and her teaching, why would we expect her to maintain a clear demarcation between her politics and her departmental responsibilities? Does anyone doubt that, if given any influence in the hiring process for her department, Lubiano would use it to see that those who are hired are mostly if not solely those who share her politics?

Also in the Group of 88, though since departed from Duke, we found Grant Farred, who responded to a drive aimed at getting students to register to vote in Durham by accusing any students who did so register of a "secret racism". A little thought might have told Farred that, even if it were assumed for the sake of argument that every student who registered to vote in Durham were going to vote against Nifong, there could be non-racist reasons such as "does not trust a prosecutor who paints the Constitutionally protected right to have a lawyer protecting one's interests as an implication of guilt." If he engaged in that much thought, he clearly surpressed its results. Does anyone doubt that, if there had been protests within the group to whom Lubiano had sent her message announcing an ad "about the lacrosse team incident", protests that such an ad would be highly prejudicial to the students being accused, that Farred wouldn't have blasted that colleague as exhibiting a "secret racism" or some other such malicious, meretricious twaddle?

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 1:37 said...

...If Kommie Kimmie Curtis gets divorced, will someone ceremoniously throw her over to Central?
::
Those youngsters over at Central are trying so hard to improve themselves and prepare a better life for themselves and their families.

They do not need a 'Curtis' rock in the already rocky roadway that is theirs to travel.
::
GP

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
Compare this from Lawrence Garrett's resignation as Secretary of the Navy following the Tailhook scandal:

“I accept responsibility and hold myself accountable to you and all of the innocent men and women in the Department of the Navy for the leadership failure which allowed the egregious conduct at Tailhook to occur in the first place.”

I personally saw the whole Tailhook thing as an overblow piece of PC crap, but the Navy wouldn't come to grips with the media frenzy. Like Brodhead, if Garrett had spoken up sooner he might have done some good damage control. I consider Garrett's letter a decent apology and his resignation was the honorable thing to do.

10/1/07 11:52 AM


Just another reason for the academics to hate the military: there's less honor in whole college departments than there is in a single corporal's guard.

scott said...

People who make changes to the personnel in the administration at Duke should look far beyond Richard Brodhead when considering the need for replacements.

Brodhead himself, students and alumni, and the institution that is Duke University were poorly served by Burness, Moneta, Wasiolek and others in the administration. These people hold senior positions within the administration, are well paid for their work, and receive many perks on top of a generous salary.

If their performance in the frame / hoax is any indication of their ability to add value to Duke University, then certainly others could be found that would do a much better job. Frankly, Duke is not getting their money's worth by keeping these individuals employed.

Burness and Moneta, especially, are a complete joke, but it's not funny one and no one's laughing.

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 10/1/07 12:41 PM
said...
"It may indeed seem reasonable to your readership."
It certainly does.
"Anyone within academia would recognize this as a non-starter."
That does not make the proposal unreasonable. That makes academia unreasonable.

Which is why so many reasonable non-academics are becoming fans of David Horowitz.

Anonymous said...

"Now, in some college departments, the faculty who are already in a department actually play a major role in deciding which faculty get hired next. Obviously, they should make such decisions on the basis of whether the prospective faculty member knows their subject and can teach their subject -- not on the basis of the prospective hire's politics. But among the Group of 88, we have seen faculty members such as Wahneema Lubiano assert that 'Whether I'm thinking, teaching, or engaging in politics ... I think that it is part of my privilege, my work, and my pleasure to insist that those three activities are not clearly demarcated.'"

In my view the above represents the twisted group mindset of a movement that has a major foothold in far too many of our colleges and universities.

Call them socialists, communists, or left-leaning tenured professors, their goal is tear down the very foundation our Judao-Christian culture is based on, and replace it with their own form of utopian mind-rot, where barriers between sex, gender, and class are elements of the target rich envirnonmnet they seek to destroy.

The Group of 88's success thus far at completely evading accountability for their damaging and profoundly racist actions in the Duke non-rape Hoax is a deeply disturbing sign (to some uf us?) of their undeserved political strength, their sense of tenured entitlement, and their fact-blind arrogance.

As I step back to consider what has just crawled out from under its proverbial rock (i.e. the G88), I am reminded of a quote from one of the high priests of this shameful fiasco:

"We're fucked!"

Anonymous said...

It's good thing that Brodhead apologized. For me, the term "proportionality" comes to mind. I do believe that Brodhead thought a crime took place via Nifong's statements - made more serious to him because of his PC perspective, akin to two crimes with the same behavior getting "extra" punishment if the perceived motive is "hate." As a result, through ommission, he approved of the potbangers, the 88 ad, etc. Then, he initiated the Campus Cultural Initiatives, et. al. His prejudice definitely showed.

Unless he follows up with similar initiatives on Faculty Bigotry/Intolerence, Following the Code of Conduct, etc., he shows a lack of proportionality.

I do not see evidence that the LAX case has been a learning moment for him, and his agenda appears intact.

Ed

Anonymous said...

late apology, lame execuses, lack of leadership and actions, the weakest link.

gwallan said...

anonymous @1:09 PM has the right of it. This is nothing more than a piece of well crafted PR.

Anonymous @2:39 PM said...
"Groupthink" is a social pattern in which groups of otherwise intelligent people start making bad decisions. The cause is that the belief that the group is intelligent and will therefore make intelligent decisions has grown to displace the actual process of making intelligent decisions, particularly questioning the "accepted wisdom" or questioning the current plans. Individuals in a group that has succumbed to groupthink often feel pressure not to engage in such questioning, feeling that it will be perceived as disloyalty to the group or as a sign of lesser allegiance to the group's goals.
but neglected to add that the IQ of a group is equal to the lowest individual IQ within the group divided by the number of group members.



During the time in question among other things...

- University employees used university resources to organise a campaign of vilification against over forty people.

- University employees egged on outsiders engaged in a campaign of vilification against over forty people.

- University employees openly harassed some of those forty individuals in classrooms in front of their peers.

- At least one University employee falsified an individual's grades.

- University employees violated the privacy rights of over forty individuals.

Action rather than words is what is required. Duke and Brodhead must be judged on what they do, not what they say.



It is notable that while Brodhead used 1413 words the simple word "sorry" did not appear once. Brodhead's "apology" is a classic non-apology apology.

Anonymous said...

Well - he did apologize. I know folk would like it better if he tore his cloths and turned to dust. It is not happening.

Anonymous said...

9:38 Don't worry shugah. Just set him outside those ivory towers and some of the friends of those 45 LAX players and Coach Pressler will take care of the clothes and the dust.

Not threatening violence, you understand.

Just suggesting that DB might need a dose of the real world, where real people live and work and don't chew on poetry and Shakespeare all day long because those Durham WHITE MEN AND WOMEN AND A FEW GOOD BLACK ONES TOO are busy going to work and doing honest labor and making enough money to buy some bread to get strong enough to do it again the next day.

Brodhead needs to spend two years in the Peace Corps. He needs some REAL experience in life. And so do the 88! They need to actually DO something to make the world better instead of just sitting on their fat asses and spewing their unintelligible group-think nonspeak.

These guys would NEVER be able to make it outside their towers.

And they want to take on the basketball team??? Just let the Wahhhnnneeeah types go out on the court and try to play a game under the kind of pressure that those guys do and watch her try to keep her cool. She'd have to call in Jessee Jackson to complain about the catcalls and bad words people said about her. ( poor baby)

That 88 group are gutless, spineless, and useless. Their main purpose in all of this was to sound a loud warning on how rotten this whole crowd has gotten at Duke and lots of other universities . It's kinda like a pain in the ass. Let's you know you need to go see your chiropractor. So, they've served their purpose.

Question is: How do we assist their departure from Duke, and not just pass the pollution elsewhere?

I really think that there is potential in a longitudinal study of "How spoiled, racist, bigotted American professors do when dropped off in a foreign culture where they have to work with their hands and not their mouths for at least two years."

At that time, they could interview for a possible reassignment to a university where they could speak from experience. They might even choke out a real "forthcoming" article worth reading.

And as for sports, they hate sports because it is something they can't do, don't understand and can't control.

MOSTLY, they hate sports becaue the games have rules and if you don't obey them you are penalized or forbidden to play. Therein is the rub, my friends. This group do NOT like any rules except the ones they make and the ones they change at will.

Sports irritate the PC crowd because they didn't think up the game and they can't make the rules, and unsportsmanlike conduct or arguing with the referee can get you thrown out.

Oh, how I wish that were the stance of the Duke Board of Trustees!

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 9:38 said...

...Well - he did apologize. I know folk would like it better if he tore his cloths and turned to dust. It is not happening.
::
Oh I don't think so. People just need a couple of days to chew on what he had to say in relation to what he and the BOT actually did for the last sixteen months.

I think that is called measuring the 'credibility gap' with respect to caring for young people who are in your charge.

A 'credibility gap' between what you have agree to do and what you actually do with respect to young people can turn you to dust in America.

I suspect the students who write for the Duke Chronicle will continue to suck the humidity out of the Allen Building until everyone who is holed up there is mere dust in the wind.

I have developed a healthy trust in what those student have to say over at the Duke Chronicle.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

One Spook, Your 1:10 blog was very inciteful and clearly presented. Thank you, I couldn't express it as well. I have found Pres. Broadhead to be most frustrating and simply wrong in his approach. He did not believe they were innocent, he believed they were guilty and proceeded accordingly. You were so right> he would have been a true leader of the university if he supported their right to a presumption of innocence. He should have kept his own personal beliefs to himself. I feel what he did was unforgiveable, he should not have the privlege of his position. The present students deserve better.

Anonymous said...

The BOT runs the show at any private school - . The faculity are employees. The students are customers. Most of us, who are parents are draft horses who work sixteen hours a day to pay the tuition,books, meals, room and fights home. It is simple - If The BOT find Brodhead is a lost factor, they will get rid of him. If not, he stays. Neither donations or application are down . That is the real world.

Anonymous said...

Which is why so many reasonable non-academics are becoming fans of David Horowitz.-Ralph Phelan

Really? Is KC a fan? I don't get that impression.

As soon as you start pointing to Horowitz as the voice of reason when it comes to academia, you throw your credibility right out the window.

Ralph Phelan said...

KC's a reasopnable academic, not a reasonable non-academic. Duh.