Monday, October 22, 2007

Reflections on the Lisker Appointment

Last Tuesday, Duke announced that Donna Lisker, currently director of the Women’s Center, would become associate dean of undergraduate education. According to the Chronicle, Lisker will focus on “coordinating both the academic and social strains of undergraduate life.”

Dean of Undergraduate Education Steve Nowicki said that he pushed for the appointment because “I wanted to make sure I have diverse perspectives. Donna brings a very different perspective.”

Lisker was among the most frequently quoted Duke officials in articles about the lacrosse case. In the days and weeks following Crystal Mangum’s false allegations, she gave interviews to the Chronicle, the Baltimore Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the (Toronto) National Post, and WUNC; she also gave several interviews to the New York Times.

In an e-mail to me, Lisker explained her approach to the case in the following way:

I chose not to sign the faculty statement that appeared in the Chronicle because I directed the Women’s Center, an administrative unit with the mission of serving all students. I tried never to make a public statement that would make any student feel unwelcome in my center. At a time of high emotion, we wanted to be a place for dialogue -- and I think we were successful in that.

In the weeks following the initial accusations many reporters wanted to talk to the person at Duke responsible for sexual assault support services and education. That was me, and I agreed to speak only in generalities about how sexual violence typically affects a college campus. I did not speak about the lacrosse case with any specificity; indeed, I could not, as I was not involved. And it’s not good practice for a women’s center director to speak to the media about specific student cases, as it compromises the expectation of confidentiality for the next student who might come in. I was asked repeatedly if we had student survivors of sexual violence who would speak to the media. I responded negatively (and with some incredulity) every time. My principal goal, and that of my staff, was to protect our students, both those currently connected to the Center and those who might be in the future.

The first sentence above is a commendable one—a stark contrast to the choice made by Group of 88’er Joseph Harris, who signed the statement even though he directed the University Writing Program.

Nonetheless, as I noted in response to Lisker, it seemed that her statements frequently strayed from the general to the case-specific. In the Baltimore Sun, March 30, 2006, Lisker appeared to question the value of the presumption of innocence:

“I just don’t know,” Donna Lisker, the director of Duke Women’s Center, said when asked if protesters would now feel they are being heard. “Innocent until proven guilty is a critical presumption. But these are such serious charges.”

In the Philadelphia Inquirer, April 2, 2006, Lisker appeared to presume guilt:

“Something like this takes away that sense of security” and provokes “fear and anger.”

After the DNA tests came back negative, Lisker expressed an unusual perspective on the case, to the National Post, on April 12, 1006:

“I’m of two minds,” [Lisker] told the National Post of her take on the inconclusive [?!] DNA results. “On the one hand, I’d be absolutely delighted if these allegations were proven untrue because I wouldn’t wish that [sexual assault] on anyone.”

“But as a women’s advocate, I am also concerned about the spectre of a possible false report, because people underreport sexual assault as it is,” Ms. Lisker said. “I don’t want it to deter anyone from reporting.”

By May 2, 2006—after charges already had been filed against Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty—Lisker presumed guilt on WUNC radio. Note the absence of “alleged” in her discussion of the “assault.”


It’s worth reiterating that this interview occurred well after the heady days of Mike Nifong’s pre-primary publicity crusade. By this point, defense attorneys—for weeks, and publicly—had denied that any “assault” of any kind occurred. Indeed, the day before Lisker spoke of “the assault,” Kirk Osborn had released a minute-by-minute alibi for Reade Seligmann.

After another panelist suggested that contemporary U.S. culture all but invites rape, Lisker also offered her insights on a profile of possible rapists.

I disagree with social conservatives on nearly all cultural issues. But there’s something off-putting about a university administrator suggesting that her ideological opponents are more likely to commit rapes—even if, as she hastened to add, most cultural conservatives were not prospective criminals. Imagine the outrage if Duke had appointed as associate dean a conservative who had publicly asserted that feminists were more likely to file false rape reports.

Shortly before the start of the 2007 lacrosse season, Lisker gave an interview to Newsday, where she continued to take an uncompromising stance against the team:

I’m sure there will be cheering for the team and a lot of fans, but there’s something weird about that. I don’t want to paint all the players with one brush, but there is still the issue of their behavior we know to be true: They had a party, hired women to strip, the women were (verbally) threatened and there was underage drinking. Can we talk about that part of it?

Of course, the unqualified assertion that “the women were (verbally) threatened” was hardly “know[n] to be true”—at any point in the case. That a Duke administrator publicly made such a claim as late as February 25, 2007 (the date of Lisker’s Newsday interview) is troubling.

Two of the three undeniably “known” items—a party, underage drinking—occur every weekend in every college in the country other than institutions of the religious right (whose values Lisker doesn’t support), raising questions about why Lisker would single out the lacrosse players’ party. The third—the hiring of strippers—was done not by the “players,” as Lisker suggested, but by the captains, who had repeatedly apologized for having done so, both privately and publicly. That record, of course, stands in stark contrast to the Group of 88, all but one of whom either refused to apologize or who retracted their apologies after privately doing so.

As to Lisker’s question: a strong argument exists that the players’ party was the most “talked about” college party in U.S. history. For months, Duke professors, the local media, the national media, cable-news talking heads, and a Duke-appointed investigative committee had no trouble talk[ing] about that part of it.

On March 14, 2007, Lisker returned to the criminal case, about which she would only concede that “it’s hard to know” the truth. She did, however, lash out at the alleged mistreatment of Crystal Mangum(!): “People could not have missed the way that the accuser in the case, in the lacrosse case, was raked over the coals. If you’re a young person who’s been sexually assaulted, and you look at that, it’s not really an experience that you want to have.”

Lisker didn’t say how defense attorneys should have appropriately responded to a woman whose repeated lies threatened to put three innocent Duke students in jail for 30 years. She explained via e-mail:

I never presumed guilt in this case, and said over and over that we had to honor due process as a foundational principle of our justice system. That statement rarely made it into the articles when I was quoted (reporters wanted me to say something more controversial), but I said it nonetheless.

One of the issues I did talk about was the effect the case had on survivors of sexual violence in the Duke community. In the early weeks, when the case was all over the media, we saw a sharp increase in the number of students seeking help for past incidents of sexual violence. The extensive media coverage of the case acted as a trigger and we were inundated with students in crisis. We were glad to be there for them during a difficult time.

I am absolutely delighted that the charges in this case proved to be unfounded; though these comments were never printed, I told several reporters that I would have hated to believe our students capable of such behavior. I did worry, and still do, that one of the after effects of this case -- or any case of false accusation -- is that it becomes harder for a student who has been the victim of a legitimate crime to speak up. They fear they will be met with skepticism and disbelief. That’s the context of my NY Times quote.

I’ve no doubt that Lisker is correct in noting that after any false accusation, “it becomes harder for a student who has been the victim of a legitimate crime to speak up.” Yet the blame for such a development belongs to the person who made the false allegation (Mangum) and the people who exploited it (Nifong, the Group of 88, talking heads such as Wendy Murphy or Nancy Grace, journalists such as Bob Ashley), not those who fought to expose Mangum’s lies. One wonders what behavior by defense attorneys Dukes new associate dean for undergraduate education would have considered acceptable.

More broadly, Liskers comment raises questions about what case she was actually observing. For months, the mainstream media inaccurately portrayed Mangum in overly positive terms—as an honors student and working mother who had reluctantly embraced stripping because she wanted to spend more time with her children. The reality, of course, was far different.

By the end of spring, Lisker had backed off her hard line of February, telling the New York Times that she hoped the lacrosse team did well in the 2007 national tournament, since, “It’s been a trying year for Duke, and I welcome anything that contributes to healing in our community.”

As Group of 88’er Paula McClain made clear in her address last week, a call for “healing” without any accountability for those who behaved inappropriately is standard fare these days at Duke.

Lisker’s is the first administrative appointment announced since President Brodhead apologized for some faculty members’ “ill-judged” and “divisive” statements on the case. Many of Lisker’s statements could have been predicted, given her position at Duke and her long-held beliefs. And, as is clear in her e-mails to me, Lisker gives no indication of the malevolence toward some Duke students under which so many in the Group of 88 appear to operate. If the administration had made any concrete policy steps showing it had come to grips with what caused the facultys (and its own) rush to judgment in the case, perhaps the Lisker appointment would have passed without controversy.

But such a development has not occurred. Since many of Lisker’s statements about the case have not stood the test of time, the appointment, therefore, raises a question of management: assuming Brodhead meant what he said in his apology, why would a University president want administrators whose statements and actions were “ill-judged”? After all, administrators are paid to make good judgments.

152 comments:

Debrah said...

KC is still posting at...or around....or just after midnight....Tel Aviv time.

So now he's our Middle Eastern Midnight Rider dah-ling!

inman said...

KC...et al...

Reporters of the news are interested in facts, or rather factoids, only to the extent that they sell newspapers or TV or radio or whatever genre. I suggest that it is quite misleading to assert that assorted quotations in the media can lead to a conclusion that stated philosophy has been compromised. It may be that the assorted quotations do indeed belie the a priori stated philosophy; but it may also be that the quotations were out of context or that qualifying remarks were neglected or that the reporter just got it wrong.

I think that using the media to evaluate academic thought is not a worthy enterprise. Using the unequivocal words of a member of the academy (such a Piot's work) is fair game. But using media "hearsay" is fraught with peril.

This posting, in my judgment, and with all due respect, should be either an indictment or an applause of media coverage and quoted statements, and less an evaluation of Lisker.

Surely, there is better source material to evaluate her philosphy and demeanor.

KC Johnson said...

To Inman:

I'm aware of this issue: I did send Lisker the quotes I was planning to use in the piece, in part to ensure that she had been accurately quoted.

Anonymous said...

Lisker is certainly no profile in courage, and I'm glad she's not affiliated with any of the schools currently sending me tuition bills, but she's at least a cut (well, maybe half a cut) above the Brodheads of this world. Keep in mind that Duke doesn't have a lot to choose from internally, and I can't imagine that people at other universities are anxious to dive into these positions while Brodhead is still running the asylum.

Julian said...

Brodhead's apology was probably a requirement of a lawsuit. The radical left at Duke is Teflon coated. Broadhead has protected them a whole lot better than he has protected Duke's students.

Debrah said...

I think that using the media to illuminate what a bizarre and out of touch woman Donna Lisker is...is right on point.

Any educated person whose supposed role in the community deals with helping others and who proclaims to care about justice......AND.....

....who was discussing this case without the word "alleged"...deserves to be publicly mauled.

A very dangerous person.

A most radical and irresponsible feminist.

Anonymous said...

In sum, Lisker seems moderate and more reasoned in her judgments than many at Duke. While she did not speak with the same force as James Coleman or the economics department, and notwithstanding her long held beliefs, she does not sound like an ideologue, but rather, someone who is, in fact, concerned for her students' well being.

(And, no, I'm not a troll. I just find Lisker's comments so much less offense that the standard fare from the Duke faculty that they are almost welcoming.)

Anonymous said...

Dear Tom:

Listen to the audio.

Sincerely,

Your ears
_________________

Just kidding you, Tom! I am glad that Professor Johnson sent the actual quotes. No denial, to me = admission of guilt. I give Donna Lisker props for responding. That took some courage. It is too bad, though, that her response did not match up with her previous behavior. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

"I disagree with social conservatives on nearly all cultural issues. But there’s something off-putting about a university administrator suggesting that her ideological opponents are more likely to commit rapes—even if, as she hastened to add, most cultural conservatives were not prospective criminals."

Did Linker equate men who hold "traditional" views regarding the roles of men and women with social conservatives? I think KC's conclusion of her statement is a logical one, i.e., that Linker believes that social conservatives, generally, hold "traditional" views regarding the roles of men and women, but she really did not say that. I would be curious if she DOES, in fact, believe that social conservatives view women as subservient and how she would respond to an example of a socially conservative president taking the advise of a woman in matters of foreign policy.

Search for Meaning said...

Given what we have heard in the past she almost sounds like a moderate.

“I wanted to make sure I have diverse perspectives. Donna brings a very different perspective.” - Steve Nowicki

If we value diversity so much why have an admissions department. Instead we should just accept the first x number of students. Surely this would give Duke a more diverse campus. Shouldn’t we value the diverse opinions of low achievers and criminals if we value diversity? Aren’t having admission standards an attempt to eliminate diversity?

One Spook said...

inman @ 6:34 writes:

"I think that using the media to evaluate academic thought is not a worthy enterprise. Using the unequivocal words of a member of the academy (such a Piot's work) is fair game. But using media "hearsay" is fraught with peril. "

Tom, I think that would be a valid point if you could cite examples of media "hearsay" in any of the Lisker quotes KC uses in this post.

Those are her own words --- direct, verified quotes --- not "hearsay".

I've written this before, but the bottom line of Duke's response is that it was a colossal communications disaster from top to bottom, and that failure should be an integral part of an outside examination of Duke's overall actions with respect to this incident.

Imagine for a moment if Lisker had said this to these reporters: "As you probably do not know, there was another alleged rape of a white female by a black male reported shortly after this incident. As director of the Duke Women's Center, I have taken steps to inform and educate our female students that the incident of black on white and black on black rape is many, many, many times greater than any rape by white males in the US. Can we talk about that?"

Lisker, nor any one else at Duke, was not under any obligation to respond to any questions posed by the media. Their sole response could have begun and ended with a very simple one-point statement, "Our response to any allegations of a crime committed by any of our students is that there is a presumption of innocence in the law, and for us to comment on any other issues is entirely inappropriate." That would end the interview and give a reporter the only "sound bite" needed.

Any other statements are "ill-judged" and Lisker's statements were exactly that. Her appointment is therefore also "ill-judged."

One Spook

Anonymous said...

From Vince
This blog has been one of the great enlightening experiences of my life. I am convinced that education and, as a result, our way of life and our example to the world, is at risk but I don't see Lisker as a threat ti all that; nor do I see her as a hypocrite a fool or a minion of evil. There are egregious examples of malevolence. Let's go after them.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've had a chance to thank you, KC, for your DIW blog. I've enjoyed reading it almost from the beginning.

On this post, I have to agree with inman. In her own statements, Lisker seems to have taken a more balanced approach that the Gang of 88. She's an advocate for women, especially those who have suffered sexual assault, but she also is happy there was no rape in March 2006.

The media went to her for a particular point of view and if what you've documented here is all the media could get her to say about this case, she did a pretty good job. I probably don't agree with her on much and I'd rather see someone of a different ideology in this position but it's difficult to see where her appointment would be an indictment of the post apology administration.

Anonymous said...

You pulverized Piot and he deserved it.

I dunno about this one. I am sure she is a creature of her training and worldview, but seems like she is educable. At the very least, I don't see her bent on malice and destruction.

Anonymous said...

Quoting KC:

"Dean of Undergraduate Education Steve Nowicki said that he pushed for the appointment because 'I wanted to make sure I have diverse perspectives. Donna brings a very different perspective.'"

For at least the last ten years, since the Keohane presidency, the administration has been dominated by race/class/gender activists. They have steadily transformed turning Duke into a PC campus. It is hard to see how the appointment of another such activist brings "diverse perspectives" to Duke's undergraduate education.

Race/class/gender activists caused this mess. And the response from the administration is to appoint another of their ilk?! What's that line about an insane person being one who keeps beating his head against the wall, while expecting a different result?

How about appointing someone who believes that the purpose of an undergraduate education is not to mold PC clones, but rather is to teach an important body of knowledge and to train a student to think?

Duke Prof

hman said...

From my perspective, one of the most damning facts in regard to the behavior of individuals like Lisker in this matter is that they simultaneously acknowledged (and sometimes instigated) the extremely high profile nature of this case while simultaneously walling themselves off from the deluge of solid information that early on showed this to be a hoax.
It is just way too easy to imagine them putting their fingers in their ears while chanting, "I can't hear you!!!" OK, that is an option, in a way. But should not people who indulge in that also keep their mouths shut when they are invited to pontificate on the case? Unless of course they are indifferent to the great damage they would almost inevitably do.
But why pretend, folks in her line of work see themselves as advocates for a certain view of the world; women-as-truthful-victim. Against that, actual facts are like a petulant child - they lack the status of something that needs to be taken seriously. Just ignore them long enough and they will go away...
There are few good reasons to talk to such people. The important thing is to limit the harm they do.

Steven Horwitz said...

I think you're grasping at a pretty thin reed here KC. Did Lisker say some problematic things? Yup, and the two audio quotes are the worst.

But at the same time, she didn't sign the LS and her reasons for doing so demonstrated an awareness of both due process and concern for students that many other faculty didn't. I could offer different readings of several of the written quotes you provide here that are less uncharitable than yours.

Based on what you've provided here, I'd sure as hell rather have her in the job she's in than some members of the G88 in the new jobs they have. I'll get the typical "that's not saying much" in reply. So be it.

The nature of her current position would seem to give her the skills she needs for her new one - bridging the academic and the social in particular. And her willingness, in her decision not to sign the LS and her other words you've quoted, to both understand the presumption of innocence AND serve the needs of all Duke students, would suggest that she has the kind of understanding of the major issues of the case that one would want as well, even if she didn't get it all right in the details.

Again, let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Anonymous said...

KC,
I have followed your blog with great interest and usually agree with your analyses. However, the factual support you offer to criticize the Lisker appointment is thin, and perhaps unreliable. I tend to agree with Inman on this point, and the fact that you sent Lisker the quotes you planned to use does not in any way ameliorate the inherent potential for misrepresenting a person's true thinking and motivations based soely on plucked media quotes.

Lisker clearly has a commitment to women's issues and seems (more by her very job description, than by selective media quotes) to be what Christina Hoff Sommers would characterize as a "gender feminist". That said, Lisker's email comments to you suggest - taking her comments at face value, and assuming her good faith- that she understands her biases and is consciously seeking to remove them from her academic/adminisrative thinking and decision-making. I found Lisker's email comments refreshing and in stark contrast to the Baker, Chafe, Fared, Holloway, Lubiano way of thinking about the academy's responsibilities to its students.

I am at "ground zero" on all things Duke. I am deeply disappointed with the University's handling of the lacrosse fiasco; nevertheless, I think Lisker -absent some other evidence of unsuitability for the Dean's job- deserves the benefit of the doubt based on your own analysis.

The bigger tragedy here is that Brodhead's utter lack of leadership and commitment to principles of fairness and due process over the last 19 months have soured many in the Duke community on his ability to lead. It is now a trust and confidence issue. Thus, there is a "Brodhead cloud" over the Lisker appointment and many will assume the worst (ie, coddling the likes of the 88) in his motives and decision-making. All the more reason for a change in leadership.

Anonymous said...

Debrah said...
KC is still posting at...or around....or just after midnight....Tel Aviv time.

So now he's our Middle Eastern Midnight Rider dah-ling!

10/21/07 6:08 PM


Which means we no longer have to stay up until Midnight EDT/EST to read KC's new posts!!! More sleep to be had by all. :))

Anonymous said...

Kc--

I dont know how the Jena Six issue has been treated here, and I am not truly concerned with the specifics of the allegations. However, it is admitted by all that the Jena Six beat a kid, perhaps nearly to death, before what is perceived of as an injustice ocurring. Nobody is demanding repeated apologies for the beating and the fact that a crime was committed is not used as an excuse for what some contend is an injustice.

Could you even write, in a mainstream forum, that the Jena six deserve all they get because of the "position" they put themselves in.

Debrah said...

From the H-S:

Lisker to serve in new Duke office

Donna Lisker, who has directed the Duke University Women's Center since 1999, has been named associate dean in the new Office of Undergraduate Education, announced Undergraduate Education Dean Steve Nowicki on Tuesday.

She will continue as co-director of the school's Baldwin Scholars Program, a post she has held since 2004.

President Richard H. Brodhead created the office this year as a way to better integrate the academic and social dimensions of the student experience.

In her new post, Lisker will work with Nowicki to gather ideas, analyze and coordinate improvements relating to undergraduates and will collaborate with senior administrators from schools, departments and administrative units that serve undergraduates. One of her first tasks will involve implementing recommendations of Provost Peter Lange's Interim Report on the Undergraduate Experience, especially with regard to residential and social space.

Anonymous said...

The "why" question has long bothered me. By now, such appointments are part of a very well established pattern, with many clear examples that quickly come to mind. Even knowing that many are looking at these appointments as a sign that some lesson has been learned, the administration seems only to keep thumbing their collective noses at everyone who operates on the basis of reason. Why?

At least Lisker seems to now talk the talk and has some plausible basis for deflecting some obvious criticisms. Still, this appointment and its timing, make no sense. What makes even less is the seeming inability to learn from mistakes of the past. Why?


And, why should anyone believe that Duke is not setting things up so that the mistakes of the past are replicated in the future?


There have been several recent incidents of armed robbery, criminals impersonating police and robbing students, and break-ins -- where residents of Durham are preying on Duke students. The last rape to receive any publicity involved a Durham resident and a female Duke student. Where was Lisker's (or anyone’s) voice on this incident? Many were listening and the silence was profound.


As a parent of a Duke student, what I want to know is that someone finally gets it. I have real concerns about safety and, with no confidence in the DPD or the City of Durham, I am very concerned that some at Duke are still throwing fuel on the fire, while deliberately ignoring very real issues, at the peril of the students. Why?


I don't trust any of these ideologues to get anything that doesn't fit their massively distorted narratives, because objective evidence shows that this is how things operate, to the point of absurdity. There is an abundance of data. What I want to see is some sign that some of this BS is going to be checked -- before some Duke student gets killed by something that can't be reality, because it doesn't comport with some grotesque agenda that is transparently based on monumental fallacies, double standards, and “scholarship” that would be a joke, were it not so destructive – and at such great expense.


The only conclusion I can reach is that things are so deeply broken and values that are foundational to our society have been so corrupted that these sorts of obscenities are the result. We have seen this in the government of Durham, in the DPD, and in those who were entrusted to work in the DA’s Office. I’ve tried to avoid the conclusion that this also holds of the administration at Duke, or that there would not be enough on the faculty to listen to that internal voice of reason and see the massive body of evidence and assert themselves. This conclusion becomes harder to escape each time something like this happens.

My kid is quite perceptive and capable of observing, thinking, and evaluating. I take at least a little comfort in knowing that he is going to learn quite a bit living through these events. I just wish so many others would show some sign of learning.

Gary Packwood said...

KC said...Lisker was among the most frequently quoted Duke officials in articles about the lacrosse case.
::
Lisker should have never talked to the media in the first place as it is important that Duke speaks with one voice. Press conference coordinated by Duke? Perhaps. Blathering to the press over and over? No way!

Lisker said...I tried never to make a public statement that would make any student feel unwelcome in my center.
::
The 'center' is not her center? She should have said our center or the Duke University Women's Center.

Lisker said...In the weeks following the initial accusations many reporters wanted to talk to the person at Duke responsible for sexual assault support services and education. That was me, and I agreed to speak only in generalities about how sexual violence typically affects a college campus.
::
That is part of the problem in my opinion. Sexual assault support services should be a subset of and supervised by, the physicians at the Duke University Medical Center.

Lisker said...I was asked repeatedly if we had student survivors of sexual violence who would speak to the media. I responded negatively (and with some incredulity) every time.
::
Lisker is not a health care professional and the Duke Women's Center is not a health care organization. Lisker should not be speaking for survivors of sexual assault with respect to their willingness to be interviewed.

KC said...After all, administrators are paid to make good judgments.
::
Lisker is part of the problem in my view. The Take Back the Night 'Castrate' March was organized in the Duke Women's Center.

My jaw just hit the floor when I learned of her appointment. She must know where the bodies are buried and who buried the bodies.

But it is sure easier to lay off an associate academic dean than the director of an administrative unit.
::
GP

Jim in San Diego said...

In the sea of mindless vituperation that infected large parts of the Duke faculty, Ms. Lisker's comments appear relatively mild and reasoned.

Are we missing something, or did she become more hostile towards the Lacrosse victims as time passed?

Ms. Lisker is clearly ambivalent to the outcome - the Lacrosse players were victims, Crystal Magnum the lying vitimizer. I recall in the early days of doubt, a post here concerning a conversation with two coeds who stated they "hoped [Mangum] was not lying". They retracted that thought when confronted with the logic of their statement: They would prefer a woman be violently gang raped than that she would not be telling the truth about same.

Ms. Lisker appears to be one of those so conflicted, yet she also recognizes the unfortunate logic of their position.

Nevertheless, not the worst choice Duke could have made for the position.

Anonymous said...

How embarrassing this must be for Duke students and alumni. Brodhead will continue his agenda as long as trustees continue to allow him to function as Duke president. Shame.

Debrah said...

Another view of Lisker.

Take the time to read the entire article.

".....from a doctorate in English with a specialty in 20th century feminist-realist playwrights to a career in college administration."

Anonymous said...

I found the quotes you used to be surprisingly even-handed, given Prof Lisker's role at the University. I think that the fact that she made a significant effort to keep things generalized and emphasized a presumption of innocence is laudable.

Debrah said...

Steve Nowicki is said to be an internationally known researcher with an expertise in birdsong.

Yeah, I'm thinking this guy's got to be one hot number.

LOL!!!
LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

CHRIS DAVIS, HARVARD '73

SEX AND THE LEFT:

The great implicit trade offered by the Left since the Russian Revolution has been and still is:sexual license in return for control of the follower's assets.
Nonproponents' sexual behavior, however, is subject to an entirely different set of criteria which manifests itself in a sort of whiny, hypocritical faux-Victorian rant.
How could Senator Craig have the gall to stay in office, after he blah, blah, blah...but, meanwhile,
Congressman Frank's roommate is caught out running a gay prostitution service from Frank's apartment and there are no cries for Frank's resignation.
How could Giuliani think of running with his marital history, questions the New York Times, when, after the Clinton scandals one would almost pity Giuliani in his lack of experience in the field of amorous pursuits.
And finally, we have some upper-middle class white fraternity guys(who, mysteriously, are always portrayed negatively in Hollywood films)having a beer party with two raggedty-ass strippers. So what?
But because they are "privileged"(code for:"non-adherents"), the media feels free to pile on and portray this forgettable farce as a Roman orgy worthy of the Emperor Caligula.
Ironically, it is exactly this same sort of out-of-control behavior that is repeatedly extolled in hip hop and rap, the subjects of whose lyrics consistently remain off-limits to media deconstruction. Why no desire here to advance the metanarrative?

Anonymous said...

In world finance 'dont tell me what they SAY, tell me "WHAT THEY DO"

ITS CLEAR broadrot is SHOWING his true colors...and his disdain for the justice the players received within DUKE

broadrots words are a refection of his true character...appeaser

Anonymous said...

Here is the key point in my opinion: Lisker's actions are a disgrace overall. Its just that compared to the horrible behavior from the rest of Duke she doesnt seem that bad.

Whether Lisker realizes it or not, its people like her that WORSEN the rape problem on campus and society.

MORE GUILTY RAPISTS WILL BE FOUND NOT GUILTY BECAUSE OF CRYSTAL/THE DUKE ADMIN and FACULTY (INCLUDING LISKER)/ AND THE POLITICIANS OF DURHAM!!! A JURY CANNOT HELP BUT REMEMBER THIS CASE.

Dr Lisker: If Duke placed 1/1000 of the energy spent chasing after 3 innocent guys in a different direction (like, say, real victims and real rapists) it would have some useful purpose.

It may sound harsh: But if the group of 88 and Lisker truly cared about rape victims (instead of politics/ideology) they would never have acted as they did. Never.

Finally, you and the group of 88 were willing to let 3 obviously innocent guys go to jail for 30 years because of ideology/ politics. I wonder how you can sleep at night.

You threw your own students under the bus for a lying hooker.

What a disgrace.

Ed

Anonymous said...

Lisker's statements were not 'academic thought.' They were the public statements of a Duke administrator that implied the worst of three Duke students who were in peril of going to prison for a crime they did not commit, well after it was clear that there were doubts about the facts on the ground. Anyone who speaks to the press knows, or should know, exactly what they are saying and the power of those words. Words have power and consequences in the lives of real people. People other than you.
If Lisker knew that, her excuse is dishonest. If she genuinely believes in the presumption of innocence and did not know how to speak to the press, she should not have been promoted.
The 'academic thought' argument is a trap door to avoid accountability. These faculty and administrators are used to outdoing each other in rhetoric, but what they do is talk, and write, and they are insulated from the consequences of what they say and publish.
This is not graduate school. It's the criminal justice system, that has the coercive power to deprive you of your freedom.

Anonymous said...

Lisker's appointment is simply proof that nothing has changed at Duke. The people in power before and during the hoax are becoming even more powerful.

Anonymous said...

This is not one of KC Johnson's best postings. Everyone--even Debrah or the sainted KC himself (!!;-p) could be villified in this case if someone took the time and effort to cut and paste quotes. Given the attacks on the mainstream media in this blog, why so much dependence on it for this post? This appointment really isn't worth attacking unless the goal is going simply after people whose politics (academic and otherwise) one dislikes.

One Spook said...

The link in debrah's comment @ 11:11 PM (thank you, debrah for that link!) tells you just about all you need to know about Ms Lisker in this excerpt:

"“Preaching to the choir only gets you so far,” Lisker said. “You really need to be talking to the groups that cause you the most difficulty. They’re not bad guys, but they get into this group mentality where they have to behave in a certain way to be part of the group, whether they’re fraternity men or athletes or men in the military. You’re really battling a larger cultural phenomenon, and it’s an uphill battle. You have to keep fighting; you do the best you can.”

What an astonishing pile of baloney! Lisker's goal in life is to modify the behavior of men in certain groups "... that cause you the most difficulty." Quoth she, "They're not bad guys, but ... " Isn't Duke fortunate that a person who has all of the answers to proper male behavior just happened to be already on staff there?

Let me guess ... Lisker's husband was never in a fraternity, a helmeted sports team, or in the military.

Brodhead has appointed yet another agenda-driven person to a position where they can inflict damage to students and to the university ... this has to stop.

Are we to believe that there is not one single woman employed at Duke who grew up with crazy athlete-brothers, was in a sorority, in sports, is intelligent and has an outstanding academic record who could do this job?

Why does it always have to be some sanctimonious pilgrim whose stated purpose in life is to "keep fighting" and tilting at windmills?

One Spook

KC Johnson said...

To the 2.57:

Thaks for your response.

While I have been very critical of many in the media in the blog, I have never contended that any mainstream journalist invented quotes. And, as I noted in a comment above, I showed the quotes I was using in the post to Lisker before the post occurred.

With all due respect, I very much doubt that anyone could "cut and paste" quotes from me, over a period of more than a year, to reflect the approach to the case outlined in this post. And, as the article to which Debrah linked made clear, these quotes were wholly consistent with Lisker's previous approach to gender issues.

More generally, two points, which perhaps I didn't make clear enough in the post:

1) The symbolism of this appointment--the first one announced since the Brodhead apology--is what strikes me as significant. If the B. apology were meaningful, there'd be some expectation that it would translate into administrative decisions. The Lisker apptment gives no evidence to support that view.

2) What's most striking to me about Lisker is less what she said in 2006 than what she said in 2007. Even now (last week), she didn't see how her unquivocally stating that an assault occurred (as she did, in the clip above from May 2, 2006) presumed guilt. Also, her 2007 assertions that Mangum was somehow raked over the coals and that "we know" that Mangum and Roberts were "verbally threatened" are troubling statements. Those comments might have been expected in late March 2006; they're striking appearing when they do.

Anonymous said...

So Lisker did not sign the Lubiano's G88 statement. Hurray for her.

I would feel better about the Lisker appointment had she DENOUNCED the G88 statement.

I have a hard time imagining that Lisker is not fully on-board with the belief that "women never lie about rape", the corollary of which is, "any man accused of rape must be denied the presumption of innocence".

Perhaps Lisker would repond to a direct question on the above matter.

no justice, no peace said...

"...They fear they will be met with skepticism and disbelief..."

Rape victims? Unreal, she is describing the administrators and faculty. Who among us would take anything they say or do at face value after all they have done and undone?

and

"...the appointment, therefore, raises a question of management..."

A question? It would be more accurate to say ANOTHER or CONTINUED question(s) of management. This is one point on a clearly defined trend line.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: Inman at 6:34 "...I think that using the media to evaluate academic thought is not a worthy enterprise..."

Your point is well taken. Like the Duke administrators and faculty one would be mistaken to take anything the media delivers at face value.

However, let's not forget that it was indeed Ms. Lisker who knowingly subjected herself to the media environment.

Besides Ms. Lisker was one of few in the position to provide additional interviews across a wide number of publications to clarity any misunderstood, erroneous or out of context remark. It appears she did not and progressively revealed her bias and bigotry.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: Steven Horwitz 9:05

What you describe is much like the creek that has risen and daily erodes a couple of feet of earth.

The house is now a few feet from the creek and yet nothing is being done to protect the house.

This post is like a day where only one foot erodes.

Let's not forget that while Lisker'c comments and actions were less egregious than others, they still damage the house.

The Lisker appointment demonstartes a continued pattern of poor decisions by Brodhead.

Who were the other candidates? What was the process?

no justice, no peace said...

The notion that Lisker's appointment could have been much worse speaks directly to why we should question affirmative action.

The questions should be, do we need this positions at all? Why do we need the position? Is this the best person for the job?

The idea that she is not as bad as others says it all.

mac said...

KC is right:

First of all, I agree that Lisker has several good points, and should be congratulated for responding to queries - (to both KC and to MSM.) Considering what was coming out of Duke way-back-then, hers was one of few voices that showed a level of moderation. While Baker was screeching, Lisker seemed to be attempting to understand what might've happened. The fact that she was offered the choice and chose not to sign the "listening statement" is important. She made a conscious choice, while people like Anne Allison ran a course that KC described (I think appropriately) as "Group of 88 for Credit." And unlike Lisker, Allison did not respond to KC's emails.

On the other hand, people of good will could have been wrong about the case, but not for long, considering the evidence.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

It's profoundly evil than that persons like Gottlieb and Nifong, who certainly knew of CGM's history with mental illness, would help her "get some money from some white boys," help Nifong get elected and help Gottlieb "get" another group of Duke students.

:::::::::::::::::::::

It is also profoundly evil and manipulative, and utterly lowbrow, that the 88 would use Crystal Gayle Mangum's apparent mental illness in order to advance their "cause." That is seriously disgraceful. I wonder what Ms. Lisker has to say about this: that both the 88 and Nifong and his cronies were willing to use a mentally ill person to advance their own issues?

mac said...

Interesting that Lisker comments about men with "traditional notions" about women's roles are somehow more likely to (mis)use women for their own personal satisfaction.

Question:
Was Billy Jeff Clinton a "traditional" kind of guy?

Anonymous said...

Is Lisker a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Until Duke deals openly with the black-on-white rape that occurred in the Black fraternity house on Duke's campus, I cannot accept *anything* the administration says about anything.

Anonymous said...

Seems that it is business as usual at Duke University.

Make a few statements that can be interpreted as being even-handed, then go ahead and do whatever you want to do.

I would be interested in Duke saying what they would do differently today.

My guess......they would do NOTHING differently.

Ms. Lisker represents business as usual.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:29 pm
WOW, Dick Cheney is a Woman??You could knock me over with a feather.

Anonymous said...

Mac, I think W is more a "traditional" kind of guy. If, perhaps, less intelligent that WJC.

But, even you have to know that. Or not.

Anonymous said...

To those who post here: I think drawing conclusions about anyone discussed in this blog based on whether they answer KC Johnson's e-mails or not is ridiculous. Especially those who have taken positions that KC Johnson opposes could expect him to attempt to crucify them here. Why communicate with someone who has a proven track record of this kind of behavior?

Those who don't speak to him are prudent.

Anonymous said...

As to the Lisker appointment:
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed woman is Queen."

Brodhead ....must.....go....NOW

Anonymous said...

KC,
Your characterization of Lisker's audio clips (paticularly the second one) is a stretch. Lisker makes the point that men with "traditional" views on women's roles in our society are more likely than other men to commit sexual assault. She obliquely refers to "some research" to support her thesis. It would have been nice if Lisker had identified her sources; but she ended the clip saying that she was not impying that all men who hold "traditional" views about gender roles are rapists.

You assumed that Lisker's use of the word "traditional" was synonymous with "social/cultural conservative" (ie, Republican?). I did not read that much into her comments. I am a "social conservative" (though not a Republican). I didn't feel as though Lisker's comments were aimed at me. Men of all political viewpoints can hold "traditional" views on gender roles and theorectically fall within Lisker's broad brush stroke.

I disagree with Lisker's "traditional men" thesis; but I would have called her out to provide evidence of that theory rather than suggest that she was unequivocally stating that her "idealogical opponents" were more likely to be rapists.

Richard Aubrey said...

Ref anon 7:20. Amen.
And they won't, for all the usual PC reasons.
Thus, there is never going to be reason to trust them.

It's a heck of a note when Lisker is okay because all the other options were worse.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Nifong

please check out this website. it credits, among others, the NYT with writing critical stories of Nifong

Ralh Phelan said...

"assuming Brodhead meant what he said in his apology, why would a University president want administrators whose statements and actions were “ill-judged”? "

Well there's your problem.. When you start with false assumptions you get confusing results.

Anonymous said...

Another example that universities have no accountability....not to parents nor to students.

The symbolism of this appointment is the point. While Lisker wasn't as bad as the 88ers...she was "bad enough" in that she failed to insist in her public statements that Duke students be presumed innocent. She failed to take the high ground. But then when you are looking for "diversity" as the qualifying credential you get this.

By the way, exactly what is "women's studies" other than an excuse to pay more women more money? As a succesful female CPA I find it a patronizing world view.

Ralph Phelan said...

Lisker clearly has a commitment to women's issues and seems (more by her very job description, than by selective media quotes) to be what Christina Hoff Sommers would characterize as a "gender feminist". That said, Lisker's email comments to you suggest - taking her comments at face value, and assuming her good faith- that she understands her biases and is consciously seeking to remove them from her academic/adminisrative thinking and decision-making.

So she's about as good as you're gonna get if you want a professional feminist to be your new associate dean of undergraduate education.

But why is Duke choosing a a professional feminist to be its new associate dean of undergraduate education?

One lesson many outside observers have taken from the events of the last twenty months is that the womens studies/aaas/cultural anthropolgy crowd are not as wise or good as they claim to be, and that universities would run better if they had less power.

The Duke administration still seems to hold the opposite belief - that their getting things wrong in the Duke Lacrosse Burning was an isolated incident, but on the whole they are still exepctionally wise and good people, and deserve to have their power and influence continue to increase.

If Duke had really learned anything the new dean would have come out engineering or economics. She didn't and they haven't.

traveler said...

Gary Packwood said...

“Lisker is part of the problem in my view. The Take Back the Night 'Castrate' March was organized in the Duke Women's Center.”
-----------------------
Maybe Lisker didn’t sign the G-88 Ad, because she was busy at the copy machine, and missed Lubiano’s e-mail, you think?

Steven Horwitz said...

So I read the piece on Lisker and I don't share the outrage. Yes, she reached out to male athletes. Why? Well guess what? Along with fraternities, they ARE the groups on campuses who have been historically most likely to engage in sexual harassment or forms of violence. That's not saying they do it a lot, just that, generally, they are, in relative terms, the largest problem.

For years, at least on campuses I know of, there was no communication between those groups and those responsible for dealing with sexual violence and overseeing discipline. In recent years that's begun to change, and as the lines of communication have opened up, there's a lot less demonization going on and when folks from women's centers got to know the athletes in particular, they began to realize that many of them were good men and began to work with them rather than against them.

Do a little research and you'll see that there's a national trend toward more campuses having "male athletes against sexual violence" type groups where said male athletes are taking public stands against sexual violence and working WITH people like Lisker. I think that's a good thing as it breaks down prejudices on both sides.

The one paragraph that has bothered so many is the historic reality on campuses I'm aware of and Lisker's attempts to reach out to them are a hell of a lot better than the demonization and lack of communication that characterized such relationships in the past. It probably also explains why she was a voice of moderation among the faculty - she actually KNOWS the male athletes.

The critics of this appointment need to answer this question:

The administration appointed someone to a key undergraduate education position who actually knows and has worked with male athletes and fraternity members and who did not sign the LS and who has publicly proclaimed the importance of the center she runs being seen as open to all Duke students, as well as frequently, though not always, noting the presumption of innocence. Doesn't this seem like progress to you? (Our ignorance of the other possible candidates and the process duly noted.)

The vitriol against Lisker, including what I think is KC's unfair analysis, is smacking of the same sort of witch hunt that got us into trouble in the first place. I'm progressively convinced that for many, the hypothesis that "Duke is a disaster area" is unfalsifiable.

Debrah said...

Lisker offers this:

" And my husband, Paul Dudenheffer, who now works in the Duke economics department and at Duke University Press, is a southerner who was eager to return to the South."

Do these people EVER marry or snuggle next to anyone who is not also working at Duke in some capacity?

So incestuous.

Especially the Gang of 88.

I wonder if their small little spheres of existence would allow them a relationship with someone who might do something else for a living.

Talk about insular.

Ralph Phelan said...

“But as a women’s advocate, I am also concerned about the spectre of a possible false report, because people underreport sexual assault as it is,” Ms. Lisker said. “I don’t want it to deter anyone from reporting.”

I did worry, and still do, that one of the after effects of this case -- or any case of false accusation -- is that it becomes harder for a student who has been the victim of a legitimate crime to speak up. They fear they will be met with skepticism and disbelief. That’s the context of my NY Times quote.


If she's going to be a dean for all students she's going to have to start showing some concern for some of the other bad effects of false accusations, like maybe the effect on the falsely accused.

When you talk about the damage Mangum did and ignore the damage she did to those students and talk instead about theoretical real victims who will somehow be discouraged from making real reports by what happened to someone who made a false one, you're showing that your concern for others is very narow and selective.

Anonymous said...

KC, you're way off base on this one. Donna Lisker is one of the "good" people at Duke. She is fundamentally concerned for young women at Duke, and that's not a bad thing. Compared to many of the other players in this issue, she hardly deserves your focus.

I honestly have no idea why you continue to do this, but I think it reflects badly on your judgment and really does crystallize the prism through which you choose to view most everything these days.

I hope one of these days you'll get some time away from this and gain some much-needed perspective.

Ralph Phelan said...

Gary Packwood said...
"The Take Back the Night 'Castrate' March was organized in the Duke Women's Center."

Yikes!

Documentation please?

If true, and if that march was something she knew or should have known about, then any benefit of the doubt she's been granted should be withdrawn.

traveler said...

Waheema vs. Wahneema

To RRH: You wrote: “(2) it's Wah(n)eema, I think.”
--------------------------

You were correcting my spelling of Waheema, and what a can of worms you opened. I had copied “Waheema Lubiano,” straight from the ASA meeting schedule. There are dozens of articles and references to that name. Far too many to be a typographical error. Note the articles date 1991, 1992.

Lubiano, Waheema. “But Compared to What?: Reading Realism, Representation, and Essentialism in School Daze, do the Right Thing, and the Spike Lee Discourse.” Black
American Literature Forum. 25:2 (Summer 1991): 253-282.
http://etd.lib.fsu.edu/theses/available/etd-01192006-155938/unrestricted/metzler_thesis_ms_final.pdf

While at Sanford:
Waheema Lubiano. 1992. "Black Ladies, Welfare Queens, and State Minstrels: Ideological War by Narrative Means," In Toni Morrison, ed. Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power. New York: Pantheon. pp. 323-64.
http://www.brynmawr.edu/Acads/GSSW/schram/soc224pei.html

Fast forward :
To Take Dancing Seriously Is to Redo Politics
Wahneema Lubiano

“I'm a post-structuralist teacher-critic leftist. What I've written here is what I do whether I'm thinking, teaching, or engaging in politics (including strategizing). I think that it is part of my privilege, my work, and my pleasure to insist that those three activities are not clearly demarcated. Learning to live with the difficulty of not being absolutely sure and the comfort of not having to be is my reward for being critical about totalizing narratives--especially when we call them the truth.”
http://www.zmag.org/ScienceWars/replylubiano.htm
---------------------------

Clearly Wahneema has undergone a name change operation, or she has a twin on the same career path. One can only speculate, but I did have to resolve why she maintains two separate research files. Odd one would dissect their body of work, unless that “n“ is very important.

Ralph Phelan said...

"This appointment really isn't worth attacking unless the goal is going simply after people whose politics (academic and otherwise) one dislikes."

A certain type of politics, academic and otherwise, failed massively and repeatedly over the last twenty months at Duke. Failed in terms of truth, failed in terms of justice, and failed in terms of promoting the institutional interests of Duke University.

That failure continues to be rewarded.

KC Johnson said...

To the 8.22:

I'm struck by your comment: "Especially those who have taken positions that KC Johnson opposes could expect him to attempt to crucify them here. Why communicate with someone who has a proven track record of this kind of behavior?"

In Lisker's case, some commenters have taken a more favorable view of her actions than I have, in part because of what she said in her response.

I can see why those who have no defense for their actions would decline to respond; and I agree that your advice for them is probably prudent. That raises, however, another question of what it says about people like the Group of 88 that they have no defense for their actions.

To the 9.52:

"She is fundamentally concerned for young women at Duke, and that's not a bad thing."

I don't believe I ever said that she wasn't "fundamentally concerned for your women at Duke." It does seem to me, however, that university administrators need to be "fundamentally concerned" with all students at their university.

inman said...

traveler @ 10:02:


HAHAHA

Waheema has her very own "n" word .....

Anonymous said...

Contentment with Lisker reveals the soft bigotry of low expectations. Imagine the celebration of these glad folks should Clayton ever replace Gottleib.

Duke is hopeless. If there were to be any true justice, this post would have been filled by the head of the Duke Men's Center. This is an insult; it is only going to get worse until men start fighting back.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz said...
"So I read the piece on Lisker and I don't share the outrage. Yes, she reached out to male athletes...."

I agree. As a "women's center" director she's excellent. But does this make her a good choice for "coordinating both the academic and social strains of undergraduate life" for all students?


"The administration appointed someone to a key undergraduate education position who actually knows and has worked with male athletes and fraternity members [Gosh! Wow! Is that really that rare?] and who did not sign the LS and who has publicly proclaimed the importance of the center she runs being seen as open to all Duke students, as well as frequently, though not always, noting the presumption of innocence. Doesn't this seem like progress to you? "

Very little, very late.
Reflecting on which institutions within Duke performed well and which performed badly over the course of events, they should have appointed someone from the athletics department.

(Our ignorance of the other possible candidates and the process duly noted.)
And irrelevant. The legitimacy of the process is partly defined by the result. I can't believe that there wasn't a single person interested in the job who wasn't a feminist, leftist, or otherwise interested in "transforming society." Whether they got filtered out in the nomi nation process or the final decision process doesn't matter. What matters is that the 88ist worldview hasn't been repudiated, merely muted a bit.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering - why is Brodhead creating new administrative positions at Duke now? After the Mangum hoax, it would seem the last thing they need is another administrator.

Debrah said...

The problem I have...and have always had with people like Lisker is that they seem to bask in the glow of disaster.

It's her job to be an effective advocate for students who might...allegedly....have been assaulted; however, as in the snip KC provided, Lisker speaks about such issues as events.

It's distasteful on many levels, but that's the way women like Lisker think. Everything is so mechanical and structured.

She has her stereotypes of men down to a science.....and any time you start talking this way, you lose most of your credibility.

When I was a student, I would never go to women like her with a problem because they always seemed to enjoy each and every aspect of these so-called disasters.

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous said...
"KC, you're way off base on this one. Donna Lisker is one of the "good" people at Duke. She is fundamentally concerned for young women at Duke, and that's not a bad thing."

Yeah, but what Duke needs now is someone who's "fundamentally concerned for young men at Duke," as they currently seem to be considered disposable.

As I mention above, when your biggest worry about the effects of false accusations of rape is that they might deter real rape victms from reporting, and not the effect on the victims of the false accusation, it sure looks like you're only concerned about women, and don't care what happens to men.

While I was hoping that would stope being Duke's official policy, I wasn't expecting it to.

Debrah said...

H-S letters:

Bring on the case

I am tired of people from out of town trying to tell people in Durham what they should do in the lacrosse case. They should wait until it happens in their town.

They want to sue Durham. Then bring them back to Durham, and find out what really went on in that house. If they had not brought the stripper to the house, none of this would have happened.

The people put Bush in the White House. Letter writer R.W. Keifer wants to blame everybody in the U.S. for voting for him.

GEORGE HARRIS
Durham
October 22, 2007

Nifong's on his own

I wish to quote Mike Nifong's comment regarding the state turning down his request for representation in the Duke lacrosse case, "I don't know whey I continue to expect people to do the right thing."

I, too, am wondering why Nifong would think the citizens of Durham County would want to pay for his legal fees? He is no longer an employee of the State of North Carolina or of Durham city or county governments. He and his staff created his destiny regarding this matter.

I agree with the attorney general's office not to represent him in that matter or any other matter. He is like the students and their families -- on his own. They had to get their own attorneys, at their expense, and Nifong should do the same. The citizens of North Carolina and Durham County have suffered enough.

MARGARET FRASER
Durham
October 22, 2007

Majority voted for him

A letter writer said, "The residents of Durham ... do not deserve to be financially abused. They are not responsible for Nifong's handling of this case," Well, didn't the majority of Durham voters, despite mounting evidence of inappropriate, if not illegal, behavior in office, nevertheless choose to elect Nifong?

In my view, we are accountable not only for our actions, but also for the results of our actions, which makes Durham residents deserving of sharing the consequences of their vote.

Maybe this will serve as a lesson to a) vote and b) vote responsibly, based on facts at hand rather than emotions.

BUD CERNE
Durham
October 22, 2007

Gary Packwood said...

Steven Horwitz 9:39 said...

...So I read the piece on Lisker and I don't share the outrage. Yes, she reached out to male athletes. Why? Well guess what? Along with fraternities, they ARE the groups on campuses who have been historically most likely to engage in sexual harassment or forms of violence. That's not saying they do it a lot, just that, generally, they are, in relative terms, the largest problem.
::
You are buying into the metanarrative. The presupposition of white male violence on the campus of Duke University.

Sexual assault is a serious problem in poor communities where poor people engage in violent behavior towards other poor people in their poor communities.

And, judging from the comments so far today, they are very good at moving this phony problem statement forward into the minds of Duke graduates.

Amazing.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Gary Packwood
“Lisker is part of the problem in my view. The Take Back the Night 'Castrate' March was organized in the Duke Women's Center.”

This is disturbing.

What does Lisker know of this? Did she help organize the demonstration and approve of its content?

If Lisker played any role (or worse, a central role) in this event, then clearly she is in a conflict of interest with her new position.

Anonymous said...

KC, People don't have to talk to you if they don't want to. There's no requirement. It's not like you're the police or some sort of public body to which they are obliged to speak.

No, it's not just people with no defense for their actions who shouldn't talk to you. It's people with whom you disagree who don't want to spend their time defending themselves against your on-going attacks on them, their work, their beliefs...

Anonymous said...

I don't now how to type this but just type it. Unattractive women, in our society, are told through a million subtle ways that they have less self worth than attractive ones. How they deal with this very unfair situation shapes the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately our, now very, PC environment gives these casualties way too much of a voice and credibility. Other than generating hatrred they accomplish little.

Damaged people are damaged people and they need serious help before being allowed, virtually, free reign in how they attack things that don't deserved to be attacked.

I remember what it was like with a "Women First Organization" at my university. All man haters who's agenda had nothing to do with raising women up and everything to do with putting men down.

Take a look at the the most rabid of the Duke faulty and tell me what they have in common?

Anonymous said...

Re Steve Horwitz's 9:39 am comments: I commented at 9:13 pm and 8:26 am to express similar sentiments. I haven't agreed with much of what Steve has said on this blog (and I have anonymously taken him to task on occasion....btw, I have very good reasons for maintaining my anonymity), but I think he is dead on re Lisker.

The underlying premise of KC's analysis of the Lisker appointment is that a Duke faculty member or administrator who has an ostensibly "politically oriented" appointment (and Lisker meets that criterion) is unable to seperate personal politics from administrative responsibility. I think Lisker's emails tacitly demonstrate that she understands better than most Duke administrators that she could reasonably be viewed as biased given her role as the Director of the Women's Center, yet her acknowlegement of that potential bias and her welcoming approach to "all" students is much healthier, in my view, than the administrator who denies the bias, or the appearance of bias. Those denials, all too frequent in higher education, suggest the very politicized "agenda" that KC improperly imputes to Lisker.

KC and Stuart Taylor have gone to great lengths to portray the 88 as a small, extremist faction among the faculty. Yet, it is undisputed that the political orientation of the broader faculty is decidedly left-leaning. What about those left-leaning faculty members who are not among the extremist faction? By negative impliction, KC and Taylor have admitted that most left-leaning Duke professors can be fair to their students, putting aside their personal politics in the classroom or in their administrative functions.

I see nothing in KC's analysis of Lisker that places her in the "extremist" category, rather than the left-leaning but fair and student-friendly (including male students!) category.

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson your response at 10:09 to the 8:22 doesn't follow. I hope your analysis and conclusions usually aren't so weak.

KC Johnson said...

To the 10.43:

You need not "hope," but you can actually reach a determination yourself: all of the blog is public, and you are welcome to read through as many of the 1100+ posts as you like.

To the 10.38:

"KC, People don't have to talk to you if they don't want to. There's no requirement. It's not like you're the police or some sort of public body to which they are obliged to speak."

I'm not sure I ever said that people "have to talk to" me. I'd urge you to re-read the blog; and if I have said that, please bring it to my attention. Thanks.

Debrah said...

"I see nothing in KC's analysis of Lisker that places her in the "extremist" category...."

Then you do not live in the real world.

I agree that Lisker has a calm. pleasant voice.

Read more from her background.

Listen carefuly to the snips KC provided.

People like Lisker are more insidious because they come across as so "reasonable and objective".

Gary Packwood said...

Ralph Phelan 9:55 said...

...Gary Packwood said...
..."The Take Back the Night 'Castrate' March was organized in the Duke Women's Center."
...Yikes!
...Documentation please?
...If true, and if that march was something she knew or should have known about, then any benefit of the doubt she's been granted should be withdrawn.
::
Sure. Google Search = Take+Back+the+Night+Duke+University

http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2006/03/takeback.html and there is a link to the Herald-Sun article.

And here is the link to the Sexual Assault Support Services at the Duke University Women's Center. Notice the SAFE HAVEN sign.

http://wc.studentaffairs.duke.edu/sass/location/index.html

And, the Saturday Night: Untold Stories of Sexual Assault at Duke University is below. This site has been partially closed down and radically re-designed since March of this year.

http://www.duke.edu/web/saturdaynight/index.html

And, the sexual assault allegations made by these people do not even begin to match up with the crime statistics provided by Duke University to the federal campus crime cleaning house....which even include data about ALLEGED crimes.

There is much more that needs to be discovered about these people and their connection to groups in Durham and the Durham PD.
::
GP

W. R. Chambers said...

I agree with Steven Horwitz.

And I have empathy for Lisker because she is an advocate for the survivors of sexual violence. Her experience is with women who have been assaulted and perhaps too with cases in which men claimed no assault took place. She probably has very little experience with men as victims. And after all the Duke case turned out to extraordinaary in many respects.

As the media repeatedly came to her for comment, it quite likely that Lisker was speaking to and on behalf of women too afraid to come forward. For her to have repeatedly emphaized due process - to have said "let's wait a minute here - we don't know if a sexual assault took place or not" could well have been interpreted by women who have been assaulted that if they went to the Women's Center they would have been met with an undercurrent of doubt, i.e. the importance of due process, hardly the kind of reception that would encourage women to come in for counseling, which is important no matter what happened in the eyes of the law.

Even so, she mentioned the importance of due process. And she replied to KC's inquiries directly without attacking him and without becoming defensive, which I interpret to mean that she is willing to participate in the process of learning from this unusual set of circumstances. Perhaps one lesson to learn is that talking in generalities about sexual assault in the midst of a high profile case involving students at one's own university is not likely to be fair or helpful because the public is likely to infer that one is talking about the people involved in the case.

With the benefit of hindsight, and based only what I've read here, I think Lisker did an ok if imperfect job under difficult circumstances.

Kilgore said...

While it may be true that Lisker didn't sign the 88 statement I would love to see someone pose the question to her of whether she agreed with the statement. My guess is that she is covering her butt with her talk. Anyone who runs a women's center and is involved in a women's studies program is likely to believe in the "women have been oppressed for thousands of years and now men must suffer for having been oppressors" LIE.

I sure wouldn't want someone with that sort of belief system administrating over the welfare of the general student population. Duh. A belief like this would disable any sense of fairness.

KC is right on the money with this one. Duke continues its wonderland script.

And so it goes.

Debrah said...

"It's people with whom you disagree who don't want to spend their time defending themselves against your on-going attacks on them, their work, their beliefs..."

Yeah, just check out the "beliefs" of the Duke Gang of 88.

Check out what they tried to do to innocent people.

If you aren't repulsed by these parasites, then you aren't human.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone has already said this -- but I think there is a big difference between referring repeatedly to "the assault" without ever using the qualifier of "alleged" (Samil Khanna-style), and referring to an alleged incident of assault in the midst of a discussion as simply "the assault". Out of context, the first audio clip is hardly damning, as there is actually nothing objectionable about it save for the failure to use the qualifier "alleged".

Anonymous said...

As I read KC's original statement, he mentioned that he did not normally share the "social conservative" viewpoint, but found himself having to evaluate Lisker's statements through those glasses as well??? Is that right???

If so, I offer kudos to KC. It is high time that we realize that those of us who have socially conservative leanings are not brain-dead nor incompetent blithering idiots. We simply hold a different philosophy and world view and that view needs to be respected and heard as much as the others.

All the talk about appointing someone who represents "diversing" points of view is BS. There ARE NO divering points of view at Duke. Try appointing a person with a TRADITIONAL (MEANING WOMEN SHOULD BE PROTECTED) OR CONSERVATIVE ( MEANING THE OLD-FASHIONED VALUES LIKE HONESTY, INTEGRITY, AND HARD WORK WERE PREFERABLE)VALUES AT DUKE, AND YOU WILL SEE HOW MUCH "DIVERGING" VIEWPOINTS ARE REPRESENTED. Not going to happen. They do not want, value, or respect those.

I don't know about Lisker. Her spin sounds better than some. But if she had any complicity with the "Castrate" posters or march, she is done for as far as credibility is concerned.

My take is that there is only one mantra acceptable at Duke right now and it is (1) Anti- male (2) Anti- male athlete (2) Anti-conservative ( 3) Anti- Republican ( 4) Anti- traditional values (5) Heterophobic (6) Anti- family.

So if you happen to be a male, an athlete, a Republican, a conservative, and one who values traditions and family, you do NOT belong at Duke.

However, since I would bet next month's income that most of the funding for Duke came from precisely the above-listed constituences, there exists a massive hypocrisy.

It starts with the BOT, goes through the Administration and is now in process of robbing students of a well-rounded, academically sound education.

I thank KC for continuing vigilance. Even though he may have personal socially-liberal leanings, he has managed to maintain a stance of unwavering honesty and integrity. IMO, that is RARE among his fellow academicians, and it only serves to highten my profound gratitude and respect for his work.

dsl

Ralph Phelan said...

"The underlying premise of KC's analysis of the Lisker appointment is that a Duke faculty member or administrator who has an ostensibly "politically oriented" appointment (and Lisker meets that criterion) is unable to seperate personal politics from administrative responsibility. "

It's certainly a risk. There has recently been a lot of trouble with "politically oriented" folk failing to make that separation.

Maybe Lisker is a better risk than other "politically oriented" candidates would have been, but why choose someone "politically oriented" at all?


"I see nothing in KC's analysis of Lisker that places her in the "extremist" category, rather than the left-leaning but fair and student-friendly (including male students!) category."

As I said above, her concerns about false rape accusations seem to put mens interests very low on her list of concerns. And even granting the above, given the relative strenth of the "extremist left" in Duke's administration and the undeniable damage they've done, wouldn't it make more sense to balance them, not with "non-extremist left" but with "center" or even "right"? (Or at least as far-right as can be found at Duke, which would probably be a "blue dog" Democrat.)

Ralph Phelan said...

W. R. Chambers said...
"[Lisker] probably has very little experience with men as victims."

And so she is exceptionally ill-suited to be an administrator at an institution one of whose major challenges is dealing with an incident in which that institution victimized men.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Perhaps one lesson to learn is that talking in generalities about sexual assault in the midst of a high profile case involving students at one's own university is not likely to be fair or helpful because the public is likely to infer that one is talking about the people involved in the case."

Well friggin duh! Anyone who didn't already know that shouldn't be an administrator (and yes, that includes a lot of the Duke administration.)

Ralph Phelan said...

"W. R. Chambers said..."

Looking at his post as a whole, the impression I get is of an underlying assumption that:
"Yeah, this one time some righ white males got screwed ["extraordinary"], but really it's mostly women who get victimized, so we still need more women's advocacy than we need concern about balancing it."

This dismisses all the issues that have come up about affirmative action, the flaws and imbalances of "rape shield laws", student concerns of faculty prejudice being unfairly taken out on them, and anything else that might upset the standard view of who's the victim and who's the victimizer.

Your post, like Lisker's appointment, is yet another statement that "The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong."

Whereas I think the facts should take precendence.

scott said...

Dean of Undergraduate Education Steve Nowicki said that he pushed for the appointment because “I wanted to make sure I have diverse perspectives. Donna brings a very different perspective.”

Steve Nowicki's statement notwithstanding, my perception is that Donna Lisker's perspective is not any different from the typical perspective found within the administration at Duke (or any other "elite" university for that matter). Therefore, I question whether Nowicki will receive from Lisker the diversity of perspective he claims to have been searching for.

Since we're talking about perspectives here, my perspective is that a troubling aspect of this post is that someone like Nowicki can make the statement about diverse perspective relating to Lisker and believe he is being truthful.

A perspective is a point of view that derives from a particular thought process. Modern day academia has demonstrated a keen interest in hiring people with diverse skin-tones and lifestyles. With few exceptions (and Nowicki, obviously, is not one of them), I've seen no recent evidence of interest in hiring to bring students in contact with diverse points of view.

Thus, a real-life Houston Baker and Grant Farred move from one elite university to another seamlessly, accompanied, presumably, by increases in salary and perks. A Thomas Sowell wouldn't even get an interview.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Is Lisker a Communist?

10/22/07 7:07 AM
------------------------------------
No. You're thinking of Harold Laski.

Anonymous said...

To Debrah at 10:54:
I m the 10:43. Alas, we meet! I have ignored most of your posts...thank goodness for the "scroll down" tab. For the record, I do indeed live in the "real world", however you define it. I work (in the "real world"), raise children, pay taxes (plenty), and root for the Blue Devils from my humble home here in Durham. Gosh darn, I also have a Duke undergraduate degree and a law degree. I was a varsity athlete in a high-profile revenue producing sport at Duke, I grew up in Durham and I have been employed by Duke. I have seen Duke from all angles (my mother was a lowly secretary at Duke for 20 years); many more than you, my dear.

While I agree with much of what KC has said on this blog, I disagree with his Lisker post. Is this a great country, or what?

Lighten up, "Diva". Your "pucker factor" is off the charts.

Steven Horwitz said...

GP said:

"You are buying into the metanarrative. The presupposition of white male violence on the campus of Duke University."

First of all, I said NOTHING about race. NOTHING. You have inserted the word "white" in there. You know not all athletes and fraternity members are white. Who again are the ones seeing race everywhere?

Second of all, I have worked on university campuses for the last 20plus years and lived in a small college town for 18 of them. In the last 10 of those years, I've been involved professionally with issues such as sexual violence that cross the line between the academic affairs and student life divisions of the university. Bottom line: I think I know a thing or two about how these issues on college campuses.

I haven't bought any metanarrative. I'm the one dealing with the reality of college campuses, and it's a reality that Lisker knows as well. And from what I can see, she seems like a reasonable person to have both in the Women's Center and now in her new role in the administration.

You can correct my "metanarrative" when you've had 10 years of history of dealing with these issues on a college campus.

Anonymous said...

Compare Lisker to Coach Kimmel, to see what's wrong with the Lisker appointment.

W. R. Chambers said...

Re: Ralph Phelan's post at 11:32

1. When it comes to sexual assault, it is my assumption that "it's mostly women who get victimized."

2. It seems to me that your interpretation of my underlying assumption as "Yeah, this one time some righ (sic) males got screwed ["extraordinary"]......... comes from something other than what I wrote. What I wrote was this the Duke case was extraordinary. I don't know how often men are falsely accused. It's not the false accusation that made the Duke case extraordinary. It's everything: Nifong, the media, the 88, and the false accusations, and the manipulation and mistreatment of the CM by Nifong, and the way the Duke Administration screwed up everything. Lisker had to have been influenced by all that extraordinary stuff just like almost everyone else was, yet she was more balanced than most.

2. I didn't imply hat "we still need more women's advocacy than we need concern about balancing it (presumably men's and women's advocacy)" What I pointed out was the Lisker's role was to be an advocate for sexual assault victims. If I implied anything if it is that there is nothing wrong with Liske being an advocate for victims of sexual assault.

3. I didn't discuss much less dismiss any of the issues you listed. I was commenting KC's post about what Lisker said in the context of the Duke case.

As for balance, of course it's important. But of all the people at Duke who ought to have been balanced in their approach, who ought to have emphasized due process, Lisker was not high on the list. She was an advocate. Don't blame her for the rush to judgment. Even as an advocate, she respected to idea of due process.

As for comparing my post to Lisker's appointment, you are entitled to your opinion, which, in my opinion, just like the narrative you refer to, is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Horwitz wrote (I reversed the order of his quotes.):

"The vitriol against Lisker, including what I think is KC's unfair analysis, is smacking of the same sort of witch hunt that got us into trouble in the first place."

"(Our [?!] ignorance of the other possible candidates and the process duly noted.)"

Your self-admitted "ignorance" should have tempered your charge of a "witch hunt."

Perhaps you should educate yourself about, for example, Lisker's "scholarship," her goals and agenda, what she did *not* say and did *not* do during the lacrosse hoax. Perhaps you should wonder why those faculty who did criticize the G88 are *not* promoted to deans. Perhaps you should wonder about the smear campaign that is being conducted -- to this day -- against those who did defend the lacrosse team.

There are a number of feminists ("hard, soft, moderate" is irrelevant) with serious administrative power at Duke. For the last ten years, they have been using the Fabian Society's "insider strategy" to transform the campus. Over the last ten years, they have created numerous centers, programs, scholarships, faculty positions, colloquia, student activities etc, etc -- all to push a feminist agenda.

Yet there has not been one anti-feminist program created, and there is not one feminist critic in Duke's administration. Coincidence?

I suggest that your ignorance goes far beyond just "the other possible candidates and the process . . ." You, of all people on this blog, should know that there might be a broader context animating some of those who are criticizing Lisker's appointment.

You might agree or disagree with Lisker's appointment. You might agree or disagree with feminism's attempt to transform academia. But to accuse critics of her appointment of a "witch hunt" is wholly unfair.

Duke Prof

Debrah said...

"Which means we no longer have to stay up until Midnight EDT/EST to read KC's new posts!!! More sleep to be had by all. :))"

True.

It's fun to know that KC is asleep--or, in bed at least, (LOL!)--and we are all still up.

One night last week, I stayed up really late posting. I didn't know that he was already in Tel Aviv at the time....when all of a sudden in the middle of the morning, everybody's posts began to appear.

I thought, wow, KC's up late.......when actually, it was the next day for him.

:>)

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote:

"Just wondering - why is Brodhead creating new administrative positions at Duke now? After the Mangum hoax, it would seem the last thing they need is another administrator."

Shuffling the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

"Lisker is part of the problem in my view. The Take Back the Night 'Castrate' March was organized in the Duke Women's Center."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Take Back the Night march was planned well before the night of the lacrosse party. Unless you have specific evidence that Lisker approved of additions to the march that could only have occurred after Lisker's part of the planning was already completed, calling it the "Take Back the Night 'Castrate' March" as if that was one unified message rather than two messages with non-identical groups of supporters is a rather shabby attempt at guilt by association.

Anonymous said...

And so she is exceptionally ill-suited to be an administrator at an institution one of whose major challenges is dealing with an incident in which that institution victimized men.-ralph phelan

Only if you assume that similar incidents are likely to occur, or that it's somehow representative of systemic problems at Duke. I know many here at DiW would like to believe that, but that doesn't make it so.

Anonymous said...

"She is fundamentally concerned for young women at Duke, and that's not a bad thing."

I think this is exactly the reason why I was disappointed with Donna Lisker's appointment as the new associate dean.

As KC noted at 10:09PM: "It does seem to me, however, that university administrators need to be "fundamentally concerned" with all students at their university."

Often perception is everything and at a time when Duke has been perceived by many to be anti-male, looking to the Women's Center, of all places, for the new associate dean just looks bad. Why not avoid the problem totally and find someone who is unquestionably neutral?

Donna Lisker does appear to be a more moderate voice than most of the G88 but the Women’s Center is what it is. They do sponsor the annual “Take Back the Night. In ‘06 the march, held on Wednesday, March 29, coincided with the lacrosse frenzy. Activists essentially hijacked the march and it became an anti-lacrosse rally complete with the distribution of the “Wanted” posters. Jean Leonard, coordinator for Sexual Assault Support Services at Duke addressed the crowd. Chris Massenburg, aka Dasan Ahanu, was the Sexual Assault Support Services Assistant Coordinator at the time. Ahanu is a co-founder of Men Against Rape (think Sam Hummel) and is mentioned on the UBUNTU site.

Donna Lisker was at the helm when all of this happened.

v

Anonymous said...

"Congressman Frank's roommate is caught out running a gay prostitution service from Frank's apartment and there are no cries for Frank's resignation."

Boy, I just love arguments that are totally based on things that aren't true. Wow, no cries for Frank's resignation? Someone didn't do a lick of research for that essay.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Another example that universities have no accountability....not to parents nor to students.

The symbolism of this appointment is the point. While Lisker wasn't as bad as the 88ers...she was "bad enough" in that she failed to insist in her public statements that Duke students be presumed innocent. She failed to take the high ground. But then when you are looking for "diversity" as the qualifying credential you get this.

By the way, exactly what is "women's studies" other than an excuse to pay more women more money? As a succesful female CPA I find it a patronizing world view.

10/22/07 9:19 AM


Well said--and as a professional woman myself, I agree. Patronizing.

I only ask that I am given the same shot as any other person (male or female) at a job I'm the *best* qualified for, and pay me exactly what I am worth. Not a cent more, not a cent less. Whole departments centered on women is not parity or an equal playing field. Nor does AA level a playing field. They simply create new ways to discriminate.

Anonymous said...

Why is a high priestess of the quasi-religious Church of Women's Studies being named Associate Dean of undergraduate education? Especially after the horrific involvement of Women's Studies in the potbanging protests and the presumption of guilt long after the obvious facts of innocence were in ?

Doesen't undergraduate education include men, too? If Broadhead was trying to highlight his sincerity he could have done better than appoint someone from the usual Mysandrist Departments at Duke. This is worse than "no change". Its a fart in the direction of those of us expecting a tangible acknowledgement of the wrongness of the rush to judgement . We can see that will never happen with the current administration still in charge

Steven Horwitz said...

Please Duke Prof, enlighten us.

Who were the other candidates? What was the process? What smear campaign continues against the lax defenders on campus?

You threw out lots of assertions in your reply to me. Tell us more.

I should add that I have really appreciated your contributions here as an insider. I understand your desire for anonymity but more info would help.

And I'll stand by my witch hunt line, as the criticisms of Lisker in KC's post and many of the comments have been, IMO, very weak. That suggests to me that people are looking for evil demons even where the evidence is very thin, and they are doing so mainly because they have decided that certain sorts of people are the bad guys and must be stopped, no matter the weak evidence or faulty logic being used.

That's a witch hunt in my view.

Perhaps we should put Lisker on a giant scale and see if she weighs the same as a duck?

Steven Horwitz said...

And more from Stanley Fish in today's New York Times. Folks might like this one better.

Debrah said...

A heartbreaker @ (11:47 AM) reveals:

"I have ignored most of your posts....."

Not exactly the vision of love the ever-sensuous Diva strives to embrace!

rrhamilton said...

Wow, this looks like one of the few times KC writes more harshly about a professor than I would. The ad and the letter combine to form a pretty bright line for me. Because Lisker signed neither, I can cut her a lot of slack. I think Catholics have a division between "mortal sins" and "venal sins" (not being Catholic, I could have this wrong). For me, Lisker's sins fall in the "venal" category.

Therefore, I'm willing to "wait and see" what future actions she takes that will show that she now rejects diversity racism and all of its metanarratives.

Anonymous said...

Really, KC, this post is far below your usual standards, as are your defenses for it. I'm sorry, but this is a post that itself could be put through a KC-style dissection. Just two points that stand out:

[following an audio clip] "I disagree with social conservatives on nearly all cultural issues. But there’s something off-putting about a university administrator suggesting that her ideological opponents are more likely to commit rapes—even if, as she hastened to add, most cultural conservatives were not prospective criminals."

From this commentary, one would naturally think that Lisker had suggested that cultural conservatives are more likely to commit rape, but in fact Lisker did not say this. What she said is that some research says that men who commit sexual assault were more likely to have traditional views of men and women's roles. KC, even an undergraduate should know that when someone says "Members of group P are more likely to be members of group Q" it is dishonest to try and attribute to them the claim that "Members of group Q are more likely to be members of group P". And yet that's exactly what you've done here.

Here, a bit of your defense: "With all due respect, I very much doubt that anyone could "cut and paste" quotes from me, over a period of more than a year, to reflect the approach to the case outlined in this post."

Well, that's a specious bit of reasoning. Perhaps Houston Baker should tell his critics that he very much doubts that anyone could cut and paste quotes from him over a period of more than a year which would make it appear that he was overly supportive of white athletic male privilege. The actual point of course, and it is a point I am sad to say that you sideslipped with regards to Lisker, is not whether individual quotes have been or could be taken out of context to support any particular point of view, but whether they have been taken out of context to support any point of view which is not actually the one held by the person thus being portrayed. Your analogy would be correct if you were to say that no one could cut and paste quotes from you to make it appear that you had taken, say, a white-supremacist approach to the case. That is, the relation expressed by your analogy would then be correct -- but I do not think that your conclusion, that Lisker's overall position must be fairly represented by a selection of quotes from her already selected according to the needs of the news media, is correct.

mb said...

I'm glad that Lisker says that she can and will keep her political biases and her job activities and performance separate, and I really hope that she can, but here's the way I see it: It all comes down to ideology.

Let's face it, Lisker is a long-term, dyed-in-the-wool feminist (whether she's a "gender feminist," a "feminazi," etc., is simply semantics). And as is the case with all of the various "isms" - racism, sexism, classism, etc. - feminism carries with it a philosophy of inherent predjudice and bias. In my mind, feminism is simply the other side of the gender chauvanist coin, i.e., feminists are female chauvanists.

Now, let's say that Duke had decided to hire a different person, one who subscribed to a different "ism," for example, a member of the KKK, or a neo-Nazi group. However, like Lisker, that person steadfastly insisted that they would not let their political philosophy affect their job performance and decision-making and provided some examples of public statements whereby they refrained from blatant racist, anti-Semitic, etc., remarks. How comfortable would you all be with having the Klansman/Klanswoman, neo-Nazi, etc., in Lisker's position? Do you think that blacks, Jews, et al., would - or should - accept, or even feel comfortable with the appointment? If not, then why the heck should male students at Duke feel comfortable with the likes of Lisker as Associate Dean?

This is a monumentally provocative, insulting, slap in the face to male Duke students, especially after the LAX incident. Healing? Sheesh, that's like an ambulance running over the victim of a hit-and-run when arriving on the scene.

When the h*ll is the Duke BOT going to pull their heads out of you-know-where and take charge. As I've said a number of times, the inmates are running the asylum.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Why is a high priestess of the quasi-religious Church of Women's Studies being named Associate Dean of undergraduate education? Especially after the horrific involvement of Women's Studies in the potbanging protests and the presumption of guilt long after the obvious facts of innocence were in ?"

There's really no mystery here. It's a simple matter of hiring from your own constituency. What are the chances of finding an unbiased administrator to cover this position from a group of applicants with close idealogical ties to those of the "selection committee".

They all swim in the same pool!

They are going to promote their own, certainly not a polar opposite.

You think they're going to check out a candidate from "Men's Studies"? Oh, that's right, that program doesn't exist!

The Lisker appointment is another freakin'"duh" proposition!

Ralph Phelan said...

W. R. Chambers said...
Re: Ralph Phelan's post at 11:32

1. When it comes to sexual assault, it is my assumption that "it's mostly women who get victimized."


Which is why Lisker is fine as director of the Women's Center. But unless you think sexual assault is the single most important issue facing "coordinating both the academic and social strains of undergraduate life" Lisker's lack of interest in the legitimate concerns of men the makes her a bad choice for her new role.

traveler said...

Re: Ralph Phelan said...
Gary Packwood said...
"The Take Back the Night 'Castrate' March was organized in the Duke Women's Center."
Yikes!
Documentation please?
-----------------------------------

In my opinion, selecting a dedicated feminist for a position that needs to be gender neutral, is like a ”Take That” statement. You can ask Lawrence Summers how “broadminded” feminists are.

I love this: “After the Speak Out ended, students lit candles in honor of all those affected by sexual assault and then proceeded to the Women’s Center for cookies and milk, concluding what Leonard called a “night of comfort.”

The little dears needed sustenance after their traumatic walk, well, in their defense, verbal male castration is not an easy job!

During the explosive situation at Duke, Lisker should have cancelled “The Take Back the Night” walk, not exacerbated the situation. If handing out “Wanted Posters” did occur under her watch, then that was the mob-escalation chance she was willing to take. Just like the G-88 ad, it was an ill-judged exercise.

Just as Charlotte Pierce-Baker, wife of the radical Houston Baker appeared with Nancy Grace on CNN, April 18, 2006: she was introduced as CHARLOTTE PIERCE-BAKER, DUKE PROFESSOR, RAPE SURVIVOR. Her comments: “And I worry for this victim survivor that we`re talking about that this may be the case for her. And I made a very clear photo I.D. of my perpetrators when it happened to me, and that unnerved me. It really, really did, that, oh, my god, there they are again.”
Question: Was she paid for that appearance?

Both of these women were enablers of the circumstances that FINALLY unfolded as the Duke hoax. They both were official Duke spokespersons rather that admit to that or not, and their comments and actions spoke loudly for the Duke position of guilt, not the innocence of the three men. Had they stood staunchly for the truth, and protecting their students, we may not have needed to be here today.
-----------------------------------
Back to gender biased documentation: This is a random selection, there are dozens.

Check out John in Carolina-Sunday, October 21, 2007
Duke Now Quiz #1
http://johninnorthcarolina.blogspot.com/2007/10/duke-now-quiz-1.html
------------

March 29, 2006 The Chronicle published a story headlined:
Police release 911 tapes, players deny sex of any kind with dancer at party

Donna Lisker, the director of [Duke’s] Women's Center, said Duke is reaching out to its neighbor school, inviting NCCU students to Wednesday night's Take Back the Night march-an annual rally intended to bring awareness of sexual assault and empowerment to women.
http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2006/03/29/News/Police.Release.911.
---------------
Marchers speak out about rape
By: Jasten McGowan
After the Speak Out ended, students lit candles in honor of all those affected by sexual assault and then [proceeded to the Women’s Center] for cookies and milk, concluding what Leonard called a “night of comfort.”

[At the Women’s Center, director Donna Lisker] reflected on the importance of speaking publicly to erase the stigma associated with victims of this crime.
“It’s so important because sexual assault is a silent crime, there’s all the shame and guilt to be addressed before victims can move on,” she said.

Participants relaxed with the event’s organizers and coped with the night’s emotional impact.
“I think this week and especially this event were major steps in combatting a culture that often confuses sex with violence and other negative things,” Webb said.
http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2005/04/01/News/Marchers.Speak.Out.About.Rape-1472852.shtml
--------------
Lax case arouses campus activism
By: Matt Sullivan
Issue date: 5/1/06 Section: News

Women's Center Director Donna Lisker said a flood of female students sought counseling during the week but added that her staff worked to prevent the scheduled Take Back the Night march from becoming "another lacrosse rally."

"I don't think the message has changed at all," Lisker said. "It may be easier for us to get an audience, but that's not going to change the way we approach things."

http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2006/05/01/News/Lax-Case.Arouses.Campus.Activism-1897633.shtml

Ralph Phelan said...

"Unless you have specific evidence that Lisker approved of additions to the march that could only have occurred after Lisker's part of the planning was already completed, calling it the "Take Back the Night 'Castrate' March" as if that was one unified message rather than two messages with non-identical groups of supporters is a rather shabby attempt at guilt by association."

She should have known it was coming, in fact I won't believe she didn't.

Unless she took active but unsuccessful steps to prevent her rally from being hijacked - unless she was up at the podium telling the folks with the "Castrate" banner "Get out of here, that's not what this is about," then yes, she is in her small way responsible for contributing to the lynch-mob atmosphere.

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous said...
"And so she is exceptionally ill-suited to be an administrator at an institution one of whose major challenges is dealing with an incident in which that institution victimized men.-ralph phelan

Only if you assume that similar incidents are likely to occur, or that it's somehow representative of systemic problems at Duke. I know many here at DiW would like to believe that, but that doesn't make it so."

After a fiasco as enourmous and long-running as the Duke Lacrosse Burning, I think it fair to place the burden on Duke to show that it's not "representative of systemic problems." So far every public action they have taken has been consistent with proposition that it is.

One Spook said...

wr chambers @ 10:59 writes:

"For her [Lisker] to have repeatedly emphaized due process - to have said "let's wait a minute here - we don't know if a sexual assault took place or not" could well have been interpreted by women who have been assaulted that if they went to the Women's Center they would have been met with an undercurrent of doubt, i.e. the importance of due process, hardly the kind of reception that would encourage women to come in for counseling, which is important no matter what happened in the eyes of the law."

Fine ... if that's the case then all of these "Women's Centers" need to be teaching women who might be coming in for counseling just exactly what the "presumption of innocence" means. It does not have anything to do with implying "an undercurrent of doubt" and that should be made crystal clear [pun intended] to ALL potential clients of the Women's Center.

The lessons from this case make it quite obvious that, from Richard Brodhead on down, many at Duke do not understand this concept, not to mention most in the media that covered this case.

Maybe there needs to be a "Campus Legal Initiative" that properly explains due process and the presumption of innocence so that an alleged female victim of rape knows exactly what to expect, and what her rights are as an accuser.

The "inconvenient truth" is that when someone accuses another person of sexual assault, the rest of us, unless we were an eyewitness, "don't know if a sexual assault took place or not."

To presume that an allegation is true or false is wrong. To not counsel an individual about our system of due process and the presumption of innocence is equally wrong.

One Spook

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz said...

they are doing so mainly because they have decided that certain sorts of people are the bad guys and must be stopped, no matter the weak evidence or faulty logic being used.

We have concluded that there is too much leftism, feminism and diversity racism in academia, and having less would be better.

We have concluded that departments and institutions dominated by adherents of those ideologies seem to care less about "process" rights, seem to care less about the rights of white males, and seem to care less about normal standards of scholarship than other parts of academia. We think these are bad things.

We have concluded that even when people with these belief systems are themselves honest, they tolerate dishonest behavior by their political "allies."

We have concluded that these belief systems, when applied to the real world, fail. [The Duke Lacrosse burning was your "wrecking ball test" and the PCists got every single thing they said or did exactly wrong, in both substance and method.]

Ideas have consequences, and we have concluded that experience demonstrates the bad consequences of the above ideas.

If you want to call my opposition to stupid and destructive ideologies and my wish to see their adherents removed from power a "witch hunt," so be it.

I call it politics, and given that the folks I'm after unapologetically describe themselves as political activists, I see no need to apologize for responding in kind.

rrhamilton said...

steven Horwitz said...

And more from Stanley Fish in today's New York Times. Folks might like this one better.

10/22/07 1:14 PM


Well, lessee if we can catch a Fish in his natural, Bolshevik habitat....

Fish says: "Like their counterparts on the right who complain endlessly about the presence of Karl Marx on many reading lists, the authors of the report fail to understand the all-important distinction between the political content of an issue and teaching that content politically. The first is inevitable and blameless; the second is a dereliction of professional duty."

In other words, "the presence of Karl Marx on many reading lists ... is inevitable and blameless and conservative professors who complain about it are professional derelicts." Yeah, Steven, I feel much better.

And almost on cue, Fish shows us he's the type of academic about which I complained just yesterday: "The report ends on a good note when it warns against the attempts of outside constituencies to monitor classroom performance: `We ought to learn from history that education cannot possibly thrive in an atmosphere of state-encouraged suspicion.'" Yes, taxpayers, "Pay Us And Shut Up!"

Ralph Phelan said...

rrhamilton said...
"The ad and the letter combine to form a pretty bright line for me. Because Lisker signed neither, I can cut her a lot of slack."
Signing the ad and/or letter (and not haing apologized yet) are
prima facie proof of being evil and/or stupid. Not having signed is not disproof - the egregious Orin Starn is not a signer of either.

Ralph Phelan said...

"No longer writing for the American Association of University Professors, the subcommittee is instead writing for the American Association of University Professors Who Hate George Bush (admittedly a large group)."
I'd say pretty much one and the same group.

"Why do its members not see that? Because once again they reason from an abstract theoretical formulation to a conclusion about what instructors can properly do."

Oh gimme a break.
They don't see it because they really are that politicized, the obvious conclusion Fish is struggling so hard to avoid.

"We ought to learn from history that education cannot possibly thrive in an atmosphere of state-encouraged suspicion.” Unfortunately at least one section of this report serves only to justify that suspicion."

Fish to his fellow academics:
"Hey you guys, the marks are starting to catch on. Better cool it for a while."

Debrah said...

We have concluded that even when people with these belief systems are themselves honest, they tolerate dishonest behavior by their political "allies."
*********************************************

Oh man, you have hit on one of my favorite points.

These people really want to live on the fence and benefit from the financial rewards and acceptance from their colleagues with their collegial dance....while making small concessions toward reason on occasion.

Utterly useless people.

Steven Horwitz said...

rrh says:

Fish says: "Like their counterparts on the right who complain endlessly about the presence of Karl Marx on many reading lists, the authors of the report fail to understand the all-important distinction between the political content of an issue and teaching that content politically. The first is inevitable and blameless; the second is a dereliction of professional duty."

In other words, "the presence of Karl Marx on many reading lists ... is inevitable and blameless and conservative professors who complain about it are professional derelicts." Yeah, Steven, I feel much better.


It would help if you could read better Hamilton. The dereliction of duty is NOT, repeat NOT, conservative professors who complain about it but "teaching content politically." That is what the "second" refers to. What is "inevitable and blameless" is teaching issues with political content. That is what "the first" refers to.

He's pointing out that conservatives who complain about Marx can't distinguish between teaching about an important thinker who had political ideas and teaching him in a way that is biased and "political." He is not saying that conservatives who complain about Marx are "derelict in duty" rather those who teach Marx's politics as if they were correct are. Isn't that your own view as well? Or is Marx not to be taught at all?

You read so poorly you can't even see when someone agrees with you.

Why does "witch hunt" keep coming back to me?

Anonymous said...

"Lax case arouses campus activism
By: Matt Sullivan
Issue date: 5/1/06 Section: News

Women's Center Director Donna Lisker said a flood of female students sought counseling during the week but added that her staff worked to prevent the scheduled Take Back the Night march from becoming "another lacrosse rally."
______________________________________

I'd like to know exactly what steps
Donna Lisker and her staff took to prevent the hijacking of the march. I wonder what steps Dasan Ahanu took. They certainly were not successful whatever they were and her decision to invite NCCU students to the march was questionable if she really wanted to prevent the march from becoming "another lacrosse rally."

I second the suggestion to checkout JinC's Duke Now Quiz #1. Donna Lisker did NOT make any public statement against the distribution of the "Wanted Posters" at "Take Back the Night." JinC has the following excerpt from a letter published in the N & O:

"As one of the organizers of the March 29 Take Back the Night (TBTN) march and speak-out at Duke University, I want to clarify that we did not plan, nor do we endorse, the distribution of names and pictures of members of the Duke men's lacrosse team."

Please correct me if I missed Lisker's statement.

v

Anonymous said...

Debrah: 11:47 here.
Thought you'd go Pat Benatar rather than Mariah Carey....:) I had you all wrong.

Anonymous said...

Much evidence indicates that in Europe most rapes are committed by men with traditional values in regard to women: traditional Muslim values.

To be a good leftist, one must couple absolute contempt for Christian fundamentalism with absolute respect for Islamic fundamentalism depite the fact that everything considered objectionable about Christian fundamentalism is magnified by several orders of magnitude in Islamic fundamentalism.

Christian fundis think that gays should not be allowed to marry ("oh, the horror!").

Muslim fundis think that gays should be put to death ("let's not talk about that, and let's attack those who do as Islamophobic bigots!").

Why do leftists think this way? Because radical leftists and Islamists have the same basic goals: destruction of global capitalism, destruction of a (genuinely) liberal social order, and -- ultimately -- destruction of the USA.

Remind anyone else of the Hitler-Stalin pact?

Anti-Leftist Liberal

no justice, no peace said...

Steven Horwitz, Inre: "...I'm progressively convinced that for many, the hypothesis that "Duke is a disaster area" is unfalsifiable..."

You're thinking is too narrow. Duke is not the only disaster area.

And I believe the position was newly created and it was more than just her appointment.

By itself I might have little qualms with your assessment. In the context of what has and continues to transpire at Duke this appointment is egregious.

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow - I was a liberal Denocrat my whole life - I worked numerous jobs at the same time to put the kids through great schools. One is a Consertative Republican, one is a Socialitst and one a Democrat? how does this happen? Well, we sent them off and they started to think for themselves = Thank Gd. I imagine the same thing is happening at Duke to the students there. That is what I want - kids who can think for themselves.
BTW KC - the articles have been terrific.

Anonymous said...

I think DNA science will be doing away with a lot of the false rape claims. Once folk realize, they will need the science to back up their claim that S## actually took place, I think yelling rape will decrease.

Anonymous said...

Debrah said at 9:43 AM ...

Lisker offers this:

" And my husband ...is a southerner who was eager to return to the South."


That reminds me of a quote from Nathan Perlmutter, former director of B'nai B'rith: "When a Northern leaves the North, he's touristing. When a Southerner leaves the South, he enters his own diaspora."

RRH

traveler said...

Hey, hey , ho, ho---Lisker didn’t know!

(“8:30 p.m., several hundred men and women entered the quad, chanting)

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, all rape has got to go!” One sign read, “Protect Victims Not Rapists
http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2006/03/takeback.htm

There is a good picture of the wanted posters on view that night, PRIOR to the event.
Plus this:
Rape case inspires Duke student activism
Students speaking out, urging unity in fight against sexual assault
Durham, N.C. resident Flannery Hysjulien looks at a poster with faces of most of the members of the Duke lacrosse team as it hangs in front of the East Union Building, on Wednesday night,- PRIOR- to a Take Back the Night march on the Duke University campus in Durham.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12080547/

Now, would a prudent adult administrator allow this inflamed rhetoric, or posters like that to become apart of any Duke demonstration? Well, she did, and that was a badly ill-judged decision. She should have been at the frontline saying this demonstration will not take place due to the charged emotions that strains our student community. Wringing of hands and looking back at that hate-filled crowd, cannot be her stunning vindication for her participation in the gang-rape of the three innocent men, that occurred that night. When her center personnel took part, so did she! This should become a Harry Truman moment in my opinion.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steve Horwitz said:
"He is not saying that conservatives who complain about Marx are "derelict in duty" rather those who teach Marx's politics as if they were correct are. Isn't that your own view as well? Or is Marx not to be taught at all?"

Only in courses on the history of philosophy, the history of economics, or the history of bad ideas.

Aside from that, a set of ideas known to be both incorrect and deadly really deserves far less attention than ideas that are either known to be correct and useful, or a the very least new and still untested.

That Marx still takes up so much time and serious attention is both a sign of bad judgement and a waste of resources.

Anonymous said...

As an AGENT of Duke University, Lisker said:

�Innocent until proven guilty is a critical presumption. But these are such serious charges.�

�Something like THIS takes away that sense of security� and provokes �fear and anger.�

(emphasis added)("THIS" obviously refers to a rape; false accusations would not cause "fear" in the students).

"Starting in the immediate aftermath of the ASSAULT ...."

(emphasis added)(What would you people say if another AGENT of Duke said these things, say President Brodhead?)(Velvet genderism, if you ask me).

"I don�t want to paint all the players with one brush, but there is still the issue of their behavior we know to be true: They had a party, hired women to strip, the women were (verbally) threatened and there was underage drinking. Can we talk about that part of it?"

(player bashing; does she tell girls not to wear short skirts?).
____________

Perhaps next time K.C. will use the old litigator trick of putting the incendiary material first, then follow it with the impeachment material, for example:

A. "I did not speak about the lacrosse case with any specificity; indeed, I could not, as I was not involved."

(She was able to be specific enough to prejudge the students' guilt).

B. "I never presumed guilt in this case ..."

(err ... well ... yeah, sure) MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

10/22/07 2:44 PM
Steven Horwitz said...

rrh says:

Fish says: "Like their counterparts on the right who complain endlessly about the presence of Karl Marx on many reading lists, the authors of the report fail to understand the all-important distinction between the political content of an issue and teaching that content politically. The first is inevitable and blameless; the second is a dereliction of professional duty."

In other words, "the presence of Karl Marx on many reading lists ... is inevitable and blameless and conservative professors who complain about it are professional derelicts." Yeah, Steven, I feel much better.

It would help if you could read better Hamilton. The dereliction of duty is NOT, repeat NOT, conservative professors who complain about it but "teaching content politically." That is what the "second" refers to. What is "inevitable and blameless" is teaching issues with political content. That is what "the first" refers to.

I read "the first" to be a reference to the first part of the preceding sentence, "the presence of Karl Marx on many reading lists," and "the second" to be a reference to the main focus of the sentence, the "fail[ure] to understand the all-important distinction". Maybe Fish could learn to write better.

Second, even if you're right that Fish meant that "teaching issues with political content" is what is "inevitable and blameless", given the near-uniform diet of Marxism fed to today's college students (outside of business and the "hard sciences"), no one interested in real intellectual diversity can be mollified.

RRH

Steven Horwitz said...

rrh writes:

Second, even if you're right that Fish meant that "teaching issues with political content" is what is "inevitable and blameless", given the near-uniform diet of Marxism fed to today's college students (outside of business and the "hard sciences"), no one interested in real intellectual diversity can be mollified.

It's possible that you and I have different definitions of Marxism, but I'd like to see your empirical evidence for this. I recently had reason to peruse the syllabi for all the offerings in our History department for this fall (yes, they are almost all online, publicly available), and only one had Marx and/or Englels on it, and that was a course in 19th century Europe (which seems appropriate) where students were also reading several classic novels, a text with primary sources from the period, and a more traditional history text.

Can I say that none of the other books being assigned in all of those courses are "Marxist"? Nope, because I don't know the literature. What I can say is that the most commonly assigned text in the History department is Rampolla's guide to writing history. Sample size = 1 department, but looks like the "near-uniform diet" history students at my place are being "fed" is about how to write good history papers.

In any case, you've made an empirically testable assertion. Can I get some evidence? And please don't try to convince us that any author left of center is a "Marxist." You used a specific term and made a specific claim. Back it up.

Steven Horwitz said...

And Ralph says Marx should only be taught:

Only in courses on the history of philosophy, the history of economics, or the history of bad ideas.

All I can say is "phew!" and "uh oh, I guess Ralph's gonna call me a Marxist now".

One out of two. Do I pass?

Anonymous said...

10/22/07 10:02 AM
traveler said...

Waheema vs. Wahneema

To RRH: ... what a can of worms you opened.


I need the worms to bait my opponents. :)

Anonymous said...

Ralph Phelan said...

rrhamilton said...
"The ad and the letter combine to form a pretty bright line for me. Because Lisker signed neither, I can cut her a lot of slack."
Signing the ad and/or letter (and not haing apologized yet) are
prima facie proof of being evil and/or stupid. Not having signed is not disproof - the egregious Orin Starn is not a signer of either.

10/22/07 2:30 PM

You pretty well sum up my feelings.

I would point out that Lisker didn't just "fail to sign", she refused to sign the ad and letter. Would you have believed, before hearing of this, that the director of the Duke Women's Center was not an 88er? So, Lisker has already proven she can stand up against 88er pressure. I'm willing to "take a leap of faith" and believe she can and will again. Yes, Lisker has said some unhelpful things about the Lax Hoax, but I urge us to be like Horwitz on his best days, and in the case of Lisker let us "turn the other cheek".

RRH

Ralph Phelan said...

RRH 5:25 - Even if Lisker is as fair as a feminist can be, why the heck does Duke need yet another feminist administrator? Let's see some real diversity already.

Gary Packwood said...

Debrah 10:25 said...

...The problem I have...and have always had with people like Lisker is that they seem to bask in the glow of disaster.
::
What a beautiful, descriptive and appropriate phrase which describes many of those on the campus of Duke with respect to the lacrosse hoax.

You remind me of John Updike writing about how towns solve their problems with wild deer eating shrubs and flowers. Updike said...

The town, with its curious flair for scandal where another town might have found a quiet solution, debated the issue into a storm of publicity.
::
GP

inman said...

RRH @ 3:45

Got a chuckle from that one.

I often tell folks that I was 21 before I was allowed north of the Mason-Dixon line and that I'd traveled through 29 states by that time. When I moved to Wilton Connecticut in 1997, I'd tell folks (those damnyankees***) about that fact and then in my best southern drawl say "...and thank God this is Southern Connecticut."


*** "damnyankees" is one word for yaw'll who can't speak no Southren [sic].

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Phelan at 2:21.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

Lisker may not be one of the worst offenders but whatever she did "was bad enough."

The University of Phoenix is looking better every day.

Anonymous said...

Why focus anger on Lister? As R.R. Hamilton has pointed out, she refused to sign the ad.

Why not be angry with Crystal Mangum. She started it all.

Or be angry with the Attorney General who doesn't think Crystal should be prosecuted.

mb said...

RRH said:
I would point out that Lisker didn't just "fail to sign", she refused to sign the ad and letter. Would you have believed, before hearing of this, that the director of the Duke Women's Center was not an 88er?


No, and I still don't.

So, Lisker has already proven she can stand up against 88er pressure.

Not in my book. As the director of the Women's Center I suspect that the 88 gave her the benefit of the doubt and treated her with much more respect and lenience than they did white males, e.g., athletes like Mike Pressler, Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligman, et al. Standing up against one's friends and allies in a disagreement among like-minded peers is not what I call courage - standing up to a hostile crowd of one's enemies is a lot closer to the mark, at least in my book.

I'm willing to "take a leap of faith" and believe she can and will again.

I'm not, at least until I see a true act of courage from her.

Yes, Lisker has said some unhelpful things about the Lax Hoax, but I urge us to be like Horwitz on his best days, and in the case of Lisker let us "turn the other cheek".

What, so she can slap it? No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Gee, now I'm being taken to task by several commenters for being "too easy on Lisker"? And it was just, what?, two days ago when Prof. Horwitz was saying, "The problem with you Hamilton is that you seem so hell-bent on attacking the people/institutions that don't fit your world-view that you'll grab any arrow in the quiver to do it, no matter how legitimate, fair, or reasonable it is."

RRH, aka "Satan's Archer"

Anonymous said...

inman said...

RRH @ 3:45

Got a chuckle from that one.

I often tell folks that I was 21 before I was allowed north of the Mason-Dixon line and that I'd traveled through 29 states by that time. When I moved to Wilton Connecticut in 1997, I'd tell folks (those damnyankees***) about that fact and then in my best southern drawl say "...and thank God this is Southern Connecticut."


*** "damnyankees" is one word for yaw'll who can't speak no Southren [sic].

10/22/07 6:38 PM


You're from Maryland, right? When I read what you wrote, I thought of this song from the many "Songs of the Southern Diaspora".

RRH

traveler said...

Anonymous said...
"Lisker is part of the problem in my view. The Take Back the Night 'Castrate' March was organized in the Duke Women's Center."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Take Back the Night march was planned well before the night of the lacrosse party. …………

-----------------------------------

Good Grief, Brodhead cancelled the whole Lacrosse season to spare Duke more controversy. That represents many scheduled events planned BEFORE the incident as well, wouldn’t you say? A little march around campus pales beside the harsh punishment the lacrosse team suffered.

Lisker invited people from the false accusers college, when there are known tensions between the schools. Outsiders from Durham were also invited. How could Lisker have not thought that a race riot might “accidentally” occur? The whole campus was in a highly emotionally state.

An actual riot would have garnered even more attention, and how bad would that be? In fact, she could not have known what might happen to embarrass Duke. She seized upon a situation to further her little agenda. Just like the G-88 did with their Ad.

Some little dears, were there to verbally punish the lacrosse team., ”One sign read, “Protect Victims Not Rapists. That should have been her exit signal. Standing for anything remotely like that seals her fate in my opinion. She was perfectly ready to further tarnish Duke’s reputation to advance her cause. Did she sign the G-88 ad? Having the “Wanted Posters” handed out PRIOR to the little walk, is much worse in my opinion.

“While speakers rallied the crowd against sexual assault by reading poetry and speeches, several participants [defaced the lists of the players.”]

Lisker quote: “I don't think the message has changed at all, It may be easier for us to get an audience, …………….”

Please,
“If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.”
-- Douglas Noel Adams

traveler said...

Interesting-this:

Duke Magazine: Forum - Volume 90, No.5, September-October 2004

Same-sex Scholars
The creation of the Baldwin Scholars program is just the latest bit of evidence that Duke has lost its way in attempting to create a consistent social policy ["Gazette," May-June 2004]. How can a university that has made liberal use of the word "diversity" defend this isolation tank of a female study program?

Donna Lisker attempts to answer this question with her assessment that the class of Baldwin Scholars will be "diverse in myriad ways, including by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status," but her comment only proves that, for some, diversity is in the eye of the beholder. If we first exclude gender as a component of "diversity," then what†do we exclude†next?

Perhaps I am in no position to voice my criticisms. After all, the "students said they want this." In response, Lisker is going to give those students an "alternative social environment" where they can become leaders and "have more influence than they have now." It sounds as if the administration is building a sandbox in which the kids make the rules. How many such sandboxes is the administration willing to build for the sake of being sensitive and P.C. (i.e., Politically Chaotic)? By these actions, the university is in danger of becoming a web of compartmentalized programs, diverse in the aggregate, yet homogenous in the small scale.

The Baldwin Scholars program will at best only temporarily solve the problems of young women by giving them their own sterile micro-universe, lacking the deplorable social attitudes of others. I believe the true pioneers will continue to be those students who "chip away at the social norms" from within the current system, and I will be interested to see how well the Baldwin Scholars get along when playtime is over and they are forced to step out of their sandbox.

Ronald Lewis McNeill II '99
Arlington, Virginia

http://www.dukemagazine.duke.edu/dukemag/issues/091004/depfor.html

Anonymous said...

Let's just say this certainly was not a brilliant appointment. And, of course, we should examine what is known about the appointee and talk about it here. I

am delighted that Dr. Lisker is delighted the LAX players were innocent...I just wish she had or would express some outrage about the case. It is a completely OUTRAGEOUS case. I am baffled as to why the victims of this case are not as interesting or important to any person of conscience as other victims. Does deep concern for victims of sexual assault preclude deep concern for victims of false rape charges and prosecutorial abuse? When Dr. Lisker organizes a "Take Back Durham" march on City Hall or the police station or speaks out emphatically about the injustices of this case, then I might consider her a good appointment. As it stands (here you go, Steve Horwitz) she is a better choice than many at Duke, but that's not saying much.

Observer

Ralph Phelan said...

"I am baffled as to why the victims of this case are not as interesting or important to any person of conscience as other victims."
Because they're white, male, strait, and non-poor.

"Does deep concern for victims of sexual assault preclude deep concern for victims of false rape charges and prosecutorial abuse?
Yes.

Gary Packwood said...

traveler 10/23/07 11:40 AM said...

...Interesting-this:
...Duke Magazine: Forum - Volume 90, No.5, September-October 2004
...Same-sex Scholars
...The creation of the Baldwin Scholars program is just the latest bit of evidence that Duke has lost its way in attempting to create a consistent social policy ["Gazette," May-June 2004]. How can a university that has made liberal use of the word "diversity" defend this isolation tank of a female study program?
...
...http://www.dukemagazine.duke.edu/dukemag/issues/091004/depfor.html
::
Yes, most interesting.

I'm guessing that Duke was trying to move forward their diversity agenda without falling into the old problem of young women and men asking to live in brand new residence hall because of the sexual orientation.

Over the years it has been learned by universities that after these groups graduated, they were not Gay, Bi, Lesbian or Transgender. They just loved the idea of a new residence hall.

They are now referred to as GUG's or Gay Until Graduation.
::
GP