Monday, June 15, 2009

The CCI: Closing Months

(This post is the third in a series using documents from the CCI's own archive, which I recently read.)

By the time the CCI took up its work in fall 2006, the case to which President Brodhead had inextricably linked its mission had all but collapsed. Mike Nifong had become a national laughingstock; the Group of 88 was busy revising history; and Duke students were registering to vote in unprecedented numbers to try and effect change through the system.

But for the CCI, it was as if time had stopped on April 6, 2006, the date the Group of 88 issued its statement: Directors Robert Thompson and Larry Moneta and subcommittee chairs Karla Holloway, Anne Allison, and Peter Wood moved along as if nothing had changed.

Throughout the fall, CCI members held both formal and informal meetings with various student groups, operating under what the committee described as data collection objectives. But, in fact, these “objectives” showed how the CCI already had the answers to their questions, before even going through the motions of compiling the data. Data Collection Objective #1, for instance, was to “confirm [emphasis added] the existence of a dominant culture among Duke undergraduates.” And that “dominant culture” seemed to be bad, given the wording of Data Collection Objective #4: “Identify and validate the consequences of the existence of a dominant culture.”

The CCI clung ferociously to the race/class/gender ideology from which it sprang. At its September 4, 2006 meeting, Thompson reminded members of the CCI’s Orwellian basic principle: “Diversity makes a more excellent university.”

This statement, as written, was nonsensical. To take the most extreme example: Duke could eliminate grades and SAT scores as admissions requirements, and instead admit students solely on a quota basis according to the percentage of their race or ethnicity in the population. Such a student body would satisfy a requirement of “diversity,” but does anyone think that this approach would make “a more excellent university”?

What Thompson believed, I presume, is that “appropriate diversity makes a more excellent university.” But even here, comprehensive “diversity” was not desired. Neither Thompson, nor Moneta, nor any of the CCI’s subcommittee chairs displayed any interest in promoting intellectual or pedagogical diversity on campus. Some types of “diversity,” it appeared, did not make “a more excellent university.”

Reminding members to focus on “a few key levers that have the potential to impact campus culture”— admissions, curriculum, faculty personnel policy—the CCI leadership summoned Duke dean of admissions Christoph Guttentag for a 30-minute meeting at its first fall 2006 session. Continuing the summer 2006 crusade against admitting “well-rounded” students begun by the Allison and Holloway subcommittees, the CCI produced a draft report blasting the Admissions Department for admitting students with a “general lack of intellectual vitality and engagement” (i.e., most admitted students were not sufficiently receptive to the worldview of the Group of 88).

CCI members conceded that the existing admissions scoring system “predicts reasonably GPA at graduation.” To those in the reality-based community, such a finding would be a good thing. But not to the CCI majority. The system used to rate applicants needed to be changed “to be predictive for individuals with different high school backgrounds.” And just in case Guttentag didn’t get the message, the CCI spelled it out for him: his office needed to focus on “increasing the yield” of minority students.

“Diversity makes a more excellent university.”

Given that, on average, Duke minority students tend to receive lower scores in standardized tests, it might have been expected that the CCI, as part of its “diversity” crusade, would not have simultaneously demanded increased standards in admissions. But, impervious to the contradiction, CCI members plowed forward, demanding that Duke decrease legacy and athletic admittees in name of improving standards, citing an insufficiency in “the range of academic preparation of admitted students, particularly of athletes and legacies.”

How would that criteria exist side-by-side with a demand that the admissions department increase the number of admitted minority students—students who, according to figures presented to the CCI, were clearly less prepared than, at the least, legacy students? No evidence exists that the CCI even considered the dilemma.

“Diversity makes a more excellent university.”

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

Throughout the fall, the CCI spent a good deal of time on Duke students’ social lives. The leadership of both the overall initiative and each of the subcommittee chairs expressed support for eliminating housing for all selective learning groups and fraternities. According to CCI minutes, the committee believed that the current system simply “supports our community of divides.” Fraternities would still be allowed, but would only receive common space somewhere on campus to meet. How this proposal would overcome expected massive resistance from both students and alumni the CCI never seems to have explored.

Thompson and Moneta even managed to place a politically correct spin on—of all things—excessive alcohol consumption by students.

In internal deliberations, the CCI pointed to Duke statistics suggesting that white and Asian-American students, more often males, consumed alcohol at a greater level than did African-American students. The committee (correctly) argued that this finding was a legitimate concern for any academic institution, since the CCI also had encountered data unsurprisingly revealing that “time spent partying and drinking had a strongly negative impact on academic performance.”

(This data, perhaps, provides the first convincing explanation of why race/class/gender extremists like William Chafe suddenly started demanding that students be teetotalers as a rationalization for the Group of 88’s race/class/gender agenda.)

There was, however, a small problem in justifying a crackdown on drinking in the name of an ostensible CCI interest in improving the academic performance of Duke students. Even if white and Asian-American students drank more, Duke’s own figures showed that these students nonetheless had higher GPAs than did African-American students. How to explain this data? The CCI discovered that “in comparison to Asian and Caucasian students, African-American students were less likely to spend time studying but more in recreational activities.”

To summarize: CCI data found:

(1) Asian-American and white students drank more than did black students;

(2) Drinking and partying had a negative impact on grades and study time; but

(3) Asian-American and white students nonetheless studied more and received higher grades than African-American students.

Wouldn’t such a finding be considered a problem of “campus culture” for African-American students; or at the least, wouldn’t such a finding indicate that the CCI needed to simultaneously address excessive drinking by Asian-American/white students and excessive time “in recreational activities” by African-American students? No record exists of CCI touching either issue.

“Diversity makes a more excellent university.”

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

CCI members also spent fall 2006 conducting “outreach” sessions—formal meetings with established student groups; and informal “small group sessions,” which consisted of seemingly random office hours held by some of the CCI’s most extreme members, such as Anne Allison. These “small group sessions” occurred for the race and gender subcommittees, but not for the athletics subcommittee. Both of its sessions were canceled; presumably, Thompson and Moneta understood that the information students were likely to offer wouldn’t conform to the CCI’s preconceived agenda.

And how representative were these “small group sessions”? Take Allison’s September 13, 2006 session. A grand total of one student showed up. Allison described Natt as a “male, gay-identified, undergraduate.” In what must have been music to Allison’s ears, Natt complained that “those who party hard” and “conformist females” dominated campus social life, as opposed to the “majority” of the student population, which included the “better students and alternative types such as artists.” Natt further fumed about the “sense of entitlement” in Greek life on a campus overrun by a “sense of conformity.”

Doubtless Natt’s impressions about Duke life derived from his personal experiences on campus. But how representative was he of Duke undergraduates overall? He certainly was representative of the undergraduates who participated in the CCI’s “small group sessions.” Four of the fourteen students were identified as gay males; a fifth, “Jeremy,” was charmingly described by Anne Allison as “sexuality-unclear (gay or straight?).” Allison complained that Jeremy’s “whole demeanor remained off” in their 35-minute session. Perhaps his recognition that the professor to whom he was speaking was speculating about his sexual orientation caused this unease?

Given that gay males probably total 2 or 3 percent of the overall Duke student body, did the CCI see anything problematic with a setup in which gay males (not counting the “sexuality-unclear” Jeremy) formed 29 percent of the participants? Notes from committee discussion sessions indicate no concern with this issue.

Moneta, meanwhile, went through the motions of sitting down with five groups representing more than 120 students, including representatives of Greek Honor Society—but then summarized the gathering in a perfunctory five-paragraph report (a mere two paragraphs more than Allison devoted to her meeting with Jeremy) that essentially said nothing. Clearly some student voices the CCI had no interest in hearing.

Occasionally, these meetings bordered on the (unintentionally) hilarious. On November 29, 2006, CCI representatives met with members of the Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) staff. In line with the CCI’s preconceived agenda, the CPS staffers expressed concern about the “struggle with dominant culture.” But, they assured Moneta & Co., “some optimistic evidence” about campus culture existed. Such as? “Students holding hands(!).”

The CPS staffers gave the CCI some parting advice—the committee, they maintained, needed to “redefine what is cool” on campus. The idea of Larry Moneta, Karla Holloway, and Peter Wood telling 20-year-old college students what’s “cool” is comical.

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

The records of the CCI show that one professor did write in to express concern about the key problem in Duke’s campus culture exposed by the lacrosse case—what the professor termed the “McCarthyesque” Group of 88 statement and its effects. The professor noted that “he was concerned that faculty would endorse a statement indicating that no matter what the eventual outcome of guilt or innocence of the students involved that they should be punished anyway,” and lamented that many people he knew on the faculty seemed to lump all the students together based on their race.

Bob Thompson’s response? He refused to discuss the Group, and instead insisted that such “views about stereotype provided a good framework to talk about other issues that had been of concern to the Campus Culture Initiative” (because, of course, anything that might have criticized the Group of 88 was off-limits to the CCI). Thompson then moved the meeting to such matters as student self-segregation and creating a more “inclusive” (student) community. Faculty groupthink, apparently, was OK.

Since the professor remains on the Duke faculty and therefore is subject to retaliation from the Group of 88, I have withheld his name.

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

Shortly before the CCI issued its report, its linkage to the lacrosse case was confirmed one last time. In early January 2007, Brodhead announced that Duke had lifted the suspensions of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. (Neither, unsurprisingly, returned to the University.)

Brodhead's move triggered a ferocious protest from Karla Holloway, who resigned her position as CCI race subcommittee chair. “The decision by the university to readmit the students, especially just before a critical judicial decision on the case, is a clear use of corporate power, and a breach, I think, of ethical citizenship,” said she. “I could no longer work in good faith with this breach of common trust.”

Holloway then sent out a mass email containing fourth-hand, unsubstantiated, negative gossip about Duke students. Despite the requirement in the Faculty Handbook that Duke professors treat students with respect as fellow members of the academic community, no record exists of any disciplinary action taken against Holloway.

Imagine the reaction of the CCI, on the other hand, had a white, male professor sent out a mass email containing fourth-hand, unsubstantiated, negative gossip about African-American, female Duke students.

“Diversity makes a more excellent university.”

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

As the Chronicle presciently noted at the time, “Stacking the CCI with critics of ‘white male privilege’ suggests that the initiative was created to pacify countercultural professors, rather than to shape a new and improved campus culture.” The CCI’s recommendations—the Group of 88 Enrollment Initiative, more “diversity” emphasis, a de facto withdrawal from the ACC—could have been written by Thompson, Moneta, Holloway, Allison, and Wood at the start of the process.

Wood’s extremism ultimately caused the CCI report to be shelved—even Brodhead couldn’t tolerate undoing Duke’s athletics program. And no indication exists that Wood’s desire to see Duke withdraw from the ACC will ever reach fruition.

But in the three other areas that interested the CCI—curriculum, faculty hiring policies, and admissions—every reason exists to believe that the CCI agenda will eventually take hold, if more gradually than figures such as Allison or Holloway would have preferred. With the Group of 88 exercising real or de facto control over a wide swath of Duke’s humanities and social sciences departments, the CCI’s curricular designs and personnel agenda are already being implemented. Meanwhile, the recommendations regarding admissions criteria already seem to have made their way into practice.

“Diversity makes a more excellent university.”

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

If only there had been a scientist or economist on the CCI. I can't imagine this kind of logic getting a pass with them. Then again, just try to pull a chemist away from her work. It is apparently surprisingly easy with the Group of 88...

One Spook said...

Excellent posting, KC ... this series on the CCI has been one of the most important reports you've submitted in all this time and that's saying a good deal!

I couldn't resist making this:

”“Diversity makes a more excellent university.””

One Spook

RighteousThug said...

KC in orig post:

Meanwhile, the recommendations regarding admissions criteria already seem to have made their way into practice.

In what way, KC?

KC Johnson said...

To R.T.:

In the aftermath of the dean's appearance before the CCI, admissions figures at Duke showed a dramatic plunge in acceptances from whites from the Northeast and a corresponding increase in the number of minority acceptances.

When those figures first came out, I guessed the outcome was a result of a changed applicant pool (figures for which Duke doesn't supply). After seeing the pressure on the dean, I suspect the differing "yield"--to use the CCI's term--was deliberate.

Unrighteous thug said...

So now Duke is remaking itself in the image of NCCU, only with a med school? Diversity makes a more excellent university--witness, CGM has a degree in criminal justice. What an oxymoron!!

William L. Anderson said...

Watching Karla Holloway in action after the infamous December 15 meeting when Nifong was caught lying (again) in court is like watching that scene from "The Wizard of Oz" in which the "wizard" bellows: "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

Holloway was desperate at this point, desperate. The curtain already was pulled back on Nifong and now it was going to be pulled back on her. What to do? She gave the infamous fifth-hand quote that we know from everything else was a lie.

Don't think that Holloway wanted anything but a guilty verdict. Guilt, after all, was a "social construct," and these boys were guilty. This "crucial judicial decision" was a reference to the February 5 meeting that was scheduled in which the judge was going to decide on the various motions from the defense.

Don't think for a second that Holloway was going to second the defense. She desperately wanted the trial to go on, the IDs to remain, and for the trial to go on in Durham where a jury, under pressure from NCCU, the NAACP, the various black ministers, and members of the Duke faculty, would likely have voted guilty on at least one of the charges.

So, when Brodhead announced that Collin and Reade could come back to Duke, Holloway's world totally collapsed. For a brief time, things were what she wanted in her wildest fantasies:

(1) Those hated white athlete males could be charged with rape (because everyone knows that all white male athletes are a bunch of rapists);

(2) Duke could be transformed into the East Coast version of Antioch College (may it RIP) in which hard-left groupthink would be the order of the day for everyone;

(3) The Duke curriculum FINALLY could be transformed into something in which those hated "children of privilege" could be browbeaten in every class.

On December 15, 2006, the curtain was pulled back on the Lacrosse Case and Karla Holloway was bellowing: "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

The problem, of course, is that Holloway teaches "legal ethics" at Duke University Law School. So, here is a faculty member who believes that it is ethical for prosecutors to lie in court, hide evidence, make false charges, and railroad innocent people to trial.

Here is a faculty member who teaches "legal ethics" who still believed -- against ALL evidence -- that Nifong still had a legitimate case, and that the ends justified the means.

Here is a faculty member who teaches "legal ethics" who believed it was just fine to float a quotation that she and everyone else knew was a lie. After all, the police had been lying the whole time, and had there really been such a quote given, I can assure you that Kim Roberts would have picked up on it early and we would have known about it when the case first broke.

So, it came down to a sorry ending. The CCI was a sham, the Bowen-Chambers Report that provided the fig leaf for creating this abomination was a sham, and Holloway's last desperate attempt to close the curtain also was a sham.

Perhaps Holloway and company should take note of something: Antioch College is closed. If she and her friends insist on turning Duke into Antioch East, they have to remember that they might be putting themselves out of work when the place runs out of students and money.

Debrah said...

This series is chilling.

A book could be written on this segment of the Hoax, alone.

An ominous look at what is to become of the academy if people do not act.

How do such people even become professors?

Does anyone remember such people from their own educational experiences?

A Duke Dad said...

“Diversity makes a more excellenter university."
"Don't be no fool, go to skool”

Must be some phallic envy thing ... the 88'ers have such tiny premises.

It is amazing that the utter trash they spout is done with a straight face. The assumption is they are the only ones with any logical capacity.
Regretfully, for them, the facts speak for themselves. (Res Ipsa Loquitur.)

The following motto is proposed for the 88'ers:

"Striving for mediocrity"

Duke 1965 said...

KC commented that the CCI's curricular designs were already being implemented. One of the CCI's recommendations was that the core curriculum contain mandatory race/class/gender "sensitivity" training. Does anyone know if that proposal was actually implemented?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, again, to Professor Johnson for giving factual background to this lurid affair. This post makes me ill. The arrogance of these people is only matched by their hatred and racial bias.

Wood is clearly an idiot. Moneta is the ultimate "yes" man doing anything he can to cover for "the chief" Dickie Brodhead.

But Karla Holloway is one sick woman. She may have some intellect, but her ethical construct is so miserably diseased. We may have found a female Stanley Fish who is just plain mean to the bone.

How can Jim Coleman hold his head highin any Duke Law School classroom knowing that this evil, lying, bigoted woman teaches ethics in the same law school?

Thanks, Professor Johnson, for letting the world know the depth to which Duke has fallen. It is so terribly sad.

Anonymous said...

"KC commented that the CCI's curricular designs were already being implemented. One of the CCI's recommendations was that the core curriculum contain mandatory race/class/gender "sensitivity" training. Does anyone know if that proposal was actually implemented?"

None, not one item, of any such curriculum plan has been implemented. Nor will any such nonsense be implemented. The Humanities faculty is small and ineffective at Duke, and the Social Sciences faculty is dominated by Economics, Public Policy, Political Science, and Sociology. The Academic Council, which has no Arts and Sciences curriculum connection, is dominated by Medical School, other professional schools, Engineering, etc. There are Humanities, Social Science, and Natural Science representatives (10 each). Economics and Public Policy economists have generally had around 8-10 of those Social Sciences positions in recent years.

To describe your "88" as institutionally dominant is nonsense. To believe that they "control" appointments, promotions, or tenure at Duke is to believe in flying pigs. The Provost controls this process, and there is at most one humanities person out of the dozen or more people on that important Provost's advisory group.

Faculty understand that the CCI was a way for the idiots to think they were in control of Duke, to expose them and let them hold meetings to get them out of the way while adults conducted business. Moneta lives on, but defanged, as Nowicki was handed control of undergraduate activity, and Thompson was allowed to "retire from the Deanship".

I'm sorry KC, who should know better, is so tone deaf on these matters.

Debrah said...

I think the curricula designs that most of the Gang of 88 and their friends want to make the face of Duke and, indeed, the entire academy have been in the works for decades.

There have always been such courses offered in the Humanities; however, most students took them as electives and as filler.

Similar to what used to be called "slides" because everyone knew they were going to be very easy.

Today, these professors of trivia have more power.

They've created a durable facade of significance to what can only be recognized as comical scholarship.

KC has mentioned many times what happened at Duke under Nan Keohane, Stanley Fish, and others.

Henry Louis Gates left Duke not long after he was hired because things weren't progressing fast enough for him with regard to his race/class/gender agenda.

He's now at Harvard and runs an entire department.

I think the Duke administration, with lots of nudging from the Gang of 88 ilk, accelerated the radical agenda after that episode so they could attract the "best and brightest" ....a....la....the fleeting and sour Gates.

Another commenter mentioned that Holloway has paved the way for another member of her family (doesn't her husband also work for Duke?); however, her daughter is in the sciences.

Most of these people appear innocuous and pleasant on the surface until they are challenged.

Behind every radical faculty member is a seething set of power-grab values without the scholarship.

The infiltration is almost complete.

A significant by-product of the Lacrosse Hoax has been the illumination of the current state of the academy and why something must be done before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

Is Thompson a Communist?

Gary Packwood said...

The CCI may seem strange but it is quite logical for undergraduate programs with large numbers of Anger Studied professors and an mammoth Office of Student Affairs.

These people have very little to do and they need something to do that will come in under the radar of parents, alumni and legitimate faculty.

The CCI most certainly comes in under the radar because absolutely no one knows how to comment about the CCI since there is no CCI curriculum.

And most faculty to include coaches really are expected to confine their comments to their area of expertise.

All of us who have been through the CCI know the drill. Initially you begin to hear stories about bad-boy behavior, then you begin to hear the phrase Zero-Tolerance along with the phrase Need-for-Diversity and finally you wake up and figure out that Zero-Tolerance actually means ...The Final Solution.

Some group is going down, hard.

Usually the BOT and many alumni groups catch-on before the IRS starts sniffing around...and the number of employees with little to do are advised to move on to their next victim.

Or, assign them all to the Graduate College where they will be ignored.
::
GP

A Duke Dad said...

to the 1:36 PM -

Kindly explain the FACTS:

1 - Duke was so inflamed that Mike Pressler was fired with the explanation, "It's not about the truth, anymore"

2 - The radical agenda IS implemented ... look at the required courses

3 - Admissions ARE being skewed to meet the r/c/g desires of the hard left.

and the beat goes on ...

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson,

Why haven't you mention one word about the life of John Hope Franklin? Brooklyn College did, & celebrated his life. Were you too busy making things up about Duke University?

The commenter, anon 1:36pm, was so on point. You are tone deaf.

KC Johnson said...

To the 3.52:

I invite you to look at the subhead to this blog, "Comments and analysis about the Duke/Nifong case."

This blog is not about Brooklyn College matters, nor about the deaths of prominent figures in the historical profession.

As to the allegation of "making things up about Duke University," this post, as the two previous in this series, simply uses material from the CCI's own archive. Are you suggesting, perhaps, that the CCI produced a fraudulent archive? That strikes me as an extraordinary allegation, and I can see why you would have elected to make it under the cloak of anonymity.

Anonymous said...

As to the allegation of "making things up about Duke University


Yes, making things up, distorting the truth etc. Just like you did about the "2" people who reported the sentiment of the entire Durham community at the NCCU Forum. What about your version of officer Jones being a part of Duke Police?

Who were the 2 people that gave you info on the forum? Were they your followers?


I have spoken with Professor Karla Holloway and I have found her to be a very honest & classy lady. You and Anderson both are so dishonest until it is sickening.

Anonymous said...

"I ... think that anything that is implemented in an academic setting has to be backed with legitimate arguments AND DATA and different alternatives, and that just hasn’t been done.” [emphasis added].

Who said this about the CCI report? Student CCI member Elliott Wolf. Now we know why he said it -- above and beyond that the proposals were ridiculous. I wonder if the G88 don't understand science and data, are lazy, or are just afraid of finding contrary information?

********************

"Antioch East." He he.

********************

When you are seeking diversity on campus, shouldn't you expect a bunch of "cultures"? If that's the case, won't there always be a dominant culture? The CCI should have come up with a plan in which a culture that was perceived to be too dominant or swaggering would have its members paddled in stocks in the main quad and viewed cammpus-wide through closed circuit TV. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Methinks you overanalyze Karla's predicament.

It seemed to me at the time of her 'resignation' from her committee that it was overwhelmingly likely that she had some report or preliminary set of recommendations due for review. Since she had no 'work product' to deliver, and no one else she could give the job of actually producing something of substance to, she quit. She saw the event of the players' reprieve as Duke students as an opportunity to conceal her nonfeasance. It's no more or less complicated than that. There is no logical way for her to justify withdrawing from a position of authority where she could presumably effect real change.

Been there. Done that. It sucks not having your homework done.

Just curious KC- is there anything in the papers you reviewed to support or discredit this assumption?

RL alum '75

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson said:
"But, impervious to the contradiction, CCI members plowed forward, demanding that Duke decrease legacy and athletic admittees in name of improving standards, citing an insufficiency in “the range of academic preparation of admitted students, particularly of athletes and legacies.”

How would that criteria exist side-by-side with a demand that the admissions department increase the number of admitted minority students—students who, according to figures presented to the CCI, were clearly less prepared than, at the least, legacy students? No evidence exists that the CCI even considered the dilemma."

The CCI recommended raising the low end of admission standards for ALL students not just athletes and legacies. They also "even considered the dilemma mentioned above:

"3. Aggressively recruit international students and high-achieving applicants from
underrepresented groups and increase financial aid to attract those students
4. Raise the low end of the admissions standards so that all students have the
preparation and commitment to contribute fully to the intellectual life of the
community"

Gromit said...

It is telling that the CCI's would-be defenders now are resorting to challenging the very authenticity of CCI's own records, so embarrassing and (otherwise) indefensible is the CCI conduct on display therein.

Kudos, KC.

af said...

to the 3:52

Which makes you deaf, dumb, and blind!
Unless........................you're just stupid.
If this were multiple choice, then E would be all of the above and would, of course, be the correct answer.

By the way, what's your number? (remember, the answer mucst be between 1 and 88)

gwallan said...

KC wrote...
And just in case Guttentag didn’t get the message, the CCI spelled it out for him: his office needed to focus on “increasing the yield” of minority students.

Yield?

I guess this is what happens when quality becomes secondary to the head count.

Just who or what is being enrolled? Sheep? Wheat crops? Not cotton surely?

Do these people really think this way?

Anonymous said...

To the commentator at 1:36 who pats him- or herself on the back at 3:52:

Why so anonymous? In trying to refute a point made by the blog author, you prove 3 others. As for the crux of your argument, this is what Professor Johnson wrote:

"But in the three other areas that interested the CCI—curriculum, faculty hiring policies, and admissions—every reason exists to believe that the CCI agenda will eventually take hold, if more gradually than figures such as Allison or Holloway would have preferred. With the Group of 88 exercising real or de facto control over a wide swath of Duke’s humanities and social sciences departments, the CCI’s curricular designs and personnel agenda are already being implemented."

This is what you wrote anonymously:

"None, not one item, of any such curriculum plan has been implemented. Nor will any such nonsense be implemented. The Humanities faculty is small and ineffective at Duke...."

Yet you fail to explain what was reported on December 2, 2006:

"Durham, NC -- Duke University’s Board of Trustees on Saturday approved elevating Duke’s African and African American Studies (AAAS) Program to departmental status. 'As the mission of AAAS has expanded, it has become appropriate to graduate from program status to that of a full department,' said Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences George McLendon.... The university’s Academic Programs Committee unanimously approved the change at its Oct. 25 meeting....The Academic Programs Committee also encouraged AAAS to consider establishing a Ph.D. program in the future."

Then, you have Robyn Wiegman of the Women's Studies program at Duke writing this in March 2007:

"Although every undergraduate student at Duke today is required to fulfill a course requirement in cross-cultural studies and ethical inquiry, we need to add a requirement that foregrounds the challenge of social ethics in the places in which we all currently live. No student should graduate from a university dedicated to a liberal arts education as foundational to every path of professional education without rigorous instruction into the complexity of race, gender, sexuality, religion, and class in the world in which they most immediately live."

Finally, there's the writing of Richard Brodhead, in which, significantly, "Diversity" gets the headline above knowledge, commitment and excellence, which get the sideline:

"This pledge was renewed in October 2006 with the approval of the university strategic plan, Making a Difference. In that plan, we outline our goals to aggressively recruit and retain a diverse complement of faculty and students and to promote engagement and understanding across all human boundaries."

In the Duke University Strategic Plan, the word "diversity" is used 37 times. It is very prominent in this particular chapter heading: "Promote diversity through faculty hiring, retention, and program development." MOO! Gregory

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.20:

You claim that the CCI confronted the dilemma of demanding higher academic standards to minimize athletes or legacy admitees while simultaneously demanding that Duke admit more minority students by "aggressively recruit international students and high-achieving applicants from
underrepresented groups and increase financial aid to attract those students."

European or Asian international students would be of little interest to the CCI--the former because most would be white, the latter because the CCI indicated no concern with raising the number of Asian-American or Asian students at Duke.

As for the mysterious "high-achieving applicants from underrepresented groups," there is nothing in any record of the CCI that indicates how the admissions process needed to change to locate these "high-achieving applicants from underrepresented groups," or how these "high-achieving applicants from underrepresented groups" differed from the students from "underrepresented groups" who were already admitted by Duke, and whose average GPA's were much lower than those of legacy students and most groups of athletes.

As for item 4: "4. Raise the low end of the admissions standards so that all students have the
preparation and commitment to contribute fully to the intellectual life of the
community," that suggestion--according to Duke's own figures--would have disproportionately affected African-American students, and thus directly contradicted the CCI demand to "increase the yield" of minority students. The CCI's unwillingness to confront this dilemma was the basic point I was trying to make.

Simply repeating to themselves that "diversity makes a more excellent university" doesn't necessarily make it so.

Anonymous said...

"To describe your "88" as institutionally dominant is nonsense."

Is it? Around and since the time of the CCI, here are some of the powerful positions held by a few of the G88:

Dean of Academic Affairs -- Lee Baker. That dean oversees all Duke programs, including its flagship "Focus Program."

Chair of the Department of Cultural Anthropology -- Orin Starn.

Dean of Social Sciences and Chair of the Department of History -- Sarah Deutsch.

Director of the Franklin Humanities Institute and Dean of Humanities of Arts & Sciences -- Srinivas Aravamudan.

Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies -- Cathy Davidson.

Chair of the Department of Philosophy -- David Wong. New chair as of July 1, 2009 -- Alex Rosenberg.

Chair of Cultural Anthropology -- Anne Allison.

Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Classical Studies -- Mary Boatwright.

Perhaps commenter at 1:36 believes that chairs, directors, and deans at Duke are just figureheads?

Duke Prof

KC Johnson said...

To the 4.25:

Thanks for sharing (again, under the cloak of anonymity) your alleged conversation with Prof. Holloway and your assertion that she is a "classy lady."

To me, sending out a mass e-mail containing fourth-hand, unsubstantiated, negative gossip about students at your own institution isn't the definition of "class." It appears as if you define the term differently.

Thanks for your . . . enlightening . . . contributions.

Debrah said...

Everyone should give this one a second look.

It's one of the best evaluations of the Hoax and the Gang of 88 ever written.

af said...

KC

Some of us missed (at least initially) the point being made by the 4:25 poster. This was in part due to a slight typo by his/her typist. The corrected version is:
[i]I have spoken with Professor Karla Holloway and I have found her to be a fairy honest & Class E lady. You and Anderson both are so dishonest until it is sickening.[/i]
Note: Class E as opposed to Class A (most desirable)

Anonymous said...

KC:
What is happening at Duke (recommendations of the CCI) can be found under discussion (if not already implemented) at other institutions - not just collegiate - but also secondary schools - across the nation.

One must look at the courses that are required within the various humanities disciplines for a major
or the courses that are offered to fulfill a core requirement. That is where one can see the pc process at its most frightening.

cks

Anonymous said...

KC said:
"European or Asian international students would be of little interest to the CCI--the former because most would be white, the latter because the CCI indicated no concern with raising the number of Asian-American or Asian students at Duke."

If these students were of "little interest to the CCI", then why did they make this recommendation? I understand it does not fit in with the agenda you characterize in your post. That is the point.

You also note that item 4 (another actual recommendation) does not fit the agenda you characterize them as having as well. That is my second point. Simply put, if the CCI was all for increasing diversity at the expense of academic standards, then why in the world would they make these 2 recommendations?

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.45:

You seem to believe that the diversity-obsessed CCI actually favored admissions standards that would have dramatically reduced the number of African-American students at Duke--even as the CCI simultaneously demanded that the dean of admissions "increase the yield" of such students.

There is no evidence in the 500+ pages of the CCI archive, or in any public statement of a CCI leader, that the CCI desired to decrease the number of African-American students at Duke.

But you are certainly entitled to your opinion, even as you choose to express it under the cloak of anonymity.

If you have any evidence that the CCI actually desired to decrease the number of African-American students at Duke (perhaps a second CCI archive, or which I'm unaware?), I hope that you'll share it with us.

Bill Anderson said...

Yeah, I just made up from whole cloth Holloway's insistence that "guilt is a social construct." She has put that in print, so I clearly am not making up the point that she believes in such "collective" guilt.

Thus, we are left with the possibility that the Duke faculty member lied to me. Somehow, I doubt that, too.

I find it interesting that the people who supported Nifong's lies are the ones calling K.C. and me liars. Very interesting.

halides1 said...

Can someone provide a link for the Holloway mass email? Thanks.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson--

It seems disingenuous to me for you to take issue with any anonymous comments, as you are the one who sets up the parameters for commenting on this blog: if you don't like the idea of anonymous commenters and don't feel that anonymity adds to the discussion, then simply disallow this as an option. It seems unfair for you to simultaneously allow this option -- thus implicitly endorsing it -- and then criticize anyone for taking advantage of the option that you have made available.

Just a thought regarding the blog's structure and your dismissal of any anonymous criticism. I do notice that you don't take issue with the anonymity of any of those commenters who praise your work, so somehow it must be only criticism or critique enrages your dislike of anonymity.

On that train of thought, I don't see how AF's comment at 5:58 constitutes anything other than a personal attack, something that would seem to fall under number four of your moderating policy, but then again maybe I don't understand how you envision this discussion space. Debrah's comments, for instance, would seem to also often fall under category four, as her posts are regularly tangential (at best), and often involve rather personal attacks against anyone who criticizes you, or anyone with whom she disagrees. Again, maybe I don't understand your interpretation of these rules -- your own rules, I might add.

I have enjoyed your latest posts regarding the CCI, and while I don't agree with them entirely, I think they do show what use can be made of public records. Thanks for the continuing good work. --ss

halides1 said...

Here it is:

http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2007/01/lets-play-telephone.html

Chris

Debrah said...

TO "ss"--

I see that you have returned with your objective commentary and advice.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson--

Thanks! Assuming that you're genuine in your welcome, I appreciate your having looked for my comments.

I apologize for using the word 'enrage,' especially if that was not your intent. That said, however, you do point out the 'cloak of anonymity' with such regularity that I suspected it irked you: I can see no reason that you would need to point it out when countering anonymous criticism.

I'll ask again, as I am sincerely curious as to your answer: why allow for anonymous commenting when you criticize people who avail themselves of this option? It seems perfectly reasonable to me that you might not agree with the principle of anonymity in internet discussions, or, on the other hand, that you think that it allows for free debate, but not that you would allow for it, and then use that anonymity as a club with which to beat critics. Thus, rather than answer criticisms, you attack the fact that they are made anonymously. Call such an attack 'ad anonimem,' if you will.

Again, I am genuinely interested in your answer to this question, for I'm deeply interested in how intellectual conversation is facilitated by this particular forum (as I've mentioned before). As this blog represents (among other things) a debate over the hows and why of intellectual and political conversation, I'm curious as to the rationale for some of your commenting and screening practices.

Thanks again for your attention -- I look forward to your response! --ss

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson said:
"But you are certainly entitled to your opinion, even as you choose to express it under the cloak of anonymity.

If you have any evidence that the CCI actually desired to decrease the number of African-American students at Duke (perhaps a second CCI archive, or which I'm unaware?), I hope that you'll share it with us."

What I said must have been lost in your translation of it. I said:

"Simply put, if the CCI was all for increasing diversity at the expense of academic standards, then why in the world would they make these 2 recommendations?" That seems to me to be pretty straightforward and I listed the 2 recommendations in my previous post which are as follows:
"3. Aggressively recruit international students and high-achieving applicants from
underrepresented groups and increase financial aid to attract those students
4. Raise the low end of the admissions standards so that all students have the
preparation and commitment to contribute fully to the intellectual life of the
community"

This actually seems to be a pretty reasonable goal. What appears to me to be the main problem with this is the lack of exceptions to jocks, legacies, and those "well-rounded" individuals that would not ordinarily qualify. This would of course include those in these 3 categories that were minority students.
With this in mind, I think a more fair characterization of the "agenda" of the CCI committee would be 'More diversity with increased academic standards makes for a more excellent University.' The way your post reads makes it seem very unlikely if not impossible that this committee did in fact advocate and recommend that the low end of admission standards be raised for ALL students including minority students.
I sometimes post as RedMountain.

KC Johnson said...

To Chris:

Yes, that's the link. The Wilmington Journal link in my post is, alas, now dead. (Their website is less than user friendly.) In response to a question from me, Michaels noted that he hadn't directly spoken to Holloway*, but that he had been forwarded a copy of Holloway's mass email.

To ss:

Welcome back; it's been some time since I recall a comment from you.

My apologies if anything I have written has led you to believe that I was "enrage[d]"; that certainly was not my intent, and I regret creating an inaccurate impression with you.

*--corrected

A Duke Dad said...

to the 2:10 PM (ss) -

Why do you believe construing snippets of a post in order to change the meaning of the author is a cogent argument?

What you attempt to define as 'ad hominem' is actually the phrase 'you are tone deaf' drawing a 3rd party's response, regarding sensory deprivation.

The original post was a rather bizarre view that the Gang of 88 has caused no damage at all to the Duke University community because they lack any impact.

af also speculated that the comment might have originated with an 88'er.

KC has the tools to identify the source of many postings. I'd suspect he is chiding a specific player in this drama - rebuking her/him for anonymously posting factually inaccurate statements.

So, you see, it is NOT about YOUR view on 'Anonymous Posting Policy', but rather KC confronting an 88'er coward or minion.

Hopefully, this clears up the issue for you.

Anonymous said...

Duke Dad (6:39)--

I'm actually a little confused by your post. Take your statement:

Why do you believe construing snippets of a post in order to change the meaning of the author is a cogent argument?

I don't believe this, I did not accuse anyone of doing this, nor was I trying to defend anyone who did so.

I'm also not sure what this means:

What you attempt to define as 'ad hominem' is actually the phrase 'you are tone deaf' drawing a 3rd party's response, regarding sensory deprivation.

I wasn't trying to define anything as ad hominem, I was trying to point out that for the blog's moderator to criticize someone for using the 'anonymous' feature, and thus clearly playing within the rules set up by that same moderator seemed a bit unfair. If Prof. Johnson was really bothered by the idea of anonymous comments I suggested he disallow them. If not, then criticizing someone for remaining anonymous seemed silly, and distracted from any other criticisms that he might have.

You also say the following:

So, you see, it is NOT about YOUR view on 'Anonymous Posting Policy', but rather KC confronting an 88'er coward or minion.

I don't know what you mean by this. What is the 'it' to which you're referring?

I'm sorry, but I guess I'm not totally following your post. If you'd like to clarify maybe I could respond. Thanks! --ss

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.42:

As I noted above, you are certainly entitled to your belief that the CCI advocated increasing admissions standards in such a way that would have decreased the number of African-American students who were admitted to Duke--given that Duke's own figures showed that the average SAT and admissions scores for African-American students admitted to Duke was considerably lower than the average SAT and admissions scores for legacy students admitted to Duke.

There is, alas, no evidence that from the CCI archive that the CCI intended to move toward such a merit-based standard, and there's clear evidence that such a standard contradicted the CCI's stated motto ("diversity makes a more excellent university") and the demand to the admissions dean to "increase the yield" of African-American students.

But, as I said, you are entitled to your belief that I buried the lede, and that Karla Holloway, Anne Allison, and Larry Moneta were part of a crusade to decrease the number of black students at Duke.

A Duke Dad said...

to ss @ 7:33

I'll leave it to you to remain befuddled, providing the audience here with a keen definition of a word you recently used: "disingenuous".

I, and others here, have clearly pointed out that your games with words are shallow attempts to divert and obfuscate discussion.

Anonymous said...

Debrah (at 4:02)--

Hello. You said:

I see that you have returned with your objective commentary and advice.

You've made this comment before, and I'd like to reiterate my response: I don't think that I am an objective party. Indeed, I don't think that there are any objective parties in this matter -- not me, not Prof. Johnson, not even you -- but that's not a bad thing, nor does it mean that we can't have a useful and productive conversation. I hope that you can understand this, and that I'm not trying to force my viewpoint on you or anyone else.

Thanks, and have a good night. --ss

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed how when the picayune problems that an anonymous troll has with a post have been resoundly rebutted, the troll doesn't acknowledge the fact but moves on to the next picayune problem.

Photios said...

It should be pointed out that as used by college admissions officers, "yield" is a bit of technical jargon. It means the percentage of students offered admission who accept . If a college has a fixed target size for annual entering classes and wants to become more selective, raising standards and decreasing the percentage of applicants offered admission, it will have to increase yield by making itself more attractive to students offered admission so that they will actually come and not go elsewhere. College admissions offices constantly attempt to do both, especially since both selectivity and yield are taken into account in US News & World Report annual college rankings.
Now Holloway isn't talking about raising yield generally, but about raising yield for black students specifically, by making Duke more attractive to black students. One may very well suspect, given her conduct in the lacrosse case, that the changes she would favor to make Duke more attractive to the kind of black students she would like to see more of would be pretty sinister --- as indeed some of the changes proposed in the CCI report are --- and one may also very well suspect that what she says for public consumption about raising standards isn't sincerely meant. But if you understand the technical admissions-office jargon, there isn't an actual contradiction in what's said for public consumption about raising standards on the one hand and increasing the yield of black students on the other.

Bill Anderson said...

In answer to Mark Rougemont (who sometimes posts as Red Mountain), I seem to recall that one of those high-achieving international students was murdered execution-style allegedly by one of those "fine" young people from Durham. You know, Durham is where Reade, Collin, and David were held on $400K bond for a fake "crime" while Lovette and Atwater were permitted to run wild and go on a murder spree.

The notion that the CCI crowd wanted to improve the academic atmosphere on campus is a howler. First, many of their classes are not real academic activities as they are exercises in political browbeating. Second, people who engaged in the shameful actions that distinguished Duke and Durham that year are not the kind of people who actually care about real academic knowledge, unless disseminating propaganda is a legitimate academic goal.

The CCI was a sham, with its supposed genesis in the sham Bowen-Chambers Report. Like so many other things these faux scholars do, everything was predetermined. The problem was that once someone pulled back the curtain, Karla Holloway and her friends still wanted us to pretend that the "wizard" was real.

Holloway and the others tend to write in dense, mind-numbing prose. Now, they insist that this is a measure of their Great Intellectual Abilities as though the style of their writing is a perfect substitute for its vacuous content. Like "Coda: Bodies of Evidence" and other pathetic "academic papers" that they write, the reports that came from these CCI faculty were junk, pathetic junk that pretended to be plans to make Duke a better university.

What they really wanted was an academic content that would be based on turning students and faculty against each other, marginalizing the "politically-incorrect" people and creating a sham academic world in which everything would be subject to their version of politics. PC math? No problem. PC astronomy? No problem.

Debrah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gary Packwood said...

ss 6/16/09 7:33 PM said...

...I'm actually a little confused by your post. Take your statement:
...I'm also not sure what this means:
...I don't know what you mean by this. What is the 'it' to which you're referring?
...I'm sorry, but I guess I'm not totally following your post. If you'd like to clarify maybe I could respond.
::
[1] I'M CONFUSED and [2] I'M NOT SURE and [3] I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN and [4] I'M NOT FOLLOWING.
::
I guess you think Duke Dad will not be shocked into silence unless you rapid fire all four of the standard responses used on young undergraduate students who attempt to confront the tyranny espoused by campus faculty and staff extremists.

Perhaps you are so accustomed to silencing young students you missed the point that Duke Dad is an intelligent well informed adult who is not going to be silenced...at all.

Your ship has hit the sand.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Duke Dad (at 9:51):

You said:

I, and others here, have clearly pointed out that your games with words are shallow attempts to divert and obfuscate discussion.

If this is the case, and you and others really believe that this is my goal, then I must offer my sincere apology. Let me say this clearly and unequivocally: I am not trying to distract, obfuscate, or derail the discussion. I certainly did point to what I saw as an inconsistency in Prof. Johnson's deployment of the 'anonymous' critique, but I did not do so to derail or deflect any other discussions. To be honest, I don't really know what the other person was talking about (the person to which Prof. Johnson initially responded), and my comment was not meant to be either an endorsement of that person or a tangent to the discussion.

I am interested in this continuing case, but I am also interested in how it progresses, and thus my (rare) comments often target the form of the debate. I do not mean these to be confusing, irrelevant, or even necessarily a comment on the substance of the debate, but I do think that form is important and worth watching.

Again, I apologize to you 'Duke Dad' and to anyone else who has been either confused by my comments or has seen them as purposefully obfuscating.

I do hope that Prof. Johnson will choose to respond to some of my earlier questions, as I am still interested in the answer. I hope this post clear up my motivations.

Thanks again to all of you for reading. --ss

Anonymous said...

GP (at 9:42):

You said:

Perhaps you are so accustomed to silencing young students you missed the point that Duke Dad is an intelligent well informed adult who is not going to be silenced...at all.

I'm sorry if you think that, and I'm particularly sorry if it seemed like I was trying to silence 'Duke Dad' -- or anyone, for that matter. (I was not, nor am I now.) I've already offered my apology to him (see above), but let me reiterate that I was not trying to derail the discussion or silence anyone. I apologize if I gave the impression otherwise.

As to your accusation that I enjoy 'silencing' people generally, particularly students, and that I do so with questions, I suppose I don't have much of a defense: you've made your conclusion based on very little evidence, thus there is little that I can say in my defense. I would point out, however, that questions are usually not used to silence one's interlocutor, but -- if asked correctly -- actually move the emphasis off the questioner and to the answerer. We've all seen this done poorly, be it in interviews or in the classroom, and asking good questions is surprisingly hard, but I don't think that it's a way of silencing people. In fact, I think one of the most difficult parts of teaching is learning to ask good, productive and provocative questions.

I'm sure that Duke Dad is intelligent, are are you GP, and I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. I hope that you'll take my comments as they were intended.

If nothing else, thanks for giving my comments your detailed attention. Have a good day, --ss

Anonymous said...

Photios at 440am:

"It should be pointed out that as used by college admissions officers, "yield" is a bit of technical jargon. It means the percentage of students offered admission who accept . If a college has a fixed target size for annual entering classes and wants to become more selective, raising standards and decreasing the percentage of applicants offered admission, it will have to increase yield by making itself more attractive to students offered admission so that they will actually come and not go elsewhere."

Finally, someone who actually knows what they are talking about with respect to how college admissions works. There's no contradiction in what Holloway said. She might be naive about whether it can work, as everyone's after the same high-achieving students of color, but it's not contradictory.

KC Johnson said...

To the 11.45:

Many thanks for your comment, which, I fear, is incorrect.

To review:

This thread in the discussion began when an anonymous commenter contended that there was no contradiction between the CCI's call for increased admissions standards to decrease the number of legacy admittees and athletes and the fact that such an approach would dramatically cut the number of black students admitted to Duke.

I pointed out that the CCI called in the admissions dean demanding that he "increase the yield" of black students. I also pointed out that the CCI wanted to change the admissions criteria at Duke to get more black students admitted. The CCI wasn't exactly covert about its agenda--it wanted a more "diverse" student body.

On the "yield" issue, if the CCI were only interested in increasing the number of black admitted students who attended Duke, presumably the committee would have considered what could be done--increasing financial aid (all African-American students get a full scholarship?), special housing or other initiatives, computers or other rewards for attending Duke. There's no record of the CCI exploring such matters.

But let's, for the sake of argument, explore how this non-contextual interpretation of the CCI's admissions proposal would have worked. There's no document in the CCI archive spelling out exactly what they wanted a new "minimum" standard to be, but let's conservatively assume that such a standard would have been a 2.1 average on test scores and a 4.46 average on HS curriculum.

This new, slightly enhanced, minimum standard would have eliminated, according to Duke's figures, around 10% of the legacy admittees. It would also have eliminated 50% of the African-American admittees. Regardless of what was done to recruit among those black students admitted to Duke under the new, heightened standard, the result would have been fewer African-American students at Duke.

Now, perhaps Larry Moneta, Anne Allison, Peter Wood, and Karla Holloway spent nine months devising a series of recommendations to decrease the number of black students who attended Duke, all while they were publicly expressing fealty to implementing a race/class/gender on campus.

And perhaps I'm going to be elected the next Pope.

Debrah said...

The "I'm sorry"......"I apologize"......"I didn't mean to obfuscate".......etc......are useless cloaks.

If following this case 'til the end is so important, and if exchanging ideas out in the open is the objective, and above all, if clarity and honesty in those exchanges are of paramount importance to those who would offer advice to others....

......then why all the secrecy?

Many times commenters show up with "very important advice and information".

They even choose to instruct how the blog should be run.

They assure readers how knowledgeable and "concerned for the truth" they are.......

.......yet readers get cloudy rhetoric wrapped inside an anonymous package.

I doubt most people care whether or not commenters come here anonymously.

This only becomes interesting when someone profiles as a caring sage......yet provides nothing more than unsubstantiated criticism.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think that there are any objective parties in this matter . . ." -- a statement that, of course, has an objective meaning -- and which is, of course, self-refuting.

But then the race/gender/class claque have never been sticklers for consistency.

Duke Prof

A Duke Dad said...

to ss @ 11:30 AM:

I have been quite clear in my comments on your postings.

You will note the observations by other commenters here, which are unanimously consistent.

A summary of this interchange is left to William Shakespeare :

. . "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

. . . . Hamlet Act 3, Scene 2

Anonymous said...

The CCI's references to "excellence" and raising minimum standards are nothing but sops used to fool the public into believing that "diversity" does not harm academic quality.

In practice, here's how "diversity" admissions works:

Susie, a non-minority, ranks, say, 20% higher on all academic criteria than does Sam, the minority candidate.

Susie is rejected; Sam is accepted. Why? During the process, sometimes no reason is given, other than by an admissions leader who says: I think Sam would contribute more to an enhanced experience for the class of xxxx. (Everybody in the room knows that the decision is based on race, but everyone is afraid to name it.)

Other times, achieving "diversity" is named as the reason for the decisions. Whatever the case, a brute fact remains: Susie, the candidate with higher academic credentials, is rejected while Sam, with remarkably lower credentials, is accepted. However one slices it, such diversity-driven decisions lower the academic quality of the incoming class.

Diversity advocates, such as those behind the CCI, smuggle in their race-based goals by co-opting legitimate concepts. So, for example, in their world of arbitrary definitions, "academic excellence" does not mean what it actually means (e.g., grades, test scores, curricular offerings). Now this concept also includes a student's race. Don't reject openly academic excellence. That will scare too many people. Just re-define it to include our race-based agenda. These people are dishonest and have a sinister sort of cleverness.

Duke Prof

P.S. Please do not tell me that I have misrepresented how diversity activists game the admissions process. Off and on for the last 20 years, which includes some time at Duke, I have been involved in the admissions process.

Anonymous said...

To Duke Prof (at 12:50):

You said:

"I don't think that there are any objective parties in this matter . . ." -- a statement that, of course, has an objective meaning -- and which is, of course, self-refuting.

No. Thanks though.

But then the race/gender/class claque have never been sticklers for consistency.

I don't think I am part of a 'claque,' as I've applauded nothing. I'd also point out that I haven't mentioned race, gender, or class in this thread, and have done so only once (I believe) in any of my comments.

I must be honest: I don't understand what has gotten you (and others) so angry. Yes, I questioned Prof. Johnson's deployment of his commenting policy, but nothing else. Why is this so troublesome to you? I haven't critiqued his post at all -- I complimented it, in fact -- nor have I taken the side of any of his other 'opponents.' Why does this one criticism on my part elicit such broad and virulent dismissal.

I do thank you for engaging with me, though. I hope that you have a good afternoon. --ss

Anonymous said...

Duke Dad (@1:09 pm)

You said:

You will note the observations by other commenters here, which are unanimously consistent.

If I'm correct, only you, 'GP,' and now 'Duke Prof,' have responded to me in any substantive way, and I have tried to respond to each of you. None of you have responded to my original criticism. When unanimity equals three and that ends discussion, then I'm afraid we have a very serious problem indeed.

You also say:

I have been quite clear in my comments on your postings.

Again, I'm sorry if I didn't understand, but could you please respond to my initial questions? I'm afraid that I didn't understand your initial post (as I've mentioned before), and I wanted to be clear about your response before I offered my own. I asked these questions not to silence you (as GP suggested), but out of respect for your viewpoint. If you'd like to restate your concerns now I would be happy to respond.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Actually I'm not protesting at all, I'm trying to engage in a conversation with you, Prof. Johnson, and others. I'm sorry if it has seemed otherwise.

Have a good afternoon, --ss

Jim in San Diego said...

"perhaps I will be elected the next Pope", KC Johnson


Dear Cardinal Johnson:

You will have my vote. However, I am not Catholic, if that makes a difference.

Jim Peterson

qa said...

Following this thread one becomes increasingly impressed with KC’s patience in responding to invincibly obtuse posters, such as Anonymous x n, RedMountain, and Mark Rougemont etc. who, on the surface may appear to be very profound, but deep down inside are only superficial.

Much is very confusing.

When that happens it is often helpful to start at the beginning, again: see on KC’s first page of this thread; there it is: “Orwellian”

Go to the Appendix to “1984" where Doublethink is explained:

Doublethink is:

“ The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

The posters KC is so patient with are invincibly accomplished exponents of Doublethink.

‘nuff said, for now.

Further analysis in this post would be too boring, but a detailed treatment of the subject, with the 88 Group “Listening Statement” as the foundation “Initiative” of a Ministry of Thanks, holds future promise.

Anonymous said...

"Blogger KC Johnson said...

To the 5.42:

As I noted above, you are certainly entitled to your belief that the CCI advocated increasing admissions standards in such a way that would have decreased the number of African-American students who were admitted to Duke--given that Duke's own figures showed that the average SAT and admissions scores for African-American students admitted to Duke was considerably lower than the average SAT and admissions scores for legacy students admitted to Duke."

I appreciate the effort you took in rephrasing my question as a statement. However that statement does not portray a fair characterization of my question. Here is my question

"Simply put, if the CCI was all for increasing diversity at the expense of academic standards, then why in the world would they make these 2 recommendations?" That seems to me to be pretty straightforward and I listed the 2 recommendations in my previous post which are as follows:
"3. Aggressively recruit international students and high-achieving applicants from
underrepresented groups and increase financial aid to attract those students
4. Raise the low end of the admissions standards so that all students have the
preparation and commitment to contribute fully to the intellectual life of the
community"

My personal opinion is that the CCI wanted to make up for the loss in the low end of under-represented groups by aggressively recruiting at the high end of these groups. How they felt they could accomplish this is a matter of debate and certainly the report is lacking specific ideas other than an offer of increased financial aid for these highly qualified students. My concern with your post and some of the comments regarding the CCI is the impression it gives that the CCI wanted to increase diversity at any cost including admission standards. That runs counter to the 'evidence' as presented in their official recommendations.

RedMountain

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.51:

Thank you for sharing with DIW readers your "personal opinion." I am sure that it will be received with all the weight to which it is entitled.

Anonymous said...

This morning, I heard a Chris Rock routine on the radio, about Affirmative Action. He mocked the attitude of "Well, if the minority members are excellent, they will succeed anyway," by questioning the underlying assumption that "America is run by excellent people" anyway. And of course he is correct in this skepticism. As he pointed out, he has been to "white schools" and "black schools".

He went on to say that in any class: 5 per cent are smart, 5 per cent are stupid, and the rest are in the middle. And that this country is made up, mostly, of those people in the middle. So far, I think we're all with him.

His next point was interesting: Of those people in the middle, the "B and C" students, the black "B and C" students aren't going to end up running any major corporations. But it so happens that a white "C" student is (at the time of his rant) the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

Well, sorry to take your time and space with this -- I thought it was an interesting take on AA and excellence. And on the fact that it's the mediocre majority whose interests are most affected.

But of course, a university is not a workplace, and a top school like Duke is SUPPOSED TO, by definition, admit only "excellent" people, not "C" students. And in fact, George W Bush SHOULD NOT have been admitted to Duke, had he applied.

Although, just as clearly, certain AA 88ers are "D" students at best. So I'm just trying to broaden the perspective, not to say y'all are wrong.

wayne fontes said...

The high achieving AA students tend to be from upper class back grounds. Top tier schools already compete fiercely for them. The only additional incentive I can think of at Duke's disposal would be more financial aid. So the financial aid would flow to those that need it less. The effect would be to subvert any arguments concerning egalitarianism made by the left.

KC Johnson said...

W.F.'s point above is absolutely correct. Moreover, it's worth giving a reminder of the disparities in endowments between Duke and Ivy League schools--Harvard and Yale always can (and do) offer more to attract the desired demographics.

qa said...

KC re your this-thread-opener:

“In early January 2007, Brodhead announced that Duke had lifted the suspensions of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty. (Neither, unsurprisingly, returned to the University.)

Brodhead's move triggered a ferocious protest from Karla Holloway, who resigned her position as CCI race subcommittee chair. “The decision by the university to readmit the students, especially just before a critical judicial decision on the case, is a clear use of corporate power, and a breach, I think, of ethical citizenship,” said she. “I could no longer work in good faith with this breach of common trust.”

Holloway then sent out a mass email containing fourth-hand, unsubstantiated, negative gossip about Duke students. Despite the requirement in the Faculty Handbook that Duke professors treat students with respect as fellow members of the academic community, no record exists of any disciplinary action taken against Holloway.

Imagine the reaction of the CCI, on the other hand, had a white, male professor sent out a mass email containing fourth-hand, unsubstantiated, negative gossip about African-American, female Duke students.

“Diversity makes a more excellent university.”


don’t forget that the day that:

“Brodhead announced that Duke had lifted the suspensions of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty”

was the very same day that CGM gave premature birth, by cesarian-section, to yet another addition to her single-mom-hood.

Anonymous said...

Necessary corrections/explanations and other notes regarding these comments:

1. Thompson, Holloway and Allison were all on the curriculum cmte that changed the curriculum in 2000(known as C2K at the time). Thompson was chair. That was when there was a new course category mandated for all students. "Cross Cultural Inquiry."

A woman on the committee from Kenan Ethics pushed the "Ethical Inquiry" category. In other words, everybody had their own agenda.

Allison was the ring-leader of the cross cultural category because it meant numbers for her department--Cultural Anthropology.

So by the time of the CCI, this new course idea was pushed by other people but not by the trio above.

Some thought the sub committee chairs let the idea gain some traction just so they could, at the end, make a trade off. Here is what the trade off was:

Admissions changes. They wanted to focus on yield at the expense of athletes and legacies. Here is what this means.

2. KC you are just wrong about yield. Your own "narrative" is blinding you to the other explanation as to why they were absolutely willing to up the numbers from AA students already admitted at the cost of lowering numbers of AA and other students at the low end.

Yield does indeed mean selection from students already admitted.

But consider the fact that additional yield from high-end AA categories would decrease the yield from athletes and legacies.

The same trio indicated above thought this a reasonable trade off because they didn't like the kind of students who came from those categories (athletes and legacies). You can figure out for yourself who would be included in those line ups.

3. All three Holloways will be at Duke in the fall. One is a dean in Pratt; we know about the English/Law Prof, and the new one coming in September is a Physics prof. Grand slam? At least it will be a whole lot of dollars going to that crew (the one in the middle makes Houston Baker's old salary, reported to be 330K).

This is likely the only whole family supported by Duke.

4. KC, to keep your credibility, you need to put that statement about black guilt=white innocence in its context. I believe the context actually said something like people were behaving as if black guilt meant white innocence.

You do a superior job most of the time; but when you don't pass the accuracy test, it diminishes the reliablity of the rest of what you say.

Here is why this is important for you to leave that out of context quoting to your commenters--there are plenty of them there. (Debrah is especially good at it as well as the ad hominem (sp?) attack--like when she goes after Tyson and others--frankly, she's not very helpful for the case because of her snide commentary):

But a lot of us at Duke believe blog will become critical to the case as it goes forward. It is not only a record, but documentation.

But as soon as someone can point out exaggerations or misstatements made by you in the main post it loses its credibility. The one thing that is going to poke a hole in a lot of the defense motions are in your blog posts. Keep them credible--for the cause!

By the way, you can correct statements like that and it will go some ways toward restpring the useability of this for the prosecution.

They need the help your research and interpretation has offered. Don't weaken the case you make for them! So fix this stuff, please!

A Duke Dad said...

Some Troll Repellant is needed here.

Postings that lack logic and facts are being placed to irritate blog readers and dilute the quality of conversation here.

Debate with these non-reality types is futile.
Their objective is to toss stink bombs in order to drive out the serious minded.

qa said...

Re the post of anonymous @ 6/17/09 12;17 pm

KC, your credibility, of course, remains intact; IMO the above post addresses issues that in the presence of those created by the CCI record itself, fade into insignificance.

The 1st comment on this thread puts its finger on logical problems pervading the CCI record;

“Anonymous said...
If only there had been a scientist or economist on the CCI. I can't imagine this kind of logic getting a pass with them. Then again, just try to pull a chemist away from her work. It is apparently surprisingly easy with the Group of 88...

6/15/09 2:19 AM”

The 6/15/09 2:19 AM poster’s “scientist or economist” would not have given a pass to “this kind of logic” because the kind of logic pervading the CCI record is a red-mist of doublethink, relying on both spin and on logical fallacy.

One such fallacy is a well-known fundamental cause-and-effect fallacy, that confuses cause and effect. What is already well-known is that:

“Correlation is not causation, but correlation is a pre-condition for causation.”

That is only one of the many problems

An example of the logical fallacy is contained in the following two statements:

1. “time spent partying and drinking had a strongly negative impact on academic performance.” and,

2. “in comparison to Asian and Caucasian students, African-American students were less likely to spend time studying but more in recreational activities.”

It may be a good idea to spell-out, in simple words what the logical problem is but first, for each statement, the in-built spin should be addressed:

1. “Impact” is a drama-word for “effect”; “strongly negative impact” is a drama-phrase for “very bad effect.”

2. The spin here is in the more-time less-time sequence-of, and completeness-of the correlates to be compared.

It should also be taken into account that “In internal deliberations, the CCI pointed to Duke statistics suggesting that white and Asian-American students, more often males, consumed alcohol at a greater level Asian-American students.”

I am not sure if this is used to argue that Asian-American students consumed proportionally-/relatively-more alcohol than did African-American students, and/or that they spent more time doing so.

It would also be helpful to know:

a. Whether the more time is spent in recreational activities, the less time is spent studying, and

b. What is the amount of time African-American students spend studying, relative to the amount of time Asian and Caucasian students spend studying.

but the CCI record seems to be silent on both of those interesting subjects

When spin is eliminated the above two statements might have become the following four statements:

1. African-American students show poorer academic performance than Asian and Caucasian students.

2. The amount of time students [of all races] spend partying and drinking, is correlated with poorer academic performance.

3. Duke statistics suggest that white and Asian-American students, more often males, consume alcohol at a greater level Asian-American students.

4. African-American students were less likely to spend time studying than Asian and Caucasian students, but more likely to spend time in recreational activities than Asian and Caucasian students.”

We still do not know whether time spent partying and drinking causes poor academic performance, although it seemed as plausible before the CCI reports as it does after the CCI reports.

Anonymous said...

To 'Duke Dad' at 1:41:

You say:

Debate with these non-reality types is futile.
Their objective is to toss stink bombs in order to drive out the serious minded.


I'm not sure if I'm the person that you're referring to or not, but I would point out that you have not engaged in a debate with me, but to my dismay. Instead, you responded dismissively to my post, and then when I asked you -- politely, I might add -- to clarify, you refused and insulted me.

I'm pretty disappointed in the exchanges over the last few days, where anyone who raises any questions whatsoever is summarily dismissed as a troll. I, for one, am not trying in any way to 'toss stink bombs' or otherwise derail the discussion. This is not to say that there aren't real trolls on this site -- indeed there are, and they're embarrassing, no matter what their espoused viewpoint is -- but to dismiss any questioning of the blog's narrative (or even its machinery) as 'trolling' is useless at best, and potentially alienating at worst.

I don't mean to single you out for this Duke Dad, for GP, Debrah, and even Prof. Johnson himself have been involved to greater or lesser degrees. I realize that we may not all be on the same 'team,' or even that such unity is our goal, but surely the blogging community can do a better job of engaging in genuine discussion?

I hope so, and I do hope that you, Duke Dan, and others will continue to engage in that debate, and not merely dismiss anything troubling, contradictory, or simply curious as the work of a 'troll.'

Thanks, and I do hope that everyone is having a good afternoon. Like yourselves, I look forward to Monday's post in particular. Take care, --ss