If I were looking for the identity of someone least likely to be named trustee for a major hospital, former Duke BOT chairman Bob Steel would be high on the list. Leaving aside Steel's ill-fated performance at Wachovia, Duke under Steel's leadership paid out millions of dollars in settlements and legal fees from lawsuits stimulated, in large part, by the dubious conduct at Duke University Hospital.
And yet, as Dr. Roy Poses reports at the fine blog Health Care Renewal, the Hospital for Special Surgery has just appointed none other than . . . Bob Steel . . . as its newest trustee.
Poses concludes, correctly if sadly, "Mr Steel's unlikely career trajectory shows how once someone becomes a member of the superclass, the new power elite that spans business, government, and academics, that person is likely to continue to wield power no matter how poor his or her track-record, to the detriment of nearly everyone else."
Over the past few years, we all have learned just how intensely some in the higher education community believe—indeed, given their ideology, have to believe—that sexual assault is widespread on today’s college campuses.
Sometimes, these figures follow the approach of the “clarifying” faculty in the lacrosse case, simply issuing public statements declaring that sexual assault is “prevalent” on the Duke campus even though the university’s own figures indicated that 0.1 percent of Duke females had been victims of sexual assault. (And, of course, the “clarifying” faculty did everything they could to downplay the rape of someone like former Duke student Katie Rouse, since that attack didn’t fit into their worldview.)
At other times, these figures follow the approach of the Duke women’s center, and champion new judicial procedures that will tilt the judicial playing field blatantly in the accuser’s favor, apparently from a belief that as women don’t lie about being raped, those women who claim to have been raped should be ensured of a conviction.
And then there’s the case of Jennifer Beeman, the former director of the Campus Violence Prevention Program at University of California-Davis. The number of rapes that have occurred at Davis didn’t fit Beeman’s ideological preconceptions. So in 2005, 2006, and 2007, she simply inflated the figures. And the Sacramento Bee discovered that Beeman was doing it for some time—and used her made-up figures as the basis for which to apply for federal grants.
Incredibly, when Beeman’s 2005-7 inflated figures were first brought to the University’s attention, Davis’ response was to suggest that her made-up figures were proof of her having created a “nationally recognized … model program for its outreach efforts and services for survivors.”
Only in academia.
The Durham Police Department is again under fire, and, as in the lacrosse case, again seems to believe that its own rules and regulations do not apply to its officers.
The North Carolina SBI is investigating a scandal regarding the Police Department billing the city for excessive overtime.
Will the usual suspects blame the inquiry on wealthy outsiders?
I supported AG Roy Cooper’s decision not to prosecute false accuser Crystal Mangum, largely because there’s no way he could have gotten a conviction. Magnum could have claimed that she was psychologically unable to tell the truth (and had 1000 pages of files to back her up); or she could have claimed that as the city’s police force and county’s “minister of justice” believed her, that should qualify as reasonable doubt to beat charges of her filing a false police report.
It’s much harder, on the other hand, to support the decision of Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice not to prosecute the Hofstra case false accuser, Danmell Ndonye.
In this respect, I agree completely with Newsday’s editorial board, which noted, “Rice justifies her decision not to prosecute because it would have a ‘chilling effect,’ making actual victims fearful to come forward. That concern is misplaced. Historically, police and prosecutors have been hostile to women who made rape charges, but the consensus now in law enforcement is that these cases should be fully and aggressively prosecuted. For legitimate claims to be taken seriously, however, society must also know that phony ones will be punished. That’s what will make the voice of every true victim even stronger. Instead, Rice’s resolution risks creating the perception that there isn't much downside to making up a story that could have sent someone to jail for 25 years.”
Hat tips: M.S., D.P.