Thursday, December 30, 2010

The AHA's Shame

[Update, 3 Jan. 2011, 3.32pm: From the comments section, I completely agree with Bill Anderson's observation: "The thing to remember here is that a number of the worst academic offenders in this case have received rewards afterward. Some faculty members have been promoted to deans, others have been given high-profile promotions or have been hired away by 'elite' universities, and Wood now has a prestigious award.

"This is not an accident. This is how the 'elites' at the top of the academic food chain see things. They really wanted these young men to go to prison simply because of who they were, as to a person these faculty members knew there was no rape or assault.

"Why anyone would send their children to sit under people like this, I never will know. I hope I never am guilty as a faculty member of showing such contempt toward my own students."]

I have a piece at Minding the Campus on the latest embarrassment to academia that the lacrosse case has produced--the American Historical Association conferred upon Peter Wood (yes, that Peter Wood) the Eugene Asher Award, given annually to one history teacher for having "inspired" his or her students.

That would be the same Peter Wood who repeatedly, and publicly, maligned students from his classes. I'm not sure why the AHA considered such behavior to be acceptable for an Asher Award winner, though I'm sure DIW readers can offer some informed speculation.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is yet another devastating KCJ critique of ongoing hypocrisy in the academy. I only wish there were more professors who had the courage to research and expose these outrages among their peers.

skwilli said...

The inmates run the asylum. Bedlam reigns!

RighteousThug said...

Did you ever get a reply from the AHA, KC?

Anonymous said...

Is Asher a Communist?

Anonymous said...

The AHA has long been a slave to political correctness so nothing that its leadership says or does should be of any surprise.
cks

halides1 said...

If there is one lesson I learned from this case, it is that professors should always defend their students (and other students who need defending also). Peter Wood was quoted in one of the worst articles about the case, "Sympathy for the Devils." I am guessing he never retracted anything or apologized for anything. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Both R Seligman, and R McFayden had teacher Wood, Reade before the incident and Ryan during the fall of 2006 after the incident, both received high marks B+,A-. Although Ryan believes teacher Wood was uncomfortable as he sat in the front row for the entire semester.As the world realized on 11 December(CGM again has custody of her children and is free ) there is no accounting for Durham or Duke!

Barbara Seville said...

http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/sympathy-for-the-devils/Content?oid=1197990


Note the photograph of Wood posing for the press with the lacrosse field as backdrop -- his arms folded, his expression stern, evidently trying to convey a tough-guy image to the readers of an article that he knew would feature his quotes defaming his own students. The guy's a disgrace.

Jim in San Diego said...

KC,

Thank you for showing the power of the internet, and bloggers, to revolutionize journalism. It is now possible to follow a story, in depth and in all its aspects, for years.

This can be done by a single individual, without a press staff, publication deadlines, or payroll.
This discovery, and the template you have developed, has the potential to become the "Google" of public affairs and public policy.

A few, apparently unimportant questions: What in the world is going on in Judge Beatty's court? Why does it take this man two years to respond to a preliminary motion?

Some cynical suggestions: Is Judge Beatty elected by voters of North Carolina? Is he nearing retirement,and needs to polish off his pension? Does he seek an appointment in the Administration?

Is Judge Beatty a Communist?

Jim Peterson

RighteousThug said...

@halides1 12/31/10 5:29PM:

Dr Chris, thank you for reminding us of Hal Crowther's scurrilous "Sympathy for the Devils?" article.

http://charlotte.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A44848

Published 6/21/2006, after so much was known of the frame.

William L. Anderson said...

The thing to remember here is that a number of the worst academic offenders in this case have received rewards afterward. Some faculty members have been promoted to deans, others have been given high-profile promotions or have been hired away by "elite" universities, and Woods now has a prestigious award.

This is not an accident. This is how the "elites" at the top of the academic food chain see things. They really wanted these young men to go to prison simply because of who they were, as to a person these faculty members knew there was no rape or assault.

Why anyone would send their children to sit under people like this, I never will know. I hope I never am guilty as a faculty member of showing such contempt toward my own students.

Anonymous said...

Catching up on a couple of excellent books this weekend re: the financial meltdown. Probably everyone else read them ages ago. The Big Short and Too Big to Fail. Of course, this reading indulgence comes with the painful reminder that Bob Steele became the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury despite the Duke fiasco. So, absurd.

The only person I know who signed up for a Peter Wood class spent exactly one class period with the professor, decided the professor was a moron and was inspired to drop the class pronto. This was many years ago.

Speculation re: what the AHA could have been thinking...they were blissfully ignorant of Mr. Wood's behavior during the LAX case...let's hope.

Observer

Anonymous said...

My memory is of Peter Wood leading the charge to remove all Division 1 athletics from Duke University -- a desperately naive windmill. So, when the Crystal Mangum/Duke Lying Scandal occurred, Wood jumped on it for that reason, among others. Just think, had he been successful in this endeavor, he would have eliminated Lacrosse players so he wouldn't have to teach them!

You can feel the snarky racism dripping from his statments about football and lacrosse players. Although he puts the football players on a higher social plane, he intimates that they are dumber (baseball caps, just happy to be there), and he does the same thing with Blacks.

Based on all of what I've read of and about Duke professors, I would not trust the professional writings of any one of them who have been involved in the Lying Scandal. They seem to treat gossip as evidence. Stereotype as natural law. Now, I will be happy to change this attitude if any one of them produces an apology (or a single worthwhile paper based on ascertainable fact or repeatable experimentation).

Have a Happy New Year, Professor Johnson and crew! Keep up the great work! MOO! Gregory

John H said...

KC, As Pauline Keal once wrote, "I don't know how Richard Nixon got elected because I don't know anyone who voted for him." (she was the film critic for the New Yorker in the 70s.) In this, case, I think the AHA is a narrow organization that speaks only to itself. Their world is one of narrow dogma -- the invasive political correctness and pursuit of social justice we see too commonly in higher education today. Keep fighting the fight. BTW, just say "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" at Disneyland....what a wonderful experience.

gak said...

Who was the prof. that stated in class, shortly after the news broke, something to the affect that his research shows "something happened"?

Anonymous said...

The Obama administration has appointed a member of the Gang of 88 (Cathy Davidson) to the National Council of Humanities. She was one of the signers of the open letter, "What does a social disaster look like?"

Anonymous said...

Teacher wood, I think!

Anonymous said...

Out of the absurd-scary Duke Lacrosse race-opera, only Mike Nifong's name has come into the parlance as shorthand for cynical wrongdoing. That's amazing. There were roughly another hundred main candidates for immortality, people whose names should, by now, be synonymous with a whole slew of atrocious behavior. Instead, these worthies are not only escaping scorn (except here), they're prospering...yet critics wonder why you refuse to drop this issue. To them, I say, because like Mangum's original charges, the whole thing's still perfectly incredible, and like some kind of weird, weird bug, remains absolutely fascinating.

Gary Packwood said...

It is not a stretch for me to see the Asher award and all those promotions as necessary to keep the metanarrative alive and the current recipients and future candidates ...quiet.

I really do see this case as a RICO case that is happening in plain sight of the BOT at Duke and other institutions.

It is the old story of good people not believing all of this could actually happen to them and their university.

The day of reckoning for members of the board of trustees who function with their heads in the sand will be historic and may include shutting down part of several universities until members of the board learn to exercise their fiduciary responsibilities.

It will be the current and former students who will eventually blow the whistle on the metanarrative and those who try and harm others in order to change the academy.
::
GP

gwallan said...

Here's a young man who could use some help...

Outrageous Injustice

Anonymous said...

Robert King Steel( Board Chair of Trustees in 2006 ) has been heard in and around Greenwich, Connecticut of late, claiming " he knows something happened in the house that night" appalling, he is a very bad actor from the incident and no notoriety at all!

Anonymous said...

Those who knows Bobby Steel know that he epitomizes Narcissism and that he "called" 100% of the Duke statements/positions during the LAX mess. Brodhead didn't breath without Steel's consent , and the "something happened" mantra is pure narcissistic Bobby that Brodhead mimmicked. So it is less than surprising to know that Bobby continues to seek attention by trying to justify his/Duke's position. Bobby needs not only to continually be "on center stage" , but, also, he has real control issues. That is to say, he needs to be "in control" regardless of how or whom that behavior harms. Bobby Steel is a scary character.

Anonymous said...

"The thing to remember here is that a number of the worst academic offenders in this case have received rewards afterward."

And so it continues. This from 1/13/11. Bonilla-Silva is one of the most rabid race-baiters on campus. -- Duke Prof

"Dear Professor Bonilla-Silva:

On behalf of Dean Jo Rae Wright, I am honored to let you know that you have been selected to receive the 2011 Deanʼs Award for Excellence in Mentoring. A committee of senior deans and students representing the major disciplines of the Graduate School has selected you from a highly competitive pool of nominees to receive this award, which recognizes graduate faculty who exhibit a consistent record of good mentoring practices. I have attached a copy of the purpose statement and criteria to this message so that you may fully appreciate the accomplishments being recognized by the Deanʼs Award."