Monday, October 10, 2011

Accountability, Ct'd.

A major theme of this blog has been the lack of accountability, especially for the professors who betrayed the academy’s traditional fealty to due process or who mistreated their students. Indeed, the opposite of accountability has occurred, as Group of 88 members (Farred, Baker, Payne) were hired away for more lucrative positions elsewhere; another Group member, the dissembling Cathy Davidson, even received a nomination from the Obama administration to a minor federal post. At Duke, several Group members received appointments to deanships and other administrative positions.

Along those lines, take a look at the list of 2010 and 2011 teaching award winners at Duke. Of the four teaching awards designated by the administration (which, of course, includes several Group members), seven professors were selected in 2010 and 2011. Three of the seven—Mark Anthony (“thugniggaintellectual”) Neal, Laura Edwards, and Margaret Greer—signed the Group of 88 statement.

And the selection for the 2011 University Scholar/Teacher of the Year, which “recognizes an outstanding faculty member for his or her dedication and contribution to the learning arts and to the institution”? None other than William Chafe.

That would be the same William Chafe who: (1) suggested that the whites who kidnapped, beat, and murdered Emmett Till provided the appropriate historical context for interpreting the lacrosse players’ behavior; (2) compared events of the Duke students' party to Hurricane Katrina; (3) as Nifong's case collapsed, falsely implied that his criticism focused entirely on excessive alcohol use by Duke students; (4) in early 2007 refused to apologize and reaffirmed his support for the Group statement; and (5) wildly (and, as he subsequently admitted, without possessing any evidence) charged “bloggers who have targeted the ‘Group of 88’” of “sending us e-mails and making phone calls wishing our deaths and calling us ‘Jew b-’ and ‘n-b-’.”

A figure with that record is Duke University's 2011 University Scholar/Teacher of the Year.


Nicolas Martin said...

It is reasonable to assume that students who attend Duke, and the parents who pay tuition, know what they are obtaining. The university's implosion as a center of ethical education is legendary.

Anonymous said...

This is why I donate $0.88 a year to Duke University.

Anonymous said...

Duke has moved on. They are taking care of their own. Dr Chafe obviously has a lot to offer in instructing the world how much academic honors really mean. Duke has taught lessons to leaders in any institution or organization that breaks a trust. Look at government. The ATF, Fannie Mae, Dept. Of Justice, Dept. of Energy, are not they all in the news now for actions which broke the trust placed in them? Good luck finding an honest man.

Anonymous said...

Truly embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Forget it Jake. It's Durhamtown.

Anonymous said...

Is Chafe a Communist?

William L. Anderson said...


I don't think that this is coincidence on the part of Duke University. The university has made a statement about the lacrosse case and the role that its administration and many of its faculty played in promoting the Big Lie.

Duke University also is making a statement about a large number of students who either shell out huge sums of money up front or accumulate mounds of debt to attend: We hate you -- but we want your money.

American "elite" academe has come to this point, and it is not by accident.

Anonymous said...

If the multiple lawsuits accomplish anything, they need to remind the G'88 ass-clowns that our civil justice system will (albeit eventually) hold them to account, even if Duke Univ. continues to duck.

Jim In San Diego said...

Sometimes mere prose is not enough:

"We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar"

Jim Peterson

Anonymous said...

I am an ashamed, embarrassed and deeply disappointed alum who would NEVER give the university a dime and who would NEVER allow my kids to attend Duke. What a lousy excuse for academic integrity and ethical behavior!

skwilli said...

I weep for American Academia.

No Justice, No Peace said...

Just this past weekend I had the opportunity to dissuade a candidate from considering the Duke medical school. Neither the prospective candidate, nor my wife, had heard of the Potti scandal.

The candidate had similarly not heard of the lacrosse hoax much less of the lack of leadership at Duke.

This is Duke's loss, the student is very, very qualified and sharp. We quit giving back in '06. I tell every gory detail to every prospective student I come across.

My son will not be attending. He's a triple legacy.

Did anyone else notice that the University quit publishing the names of faculty members leading their summer travel programs? Duke is rotting from within and can't even be honest in how they "sell" their alumni vacation programming. Pitiful.

No Justice, No Peace said...

Do _____ Schools Defraud Their Students?

One could make the case that Duke does given their consistent lack of transparency and the cost to earn a degree.

The larger question will be; is Duke the poster child for the looming education bubble?

Anonymous said...

anon 1:08 - Please consider donating $0.88 like I do. They will send you a letter thanking you, which I'm sure costs them more than the $0.88. You get a chance to make your point and cost them money.

Gary Packwood said...

I was reading the Duke Chronicle earlier today looking for information about the Duke Occupy group and their relationship if any, to the Occupy Durham group. Duke is still in the formation stage of the group with one student observing that ... some attendees said that Duke can at times be a symbol of corporatism.

Another Duke student noted on the Occupy Durham website (Facebook) that ... It's extremely telling that with a perfectly good Occupy Durham campaign going on, people are still organizing an "Occupy Duke" event.

I'll bet that Farred, Baker, Payne, the economics professors and especially William Chafe all think they are the resident experts on Wall Street investment banking practices after reading all those student papers and Wall Street summer internship papers for the last ten years or so.

And they may be.

Perhaps accountability may make an appearance after these scholars finish up playing hardball with their awards, promotions and appointments.

I think that's called ... Tit for tat!

Silence concerning that issue must be the strategy of the years from members of the Board of Trustees.

Anonymous said...

I guess everyone who is still following this (and many who aren't) understand that the G88 were not outliers at Duke. They were the core of the University. Further, they acted with utter disregard for truth, justice and due process and enjoyed the full endorsement and encouragement of the University administration. This is a University whose leaders and much of its faculty have no honor.


Chris Halkides said...


I agree with you about the actions of the G88. My own direct interactions with present and former members of the Duke faculty are limited to a small number of individuals within the chemical and biochemical sciences. These scientists are academically productive and persons of high character. That having been said, my experience is anecdotal.