Thursday, January 04, 2007

Duke's Economics Department Takes Its Stand

Today, the letter below, signed by 17 members of the Department of Economics, was submitted today to the Duke Chronicle. It sends an important message from a quarter of the Duke faculty, speaking out to three important issues:
(1) that Mike Nifong's misconduct demands investigation;
(2) that the Group of 88 does not speak for all Duke faculty;
(3) that all Duke students--including student-athletes--are welcome in the signatories' classes.
It is my hope that more Duke professors will speak up in light of the statement by these Economics professors.
To the Editor:

We, the undersigned Economics Department faculty members at Duke University, are cognizant of the fact that, to date, the only collective signed statement by faculty members concerning the events of last March was an advertisement in the Duke University Chronicle subsequent to protests and a forum on March 29, 2006. We are aware too that the advertisement was cited as prejudicial to the defendants in the defense motion to change the venue of the trial involving the three Duke lacrosse team members. We regret that the Duke faculty is now seen as prejudiced against certain of its own students.

1) In light of recent events detailed in court proceedings, it appears that there were a number of irregular acts committed by members of the Durham law enforcement agencies and District Attorney’s Office. We join with President Brodhead in calling for an investigation of those acts, inimical to students at our university.

2) We welcome all members of the lacrosse team, and all student athletes, as we do all our students as fellow members of the Duke community, to the classes we teach and the activities we sponsor.


E. Roy Weintraub, Professor of Economics

Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Associate Professor of Economics

Charles M. Becker, Research Professor of Economics

Tim Bollerslev, Juanita & Clifton Kreps Professor of Economics

Vincent Conitzer, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Economics

Neil B. DeMarchi, Professor of Economics

Bjorn Eraker, Assistant Professor of Economics

Henry G. Grabowski, Professor of Economics

Daniel A. Graham, Professor of Economics and Law

Kevin D. Hoover, Professor of Economics and Philosophy

Shakeeb Khan, Associate Professor of Economics

Bahar Leventoglu, Assistant Professor of Economics and Political Science

Thomas J. Nechyba, Fuchsberg-Levine Family Professor of Economics and
Public Policy

Pietro Peretto, Associate Professor of Economics

Curtis R. Taylor, Professor of Economics

Edward Tower, Professor of Economics

Huseyin Yildirim, Assistant Professor of Economics


Anonymous said...

all men? good start Duke faculty.

Anonymous said...

It is (Mrs.) Professor Bahar Leventoglu.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic... The reversal begins.

Anonymous said...

I might add that Ms. Leventoglu is very corageous...there's a political science faculty member that's part of the 88 that might not like this

Anonymous said...

Michael Munger, who is chair of PoliSci, has a concurrent appointment in Economics. He has made his own statement on his blog that he's against Nifong and the Group of 88, but for some reason hasn't signed this. It may be an oversight of some sort -- Munger is a bizarre character.

Anonymous said...

So Duke's economics faculty has shown itself sound!

Can other Duke faculty besides the basketballers rebound?

Michael J. Gaynor

Anonymous said...

One has to wonder if this is part of a risk mitagation strategy on the Univerity's part (President's statements, welcoming back the boys, and positive response from professors). Duke could be one of the deepest pocket that the families can go after if they choose to. Maybe I am being cynical?

Anonymous said...

Why wait 9 mos?

Anonymous said...

from a non-lawyer: Courage has been a commidity in short supply among the Duke faculty. I applaud the efforts of these courageous economists. Hopefully other groupings of faculty will step up to the plate now.

Anonymous said...

re: anon at 2:50
I hope this is not going to turn into a petty quota gripe about the first Duke faculty letter of support. Has the good work on this site been wasted?

Anonymous said...

Sorry it took me so long to respond. I was out of the office.

Yes, I am glad that it was the Economics faculty that stood tall, given that I tend to be a bit partial to economists. Heck, I'd get my own economic department here to sign a statement, but no one would pay attention to us....

Anonymous said...

No one wants to be the last to speak out against the railroading of the 3 Dukies, now that it is evidence to everyone but Prof Joyner.

NC will write laws to give the AG of NC more powers to rein in DAs like Nifong (maybe they will call the law "The Nifong Law").

Many people in the AA (like Joyner) community have spent their reputations on this false crusade. Now they are labeled as foolish or racist.

The woman rights advocates, like Wendy Murphy have shown that they do not believe in justice. They still claim just a charge (from a woman) should be enough to demand a trail, despite evidence of an alibi, changing stories and DNA.

The truth started to come out as a pebble rolling down hill, now it is an avalanche.

I only got interested in the case when two facts came out:

1 - Nifong refuse to hear possible alibis.

2 - The Dukies said no one touched her. In this day of CSI, everyone knows about DNA. If they did anything, they would say they paid her for sex.

Anonymous said...

to 304: I am a retired faculty member from a midwestern university. I find it hard to believe that these faculty are carrying the water for the administration. Typically getting faculty to do anything collectively is like "herding squirrels". I know that the 88 dimwits signed a petition, but there is always the pc among facutly who are always looking for a cause so they can rant and rave.

Chicago said...

And the crowd replied:


Anonymous said...

I think we should welcome this development which I think showed courage as well as integrity. They may be a bit late, but not when it comes to the faculty as a whole!

Anonymous said...

The Duke academic reputation is built on the serious depth of those such as the Economics faculty, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, etc.-not on the silly 88's PC liberal reputations. The fact that these faculty came forward is of no surprise to me, and this is probably no change from what their views have been all along. My guess is that they have been very, very angry about this, as they are as proud of Duke University as we the alumni are. I commend the department for coming forward.

Anonymous said...

This is good to see, if a bit late, IMO. Any idea what percent of the department this represents? Are these faculty members tenured?


Anonymous said...

from the non-lawyer again: Another observation (as a retired academic). Notice that a number of these individuals are Assistant Professors. It is very unlikely they have tenure and they are especially vulnerable to the pc 88 in the tenure process. So they are demonstrating some courage in signing this public document. As a tenured faculty member, I never would have asked an untenured faculty member to sign such a document.

Anonymous said...

It's much too damned late.

Where were these pussies months ago when it was clear that Nifong had violated the lacrosse players' rights and that there was no evidence?

Everyone of these self-serving cowards will come out now like roaches ready to feed on a little praise for doing what?

They get paid at Duke. If Duke's standing keeps going down, so will they.

Face it. NONE of the Duke faculty and administration can escape their months of neglect and cowardice.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the corner has been turned. As a Duke parent, I have been critical of the administration's actions in the past. But it hurts terribly to see some of the negative comments that have been posted recently in regard to the University's attempt to go forward now and do what is right.
The group of 88 is not Duke, and will never be the true voice of Duke. Those of us who have been there and seen what the University offers know this.
Duke is still a wonderful University which is unique in so many ways. My daughter tells me that the lacrosse scandal has not changed that in any way. She loves her friends, her classes,her Professors, the activities, the campus, and everything about it.

The action of the Economics professors hopefully will demonstrate to outsiders what many of us know. The true identity of Duke is not represented by just the actions of a few, and should not be judged by those actions. There was certainly much to criticize, but there is much to applaud now, and hopefully everyone can move forward.
I think much was learned by the mistakes that were made. (not necesarily by the group of 88, but they have already been marginalized and their influence on campus has been highly overrated)

Anonymous said...

This is a commendable action by the econ department. With the flood gates open, I think we'll see a lot more faculty members openly voicing their support of the students.

But so far as non-signing faculty go, I'm going to try not to read too much into it. There are certainly good arguments to be made for taking a public stand, but I can't fault a faculty member who'd rather focus on teaching and research rather than on making statements about divisive issues outside their area of expertise.

Anonymous said...

Brought tears to my eyes, even.
I would say the public exoneration is at least underway.


Anonymous said...

The faculty has shown an incredible LACK of courage to date. Coming out for the players now just accents their gutless performance and perfect willingness to throw these boys overboard even before hitting the iceberg.

Anonymous said...

What kind of institution is a university when it requires courage to do and say what is right.

Sounds more like a Marxist controlled academy to me.

Anonymous said...

to the 3rd 3:13 anon...I am not retired and you are definitely correct on your assessment of concerted actions by prof's!!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't show much 'courage' to jump on the bandwagon.

Only the lunatic fringe, those that will always and forever believe 'something' happened to the false accuser and that white solidarity, influence and power kept her from getting justice are left supporting the accuser and Nifong.

It would have been courageous if the letter had been sent before the revelations about exculpatory evidence, before the NC bar called for a hearing and before the NC DA's called on Nifong to step down.

It may be better than no letter, but it is pretty far from standing up for justice at this late date, when as Greta says, there isn't a lawyer in the country that supports Mike Nifong at this point.

Anonymous said...

re-posting my 1/1 post (w 1 spelling correction -lol) - bravo to these faculty members

Anonymous said...
I would not waste 'one keystroke' in contacting the '88'.

Among the full cast of miscreants they are minor players - eccentric academic gadflies who have garnered FAR more attention than they warrant.

I am far more interested in hearing from the faculty who have remained silent - where does the REAL Duke faculty stand ?

5:48 PM

Anonymous said...

Bet you couldn't get this kind of statement from any of the Humanities depts at Duke--or elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

3:13pm Bill Anderson:

I'm glad it was the Econ Dept. Gotta be a meaningful % of the Econ faculty?

Locomotive Breath just pointed out on FR that it takes a lot of guts to sign a statement like this when you're a non-tenured professor as some of these are.

Anonymous said...

Beating up on professors who have been silent does very little good here. Lots of people were "fooled" by Nifong. Many people--even the Nifong doubters were wondering what he had up his sleeve up until the DNA fiasco came out.

The fact that well-educated individuals were fooled by Nifong' public statements lends GREAT CREDIBILITY to the NC Bar's complaint that Nifong's media statements did lots of damage to the boys' civil rights and their rights to presumption of innocence.

Instead of harrassing these folks, let them step up and help bury Nifong.

And in the end I don't need to see the University or the media or anyone else but Nifong and the accuser behind bars.

Anonymous said...

to 333 from a non-lawyer and retired academic. I too would have like to seen action earlier. However I find the timing unsual in that the semester has not yet begun at Duke. It is incredilbly difficult to find faculty when classes have not yet begun. The state bar probe and the joint statement by the DAs came when the Econ faculty are scattered and not on campus. I am amazed that they found so many economists to sign it before the semester began. I have been following this case in detail for months, but faculty are typically reluctant to sign statements where they don't have expertise. They don't call it the ivory tower for no reason. Of course, there are always faculty like the 88 with a chip on their shoulder who will champion any politically correct cause (even if they are uninformed about the issue). So I applaud these economists.

Anonymous said...

I, too, applaud the statement of the Duke Economics professors and hope that it serves as a catalyst for other departments to also voice their concerns. Throughout this whole travesty, I have been appalled not only by the publication of the 'We're Listening" ad, but also by the deafening silence from the rest of the Duke faculty. I look at this statement as a point of light in Duke's darkest hour.

Anonymous said...

It's really troubling to see some of the negative posts here associated with this statement. Those who post such comments are cerainly no friends to the University. The Econ faculty have made a wonderful statement in support of the 3 players..comments like "too little, too late" do nothing to help anyone.

Anonymous said...

As an outsider I am appalled at all the rationalizations that these highly educated people are so easily turned into useful idiots.

Anonymous said...

It may be late, but I still am partial to economists and lose all sense of objectivity. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

It's NOT too little, too late...these boys still stand accused of some pretty serious (false) charges.

Anonymous said...


I'm sorry, I don't believe that anyone was 'fooled' by Nifong who wasn't willingly overlooking the facts about the case that have been made public for some time. Those who expected he had some secret evidence that he failed to leak in his 70+ interviews or his sit downs with the NYTimes were deluding themselves.

As soon as the defense team said publicly the DNA results would come up zero I knew the case was a fraud for the simple reason that if the boys were guilty and had ever touched her they would have used the consent defense.

The accusers stories, Seligman's alibi evidence, the cab driver intimidation, the rape exam documenting no injuries consisent with her story, ALL of this was public knowledge months ago...

Finding out that Nifong had actually engaged in a criminal conspiracy to keep exculpatory information from the defense is icing on the cake. A thinking person knew months ago there was no case to answer here.

Anonymous said...

To 3:20 (i.e. SUE, SUE, SUE):

To condemn these teachers as "pussies" for not speaking out sooner is churlish in the extreme. Those of us who are interested in restoring Duke's reputation and honor, rather than just bashing it, should applaud them.

Anonymous said...

To 3:20, Duke parent, how can you say the Group of 88 aren't Duke. The administration came out in support of them until recently and have not condemned them even now. You are just providing excuses to yourself, for sending you child to Duke.

Anonymous said...

to Bill Anderson at 350
from a non-lawyer and retired academic. Economics has always been referred to as the dismal science. This is a misnomer for at Duke they have the dismal 88 and if I am correct, not one of these 88 is an economist.

Anonymous said...

To the 1st 3:50...wanna bet that you also were 'fooled' at first? When the news first broke...did you go running around proclaiming the boys' innocence?

Also note the post about the non-tenured faculty signing this letter...there was some risk here for these folks...

One more question: If your boss very much believed these boys may be guilty would you go out and publicly disagree with him/her?

Anonymous said...

Why are these Eco guys “courageous”. At this point anybody could see that the kids were railroaded. These clowns are just covering their asses – looking good for the deep pockets alumni, etc. as well as for their own PR purposes.

“Courageous” would have been saying something back in the spring. “Courageous” would have been raising questions about lack of DNA from the getgo.

“Courageous” would have been taking on the 88 and their leftwing rants in the sprong and early fall.

Of course they are being “generous” by stating that members of the lacrosse team, including the accused are “welcome” in their classes. Last I heard, Duke kids were paying something like 40 grand a year for this “privilege”. Where else in America, but the higher education industry, would service providers have the gall to tell their paying customers that they’re “welcome” to take what they’ve already paid for?

Anonymous said...

I do not believe this statement will or was intended to have any effect on the causes of action the defendants may have against the University. BUT I expect the statement is a very welcome and important psychological boost for the defendants and their families. We (as in most of us blogging and commenting here) are not, I believe, just looking for a Not Guilty verdict or even a dropping of the charges, although both would be welcome. We are looking for public exoneration, and yesterday's invitation to rejoin classmates at Duke and today's public statement by the Economics Department are significant steps towards that end.
I, for one, am most happy to see this.

GPrestonian, thanks for the help today!


Anonymous said...


People like you will try to gloss over Duke's inaction and acceptance of the semi-literates of the Gang of 88.

Anonymous said...

to much time have you actually spent in Durham or at Duke publicly leading the charge to proclaim these boys' innocence?

How many letters have you written to the NC AG or the US Dept of Justice asking for intervention?

Harrasing people who are willing to publicly step forward to support the boys does no godd for fact it supports Nifong's case that his media claims had not bearing on the community.

Anonymous said...


Apparently the AV has given birth (of course, we've heard this before on the news)...

Anonymous said...

Let's get real.
The pressure is off. It doesn't take much courage now, to take a stand.
I guess better late than never.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the Economics Department in taking this public stance of support. May other departments follow your lead. sic semper tyrannis

Anonymous said...

I'm not harrassing anyone, but I believe it is fair to point out that statements in support of the boys at this late date are not examples of being couragious.

I haven't written to the US AG because I know he isn't going to investigate this case until all other state remedies have been exhausted. The NC AG has said repeatedly it isn't his jurisdiction, though that doesn't sound correct to me, so he isn't going to do anything.

I have written repeatedly to the one group who I have believed could make a difference and that is the media.

I will never believe anyone was 'fooled' by Mike Nifong who didn't want to be. It was obvious since at least last May that this case was a 'crock' as Kim says.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it ironic that we are castigating these economists for doing the right thing?

Anonymous said...

Not to be unduly cynical folks, but the lawyers have taken over at this point... no party involved in this tragic affair is making any public statement without at least semi-formal advice of legal counsel.

I do not feel there is much courage apparent in the dissident voices that have finally emerged against the Duke 88.

There is No Courage in betting on a racehorse after it has a 99 length lead.

Nifong never got out of the stable - never even had a horse other than the polictical ambition and race-baiting he rode to his election victory.

The recent change in the way Duke has struck the balance between the gravity of charges and the presumption of innocence is appropriate - but long overdue.

Anonymous said...

Do the math...

17 * Economics >> 88 * (Cultural Antro + AAS + English + Womens Studies)

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between being castigated for doing the right thing and not being lauded for doing the right thing 6 months too late.

They should be applauded for sending the letter. However, the fact remains that it was apparent to anyone reading the defense motions that Mike Nifong did not have any evidence of an assault and that all independent evidence that existed including the accusers own words contradicted this claim.

You don't get points for coming late to the party.

Anonymous said...

This development should be recognized and celebrated as good news. First of all, it adds to the poltical cover that the Judge might still be feeling the need of to do the right thing with this case. For some personal reasons, I identify with the situation of the 3 accused more than vaguer questions of academic politics so getting the charges disappeared is stll the most important thing, imho.
Beyond that, I think it is a waste of time to dwell over-much on the inner motives of groups of people who take a stand. It is rare for individuals to act purely on principle; for groups, even less so. THe great art of politics is to get people to see that it is in their concrete best interest to do the "right" thing. If that actually happens then be thankful because, in real life, that is as good as it gets.
Expecting proud groups to admit wrongness and beat themselves up in public over it is just dumb. When you are in a fight for survival, staying realistic about human nature is very good advive.

Anonymous said...

Before anyone bashes the Econ professors, ask yourself what you personally have done to PUBLICLY PROCLAIM the boys innocence. Although I believe the Duke admin should have acted sooner, all I have done is written a letter of complaint to the US DOJ...and post like many of us here I am not in a position to complain about the Econ professors.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the statement from the economists is late, but it is still welcome. What I want to know (and have been asking for months now) is where are the law professors at Duke? This travesty of a case is certainly not outside their area of expertise -- it's smack dab in the center of the bullseye for them. Yet, with the very notable exception of Professor Coleman, we've heard very little from any of them.

Anonymous said...

I doubt seriously that these economists obtained legal advice before releasing their statement. What would be the reason for doing so? Nevertheless, I will grant you that they may have asked some administrators whether the administrators knew of any reason not to release the statement.

Anonymous said...

to 411 from a non-lawyer and retired academic: I would be quite surprised if these economists consulted an attorney or even considered it. Faculty are independent operators, quite autonomous, and I just find it quite amazing that they could agree on this joint statement. By the way, many of these posted comments remind me of my 30+ years as a faculty member, where if you proposed anything, be prepared to defend yourself. Instead of criticizing them for the late signing, let us focus on those who have not yet made such a statement among the Duke facutly.

Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding! Economists ask administrators for permission to say something? Not in any serious university I know about.

Anonymous said...

JLS says,

Well this academic economist is quite pleased to see the economics department at Duke step up first if still somewhat belatedly.

Anonymous said...

so, out of 45+ faculty, 17 sign a statement? I am so impressed. you all are desperate for some company. glad you found 17 of them.
gee, what were the reasons the rest of the department did not sign this? would it suggest a dramatic imbalance of opinion--sort of like the ones on this blog?

Anonymous said...

to 421 from a non-lawyer and retired academic: Faculty would never ask permission from their dean or chair, or the Provost. They view the "administrators" as colleagues, not as a boss.

Anonymous said...

To 4:06pm---"Let's get real" post.

You've hit the nail on the head. It makes me sick to see people fawning over these Nifong-come-lately professors.

They're worried about the way their employer (Duke) looks. Not these boys. Tell them to just sit down and shut up.

Something they've been doing for the last 9 months.


james conrad said...

tenure, isnt it about time for this pratice to go? replace it with standard contracts.

Anonymous said...

to 424: I hope there are more signatures when the semester begins. I suspect many of the economists are still on the road going to conferences, consulting, and just staying away from campus until the semester begins.

Anonymous said...

It has probably already been posted, but CGM had her baby today by c-section


Anonymous said...

I guess that's why my son is majoring in Econ. Note that these were REAL professors, not lecturers, etc.

Gang of 88 is in DEEP Sh*T. Even giving out free A's isn't going to save their asses.

Anonymous said...

3 57

Anonymous said...

As 4:30 said, probably many of the Duke economists are in Chicago, at the American Economic Association meetings, or traveling to there from family homes around the US or elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I could really care less about the accuser giving birth, though I guess the paternity test will be coming next.

I can only feel sad for the child and for a woman so irresponsible that she was having apparently unprotected sex with multiple males [otherwise there would be no paternity test since she would know who the baby daddy was, correct?] within a scant few weeks after her alleged violent gang rape.

Anonymous said...

Professor Coleman came out and said "he did not know what happened, but was concerned about the way the case is being handled".

At this point the Duke profs all know the kids were railroaded. It does not take much courage to release a statement now.

If they released a statement supporting the presumption of innocent after the Duke 88 ad, well that would have taken courage.

The saying:
"a penny short, a day late" comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

I am glad when anybody, anytime, publicly supports Collin, David, and Reade. Thank you, Economics Department!

Anonymous said...

I am a former Duke Econ student, and had the good fortune to take classes with Roy Weintraub, Neil DeMarchi and Henry Grabowski. All three are among the very best profs I had during my Duke years.

The Econ department did not lawyer up before putting this statement out. There is nothing to lawyer up about. And these individuals did not jump up and shout from the rooftops that the case should be dismissed earlier for two reasons: first, why should any professors at Duke be yelling about this case either way, except for the fact that 88 buffoons decided to inject themselves into the case? It's not their place and it wasn't the 88's place to be public criers for the prosecution OR the defense; second, in what way does the Econ department speak for the University at large? It does not, and it should not try to do so.

They have spoken now, I would assume, because Broadhead - the CEO of the University - has stated that Nifong should be removed from the case and the boys are returning to campus (if they wish to). So, now the University has taken a stand, so Econ makes a public statement regarding something they SHOULD talk about - who is a part of the community, how community members should be treated, and that they, the Econ department, unlike the 88, will treat the accused and all lacrosse players as equal and good standing members of the Duke community. They also add to the ALREADY STATED University position on Nifong.

These Econ profs are the exact foil to the 88 - including the timing of their statement. Castigate the 88 for when AND what they said. Understand that the when also applies to the Econ profs, and that they chose both the right time and the right tone.

Enough with the extremism. Thank you, especially Drs. Weintraub, DeMarchi and Grabowski.

Anonymous said...

to 435 from a non-lawyer and retired academic. It has been my experience that many faculty do not follow local news, and so many would not even be aware of Professor Coleman's statement. As I stated in an earlier comment, it is an ivory tower, and you can be really living in a cocoon as an academic. They are often bright people who are quite talented in their area of expertise, but don't know much about the real world (or Durham for that matter if you teach at Duke)

Anonymous said...


So I'm to believe that the news that Coleman review of the situation on campus, and the request to follow the Lax case was not talked about among the profs.

Get real. This is a major story in the profs backyard.

Anonymous said...

To anon 3:20:
I am also a Duke parent; my son feels the same about "his" school. It has been, and is expected to continue to be, a wonderful experience for him. I believe those that are so quick to condem Duke's faculty for not publically supporting the three students sooner, are not true FOD. None of us knows what may have been done behind the scenes. Most (if not all) the bloggers are not risking financial security for their families, so righteous indignation costs us very little. It is never too late to support a just cause.

Chicago said...

As long as these young men are still charged with crimes and as long as Nifong is still in office and not in jail, every single thing like this helps. Even if it is a late pile on, let the flood gates break and let more and more people pileon Nifong. These boys will likely be the recipients of some large lawsuit settlements and Nifong will likely do some time, lose his job, lose his pension, lose his house. I encourage this stuff, better late than never.

cf said...

Educational institutions are generally sheep pens,,with internecine fighting of the most inane sort and few willing to take a stand on the important stuff.These guys are late to the game, but it is still welcome.

Tell me when they get the balls to demand the same professional standards-work and ethics-- be applied school wide--i.e. to the lit crit and area studies nitwits who have done so much in this case to harm Duke.

Perhaps this might lead to testicular implants nationwide, but I think that's way optimistic.

Anonymous said...

to 444 from 450: you and I have probably read the motions filed by the defense lawyers, but I don't think many faculty have. I acknowledge that I am not at Duke. If they talked about Coleman's statement, I believe that they didn't have much in-depth knowledge of the case. Maybe they should have, and it would have been wonderful if more faculty stepped forward earlier. What does surprise me about the Duke case is that it did not become an issue in the faculty governance body. I don't know if they have a faculty senate or similar body. There should have been more faculty oversight in their governance system. We have not heard much from the Duke faculty. So I would love to hear what they have to say (let me amend that statement; I don't want to hear from the 88 except for an apology). I wonder if KC knows if these issues were ever a point of contention in their faculty governance body.

Anonymous said...

To 4:52. I agree. It's always hard to take a stand against injustice.
You should read up on KC and find out how he took a stand and came very close to losing his job.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any of the Gang of 88 was an economist. Now, there might have been an E-communist, but no economists.

(Of course, had someone from the Economics Department signed, I would have figured either that the person was not a real economist, or had been kidnapped and made to sign under duress....)

Anonymous said...

"Today, the letter below, signed by 17 members of the Department of Economics, was submitted today to the Duke Chronicle."

Did it happen today?

Anonymous said...

excuses, excuses. if the chair of the dept. managed to get onto email to sign it, you can bet his faculty, wherever they are and at whatever conference could have done the same. could have is the operative phrase.

Conserve Liberty said...

To anonymous 3:57, who replied ...wanna bet that you also were 'fooled' at first? When the news first broke...did you go running around proclaiming the boys' innocence?

I was a college athlete in the (same) Atlantic Coast Conference. My son plays Lax at a DIII school in eastern Ohio. College LAX is a small community of people who have cross-attended summer athletic camps and competed with and against one another for many years.

From the very first evening my son called BS on the entire allegation, hearing directly and indirectly that the alledged events never occured.

Perhaps I had priviledged insight, but I never believed a word of the accusation - it didjn't SOUND right, and my son corroborated my initial impression.

Anonymous said...

To 4:24:

Based on where things stand, what would you prefer? Continued silence?

It is good news.

There are still questions to ask and answers to find, but those can wait another day. This is good news.

Anonymous said...

I agree.

While I don't have a problem believing that Duke athletes could commit rape, the high level of violence the accuser alleged, kicking, punching, strangling, does not track with how the majority of college gang rapes occur in real life.

Her story has all the classic elements of the false accusation: strangers 'kidnapped' her, she fought valiently for her honor in the face of possible death, she was threatened, brutalized and received significant physical injuries.

Nevermind, given her profession as a sex worker, they might have made it easier and just asked what the price was.

Anonymous said...

Healing in the case of a cancer generally takes place after "the knifes are taken out," the cancer extirpated, and the site thoroughly cleansed with extreme chemo or radiation.
When Duke gone through that it will be time to heal...
Anything less would be cosmetic and useless.

Anonymous said...

I never believed that a rape ocurred. For a brief time i was not sure what to think, but the inconsistencies known right away made me have grave doubts. I mean, by the time the fact that the 911 call was exposed, which was early on, anyone who didn't have doubts was clearly operating under an agenda.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, the Duke Chronicle does not have the letter form the Eco guys on its site

I wonder where KC got the notice about the letter from. If it was via an email from somebody at Duke, it would indicate that the announcement of the letter was a PR move – disseminating to the important media – in this case this blog - prior to publication. Is Duke going on a all out PR blitz in an attempt to salvage some reputation?

Could the administration be “encouraging” faculty to be “courageous” and support the 3 kids? That would logically follow since this Eco Dep’t letter conveniently follows the offer to reinstate. Call me cynical but I work in PR and don’t believe in such coincidences.

Wonder if KC will tell all who sent him the copy of the letter.

Anonymous said...


I knew it was a lie as soon as the defense team vowed to hold a press conference when the DNA results came in showing there was no DNA from any of their clients found.

No lawywer in his right mind would take that step--before the test results were in--unless he was completely sure his client was innocent and had told the truth.

Anonymous said...

It is never to late. The unviersity did nothing for these poor innocent boys when they needed it the most. I am still very happy they are finally do the right thing. Duke is finally behaving the way they should and we all need to put the hate and bitterness behind.

Anonymous said...

This is good. There's more than enough bad to focus on without giving these folks a hard time. My guess is that there was some sort of internal gag order in place and it only came off very recently. I give them credit for being the least late. I expect there will be more to come...

cf said...

I doubt there was a "gag order". If there was and the University only allowed Brodhead's original statement and the statement of the 88 to go out, then the university's liability can only be greater..
No, it's the same old university sheep pen at work.

As for the concern that this is now part of a pr initiative..maybe.Maybe as they are economics professors and they've a clue about what loss of applicants and potential lawsuits mean, they acted.

Anonymous said...

To 5:46

You said: “Duke is finally behaving the way they should and we all need to put the hate and bitterness behind.”

Oh boy, that’s exactly what Duke wants – forgive and forget, especially the forget.

Next you’ll hear from them is that “we need to put this whole terrible affair behind us and get on with the great work of this fine institution”.

They’ve started the all out marketing blitz.

Guess what! Duke’s and 800 million dollar business. Do you feel sorry for your local utility company when they get tagged for something dirty? How about a car rental company or hotel chain?

Don’t’ feel sorry for this 800 million dollar business and don’t’ think for a moment that Duke, and the bosses at Duke, are looking out for anybody but themselves.

Anonymous said...

to 554 and 608 from a non-lawyer and retired academic: Faculty would not comply with a gag order. Issuing a gag order would not have the intended effect. It would have the opposite effect. Faculty do not behave like individuals in traditional hierarchial organizations.

Anonymous said...

I received an AB in Econ from Duke. Before she knew me my wife completed ABD in the Econ department. Neither one of us experienced the PC crap some of the other department majors at Duke apparently have to deal with. As far as I'm concerned, the Econ professors have demonstrated they actually care about their students. Maybe the fair-minded members of the Duke faculty should sign a pledge they will abide by the words and spirit of their own faculty handbook much like the lacrosse team did with the student code of conduct when the lacrosse team was restored.

Anonymous said...

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Anonymous said...

To 5:11 -- Yes, I noticed that. Reminded me of the Spinal Tap anthem, "Tonight We're Gonna Rock You Tonight."

Anonymous said...

It makes perfect sense that the economists (a numbers-driven pursuit that has no appeal to emotionally unstable, immature leftists who dominate the rank and file of other departments) were the first ones to emerge from the cone of silence.

Anonymous said...

So what would you suggest 6:10? Stop using electricity?

There is no doubt that Duke could have done more, and that the Group of 88 is despicable. There is no doubt that more should be done by Duke or any University to support it's community members at least far enough to encourage the presumption of innocence we are all supposed to benefit from.

Meantime, the letter from the Economics professors is a welcome counter to the long-standing 88 message. Meantime, Duke is an institution that does one heck of a lot of good for many people - and none moreso than the people of Durham.

It's a welcome letter. It's a nice start. Yes, there is more to do. No, Duke is not hell on Earth. And yes, Duke does still deserve support.

When you go to Duke North for cardiac bypass surgery, and you are staring at the eyes above the green mask wondering how your surgeon came to be where he is, do you want to remember how you encouraged everyone to stop giving money to Duke? Or how Duke was such a terrible place?

When the next generation of CEOs graduate from the business school at Duke, and the next generation of Presidents, Attorney Generals, and Justices graduate from the law school, and the next generation of nobel laureates graduate from the A&S programs, remember that you said Duke should be abandoned.

Ridiculous bitching and moaning. Complaining about this letter reminds me of the story of the guy who complained about not having money for years, and then he wins the lottery and complains that he doesn't know what to do with all his money. Nothing makes you happy but complaining about something.

Anonymous said...

In regard to the negative comments about the Economics Department letter, you need to understand that some of the people posting on this website are right wing wackos who have no connection to Duke. They do not give a damn about Duke or the reputation of Duke or the future of Duke or the healing process. What they do give a damn about is their agenda, and they are more than happy to trash Duke, Brodhead, the trustees, the faculty, the curriculum, the students, and anyone or anything else if it will help to further their agenda.

Anonymous said...

the Duke Chronicle is published during the school term which begins next week. Some updates have been occurring, but they are sporadic.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the Economics Department for supporting and welcoming Reade, Collin, and the entire Duke Lacrosse Team to the classes they teach and the activities they support.

I hope their statement serves as a catalyst for other departments to voice their concerns.

Duke07 Mom

Anonymous said...

Lawsuit against Duke filed but not by one of the three.

Anonymous said...

"Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late." -- Justice Felix Frankfurter.

"It is better to learn wisdom late than never to learn it at all." -- Sherlock Holmes

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

K.C...the Dowd family has just filed the first of many lawsuits to come...

Anonymous said...

I also congratulate the faculty of the Economics Department for issuing their statement of support for the LAX players. I hope that other departments at Duke follow their lead or, better yet, that the faculty governing body issues a statement expressing support for the three accused players and welcoming Seligmann and Finnerty to return to the Duke campus.

Anonymous said...

This post from above:
In regard to the negative comments about the Economics Department letter, you need to understand that some of the people posting on this website are right wing wackos who have no connection to Duke. They do not give a damn about Duke or the reputation of Duke or the future of Duke or the healing process. What they do give a damn about is their agenda, and they are more than happy to trash Duke, Brodhead, the trustees, the faculty, the curriculum, the students, and anyone or anything else if it will help to further their agenda.

6:26 PM

Reminds me of this quote, which I previously posted on another thread here:

" As a matter of fact, we have never had a problem here in the South except in a very few isolated instances and these have been the result of outside agitators."

--Governor George C. Wallace
Letter to Pamela Martin
14 April, 1964

Anonymous said...

HOORAY!! This is the beginning of open recognition and reconciliation by the REPUTABLE faculty at Duke -- and there are MANY. The infamous 88 can apologize or wither. No one will attend their classes. All Universities with any independent thinking or diversity have a dial with two ends. Nice to see the right (as opposed to left) end of the dial finally speaking up. I would be proud to send ANY of my children to such a fine institution. I will personally sit with them during the introductory lecture in Steve Baldwin's class -- CHEMISTRY!? (Oh God, maybe not.) Let's not forget he spoke up MONTHS AGO. Go Duke Chemistry!

bobo1949 said...

A question concerning the advertisement of the Group of 88 - has the Duke Chronicle mentioned how the cost of the add was paid? Were AA Studies funds used for this purpose? If so, is the school's legal exposure increased?

Anonymous said...

FODU board has more on Kim Curtis (i.e. the prof who was sued today). Go down on the list to Kim Curtis and click on "About Kim Curtis."

Group of 88 Professors

Anonymous said...

I’m smelling some astroturfing here.

There’s just too much of this “Duke is god’s gift to the world” stuff all of a sudden being posted on these blog comments.

The school and its bosses are trying to dig themselves out of the big pile of sh-t that they put themselves in. All of a sudden, they want the kids back, miraculously KC Johnson finds out about some letter that’s been sent to the school paper, but not published, and the discussion boards on his blog turn into one big Duke lovefest.

I plant news stories for a living and can sniff a PR campaign pretty well. This has all the marks of Duke playing PR games. If not, then a lot of these “duke is god” posters have drunk too much of the KoolAid.

Something stinks bigtime about that.

Oh! Forgot! Guess the 3 kids should just eat the millions in legal fees, give a great big hug to the 88 and all the others at Duke who wanted to hang them, shrug off the lifielong damage to their reputations, start writing new checks to the place for the great privilege of being allowed back in and celebrate the wonder that is Duke.

I don’t have any connection to Duke. Didn’t have one to Enron either. I guess that means I’m not allowed to say anything bad about either.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY, even someone with a Ph.D. can see that Nifong has perpetrated a bitter, self-serving hoax. I don't blame any Duke faculty member who comes out now, even if it constitutes admitting the obvious. However, those cowards that continue to hide behind a knee-jerk mistake (the 88) have PT Barnum rolling in his grave. Duke is a truly amazing school, but alas, some of its faculty are still living in an ante-bellum past they would resurrect to serve their own poisonous agenda. But then again, these clingers are no different than Lynne Duke of the Washington Post or Duff Wilson of the New York Times. And they don't even have Ph.D.s.

Anonymous said...

TO 7:07; You "plant news stories for a living" and we should believe anything you say? You need to be writing for Nifong,... or are you?

Anonymous said...

Don't think that Kim Curtis has not cooked her goose with this one. In essence, this suit is accusing her of committing academic fraud, and that is the kind of stigma that no professor wants, trust me.

By adjusting the grades upward, Duke University already has admitted wrongdoing on Curtis' part. Furthermore, as a visiting professor, she has committed the ultimate sin, and that is making her employer look very, very bad.

Remember, visiting professor is one step above adjunct or contractual employee. By her actions, she has guaranteed that she never could be hired by Duke, and given her publications that are listed on her vita, one can tell immediately that she is a professional leftist, and not a serious scholar.

Let me put it another way; Kim Curtis could not be hired at Frostburg State University with her vita. Literally every member of that department is a Democrat, yet I can guarantee you that the poli sci people at my university would look at what she has done, and would throw her application in the round file. And we are a third-tier regional university.

(Just her attitude toward students alone would disqualify her from employement, as our political science professors take teaching and student-teaching relationships VERY seriously. They demand integrity in those relationships, and that apparently is something missing with Curtis.)

This is only the start of lawsuits, and had Brodhead and the board of trustees last spring taken a firm stand against what the Gang of 88 was doing, I do not think these families would have wanted to sue. I am in touch with many of them, and I know how loyal they are to Duke, and how they LIVED Duke University -- and how Duke gave them the middle finger and told them to go to hell. Payback time is just beginning, believe me.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't surprise me that the economics department wrote a letter like that. Everyone knows that economic theories have been used to oppress minorities and developing countries for years. Economics very well could be viewed as a racist study.

And I have a question for all of these smart people in the economics department. If the world is not racist then why is angel foodcake white and devil's foodcake black?

Karla FC Holloway

Anonymous said...

I just finished skimming the complaint in the Dowd lawsuit against Professor Curtis and Duke. What a bunch of nonsense. Obviously, the fact that Curtis was one of the 88 and gave a grade of F to only two students in the class, both of whom were LAX players, stinks. But Duke gave Dowd credit for some work he had done at Johns Hopkins, which enabled him to graduate on time with his class, and then in July, as a result of administrative review, changed his grade from an F to a D. Now the kid is suing for fraud, emotional distress, punitive damages. Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Kim Curtis' CV and a link to an incredibly obtuse column are here.

An example:

Efforts to silence dissenting voices indeed orchestrate feelings in the service of a docile and reactionary patriotism. In crippling the range of permissible feeling, these acts foster a citizenry incapable of the elementary responsibility of democratic citizenship: to think what “we” are doing and have done.

Jon Ham

Anonymous said...

This is just the beginning. It will take Duke years to settle all of the civil lawsuits that will be filed.

You can be sure that once Duke fires some of the "88" professors, at least the ones that don't have tenure, there will be wrongful termination lawsuits.

The legal bills and settlements against Duke alone will be in the tens of millions. God knows what the city of Durham and Nifong (if he doesn't declare bankruptcy) will be liable for.

Anonymous said...

OK, many of you know that I talk to one of the NC Bar Counselors(for non
NC residents there are only 32 in the state and they rule the State Bar) which sent the latest complaint against Nifungu.

After many drinks I found out that I have been wrong in the time line here.

First, the good news, my friend is on the grievance committee, more charges are coming.

Bad news, I thought that at the Jan 16-18 meeting that the Bar would start the disbarment proceedings.


Nifungu has at least 90 days, with extensions, to drag out the hearing on his charges, which will be tried by 3 people, 2 bar members and one appointed by the governor.

This could go on for close to a year, with all the appeals. REMEMBER. these people get paid by the hour.

The last good news is that my friend thinks Nifungu may surrender his license instead of facing a trial.

At any rate, bottom line, Nifungu is Toast, only question is when he coming out of the toaster.


Anonymous said...

To 7:19
Why is dandruff white and coffee black?

Anonymous said...

To little to late, this is a CYA move.

Where were all these learned folk when the boys were in there foxholes on there own with the enemy coming at them from all directions?

Fair Weather Friends Indeed!!!!!


Anonymous said...

I think the 7:24 post misses the point, as have many of the Duke alumni. Whether or not specific civil cases have merit, and suing for emotional distress because of a grade seems ridiculous, is not the point.

I am sure lawyers have contacted the families of every member of the lacrosse team. You can expect lawsuits from everyone who was even remotely connected with this case. The volume of suits alone will force settlements and more bad publicity against Duke for years to come.

I understand why the alumni are trying to rally around the University. In their place I would probably do the same thing. However, I think the statement from the econ professors and some the other recent actions of the University falls under the category of too little to late.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, anything that helps with the cause that we have been supporting for monthe--that is to free the Duke 3--is more than welcome. Thanks to the Econ Dept. My son loved the course he had, and will be taking a couple of others!!


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this silly lawsuit (by a lacrosse player who wants damages for emotional distress because he was given a bad grade by a loony Gang of 88 member) trivializes the serious issues raised by the 88's conduct and the real damage done to the Three.

Anonymous said...

7:36 Post.

I agree, it does trivalize it. Unfortunately there is money to be made and the sharks are circling.

Anonymous said...

To those criticizing the suit:

You have to get an idea about what the kid’s other grades were like before criticizing him. If he had Bs throughout and then got the F, something would stink bigtime. That F would have prevented graduation if Duke had not let him off. Even that D would hurt his chances for grad school if he were to pursue that.

You do have to wonder why the kid would have ever signed up for a course with such an obvious leftwing feminist nutcase. That’s just asking for trouble.

Anonymous said...

To cast aside aspersions as to whether I am an outsider, and I am a Duke alum, and have a close emotional attachment to the school. I was a scholarship athlete at Duke (over 20 years ago), and the Duke I know took an immense personal interest in my academic development, not just inviting me, but challenging me to enter and complete an honors program that furthered my critical thinking skills in an enduring way. It is a debt I cannot repay.

I have also been highly critical of the Duke Administration and the "Gang of 88", and find it astounding that they somehow neglected to pay attention to a crucial moral value not subject to any ebb and flow moral relativists would seek to impose - the immutable value that an educational institution above else must treat the 18-22 year olds entrusted to them fairly and responsibly - indeed - treat them very well. The University has failed miserably in this important regard, and I am deeply disapointed in it. On one hand, I am saddened that the inevitable lawsuits that some think will not have inertia will indeed have just that - and the University will begin paying out settlement dollars for some time. But on the other hand, there's likely no other way to discipline the excesses of the University and the silly neo-Marxists that mostly comprise the Gang of 88 (and their ilk) who also by and large contribute virtually nothing to scholarship, or education (indoctrination is not education). Forget all the fancy analyses of the causes of action against Duke (although I think the lawyers here, particularly Esquire from Maryland, have called them correctly), Duke just cannot stand the inevitable discovery and disclosure of the shabby way they have treated their students.

And, oh - no other statement than an unequivocal bravo to the Econ department is warranted. They speak to the Duke I attended - a school that is but a handful at the Division 1 level that turns out true and bona fide student athletes - with concerned and brilliant faculty supporting them in all of their endeavors. Sound corny - and too positive? Maybe. But this is one guy from an unemployed single mother home that became an All American in athletics, and later (statistically, in any event) achieved greater heights of success at a top tier graduate school. It did not occur by accident. Duke deserves the credit. Let's get Duke back to where it belongs. The Econ department's letter is a great start.

Anonymous said...


"In regard to the negative comments about the Economics Department letter, you need to understand that some of the people posting on this website are right wing wackos who have no connection to Duke. They do not give a damn about Duke or the reputation of Duke or the future of Duke or the healing process."

Damn straight I don't. I care about due process, and making sure that this doesn't happen again - by showing that it can be costly.

You also missed on the 'right wing', if it matters.

Anonymous said...

to Bill Anderson at 717 from a non-lawyer and retired academic: I also read the lawsuit by student Dowd against Duke and Professor Curtis. I am sure that many of these lax players are angry with the shoddy treatment they received from Duke. And if Curtis did target the 2 lax players, may she burn in hell. However, there are grade disputes occasionally in academe. One thing that I would like to see is the syllabus. Many academic institutions regard the syllabus as almost being contractual. For instance, does she specify how she will grade participation? I also wonder how other students who missed class were graded in terms of class participation? I found the chair's initial response bordering on the bizzare. Granted the grade was changed due to a "calculation" error, but I am always skeptical hearing only side of the story. Assuming Dowd was discriminated because he was an lax player, Curtis and Duke should be held accountable. And although I am not in touch with Duke lax parents and players like you, the suit really represents this deep-seated anger over the shabby treatment by Duke to these lax players. Duke hung them out to dry, and now these players may very well hang Duke out to dry. This is the only way these players can hold Duke accountable when they were abandoned. This drama will play out for years after the Duke 3 are exonerated. Duke talks about getting this crisis behind them in 2 - 5 years. I think it will take far longer than 5 years.

Anonymous said...

to 7:43

It may have fit his schedule or he may have taken it as a teammate was taking it or maybe he was interested in the subject (yuck). But whatever
the reason, he should have been treated fairly.

Kids don't always know that they need to be good consumers when shopping for the courses that they're going to take including checking out the prof, the textbook and what others think of the course.

Anonymous said...


Give me your tired, your poor,
Your Nifonged laxmen yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I ‘ll teach them Adam Smith and Maynard Keynes
With luck we’ll get some majors for our pains.

Anonymous said...

Everyone here needs to remember that every member of the lacrosse team was called a rapist by professors and other students. I will bet that the suit is more than just a meer grade.

Think if you had to be on campus with these people that plastered your face on a waned poster, and marched in the streets calling for you to be injuried.

I think all of the lax team will make out nicely it is only a matter of how many zeros are at the end of the checks.

The Suit on Duke is just the first in a long line watch, wait and see. I have been saying this from day one.

Anonymous said...

The group of 88 is not Duke

Yes it is. University hired these unqualified pseuse-science nutjobs, established racist pseudo-science departments and supported their statements and actions. Besides, Broadhead has done similar things before. At Yale he went after white lecturer accusing him of murder and destroyed his career (his crime: he was white).

Duke must fire Broadhead and shut down pseudo-science departments.

I hope Duke Alumni act accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps those who are not associated with Duke are in a better position to see this more clearly than those who are alum or parents of students. It seems clear from my vantage point that while the econ dept letter is a good thing it is far too late. These boys were twisting in the wind for months and the silence was overwhelming.

Lifeboats for the women, icy waters for the men.

Anonymous said...

7:19pm--- Don't know if you are really one of the Gang of 88 or if someone is just using your embarraassing "academic" history and name here as a joke. Somehow I think that you, Hoilloway, are one of the craziest broads who has ever been allowed to play-pretend being a professor on any college campus.

Besides big bad Wahneema, that is.

Go back to school. It's obvious that the first trip didn't take.


Anonymous said...

Barnard is also well-known for grade retaliation. If you support moderate dems (or god forbid, lieberman or republican) you won't get good grades. You are constantly intimidated by teachers and violently attacked if you try to organize something (say, college republican's event).

Anonymous said...

Nifong and his supporters pretty much constitute who is who in NC democratic party plus the usual democratic party wackos (Jesse, Sharpton etc). I wonder where is Pelosi's statement..

Anonymous said...

bravo. nice work folks.

i have to say that it would have helped the letter a bit if the department would have reaffirmed their belief in the presumption of innocense. many of us doubt whether those on the duke faculty believe that.

i'll start. nifong is entitled to the presumption of innocense. but clearly the evidence speaks for itself and a trial would be a mere academic exercise.


Hey said...

You're a C student who suddenly gets Fs, magically gets an F on the class, and it just happens to be by an 88er against the two LAXmen.

The calc error excuse was just to get them moved on and hope they didn't pursue it (as students we all know that fighting a grade is a serious PITA with profs likely to retaliate and close ranks... the onld reviewing the entire paper trick, etc). The lawsuit gets the grade review out of the circled wagons and highlights true violations of process. She's up a creek without a paddle. This ain't frivolous, and the punitive damages will be fun to see.

Duke REALLY doesn't want this to go forward, especially the discovery, since it's an advertismeent to prospective students that they will be academically mistreated by the prof and the school if they aren't completely obsequious, even in your FINAL TERM. Seniors usually skate through with very high marks, and a normal prof would have passed them on thanks to the total crap they had to deal with. Shockingly, this prof did the exact opposite. Duke has implicitly admitted that the prof acted improperly by firstly changing their transfer credit grants to ensure that Dowd graduated as well as by later "realising" that there was a mechanical miscalculation. They just wanted to make this go away and not deal with this PITA instructor.

Now Duke reaps the whirlwind for again not supporting its students and aiding and abetting retaliation against them. Do you want to go to Duke, knowing this will happen?

I think we'll see a constant drip of suits with similar fact patterns, creating daily news events that Duke just won't enjoy. A new treat every day for the Smoking Gun and Drudge, highlighting how wonderful Duke treats its students.

This is going to hurt.

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:02 - You called this one right.

Think of the typical parent paying for Duke - let's see, at least 42k a year, all told - that's 60k in pre-tax income - and to get treated like this? Duke cannot afford to have these events go public.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that when you have more than one or two comments favorable to Duke on this website, the whackos immediately smell a vast left wing conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

well, the DA, gov who appointed him, faculty who supported Nifong, out of state activists, ACLUs, black panthers are all well-known left-wing wackos. Not a single republican has participated in this public lynching.

Not a conspiracy though.

Anonymous said...

The general negative reaction is to the "for the good of Duke" and "they're not even associated with Duke" comments. But of those comments smack of selfishness, parochialism, and mind-police style of argument. Hence the assumption that they come from left-wingers.
As far as the student lawsuit: how dare anybody criticize it? Let it play out in the courts. After all, there is more evidence apparent than in that other case - what was it again? Oh yeah, the rape.

Anonymous said...

"Not a Conspiracy" - more like a confederacy of dunces.

Anonymous said...

isn't it sad that our country does not have any civil rights organizations that could have intervened..MLK fought for nothing.

Maybe it is time to set up something like american civil rights union or something..that actually stands for citizen's rights (not just terrorists' and racists' rights).

Anonymous said...

Is it a coincidence that economics professors tend to be the only conservative professors on any given campus?

Anonymous said...

Nifungu has at least 90 days, with extensions, to drag out the hearing on his charges, which will be tried by 3 people, 2 bar members and one appointed by the governor

In other words, at least one member is a local democratic party activist so Nifong has at least one vote.

Anonymous said...

As a faculty member at another ACC school, it's clear that Duke is in complete disarray. To have part of a department (in this case, Economics) issue a statement that says, all students are welcome to their classes implies either:(1) some students weren't welcome before and/or (2) they are and were welcome in Economics classes, even if they aren't or weren't welcome elsewhere on campus.

Think about why such a statement was made - Why is this statement necessary?

Speaking as a faculty member - this puts everyone else in a "bind." Now, if you don't sign a similar pledge, some will question the openness of your classes - but if you do sign such a pledge, it suggest that either (1) and/or (2) from above applies.

The faculty senate must be going crazy about this, as well as the administration.

Further, as some have noted, untenured professors have placed their careers at Duke in jeopardy by choosing sides on this issue. I always have felt that tenured professors had a dudty to protect untenured professors from precisely these types of things - because the tenure-process is, shall we say, subject to personal whims and inter-departmental trade-offs.

It's hard to "get your head around this." You can't write a fictional novel with all of this happening - no one would believe it.

Finally, IMO Duke will try to settle as many of these cases as quickly and quietly as possible. The discovery process will undoubtedly expose unfair/lax grading practices and incompetent instructors "teaching" trash courses. Further, I suspect that next lawsuit will ask for all Duke university email for the last year....If I were an attorney, that is where I would go.

Anonymous said...

To 12:30 AM:

Your motion to discover all Duke University email for the past year would be summarily denied on the ground that it is overly broad and unduly burdensome. As far as your statement that the discovery process will expose unfair grading practices and incompetent instructors teaching trash courses is concerned, the discovery process will focus only on the course taught by Professor Curtis, not on any other course, because the complaint deals only with that one course.

Anonymous said...

The SILENCE of most everyone else allowed the 88 to speak for Duke. Their echoes still reverberate.

Now, the media begins to cite the 88 in its coverage of the first civil lawsuit. The significance of this association is profound. It will slowly twist the knife in the heart of Duke for YEARS to come.

The current crop are only parroting Brodhead. The reference to him is poignant and protective. As someone above said, it requires no courage to jump on the bandwagon. It's safe to speak out, now, since Brodhead finally caved to enormous pressure (and PR/attorney team advice).

It wasn't courageous for the 88 to speak out, either, because they were already on Brodhead's bandwagon from the beginning.

He looked into those boys' eyes. He said to them, "I believe you." He then went out of that room and lied to the world, betraying both these young men and the University so many of us have long loved. There is no excuse. There is no second chance.

24 and counting. Not one child. Not one penny. Until he is gone.


Anonymous said...

1:02 said:

"Your motion to discover all Duke University email for the past year would be summarily denied on the ground that it is overly broad and unduly burdensome. As far as your statement that the discovery process will expose unfair grading practices and incompetent instructors teaching trash courses is concerned, the discovery process will focus only on the course taught by Professor Curtis, not on any other course, because the complaint deals only with that one course."

You apparently missed the statement "the NEXT lawsuit..."

More to come...many more. Not limited to one course, one professor, one grade.

And, by the time they are filed, a year of emails will be a drop in the bucket.

So ordered.


Anonymous said...

I have posted several of the "positive" comments about Duke on this thread. I am an alum from 1992, and a consistent contributor to both the academic and athletic fund raising efforts. I have no other connections to Duke, and have not in ANY WAY discussed the case or the responses with anyone in Duke administration. And as I have said, those who wish to tear Duke down for this care only about damage to Duke, not correcting any wrong to the falsely accused three or the ridiculous 88 or any other faculty group. Failure to appreciate the positive in the Econ department letter highlights only a massively biased view - biased against Duke, and nothing more than that.

The civil rights and due process elements of this case rest solely on Nifong's shoulders, not the University's shoulders. Could the Broadhead Administration have done more to protect the three? Yes, no doubt. Are the 88 despicable and deserving of punishment by Duke, if not the criminal justice system? Yep - Duke dropped the ball letting these wackos run wild, and they (the 88) should face civil or criminal charges for their incredible actions. Does this mean Duke sucks? No, not at all. Pressing on with this Hate Duke direction is tantamount to claiming that all DAs should be run out of office because of Nifong's malfeasances.

I am not affiliated with Duke University in any way other than as a contributor. But anyone not already decided on what is good and bad would see Duke as a whole, and know what a great place it is. I am among that group.

So no, this is not "astroturf". I hate the 88 with a passion. I will always hate them. Any money I give in the future (and for the past year actually) will stipulate that the AAAS department gets 0.0%. But I will always love and support Duke, because I know what a great place it is - and what it did for me and for my closest friends.

january said...

I'm delighted the Econ professors have come forward. May they be the first of many, and may the Gang of 88 look more foolish with every new show of support for the accused. The Duke administration is another matter. All they had to do was make it clear the 88 didn't speak for the University, and they didn't. No money for Duke from me till they're gone.

Anonymous said...

As a graduate (not of Duke) in the "hard sciences", I am shocked that any university at all has 88 learned types that specializes in teaching nonsense. The Chinese are graduating 600,000 engineers a year and must be laughing at us. But that is just me.

Anonymous said...

Where is the POLITICAL SCIENCE dept. in all this??

Where are the leaders of the Gerst Program?

Anonymous said...

The pro-Duke comments started out well, pitching an optimistic outlook focused on the future. When they were countered or rejected, they quickly went downhill.

right wing wackos
bent on destroying Duke

It was bad enough that their opinions regarding the motivation behind the Economics Department letter were being stated as a matter of fact,rather than opinion. Now, all motivations behind contrary views are negative, and are matters of fact.

In truth, we don't know the actual motivation behind the publication of this letter. Some of us are happy, some are dubious, some see it as a sign of Duke "beginning the healing process" while others see the start of a PR campaign. Actually, these last two may be true simultaneously.

To discount the letter out of hand may be rash. Automatically assigning to it the highest of motives, and launching attacks of invective upon anyone who disagrees is repugnant. It also smacks of group think, which is what got Duke into this mess in the first place.

Anonymous said...

This is what is called Damage Control big time. Duke has "lawyered up" and now you see a serious of damage control media blitzs. Brodhead finally speaks up, (sorry to little to late, damage is done.) Duke asks the boys back with open arms, (are you serious, so they can be taunted and harrassed by the Duke 88 who are still employed there) and now this letter from the Economics dept. (You sat there for 10 months and watched these boys and their familes suffer and now you want to offer support?)This is the smoke screen of a PR firm and their attorneys. Doesn't wash.

Anonymous said...

Duke get out your checkbook.

Anonymous said...

Duke JD -- It's kind of hard to talk about "Duke's honor" when you've got a president whose initial response to the incident was to toss the players over the side, cancel the lacrosse season, and allow the Gang of 88 to publish their divisive screed in a university organ. Where was Brodhead's sense of "Duke's honor" then? Did he ever entertain the possibility that the students at his university might be honorable? Or did he choose to honor the word of a stripper?

"Duke's honor" indeed.

Duke's sense of honor, personified by Brodhead, makes it highly surprising that early admission apps are only down 20%. I would have thought 80% would be more likely. I know I sure as hell wouldn't consider sending my son or daughter there.

Anonymous said...

In all these comments, no one has focused on the miscreant students who harassed the Duke Lacrosse players, participated in the demonstrations, signed petitions, called for castration, etc. I would think it to be an easy matter to identify the ringleaders and expell them as an example. Every private school has the ability to remove students like those. Send them all to student court, and expell them all for two semesters, at least. A campus has no room for their behavior and its effects on the academic atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

I know that no one is reading this thread, now, but this must be said in response.

1:07 am said:

"And as I have said, those who wish to tear Duke down for this care only about damage to Duke, not correcting any wrong to the falsely accused three or the ridiculous 88 or any other faculty group...But I will always love and support Duke, because I know what a great place it is - and what it did for me and for my closest friends."

It is unfortunate that you can not see that Duke is not the same "place" it was. This case and KC Johnson have exposed a Duke that many of us never believed could exist. I have noticed that most of those capable of separating the individuals and events of this case from "Duke" (as an institution) are those graduating in or prior to the early 90's.

Duke has undergone a drastic change in the last 14 years. It has culminated in Brodhead as its figurehead.

Not one Christmas has passed since leaving Duke and Durham that I have not received a card and letter from at least ten of my professors. I correspond or communicate with several of them regularly. I attended the funeral of one of my Economics professors only weeks ago, where his family greeted me as one of their own.

THIS was Duke to me. And, I would venture to say that this was Duke to those who continue to cling to an institution as being what made them. It was PEOPLE who made us. Caring professors with the greatest minds, the highest of standards in all areas of life, and who wanted MY educational and career success as the sole measure of THEIR success.

The 88. Brodhead. The SILENCE.

THAT is now Duke.


Anonymous said...

My experience with the integrity of the Duke economics faculty stemmed from an incident in which I got into an argument with the prof in a large econ class in the main auditorium at Gross Chem. He invited me to leave class for challenging his work. Two days later, he singled me out for an apology in the same class and for recognition that my work was correct and his was not. That sort of backbone is precisely what makes a fantastic prof.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the Duke Econ dept! I've always been proud of the professors in that dept. I don't fault them for not publishing anything on the record before now - look at the madness around the rest of the university. I can say though that many econ profs have been supportive of the players and critical of other faculty members' response outside of formally publishing in the Chronicle from the beginning of this mess. For so many reasons, the econ profs are among the best in the university, not the least of which is the ability to reason analytically about a situation. So glad I didn't major in women's studies!

Anonymous said...

My father went to Duke when he was 16. My nephew and niece have also excelled at Duke. If I had a child there now, I would encourage him to transfer.

I don't think the Durham Police Department has learned anything and I am confident that the DA's office hasn't. I believe that Sgt. Gottlieb will continue with his abusive methods supported by his pathetic partner in crime, DA Nifong. You think lightning will not strike the same place twice? Watch! Much to my dismay, the Duke 88, (not to mention the police and DA) will need to find a way to rehabilitate themselves and their political agenda. I don't know how or why they felt it necessary to promote their ideas in a way that would affect the pending criminal proceedings.

Since when did abusing the criminal process become an elitist liberal value? Maybe the Duke88 ad should have cautioned against jumping to conclusions. Also, as long as Nifong remains in office and people like Sgt. Gottlieb investigate crime, Durham will be a cesspool for all citizens and defendants. Nifong and Gottlieb have stained everyone in the DA's office and the Durham Police Department. The big losers in all of this are the citizens of Durham County, all races, who are destined to become the future victims of of this reckless DA office and the Durham Police Department.

I do not believe financial status of the defendant or a group's political agenda should be relevant to the criminal process. Shame on Duke University, the Duke 88, the Durham Police Department and, above all, the unethical prosecutor, all of whom were willing to take advantage of the situation for a political reason or agenda.

Good for the "JOHNNY COME LATELY" Economics Depatment. Where have they been all these months?

Anonymous said...

These are truly Great Professors. I am a Gay Latino and I find it unbelievable that the Group of 88 could accuse anyone without due process. The Group of 88 have mindless and bigoted hatreds that they have to face. They and the students who went on a big witch hunt should apologize to them. They had a rush to judgment based on their own biases, arrogance and ignorance. I believe your blog helped uncover the truth, something those called "open-minded" professors refused to acknowledge because of their own deep seeded hatreds. Good job uncovering the truth. I hope those who were falsely accused get justice and for those, I won't even call them professors, group of 88. They should be fired and be filled with shame for their ignorance and arrogance of power.

Anonymous said...

It is refreshing that such a non-vague public statement was issued by a sizeable number (the majority, perhaps?) of the Faculty of a major university such as Duke.

I might've expected that something like this would be more likely to come from the Computer Science or Accounting or Engineering departments, but the fact that it comes from a department of a social science is all the more uplifting. Also good to see was that many of these professors appear to be minorities. (The professor, critical of Nifong who I just saw featured on this evening's 60 Minutes story, and who I recently saw mentioned in one of the entries here, is African-American... I wonder if he had to face criticism for his strong stance, especially earlier, when so many were making this into an issue of racism.)

Anonymous said...

There's something very interesting here.

The Duke Econ department is one of the most well-respected in the world, with at least one likely future Nobel Laureate (Tim Bollerslev, notably one of the undersigned).

The Duke English department is one of the most infamous departments in the world. It's where Social Text, an extremely left-wing "postmodernist" journal was published at the time of Sokal's hoax by Stanley Fish, it's most (in)famous professor.

For those who don't know, Sokal is (himself a left-wing) physicist from NYU who purposely submitted a bullshit article to the journal to demonstrate the excessively liberal crap spewing from the department.

My guess is the department hasn't fully recovered from being made the butt of the biggest joke played in recent history in academia and embraced this cause to feel relevant - all the more reason it's so funny that the econ department's taking their turn this time around.