Duke’s Academic Council recently elected Group of 88 member Paula McClain as its new chairwoman. (The council “meets weekly during the school year, and as necessary during the summer months. It meets monthly with the chief officers of the University, and several times each year with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. It serves as the Committee on Committees [the body that assigns professors to all committees] for both the Council and the University Faculty.”)
Last fall, the current chairman of the council, Paul Haagen, offered a common-sense proposal to pair individual professors with athletic teams, to give the faculty a better sense of athletic life for Duke students. The proposal was hardly a panacea, but given the anti-athlete bias expressed by some Duke professors, it seemed as if no one could object to Haagen’s proposal.
Not McClain. She told the N&O that of colleagues she had encountered, “people are just aghast that it’s being considered.”
The remark brings to mind Wahneema Lubiano’s comment that she encountered no one who thought the Group of 88’s ad was a bad idea.
And, when shown a sophomoric spoof of the Haagen proposal, the N&O reported that McClain “chuckled at the document.”
As Sports Law Blog tartly observed, “Apparently, Professor McClain--who is co-director of Duke's Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences--believes that in the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse scandal, the University needs to distance itself from its sports teams, rather than embrace them.”
McClain’s term as the Duke faculty’s elected leader lasts for two years. She did not reply to an e-mail requesting comment.