I have an essay at Minding the Campus, discussing former Duke president Nan Keohane's recent defense of her successor, Richard Brodhead. An excerpt:
"The lacrosse thing was kind of a zinger out of the blue," Keohane recently told the Yale Daily News. "It was the accident of timing that it came on Dick's watch and not mine. I had attempted to deal with some of the things that may have been at the root of the problem, but we hadn't really made a huge amount of progress."
There's scant evidence, however, that Keohane "had attempted to deal with some of the things that may have been at the root of the problem" during her decade-long tenure as Duke president. Among the problems exposed by the lacrosse case that were either ignored or intensified during Keohane's reign:
- Academic groupthink involving issues of race, class, and gender: Keohane and her dean of faculty, future Group of 88 member William Chafe, had reconfigured faculty lines (in the name of a "diversity" agenda) to hire specialists in race, class, or gender issues; many of the professors with the worst performance in the lacrosse case (Wahneema Lubiano, Kim Curtis, Grant Farred, Houston Baker) joined the faculty during the Keohane administration.
- "Activist" faculty ignoring the rules: To take the most blatant example, future Group of 88 member Anne Allison, joined by 38 colleagues, violated Duke rules by using university funds to pay for an anti-Bush newspaper ad. Allison's cohort received a slap on the wrist---hardly a sufficient deterrent to prevent the Group of 88 from violating the very same rule in the lacrosse case.
- Administrative indifference to student civil liberties: As former Duke student body president Elliot Wolf observed, throughout the last decade, Duke has changed its bulletin to strip rights from students caught up in the campus judicial process.
Read the entire essay here.