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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Duke Case — The Brodhead Question

Items of interest - updated:

New Right Review: the Brodhead QuestionNew Right Review:
Fall 2007 Issue [pdf, 16 pages] --

In Depth: President Richard Brodhead
Natalie Figuero and Ken Larrey present arguments in support of and against Brodhead’s leadership.

Natalie Figuereo
The High Road -- President Brodhead Deserves Credit for How He Handled LAX . . .

Brodhead’s leadership throughout his career at Duke has witnessed tremendous social and academic development, and it would be a shame to see him defined unjustly and disproportionately by the lacrosse scandal. Duke must not allow itself to be defined by the lacrosse case. and it should bestow the same courtesy upon its president.

Ken Larrey
The Last Straw -- The Lacrosse Case Demonstrates President Brodhead Lacks Real Leadership . . .

Defense attorneys made multiple attempts to contact Brodhead and Steel as early as March 27, 2006 pleading for the opportunity to show their unimpeachable digital timeline proving their clients’ innocence thereby giving administrators the strength they needed to stand their ground and wait for DNA evidence before rushing to punish and condemn. Both men refused. Brodhead had no qualms whatsoever with speaking to Mike Nifong’s minions. Nor did he hesitate to speak with the NAACP to hear whether they thought the players were guilty. Yet he had no interest in speaking with the players, their lawyers, or their coach. Consider how much of
Duke’s mishandling was entirely preventable. The decision to refuse proof of innocence smacks of maintaining plausible deniability. The truth is Brodhead and Steel had likely already made their minds up: for the supposed good of Duke,
the case must go to trial. It was never going to be any other way. . .

This was not a case of Brodhead failing to speak out on behalf of his students; it was a case of Duke administrators betraying and systematically undermining their own students’ fight for justice. Worst of all, it was a case of administrators betraying values at the very core of Duke’s mission, most notably the pursuit and value of truth.
InReview: Recently @Duke
In his column, Wheeler Frost takes a look at recent events at Duke. --
President Brodhead apologized for the University’s and his own behavior during the infamous lacrosse ordeal during a conference at the School of Law. He condemned prejudgment and recognized the failure to “reach out” to the families. Conspicuously absent was any discussion of the University’s unwillingness to seriously consider the possibility that the three players were, in fact, innocent. Rumors swirled, with much speculation that it was a last ditch attempt to save face—and his job. Time will tell.

Professor Holsti of the Political Science department called for apologies from the lacrosse players. No matter the lacrosse players’ indiscretions it is unusual for people to apologize for bacchanalian behavior. It is more common for people to expect apologies from those who wrongly and quickly accuse people of felonies they did not commit based on the flimsiest of evidence. [...]

Microscope: Campus Culture
Wheeler Frost examines campus culture reform from the Campus Culture Initiative.

Durham: The Mayoral Elections
Rachel Stern talks to mayoral candidate Thomas Stith.

Duke: The Freshman Experience
Daniel Simpson details his experiences as a first-year conservative at Duke. --
The famous Revolutionary War patriot Samuel Adams once said, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” During high school in my small, conservative hometown of Morganton, North Carolina, I never imagined that quote would apply to me. But all that changed the morning I first set foot on Duke’s East Campus, as I sensed that I would no longer be in the political majority.

The experience of being a Duke freshman those first few weeks was fantastic, but I immediately knew that I was one of the few conservatives on campus. On the second day of classes, a professor spent half the period explicitly criticizing his perceived failures of president George W. Bush and calling for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. A few days later, several students accosted me, requesting that I sign a petition calling for a pull-out from Iraq. When I politely refused, they became hostile and derogatory. According to one of the petitioners, I am a “narrow-minded bigot” for my disagreement. [...]

Book Review: Until Proven Innocent
Brian Pike reviews Until Proven Innocent. . .
Johnson’s book does wonders uncovering the conduct of Duke’s administration and
faculty. It helps readers understand how terrible accusations were able to manifest
themselves without the slightest of evidence.

Fortunately, Duke students have the opportunity to make a difference. Johnson challenges us, college students, to become educated on such matters and to support intellectual diversity and factual academic pursuits. To read Until Proven Innocent, is to discover a truth about Duke University and our society that has a profound impact on what we believe and how we think, and to remain ignorant of such forces is to permit the crime committed against the lacrosse team to happen again.
Elliott Wolf / q.e.d. / Duke Chronicle:
Physician, heal thyself -- In 2007, Duke senior Kenny Larrey founded Duke Students for an Ethical Duke. [...]

DSED has used campus events, guest speakers, public statements, blogs and published articles to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the lacrosse case. But despite its broad and very necessary organizational imperative, it has failed to articulate or enact any specific policy objective. It has succeeded in offering incessant criticism of President Richard Brodhead, with nothing constructive beyond, "he has an awful lot of explaining to do," as the DSED blog states.

The administrative, police and community responses that DSED assails were all predicated upon individuals' "rush to judgment based upon unquestioning faith in what a prosecutor had told them," as described by Lane Williamson, chair of the Disciplinary Hearing Commission of the North Carolina State Bar. Thus, most alarming is DSED's failure to internalize this principal catalyst of the "hatred, racism, prejudice, slander, or plain administrative and academic incompetence" seen during the lacrosse case.

DSED, largely through statements by Larrey, has used hearsay, paraphrasing from anonymous sources, gossip, apparent misrepresentations and other questionable information to advance its arguments (sound familiar?).

The best and most recent example of this behavior came in Larrey's recent article "The Last Straw," published in the student publication the New Right Review. Using only two vague references to secondary sources, Larrey made a variety of highly contentious claims without direct attribution. [...]
LieStoppers forum:
Wolf Attacks Duke Students for an Ethical Durham - Former Duke Student Government President

Ken Larrey / Duke Students for an Ethical Duke
Elliott Wolf's Column -- I am especially surprised by Elliott’s lack of respect for the anonymity of my sources because one of my anonymous sources is Elliott Wolf. Given the legal battles ahead, I doubt Elliott wants to get involved directly any more than I do, and I doubt he would like to be served with a subpoena any more than I would. Perhaps I will explain this in the guest column I have requested.

Regarding what he calls our lack of “policy objectives,” Elliott did not even ask, nor did he ask about any of our non-lacrosse related initiatives. We have not sought publicity for much of what we have done because we wait until we have done our due diligence. We invite the Chronicle to do a story on our other objectives in the near future.

Elliott has made a number of mistakes and misappropriated several quotes. He included a quote that I am quite proud of, but he left out the most important sentence: “similarly, when we are shown to be wrong, we must readily admit that we are wrong.” I am committed to that statement, and with a few potential word-choice modifications that I have made in our blog, I stand by the contents of my argument in the New Right Review, which I remind readers was presenting one side of a debate. Is Elliott committed? [...]

Ken Larrey / Duke Students for an Ethical Duke:
DSED Department of Attributions/Clarifications/Corrections/Proper MLA citations -- Ken Larrey regarding his argument in the New Right Review . . .
Michael Gustafson / Duke prof. / Gothic Wandering blog:
Chronicle Clarification -- I am editing this to be *only* a comment on one point. I was quoted in the Chronicle today as stating, with respect to Duke Students for an Ethical Duke, "I told them that I will not be part of this lynch mob," he said.

To clear up, what I said - before they had really formed - was I would not be a part of a lynch mob. I do not believe Duke Students for an Ethical Duke is a lynch mob, nor is that why I am not associated with them. I do not blame Elliott Wolf for the wording in the quote because it is entirely probable that I spoke incorrectly. I do think it is important to clear up what a huge difference in meaning one word makes.

I will also point out, because it is important and because it is something I did not emphasize to Elliott, that Ken Larrey has sought inputs and critiques from me at several stages along the way and from the very beginning - and that while I provided a few, I failed to deliver on most, especially recently. It is a professional failure for me as well as a personal one, and for that I apologize to Ken and to DSED. It is also highly unfair for me to criticize them given my own lack of communication with the group and the people in it, despite their requests for same, and so I apologize for that as well.
DonnyBaseball / ... Pedro Borbon blog:
Crisis Management for the Next Duke: Do the Anti-Brodhead -- Who knows how lasting the damage will be for Duke. (Taylor and Johnson make brief reference to recent admissions statistics, confirming what I predicted here and here.) Whatever the extent of damage to the institution, it is hard to imagine academia being introspective enough to even read such a book, let alone internalize it. Yet, such a crisis will certainly befall another university in the future, and that university's president could do alot worse than reading Taylor and Johnson's book and doing everything 180 degrees from how Brodhead and Steel managed the crisis at Duke.
Gang of 88 takes charge

Geoffrey Mock / Duke News / duke.edu:
Paula McClain: Leading the Academic Council -- Political Science professor Paula McClain never sought to become Academic Council chair, but when asked, she wasn’t going to refuse to lead the faculty following one of the most tumultuous years on campus in decades.

“When the council’s nominating committee asked me to run for the chair position, I had to think long and hard about it,” McClain said. “And finally I agreed because we’re facing a number of issues because of the difficulties from the lacrosse crisis last year. The president is taking an approach of taking things on directly. We could have just tried to wait things out and see if these issues went away, and we’re not. I’m proud of that, and I wanted to be a positive factor in those efforts.”

As Academic Council chair, McClain succeeded law professor Paul Haagen and leads the monthly council meetings and serves on the council’s eight-member Executive Committee and as a faculty representative on several key university committees. At a university with a tradition of supporting faculty governance, McClain said she’s interested in strengthening the role of faculty in the broader decision-making processes here. Campus culture will be an early focus of the council, she said.

“It’s important that we create a means where people from across the university can listen to each other,” said McClain, who began as chair in July. “The fact is, different people have different experiences, and if we act as if our own experience is universal or the only one that counts, we’ll never resolve anything. I hope, and others hope as well, to get a discussion going, not just to have people generalizing from their own lives.” [...]
LieStoppers forum:
Duke 88er is new head of Academic Council
KC Johnson:
Coleman, Then and Now -- [Prof. James Coleman] didn't explain what caused his shift in opinion from Sept. 12 until Nov. 14.

Meanwhile, anti-lacrosse extremists continue to offer their . . . unique . . . brand of reasoning. [...]
Anne Blythe / News & Observer:
Judge: No IDs on suspended officers -- City employees can be sent home and told by an administrator not to do their job while still drawing a paycheck, but the taxpaying public does not have a right to know who the people are, according to a Durham County court decision today.

Judge Carl Fox sided with a city attorney who successfully blocked media requests for names of the police officers placed on administrative leave while a probe into possible sexual misconduct takes place. [...]
Jon Ham:

Where was the city’s concern last year?
-- This bit [...] caught my eye. It’s Durham Assistant City Attorney Kimberly Grantham’s explanation as to why secrecy is a good thing in this particular case (emphasis added):

Grantham argued that the officers could be cleared of any wrongdoing and having their names associated with the investigation would be harmful to their reputations.

Would that the city attorneys had been as concerned about the reputations of 46 lacrosse players in March of 2006.
John in Carolina:
  • Kristin Butler Wins Journalism Award

  • Chronicle’s Taylor blackout: Who? Why? -- Who imposed a news blackout on The Chronicle’s coverage of nationally known journalist and co-author Stuart Taylor’s Nov. 2 talk and Q&A on West Campus?

    And why was it done?

    Chronicle readers deserve answers.

    The Duke community had a right to know Taylor was coming and The Chronicle had a duty to inform its readers

    Taylor’s a nationally known journalist and a leading authority on the Duke Hoax.

  • N&O's new exec's "love-hate" -- Since Releigh News & Observer executive editor for news Melanie Sill's left to fill the same position at the Sacramento Bee, I've been asked dozens of times whether I think her successor, John Drescher, will be any better.
Neil Morris / Indy Week:
Years in the making, Durham: A Self-Portrait premieres Friday -- ... documents the city's recent struggles, from the exodus of the city's manufacturing base to ongoing racial strife, including a brief mention of a certain court case involving Duke lacrosse players. ...

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