Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Duke prof on Steel

The Washington Post and historian and blogger KC Johnson are among those who've called attention to conflict of interest concerns involving Robert K. Steel's dual roles as undersecretary of the Treasury and chairman of Duke University's Board of Trustees.

Today, Michael Gustafson, a professor in Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, adds his voice to the discussion. At his Blog of Convenience he's posted "Pictures, and Thousands of Words." Here's some of what Gustafson says:

This is not the time for Duke to have a leader who must walk on eggshells to avoid any sense of conflict of interest. If, for example, Duke wants to oppose the City of Durham regarding rezoning, or rebuilding Central Campus - we now have a Chairman who must either remain silent or face headlines the next morning, "Federal Official Applies Pressure to Durham - Uses Leverage to Promote Duke."

And, heaven forbid anyone decides to look into the claims of prosecutorial misconduct in the lacrosse case or Duke-Durham relations with respect to allegations of improper behavior by the Durham Police Department. Though, I suppose that's not really going to happen. Maybe in the next round of committees, we can create an "Off-Campus Culture Initiative."
You can read the entire post here. It includes a link to a story in today's Chronicle concerning Steel's dual roles.

Gustufson has commented often on aspects of the Hoax Case. He's always been well-informed and on point. He also impresses me as someone who cares deeply about Duke and his students.


Anonymous said...


Great catch on your part, and great analysis on the part of Professor Gustafson. Somehow, I feel a train has left the station. But, then again, maybe not. This case has been like no other case. So, perhaps, we should try to apply regular logic and regular expectations to any aspect of the case – including this one.

Duke Parent

Anonymous said...

Bob Steel has only himself to blame for the questioning of his dual positions. Without his "the pictures had to be stopped" statement, who in Washington even knew who he was? I doult Steel cares what we the common man think - but the powers to be in DC should catch his attention. all those who were unable to stand for decency and honor have to go.

GPrestonian said...

Am I missing something?

All the links in post point to the professor's Duke ECE site? Or maybe I just can't see it?

The actual blog post is at Blog of Convenience

gprestonian said...

I should add - great find, John, and thank you, Professor Gustafson!