Monday, June 25, 2007

INNOCENT: Brodhead Wins Sheldon Award

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

JinC News has just learned Duke University’s President, Richard (“Whatever they did was bad enough”) Brodhead, is this year's Sheldon Award winner. The Sheldon is awarded annually to the university or college president selected as America’s worst.

In The New York Sun we read

“[t]he award is a statuette that looks something like the Oscar, except the Oscar features a man with no face looking straight ahead, whereas the Sheldon shows a man with no spine looking the other way.
Many other feckless, left-leaning and whinny higher ed presidents provided tough competition.

But according to Sheldon Award chair and sole selection committee member John Leo, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, the ultimate selection was an easy one: Brodhead was clearly the worst of this year’s nominees.

Leo explained in his NY Sun column:
[Here] is what Mr. Brodhead did: On hearing the first reports, he abruptly canceled the lacrosse season, suspended the two players named in the case, and fired the lacrosse coach of 16 years, giving him less than a day to get out.

This helped create the impression that the players were guilty.

His long letter to the campus on April 20 did the same thing. He didn't say the boys were guilty, but he talked passionately about the coercion and assault of women, the legacy of racism, and privilege and inequality — all of which fed the anger aimed at the lacrosse team.

Mr. Brodhead did nothing to deter the tsunami whipped up against the players by some students and the Group of 88, an alliance of mostly radical race and gender professors.

One of the looniest of the 88, Houston Baker, answered a polite and worried letter from one of the lacrosse moms by calling her "the mother of a farm animal."

Without any comment from Mr. Brodhead, the protesters issued death threats, carried banners that said "castrate," featured photos of lacrosse players on "Wanted" fliers, and banged pots outside the boys' residences in the early morning hours to disturb their sleep.

A word from the president about leaving the boys alone and guaranteeing them a fair trial would have been nice.

Like Mr. Brodhead, the Group of 88 did not quite call the players guilty, but praised the campus protestors for "shouting and whispering about what happened to this young woman."

No comment about that from Mr. Brodhead and no comment from him on Mr. Nifong for nine months.

An engineering professor at Duke said, "There never was a clear sense that the students were innocent until proven guilty."

Congratulations Richard Brodhead, Sheldon laureate 2007. And you should resign.
I’ll be saying more about Brodhead’s well-deserved Sheldon recognition but right now I want to get the news out to you because John Burness and his people at Duke News haven’t yet issued a statement concerning this latest recognition of the kind of leadership Brodhead’s providing Duke.

You can read John Leo’s NY Sun Sheldon column here. I think you’ll agree that while the other Sheldon nominees deserved consideration, Brodhead was clearly the worst of the lot.


Anonymous said...

Well deserved, Brodhead.

I hope his head comes out of the sand long enough to take notice of this public recognition of his wrongs -- This award might be hokey, but we'll take anything that helps to get the Duke Board and HIM to see and admit their problems and their failures here.

Anonymous said...

Very appropriate when you recall that Larry Moneta works for Brodhead. Mr. Moneta was at UPenn during the water buffalo incident and "prosecuted" the use of the the term as racist.

wayne fontes said...

The fair city of Durham is just cleaning up on national awards. Earlier this year Mike Nifong brought home the The Chappaquiddick Societies lifetime achievement award to the Bull City.

Good things are happening in Durham!

Anonymous said...

Former Duke Alumna here again. I am not sure anything other than the good Duke alumni's witholding of future endowments and financial support will get through to this renegade "president". Oh, how I would like to hope that the Board of Trustees will take action to invite Brodhead to take his Sheldon and practice his craft elsewhere. There is WAY more reason to fire Brodhead ( guilty) than there ever was to fire Pressler ( innocent).

humboldtblue said...


Next thing you know I'm going to be honored with the "George Bush is my favorite guy" award.

Anonymous said...

Sweetmick says: Linwood Wilson has been fired. The ball is rolling.

Anonymous said...

Duke Alumna again. Linwood Wilson fired? Where do we get the news if we don't live in the area?

The "ball is rolling" because the blogs keep rolling. What an incredible force for integrity this blog has been. I just keep wondering how many INNOCENT people have been sent to prison in the pre-blog days.

Anonymous said...

Some needs to write wht brodheads legacy a Duke will be.

DukeEgr93 said...

Alas - to be reduced to, "an engineering professor." Probably for the best, though :)

I would like to know how much presidential involvement there has been in taking half John Burness' job away, creating a new Dean of Undergraduate Education, and punting the CCI findings to the provost - 'cause I feel like those are pretty strong, but subtle, moves.

And, yes, I *am* saying those things in a vacuum.

Anonymous said...


I think Ryan McFadyen deserves some sort of award too, don't you?

wayne fontes said...

To 11:09

I too hope Mcfadden reieves a large award in civil court.

To Dukeegr93

Given the paucity of professor's who stood up for due process I think he could have used your name

Anonymous said...

Remember that Houston Baker was the advisor to the black sorority gals at the Penn "water Buffalo" fiasco.

Anonymous said...

I did not know Baker had a connection to the Water Buffalo incident. It does not bode well that anything will ever change.

I continue to hope Duke will mark a turning point.