Readers Note: On May 17, as follow-up to a phone conversation, I sent Duke University’s Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations John Burness a link to the post, Duke Silent on Student Safety Questions.
The post included a letter to Burness which began:
I’m having trouble obtaining information concerning actions Duke may have taken in the interest of student safety last spring when the “Vigilante” poster containing face photos of 43 white male students on the lacrosse team was produced and circulated on campus.I asked Burness to help obtain Moneta’s and Dean’s answers to the questions.
I want to report that information to my readers who include Duke students, parents, faculty, alums, and a few trustees as well as others. I also want to place it on the net where journalists and others can access it.
More than six weeks ago I sent electronic letters to Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta and Duke Police Director Robert Dean. The letters contained questions regarding specific actions each administrator and his staffs may or may not have taken last March and April in regard to the “Vigilante” poster.
I told both Vice President Moneta and Director Dean I would publish their answers in full on the main page of JinC.
I’ve never heard word one from either administrator, despite sending second copies of links to my letters and leaving phone messages for them.
The questions are important. They are ones members of the Duke community want answers to as soon as they become aware of the “Vigilante” poster, and its contribution to the targeting and endangerment of Duke students and others.[...]
When I did not hear back from Burness, I sent him follow-up emails.
This week Burness sent an email containing answers to some but not all of my questions to Moneta and no answers to any of the questions I asked Dean.
The incompleteness of Burness' response should not be viewed as necessarily a reflection on him. He may just be having trouble getting answers.
Consider all the trouble many of us have had getting an answer to a question as simple as why Predident Brodhead said nothing when racists shouted threats, including death threats, at Reade Seligmann, an outstanding Duke student, athlete and person who subsequently transferred to Brown University.
What follows is first, the post GoDuke.com & “Vigilante” Questions , which contains my letter to Moneta. After that comes Burness’ email to me.
I don’t make any subsequent comment because I want you have a look at the documents without my jumping right in.
In a day or two I’ll comment.
I also plan to continue to pursue answers to the unanswered questions and ask others that are arising as we learn more about Duke’s actions and inactions following Crystal Mangum’s lies.
You, of course, are free to comment anytime you wish.
GoDuke.com & "Vigilante" Questions April 3, 2007
CORRECTION: In my letter below to Duke University's Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta, I identify him has the highest ranking Duke administrator present at a March 25, 2006 meeting with the lacrosse parents. In fact, Executive Vice President Tallman Trask III was the senior administrator present.
I apologize for my error and thank John Burness, Vice President for Student Affairs and Government Relations, for calling it to my attention.
Readers Note: For background to the letter below, see these posts and other posts to which they link:
"Duke's Silence on 'Vigilante' and 'Wanted' posters"
"Letter to DUPD Director Dean"
"To DUPD Director Dean - 3/28/07"
DUPD and "Vigilante" Questions
Larry Moneta, Ed.D.
Vice President for Students Affairs
Dear Dr. Moneta:
I’m a Duke alum who blogs as John in Carolina. I’ve published often on aspects of the Hoax and frame-up, including the “Vigilante” poster.
Those who created and distributed the “Vigilante” poster perniciously targeted students who were members of Duke’s 2006 Men’s lacrosse team, as evidenced by the poster’s prominent display of the 43 face photos of lacrosse players which were pulled from GoDuke.com.
The “Vigilante” poster also placed at risk the safety of every other Duke student who might be an unintended victim of unstable individuals and hate groups incited by the poster and the praise its “activist” creator(s) and distributors received from many, including some in leadership positions at Duke.
I want to ask you questions relating to the poster. I’ll publish your answers in full at JinC and leave your answers there free of my commentary for at least a day so the alums, parents and students, Duke staffers, journalists, and others reading the blog can read your response free of my commentary.
It’s my understanding you were the senior Duke administrator present at the lax parents’ meeting on Saturday, March 25, 2006; and that a parent request was made that the University remove from GoDuke.com the face photos of all the lacrosse players.
Was such a parent request made? If it was, what did the University do in response?
If you or another administrator responded positively to the parent request, when were the photos removed from GoDuke.com?
As you know, it’s been reported that Duke only began to remove the students’ photos when it realized they were actually being pulled from GoDuke.com. A USA Today report puts the date as Monday, March 27.
Some months back sports information director Jon Jackson confirmed in a phone interview that, out of concern for the students’ safety, Duke did pull all the lacrosse players’ photos from GoDuke.com before the poster creator(s) got the last 4 players photos, but obviously not before the creator(s) had already gotten 43 photos.
Do you know when Duke removed the students’ photos? Or should I direct that question to someone in IT?
If the question should be asked of someone in IT, please direct me to that person.
Have you or anyone in student affairs or elsewhere at Duke sought to identify the individual(s) who pulled the students’ photos that wound up on the “Vigilante” poster?
If yes, what have you learned?
If not, why not?
There are other questions I want to ask concerning student affairs' response to the “Vigilante” poster’s circulation on campus but this letter is getting long.
I’ll hold those questions for another day.
The post title containing this letter is: GoDuke.com & “Vigilante” Questions.
I’m cc’ing to other University officers because I plan to contact them concerning aspects of the “Vigilante” poster.
Thank you for your attention to this letter.
John in Carolina
Cc: Robert Steel, chair, board of trustees, DU
Richard Brodhead, president, DU
John Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations, DU
Aaron Graves, associate vice president for campus safety and security, DU
David Jarmul, associate vice president of news and communications
Robert Dean, director, DUPD
VP John Burness' email to JinC Aug. 13, 2007
Hi John...sorry to be slow in getting back to you. I was able to get pretty easily the info you had requested of Larry Moneta and then once I got it, proceeded to forget about it til I saw your follow up note, so thanks for reminding me.Here's what I have learned from the folks in Athletics:
First, you should know that you are incorrect in your statement/assumption that Moneta was the highest ranking university administrator at the meeting with the parents on 25 March. That was Executive Vice President Tallman Trask III.
The next morning, 26 March,responding to the concerns expressed by parents at the meeting, Athletic Director Joe Alleva instructed that personal information of the lacrosse players be taken down from the GoDuke.com website and all photos and bio information were deactivated that morning.
The following morning, 27 March, just to play safe, any links to the former page also were deleted.
I hope this info is helpful.
John F. Burness
Senior Vice President for Public Affairs
and Government Relations