Monday, November 26, 2007

Brodhead listens to only some students

The following letter appears in today's Chronicle. I left a comment on the thread which you'll find here below the star line.


To the editor:

As frustrating as it is to have another commencement speaker who's most relevant experience appears to be her connection to Duke University, far worse is the total disregard for student opinion demonstrated by President Richard Brodhead in his comments to The Chronicle.

Not only did the administration never bother to seek student input about possible speakers, but, according to Brodhead, those students who don't agree with the speaker selection (approximately two-thirds of those students who took The Chronicle's admittedly unscientific online poll) have just not read enough books to know better.

That kind of condescending attitude needlessly undermines students' trust and support of the University administration and further displays the University's unwillingness to seriously engage students in substantive conversation about what kind of a school we want to have.

I hope that Brodhead will reconsider his comments and work to include students in a meaningful way in the decisions that affect their life at Duke in the future, but, given the dismissive attitude exhibited by the administration in the past to student requests, I'm not holding my breath.

Sam Howe

Trinity '08


President Brodhead and "Dick's senior team" pay attention to some student groups while ignoring others.

They respond to some things students say while ignoring others.

Thus, President Brodhead met in March 2006 to hear the concerns of students critical of the lacrosse players but he refused to meet with the lacrosse parents as many students thought he should.

Some students thought Brodhead should issue an apology to the then anonymous "first 911 caller" even though her claims were unproven (The caller, Kim Roberts, later admitted she'd made the first racial slur to which one Duke student responded; and that much of what she said during the call was false.)

Without knowing the facts of the matter, Brodhead made a full apology on behalf of the University "to the woman and her friend."

Many students thought Brodhead and other Duke administrators should condemn the racists who made threats, including death threats, against Reade Seligmann in May 2006.

But Brodhead and his “team” said nothing.

It seems they only listen to students when what the students say fits their agendas.

John in Carolina


Anonymous said...

Another Chronicle article not to miss about Kingsolver:

[url=]Knock Knock[/url]

clever stuff.

I am also sure the bright young people at Duke are not just now realizing how little interest the current administration has in their opinions. Brodhead, Steel, et al have clearly demonstrated that they care more about the faculty, etc. than about the majority of Duke students.

Anonymous said...

Brodhead leads like the self-serving politician he is. He holds a damp finger up to see which way the wind is blowing, and that is the way he goes... that time.

He has no real interest in the students, nor the faculty, nor actually even in Duke. His only real interest is self-serving.

If he cared about anything more than himself, he would have resigned from Duke months ago. He could have pulled it off as a gracious gesture of good will and desire to help Duke "heal".

But he didn't. And he does NOT care one whit about how the students feel or think about anything. He is kissing up to his own kind. And Duke alumni and students and GOOD faculty can expect more of the same.

It's all about Brodhead.

So far.

Not the end of the story.

If I were him, I would be scared to death of the day when the seeds of dishonesty, and duplicity, and political trade offs start bearing the fruit that they inevitably will bear.

But crooks never believe that THEY will get caught. In fact, they never even admit they are crooks, do they?

Just watch, Brodhead. You can't write your own history. Others will write it. So far it reads like a bad movie.