Monday, March 24, 2008

Regular disputes Brodhead rating; JinC reaches out

Today in Two very different university presidents ol' JinC said Duke's President Richard ( "the facts kept changing") Brodhead is at best a second-rate university president.

At the time, it seemed like a non-controversial rating.

I mean, not even Duke's trustees, having settled a number of suits and still finding themselves defendants in two major civil rights violations suits stemming from "Dick's leadership" during an obvious criminal attempt to frame Duke students, believe Brodhead is anything other than at best second-rate.

If there's a trustee who thinks otherwise, someone needs to remind that trustee it wasn't too long ago that President Terry Sanford led Duke University.

That said, I turn to a comment by JinC Regular Jack in Silver Spring. He's challenged my rating as too generous. Here's Jack's comment:

John - To call Brodhead "second rate" is to give those who are second rate a bad name. Brodhead is unworthy of any rating.

Jack in Silver Spring
I can't agree.

But I hate to fuss with Regulars; they're such fine people.

So I've looked for a way to reach out to Jack.

And I think I've found it.

Dear Jack,

You say President Brodhead "is unworthy of any rating."

Please take a look below the star line at a JinC post from June 2007.

I'm confident you'll agree Brodhead deserved the Sheldon Award committee's rating.

I look forward to your response and those of other readers.




Brodhead Wins Sheldon Award

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.

From The New York Sun:
“[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.


W. R. Chambers said...

Is there any kind of award for tossing rotten eggs?

Anonymous said...

How appropriate for Brodhead that the statuette is a man "with no spine, looking the other way."

Anyone who defends Brodhead with the - no one could have done any better - argument, is as lacking in morals as Brodhead.

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

Thanks John

I think I'll defend Jack here.

I took Jack in Silver Spring's comment to have been posted in an effort to show he felt Spineless should not be in a position in which a rating would even be considered.

It could have been worded better, but even a rating of second for many that oversee higher education is not that bad. It's a step below the best in a similar position. Just having reached that position in their life should be admired by most.


mac said...
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Anonymous said...

John -
Sorry I didn't reply earlier. I work during the day and would rather not use my employer's e-mail.

First, let me thank you for selecting my comment. I am honored. Secondly, my "disagreement" (tongue-in-cheek) with you is with your calling Brodhead second-rate. Anyone who wins the Sheldon Award cannot possibly be second-rate; maybe 125th but certainly not second.

I thank kbp for agreeing with me, but I must "disagree" (tongue-in-cheek again) with mac at 12:53 PM. After Brodhead's performance, would you want him in a position of power as headmaster at YMCA camp? I think not.

John - keep up the great work, I love your postings.

Jack in Silver Spring

Anonymous said...


What a terrible recommendation for the unsuspecting members of the YMCA!

Besides, aren't a lot of them athletes?

Oh, baby... that's dangerous!

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

Odd you mentioned that about the "Y". The one here local is a big, new building that is about 10-20% cheaper than the other gyms in the area. I just doesn't seem like what the YMCA used to be!

The new suburban haven for the PC crowd! Spineless would fit right in there with the whining house wives.

...and 2nd rate at best there!