Sunday, August 24, 2008

My hopes for Duke (Post 1)

Duke provided me with superb professional training. It’s where I met lifetime friends and married the greatest woman in the world. It’s the primary reason we choose to make Durham our home.

Now that you know that, I want to share some hopes I have for Duke as it begins a new academic year.

First and foremost, I hope this year alums tell the development office and their class officers something like:

“I love Duke."

"Because of that, I’m holding off giving or pledging until I know more about Duke’s actions and inactions in response to Crystal Mangum’s lies; DA Nifong's and others' attempts to frame three obviously innocent Duke students; and the frame-up ‘cheer leading’ that came loud and venomous from many at Duke, including faculty.”

“Mind you, I’m not saying I won’t give. I’m saying I’ll hold off giving until BOT Chair Steel and President Brodhead give me and other alums more information.”

“Since March 2006 we’ve all gotten dozens of letters, e-mails, copies of Duke Magazine and what not. We’ve been to Alumni Weekend. I’ve talked to people who were at those 'dinners with Dick' or whatever they were called.”

“But we've gotten no explanation for why Brodhead never said in March ’06 the lacrosse captains had cooperated fully with police. There must have been a reason for his withholding that information. We want to know what it was.”

“We also want to know why Brodhead let the “wall of silence” lie spread, thus adding to the already great danger the players faced from racists and other unstable people living near campus.”

“A lot of us wonder why Brodhead or Steel or someone at Duke didn’t speak out against those vicious ‘activists’ who waved ‘CASTRATE’ and ‘GIVE THEM EQUAL MEASURE” banners and shouted threats at the students on March 26, 2006 right on Duke property?”

“Please don’t get me wrong. I love Duke. And as I say, I want to contribute.”

“I will. As soon as I get satisfactory answers to the questions I’m asking.”

"I don't expect you to provide them. Steel and Brodhead need to do that."

“I know nothing I’m asking about is your fault. You’ve been very nice to talk to and I appreciate your listening.”

“I hope you’ll ‘pass the word up the line.’”

“Somebody at Duke needs to tell us something besides: ‘We made an out of court settlement on that suit and the others so we can’t say anything. Now let’s all move on and support Bob and Dick.’”

“It’s time Duke told us the truth of what happened and what didn't happen.”

“We’re not children. We can handle the truth. We deserve the truth.”
(to be continued)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant analysis of how to deal with Duke's stonewalling. Any suggestions of how to deal with the News & Observer executives?

Anonymous said...

They can't tell us why because the reason is too awful to contemplate. They wanted these boys to be guilty because it fit their political agenda. If they stood up for their students in any way including telling the truth of their cooperation, they felt they would enrage the wacked out faculty and Durham population calling for their castration.

No one used any common sense which is sickening. I emailed Brodhead and asked him to at the very least look at the bathroom...there is no way four people could fit into it. They were like children with their hands over their eyes reciting, "I'm not listening to you." The sickest and the saddest is that they actually hoped it happened because it is the only way they would get out of this with any credibility.

Steel thought the boys actually did SOMETHING horrible to the woman because he was told that they did....that's the kind of insensitive, ruthless, arrogant man he is. Brodhead just did what Steel told him to and they both obviously fed the BOT complete BS about what they were doing for the families, etc. Because they did nothing-they didn't even call the families. Brodhead did meet with the Finnertys once because of development pressure to do so and said to their faces, that he did not believe Colin innocent and said this having refused to see any evidence of his innocence.

I love Duke too, but Duke has lost its way under this lack of leadership and direction. I pray that the families refuse to settle and there is a trial and that Steel and Brodhead are forced to admit their guilt and stupidity.
This is the only way the cloud of sickness that hangs over Duke will slowly disappear.

Anonymous said...

My suggestion to deal with the N&O executives is do not buy their newspaper and do not go to their on line web site. The fewer visits to either the less AD money they get. Then, all of a sudden, we will see, honesty in reporting rather than opining on lies.

Anonymous said...

Don't hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

Let them continue to slide into oblivion, then we no longer have to be concerned.

Mike Jarman said...

I was more directive with this year's call, but no less polite. I thanked the nice person on the other end of the line, promised that my family's loyalty to Duke remains steadfast (we're a double-Duke couple)and said my contribution would be made available once Brodhead and Steel both resigned. Until then, I wasn't going to give Duke money to pay for lawsuits.

Ex-prosecutor said...

I have never believed that Duke's spineless conduct in this matter differs a whit from how other schools would have reacted, if confronted with the same situation.

When I attended Vanderbilt 40 years ago, the school had a conservative chancellor and at least a fair smattering of conservative professors. All that now has changed, as evidenced by its wooing of, as they call him, English department "Distinguished University Professor" Houston Baker.
All students can learn from him is that incomprehensible bs and bullying can be crafted into a career and garner high praise and awards.

The problem is everywhere, not just Duke.

In an email for which Vanderbilt later apologized as a computer error, but made me proud, they thanked me for my "recent generous gift of $ 0.00."

I may double this amount next year.

Anonymous said...

John:

Your post was thought provoking. I would respond to Duke's Development request with something a little different. I would pose the following question:

"What is Duke trying to teach its students?"

"Based on the school's actions/inactions related to the Lacrosse team, it would appear they are trying to teach courses in Vigilante Violence, Class/Gender Warfare, Administrative Incompetence, Irresponsible Behavior, and, sadly, Lack of Common Decency."

"Are those courses appropriate for Duke? I would suggest the curriculum be changed before the next request for funds."

Ken
Dallas

Bob Wilson MA '88 said...

Anon 8:20, you speak for me. Duke has lost its way. As bad as that is, worse is the BOT's complacency.

As Uncle Joe Stalin reportedly said, silence gives consent. I don't see any other way to interpret the situation at Duke until the BOT comes to its senses.

Anonymous said...

John,

Somebody ought to take a full page Chronicle ad with your post the only thing on the page.

Keep us your outstanding work.

Duke '84

Danvers said...

Perhaps Kristen Butler & Ed Rickards new Column in the Duke chronicle could do an article on this important topic