Academic Horror Story (Duke University)

From Until Proven Innocent by Stuart Taylor and K. C. Johnson, about the Duke lacrosse case:

The Duke president addressed the [lacrosse] team for the first time since May a few weeks into its fall practice. . . . When Brodhead opened the floor for questions, Read Seligmann’s former roommate, Jay Jennison, spoke up. He said that all of the team had learned much from the case . . . “What have you and the administration learned?” Jennison asked Brodhead. . . . Brodhead responded, “What do you think I should have learned?”

Head of a prestigious institution of higher learning resistant to learning or at least admission of learning. Curious.

Tulane University.

6 Replies to “Academic Horror Story (Duke University)”

  1. I am curious as to how the conversation proceeded from that point. I hope the student said something like “I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to tell you what I think you should learn. I was hoping that you could let us know more about what the experience was from your position.”

  2. What Brodhead should have learned, and hopefully will, is that he and his university can be sued to within an inch of their lives because of their actions in this case. Duke has apparently settled for an undisclosed sum, but to my knowledge Brodhead has yet to suffer any consequences. Nor have the 88 professors who signed a public letter condemning the students. I’d fire every one of them.

  3. bobvis, the book doesn’t say in any detail what happened next, only that the team was stunned by Brodhead’s response.

    Dennis, I agree, that Brodhead hasn’t suffered any consequences speaks volumes. I take him as a good example of what’s wrong with Duke because his view of the case wasn’t politically slanted; the problem is not that faculty have political views and biases, it’s their heedless certainty that’s the problem. I wouldn’t fire anyone for exercising freedom of speech, including the Duke 88. After the Duke 88 signed that public letter, the rest of the faculty (a few thousand professors) could have signed an anti-88 letter. They didn’t. A handful complained, much less visibly. That says something not very pleasant about practically all Duke professors.

  4. I dunno…I think all involved just did a meta-analysis of their personal experiences and private biases and reached a reasonable conclusion. People have turned Vegan for less. 🙂

    More seriously, I agree with all of the above, and yet, while there are corrupt DAs, stupid DAs, and desperate DAs…a DA as corrupt, stupid and desperate as Nifong is a bit of a “black swan” event.

  5. if the student insulted me like that i’d tell him to go eff himself. so, as far as i can see, the prez handled it a lot better than i would have.

Comments are closed.