Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Lawsuit Breakdown: Conspiracy to Interrogate without Counsel

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

The following excerpt outlines the complaints against Duke in the conpsiracy between Duke Police Defendants, Duke Officials Defendants and Durham Police Defendants to "orchestrate the mass interrogation of uncounseled students" (p. 126).
Duke Police and Duke Officials understood and agreed to:
(1) Deliver all 47 team members to Gottlieb and Himan, at a designated location, to be interrogated by Durham Police;
(2) Create a false sense of security in the team members by minimizing the seriousness of the investigation and the charges being investigated, and encourage team members not to seek legal counsel or to reveal the planned interrogations to anyone;
(3) Provide no information to the Plaintiffs or their teammates about the nature or scope of the interrogations;
(4) The team members would not be informed that, during the interrogations, every one of them would be asked to volunteer to give their DNA and a “mug shot” photograph, or that a team of CSIs from the Durham Forensic Services Unit (“FSU”) had been mobilized for purpose of taking DNA swabs, mug shot photographs, and pictures of any scars or marks on the team members’ arms and torso.
(5) The team members would also not be advised that if they submit DNA samples and mug shot photographs voluntarily, they waive their right to a report of the results of all DNA testing and photo identification procedures as soon as they are available; and, further, that they could have that right merely by requesting a Nontestimonial (“NTID”) Order be obtained for the same purposes; and, further that, absent an NTID Order, a right to that information would not arise again unless the individual is indicted, and then only pursuant to constitutional and/or statutory discovery; and
(6) Provide a primary location and/or a satellite location(s) for isolated interrogations of individuals (p. 127) .
The Durham Police were then to report to Duke Police and Duke Officials "with information relating to their charging decisions" (p. 128). Duke Police and Duke Officials implemented the plan according to the agreement. At 7:00 pm on March 21st the players were instructed to report to the Duke Police Department at 3:00 pm the next day, leaving little time to consult significantly with counsel. They were told they were "going in to answer one or two questions" (p. 129), leaving out the plan to take DNA samples and photographs and subject the team to harsh and deceitful interrogation. Ekstrand alleges the advice given to the captains the week before by Wasiolek, the effect of which was "'you don't need a lawyer,' and "'don't tell anyone this is happening, not even your parents'" (p. 129), had been disseminated to the rest of the team. The rest of the team, however, did not know the purpose of the questioning or the severity of the allegations, and certainly not that they could all be charged as accomplices based on their presence at the party. Duke administrators, it seems, were demonstrably well aware of and acting in accordance with these intentions:
The University Officials’ agent responsible for coordinating the mass interrogation was directed to notify the Durham Police that the team members were told of the planned interrogations without sufficient time to discuss it fully with their parents (p. 130).

The disaster that likely would have resulted from these interrogations was averted only by the exhausting overnight efforts of Bob Ekstrand and his paralegal, Stef Sparks.

Next, Ekstrand alleges a conspiracy by both Duke Officials and Durham Police to retaliate against the players for delaying the interrogation to speak with their parents and counsel before being questioned by police.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lawsuit Breakdown: Jurisdiction Part 2

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

Follow-up on Lawsuit Breakdown: Jurisdiction in the Rape Claim Investigation

It has become clear that the matter of jurisdiction deserves another post. As a reminder, here are the two main points on this issue:

1. The Duke University Police Department had Jurisdiction
2. ALL of the defendants conspired to publicly and privately conceal the fact of the Duke Police Department's "jurisdictional obligation" (p. 4)

1. Jurisdiction
It appears more and more that the matter of jurisdiction is more or less incontestable. As the lawsuit convincingly demonstrates, not only was there an established protocol as well as precedent designating this rape investigation under the jurisdiction of Duke Police rather than the Durham Police, but this rape investigation was transfered from the Durham Police to the Duke Police: "pursuant to the Durham Police Departments [sic] written protocol, General Order No. 1006 R-1, a transfer of the investigation to the Duke Police Department was initiated [...] immediately a cadre of Duke Police officers and supervisors descended upon the E.D. in response" (p. 94) where they were briefed on the bizarreness of Mangum's behavior, the inconsistencies of her stories, and the "specious circumstances surrounding her rape claim" (p. 94).

That the investigation belonged to the DUPD seems established.

2. Conspiracy
It gets worse. A lot worse.

We may revisit this section to add more commentary, but many of these excerpts from the complaint speak for themselves. What Ekstrand is alleging implies that Bob Steel and high level administrators were issuing commands to suppress exculpatory evidence and manufacture fraudulent evidence in order to conceal Duke's involvement in the affair, both publicly and privately, as well as its jurisdictional authority.

"Duke Police Supervisors, Duke Officials, and Durham Police Supervisors would overrule their investigators’ decision to wind up the investigation, and, instead, agree to put Mangum’s false claims into the hands of a known rogue officer, who they knew had a documented, alarming pattern and practice of abusing Duke students, falsifying testimony and fabricating evidence to
close holes in his many baseless prosecutions of Duke students on misdemeanor charges" (p. 113).

"Defendant Robert K. Steel, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Duke University Board of Trustees, through the CMT and/or Duke Police Supervising Defendants understood, agreed, and conspired to direct the Duke Police officers and investigators to (1) cease all participation in the investigation, (2) conceal evidence of their prior role in the investigation and evidence of their authority to intervene and control the investigation, and (3) fabricate false and misleading 'witness' statements calculated to conceal their personal observations of Mangum’s bizarre behavior" (p. 141).

"On or about March 27, 2006, in response to a request for Duke Police Officers’ statements from Nifong’s assistant, Sheila Eason, Duke Police Supervising Defendants directed the Duke Police Officers who interacted with Mangum at DUMC to violate protocol and standing General Orders by not writing a standard incident report or operations report on the forms prescribed for that purpose. Instead, the Officers were directed to write what can only be characterized as 'bystander witness statements' that conceal the exculpatory evidence they derived from their interactions with Mangum" (p. 146).

Ekstrand goes on to explain the suspiciously uniform nature of these "bystander witness statements."

As we have known for some time, the Bowen/Chambers report (evaluating the administration's initial response) justified the Duke administration's slow response to the allegations by pointing to a report by Duke Officer Christopher Day which suggested Mangum was not credible. When the existence of Officer Day's report was revealed, Ekstrand says, the media began asking "a barrage of questions about...why he was involved in the investigation" (p. 98) being a Duke Policeman.

"Duke Police and Durham Police agreed to misrepresent what transpired on the loading dock of the E.D. and told reporters that Officer Day was 'eavesdropping' on Durham Police conversations, and had no place in the investigation" (p. 98)

Day's report, however, "contained a synopsis of much of the exculpatory evidence gathered by Durham Police and Duke Police on March 14th, and concluded that the felony investigation had been closed. Because everything in Day's report was already approved by the command and was at odds with the directive to conceal exculpatory material, Day was directed to write a 'Continuation' report" (p. 150) which "deliberately impeaches his own contemporaneously written synthesis of the reports he received in the transition briefing at the E.D. in the early morning hours of March 14, 2006" (p. 150). By impeaching his own report, Day was forced to discredit the evidentiary and exculpatory value of his report.

There are three Duke Police Officers that the complaint lists as individuals who were forced to commit these frauds: Officers Mazurek, Falcon, and Day. Officers Mazurek and Falcon have since obtained employment elsewhere. Ekstrand's explanation of this fact implying they were each "free to report any exculpatory information" (p. 149) seems to imply that much of Ekstrand's substantiation for these accusations of conspiracy against Duke Officials and Duke Police defendants may be coming from these very officers. If such is the case, their testimony could prove devastating.

Wait until we get into Ekstrand's allegations of Duke administrators' efforts to "force waivers of the plaintiff's fifth and sixth amendment rights" (p. 155).

Stuart Taylor wasn't messing around when he predicted this case was going to get "uglier and uglier and uglier" at our Nov. 2nd event. Whether or not these allegations are successfully contested, the whole affair got quite a bit uglier on Dec. 18 with the filing of this complaint.

Lawsuit File (Video and Audio Included)

Ekstrands website, www.ninthstreetlaw.com, has posted the complete pdf file of the complaint, which includes audio and video attachments. The file is a 72 MB pdf.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lawsuit Breakdown: KC Johnson Weighs In

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

The following Q&A with KC Johnson was provided by Liestoppers:

What parts of the filing came as a surprise to you? Any new information you were not aware of?

To me, the single most signifiant aspect of the filing comes on pp. 217-221, discussing the treatment of Matt Wilson. Wilson, it's clear, received disproportionate punishment based on his status as a lacrosse player. More problemmatically, however, the filing alleges that in his Judicial Board inquiry, he was asked multiple questions about the party.

If Wilson was asked even one question about the party, such an act would have violated the University's stated policy, that it was not and could not investigate the case, since doing so would be tantamount to obstruction of justice. In short, if this claim is true, the University had, by its own admission, obstructed justice.

The other significant element that wasn't public information was the extent to which Duke tried (and succeeded) to make sure that McFadyen signed a FERPA waiver--which allowed the University to describe his suspension and made sure that there would be no problems in denouncing him publicly.

The conduct is particularly egregious for three reasons: (1) as the claim pointed out, other students who had sent far worse e-mails were punished less; (2) Brodhead was an English prof--presumably he was familiar with the book; (3) if the University was able to track McFadyen down to sign a FERPA waiver, why didn't the University ask him what the e-mail referenced? Of course, when the University actually got around to doing that, the suspension was lifted.

As the onion gets pealed back more, is it about as bad as you anticipated or worse based on this filing?

It's about as bad as I had expected. The filing hints at greater involvement than has been documented to date by Bob Steel--which could create a most interesting discovery process.

What is your assessment of Sam Hummel's role within this filing? Will he be added to it?

I doubt Hummel will be added. The question with him is (a) whether his supervisors knew of his activity; and (b) whether it can be proven that he did anything on Duke's time or equipment. Are there people, for instance, who could testify that they saw him creating wanted posters on a Duke copier? The creation of those posters was a direct harm to the three plaintiffs, obviously.

Could the Honorable Judge Stephens be a likely candidate for an addition to this? It has come to light he enabled some very unethical things without doing the appropriate amount of homework?

Stephens won't be added to the filing--unfortunately, incompetence isn't grounds for a civil suit. I think we see from this filing that there's a long trait of laziness in the Durham DA's office. It recalls Nifong's claim at the criminal contempt trial that he had open file discovery because that way he could be saved the problem of actually reading his own files and determining whether documents needed to be handed over to the defense.
Is any portion of the filing weak in your opinion?

It's hard to imagine the filing against Meehan or DSI surviving--they are both highly vulnerable to the three accused players, but if Meehan and DSI hadn't entered into an agreemet with Nifong to intentionally withhold exculpatory evidence, I'm not sure it would have affected the position of the three plaintiffs.

I also think the filing could have done more with the point that Duke failed to require its faculty to treat all students equally on basis of race, class, gender, or athletic status. McFadyen was in Reeve Huston's class--subjecting him to one of the most egregious acts of faculty harassment in the case.

Could this new information, if validated in a court of law lead to federal charges?

Unfortunately, no. It's clear the feds rejected becoming involved for political reasons--they had overwhelming evidence that a crime occurred. How often does the Justice Department turn down a request from a sitting AG? I can't imagine anything that will bring about a federal inquiry at this stage.
Do you feel the actions of Tara Levicy in this frame are becoming more serious than what you initially assessed?

No, but only because I always had assessed her actions as very, very serious. It's worth remembering that this case never would have reached Nifong but for two people--Levicy and Gottlieb.

The filing very cleverly positions Levicy as she should be known--the de facto accuser. Since the police had no statement from Mangum until 4-6, it was the zealot Levicy who was consistently providing the "voice" of the "victim"--and, as this filing makes clear, was constantly changing her story to fit the prosecution's needs.

The filing also gives the lie to those who have claimed that Levicy is blameless because, as a Duke employee, she was covered in the civil suit the three falsely accused players settled with Duke.

Do you think anything has been held back in an effort to combat Duke/DPD's response?

Possibly, though the filing does go to great lengths in explaining the Duke PD's role. The allegation that Duke Police officers were pressured to give incomplete pro-Mangum reports is a very, very troubling one.

One aspect of the case as a whole about which we still know little is the full extent od DPD-DukePD contact. If I were Duke's attorneys, I'd be afraid of what discovery could yield on this score.

What can we expect in the additional filings by other unindicted players?

We know that the other players are represented by some of Washington's top lawyers. If they file, then, I would expect the document to be as or more powerful than this filing.

Why was there no dollar amount attached to this filing?

To keep open the prospect of negotiations.

Anything you wouldlike to add?

I'm especially intrigued by the prominence given to Bob Steel in this filing. Steel is one of the few figures involved in the case who not only has never been deposed but who has not been recently interviewed. His only on-the-record interview (to the New Yorker, in Aug. 2006) was a disaster for Duke. (Recall he asserted that the season was cancelled because Duke had to stop the photos of the team practicing, whether this was fair or not.) His deposition, if discovery is allowed to proceed, could be very interesting.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Kim Curtis Gone

To follow up on our previous Kim Curtis post, Duke Students for an Ethical Duke has been told by two confidential sources with knowledge of personnel decisions that Kim Curtis, the political science professor who was sued by former student and lacrosse player Kyle Dowd for giving him a failing grade on the basis that he was a lacrosse player, will no longer be returning to Duke University for the spring of 2008. Duke was forced to settle with the Dowd family and changed both his grade and the grade of the only other lacrosse player in the class, who was also failed on the final assignment, to a "P" for passing. Though the Dowds amassed overwhelming proof of their allegations, and in spite of the settlement, Duke refuses to acknowledge that a violation took place and has continuously refused to reprimand Curtis or punish her in any way.

We have learned that Curtis and her husband Romand "Rom" Coles, both members of the Group of 88 and signers of both the listening ad and the clarification letter, are in the final paperwork stages of accepting employment from Northern Arizona University. Rom Coles has been a candidate for the McAllister Chair at NAU, and it seems that he has accepted the position (or obtained a different one).

Curtis has been one of the most outlandish condemners of the lacrosse team, frequenting protests, suggesting in writing that the aforementioned lacrosse players were guilty of obstruction of justice, and even donating to the Diane Catotti campaign for Durham City Council - a candidate who attempted to block an independent inquiry into the conduct of the Durham Police. Couple that with the almost undeniable grade retaliation and discrimination, and it is unthinkable that Duke has been content to allow this kind of conduct.

Though it is a welcome and somewhat reassuring development that Curtis will no longer have the power and authority to abuse Duke students, it remains a troubling matter that Duke continues to condone the kind of conduct she has displayed.

[Updated 7:51 pm 11/26/07]
Another relevant Curtis-link to Durham in Wonderland

[Edited 12:31 pm 1/10/08]
Our information was apparently incorrect. Apparently Kim Curtis will still be teaching one class during the Spring semester 2008. She and her husband will be leaving the following semester.

Lawsuit Breakdown: Jurisdiction in the Rape Claim Investigation

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 (part 1, part 2 and part 3) by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

The revelation in what we will call the Ekstrand lawsuit, henceforth, that the investigation of Crystal Mangum's false rape claims was not within the jurisdiction of the Durham Police Department, but instead the Duke University Police Department seems to be an enormous one, and the implications of this revelation are extensive indeed. The assertions made regarding jurisdiction (not yet referring to the alleged conspiracies, mind you) seem to be easily verifiable, and it will be interesting to see if the defense challenges them.

The lawsuit seems to make two key points regarding the matter of jurisdiction:

1. The Duke University Police Department had Jurisdiction
2. ALL of the defendants conspired to publicly and privately conceal the fact of the Duke Police Department's "jurisdictional obligation" (p. 4)

1. Jurisdiction
The former point seems easily provable, and the suit appears to do so citing both legislation and precedent. The suit explains that "the Duke Police Department had original, primary, and continuing authority to investigate Crystal Mangum's false accusations from March 14, 2006 through January 12, 2007" (p. 33). The grounds for this authority are that the residence at 610 N. Buchanan, the site of the alleged rape which had been purchased by Duke University roughly two weeks prior to the alleged incident, was property of Duke University. In accordance with North Carolina state law enacted in 2003 and amended in 2004, the Duke police have and did have "primary jurisdiction over all properties owned or controlled by Duke University, regardless of location" (p. 36).

Not only does the suit establish the legal authority of the Duke Police Department, but Ekstrand further demonstrates that "Durham and Duke Police Departments had an established practice of strictly dividing cases according to the jurisdiction allocation agreement" (p. 37). The DUPD "was required to-and did- initiate and conclude investigations" (p. 37) of crimes alleged on Duke property regardless of location and regardless of the severity of the reported crimes including sexual assault and rape. The Duke Police handled reports of 22 forcible sex offenses and rapes between 2003 and 2005. Assaults alleged to have occurred everywhere from 2100 DUMC North Hospital in 2005 to Koehane dormitory and 2017 Yearby Street in April and July of 2006, respectively, both after the false rape claims of Mangum, were handled entirely by Duke Police. Similarly, in September of 2006 the Duke Police handled a report of Breaking or Entering of a Motor Vehicle and Injury to Personal Property reported at 704 N. Buchanan Blvd, a residence that became Duke property in the very same transaction in which Duke acquired 610 N. Buchanan, the site of the alleged rape.

The essence of this first point, the matter of jurisdiction, is that the Duke University Police Department serves as an agency for its own jurisdiction (Duke owned property) in every way that the Durham Police Department serves its jurisdiction, the City of Durham. The fact that the Duke Police had jurisdiction in this matter poses a number of problems for Duke, the first being that Duke is therefore likely responsible for the conduct of Durham police. The second problem is that it means the entire time, from March 14, 2006 to January 12, 2007, the Duke police and indeed Duke had the power to put an end to the extraordinary abuses of the police investigation. Moreover, this revelation puts the lie to every statement Dick Brodhead and other university agents made claiming there was nothing they could do.

All of this looks much worse for Duke in light of the second point, the allegations of conspiracy to conceal jurisdiction.

2. Conspiracy
"After Mangum’s allegations became a national media story, the Duke University Defendants and Durham Police Defendants conspired, agreed, and understood that the Duke Police Department would abandon its investigation of Mangum’s false claims, and cede the investigation to Sgt. Mark D. Gottlieb, a known rogue officer, who, upon information and belief, only weeks before, was taken off the patrol beat due to his abusive tactics with Duke students" (p. 33)
The lawsuit alleges that in particular Bob Steel, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Brodhead, and the rest of the Crisis Management Team "directed the Duke Police Department not to intervene" (p. 42). Moreover, the lawsuit alleges that:
"Duke University Defendants, Ex-District Attorney Michael B. Nifong, and the City of Durham Defendants colluded to conceal from the public the fact that the Duke Police Department had the authority and obligation to initiate and conclude an investigation of Mangum’s false claims" (p. 33-34).
Contrast these two allegations with the following internationally publicized address from Duke President Richard Brodhead:

“To determine responsibility, we need to learn the full truth as quickly as possible. While I have urged and while I continue to urge everyone to cooperate with this inquiry to the fullest. Unavoidably, we have to look to the Durham Police to take the lead in the investigation. Duke doesn’t have the power to compel testimony from citizens of this city, and Duke lacks access to warrants, DNA records, and other confidential information. I have confidence in the authorities to find the truth and I have confidence that the authorities will take whatever legal steps are necessary in the best interests of this community.” (we should have a video clip of this within a few days)
For well over a year, this line of argument has been integral to the Duke administration's defense: that there was nothing it could do. If the allegations in this lawsuit are true, that would be a rather indefensible position, and moreover it would prove to be a rather malicious lie. If true, these allegations will prove that Brodhead, Steel, and the CMT were not merely guilty of failing to stand up for their students but directly responsible for putting the matter into the hands of a known corrupt investigator, Gottleib, who had a history of wildly and even violently abusing Duke students - a history readily familiar to those on the Crisis Management Team.

Still think the lacrosse affair is over?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lawsuit Breakdown: The Defendants

[The series Lawsuit Breakdown will attempt to highlight the main points of the lawsuit filed on 12/18/07 (part 1, part 2 and part 3) by attorneys for Ryan McFayden, Matt Wilson and Breck Archer with a focus on Duke University's involvement in the scandal.]

The Duke University defendants identified in the lawsuit are grouped as follows:

A. Duke University Defendants
__1. Duke Police Defendants
____a. Duke Police Supervising Defendants
____b. Duke Police Investigator Defendants
__2. Duke Officials Defendants
____a. Crisis Management Team Defendants
____b. Duke Administrator Defendants
__3. Duke SANE Defendants

1. Duke Police Defendants
The inclusion of the Duke Police in the lawsuit comes as quite a surprise to a number of us that have followed the affair as they have not been given much notice. However the lawsuit's allegations regarding the matter of jurisdiction - that Duke Police and not Durham Police in fact had jurisdiction as the site of the alleged rape was Duke property - in this affair constitute an intriguing matter that has been widely unnoticed and overlooked. Then again perhaps the lawsuit explains why we haven't heard much about this issue of jurisdiction:
"The fact of Duke Police Department’s jurisdictional obligation to investigate Mangum’s false accusations was kept secret through another overarching conspiracy among all Defendants to publicly and privately conceal it" (p. 4).
The lawsuit names several individuals within the DuPD as defendants grouped as supervising defendants and investigator defendants.

We will delve into the fascinating matter of jurisdiction in a separate post.

2. Duke Officials Defendants
__a. Crisis Management Team (CMT) Defendants
The lawsuit explains that "the CMT was formed to direct the University’s conduct in the
investigation of Mangum’s false allegations" (p. 13). Each of the members, listed below, are listed as individual defendants in the lawsuit.
Crisis Management Team:
Robert K. Steel, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Duke University Board of Trustees; Richard Brodhead, President; Peter Lange, Provost; Tallman Trask, Executive Vice President; John Burness, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs & Government Relations; Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs; Victor J. Dzau, Chancellor for Health Affairs, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Duke University Health Systems, Inc.; and Allison Halton, University Secretary.

We will elaborate on each individual's alleged involvement in subsequent posts.

__b. Duke Administrator Defendants
The Duke Administrator Defendants are Duke administrators not member to the Crisis Management Team, and are listed below.

Kemel Dawkins, Vice President for Campus Services; Suzanne Wasiolek, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students; Stephen Bryan, Associate
Dean of Students and Director of Judicial Affairs; and Matthew Drummondd, Senior Manager IT in Auxiliary Services and Head of the University’s Duke Card Office.

3. Duke SANE Defendants
The complainant in the false rape claim, Crystal Mangum, was examined by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurses at the Duke University Medical Center.

The Duke SANE Defendants are listed below.

Duke University Health Systems Inc. (DUHS); Private Diagnostic Clinic, PLLC (PDC), Julie Manly M.D., member of the DUHS House Staff, a physician member of the PDC, and an affiliated physician at Duke University; Theresa Arico R.N., clinical nurse on DUHS’s staff; and Tara Levicy R.N., SANE-in-Training.

Similarly, more to come on each individual's involvement in subsequent posts.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Three More File Suit, Name Brodhead Among Defendants

Current senior Ryan McFadyen as well as former lacrosse players Matt Wilson and Breck Archer have all filed a federal lawsuit against a long list of defendants including Mike Nifong, the City of Durham, Duke University, top administrators and members of the faculty. The complaint lists 35 causes of action, and among the allegations are fraud, negligence and conspiracy. The three players are represented by Bob Ekstrand, formerly a defense attorney for many of the lacrosse players not indicted.

Of particular interest is that the suit names Duke President Richard Brodhead as one of the defendants, a notable inclusion considering the Blue Committee, charged with a standard evaluation of the president conducted three years into his tenure, recently gave Brodhead an ostensibly hearty thumbs-up. A Duke spokesman David Jarmul offered part of Duke's defense: "Duke University reasonably relied on the statements of a prosecutor whose path of destruction could be stopped only by the North Carolina Attorney General."

However, as DSEDuke has repeatedly pointed out, the defense that Duke administrators were relying on flawed information from a district attorney who was the only man to blame is difficult to maintain when one considers that Duke administrators were repeatedly approached by defense lawyers (notably the office of Ekstrand himself) offering to disclose much (and later all) of their files as early as March of 2006, according to Ekstrand. These efforts were also documented in Until Proven Innocent. Though the Duke administration repeatedly met with Nifong and police, neither Nifong nor the Duke administration would listen to the defense.

We will post again soon after reviewing the 391 page complaint.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Kim Curtis' Return to Duke

A number of people have asked what we intend to do about Kim Curtis, who it seems is returning to the classroom next semester. She will be teaching PolSci 183 - Ecological Crisis and Pol Theory in addition to being listed under various independent study and research courses.

Kim Curtis failed two lacrosse players in her class on their final assignment during the Spring of 2006, the same Spring in which the lacrosse episode began. One student, Kyle Dowd, filed suit against both Curtis and the university on the grounds that Curtis had given him failing grades for participation and for his final paper and a mathematically impossible failing grade for the semester simply because Dowd was a lacrosse player. Dowd and his family tried repeatedly to work with the university to correct the situation, one that would have prevented him from graduating and forced his employer to withdraw its job offer, but they were forced to file suit in spite of their good intentions. Their lawyers put together an almost impenetrable case, which you may review here, and the university was forced to settle on behalf of itself as well as Curtis and changed his grade to a P for passing. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. For a more complete account of the appalling story of Professor Curtis, see KC Johnson's post entitled Dowd and Duke.

We are seeking comment from Duke administrators regarding Curtis' return to campus, and will post once we have learned more. Neither the university nor Curtis has publicly acknowledged any wrongdoing, nor has there been any indication of action taken by the university against Curtis.

If the Dowd side of the argument is correct - and as the settlement by Duke would seem to confirm - Kim Curtis has engaged in one of the worst possible violations of an educator's responsibility. The university's unwillingness to address the misconduct of its own professors is an extraordinary problem that is at the heart of Duke Students for an Ethical Duke's mission. It is simply impossible to maintain an ethical institution in which those with the most responsibility and power, the professors (especially tenured), are held to seemingly non-existent standards.

In what is an unacceptable double standard, the university has made clear throughout the lacrosse affair that it will hold its students to exceptionally high standards and will even approve of the violation of students' constitutional rights to do so (see Good Neighbor Policy).

As KC Johnson says, "as to grade retaliation—even one instance is one instance too many for any university, much less one with the academic prestige of Duke."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

UNCW Professor Chris Halkides

Dr. Chris Halkides, associate professor in UNCW's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, attended Stuart Taylor's Nov. 2nd speech and decided to write a piece on it. For this piece, he also interviewed Duke's own Dr. Stephen Baldwin, among others. We have posted his piece here.

Dr. Halkides also explains his interest in the affair and what motivated him to journey all the way to Durham to hear Mr. Taylor speak.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Back in Business/Fraudulent Posting?

We've been quiet for a while as we have all been on Thanksgiving break, but we are back now!

A number of people have brought a certain blog and poll on sodahead.com to our attention. Though "Rob," the owner of the blog, quotes our mission statement, we have no idea who he is, and if he has any connection to our organization, then it is news to us. He claims that Duke professor Dr. Karla Holloway will be subjected to an ethics hearing by the student body. If there is any basis to that claim, then it is even more shocking news to us. The posting, however, seems at the moment to be a fraud.

In Rob's profile, he claims that he is "entering [his] senior year," that he is a "member of student government, and the paper (The Duke Chronicle)", and that he "sit[s] on Greek Council." As one of our members has pointed out, the way that "Rob" refers to what almost all members of the paper simply call "The Chronicle" and what any Greek at Duke knows is the "Inter-fraternity Council" or "IFC" raises questions about the veracity of his entire profile.

We will post anything of significance that we learn about "Rob" or this claim of his.

[Edited 4:24 pm 12/07/07]
We have removed the links to "Rob's" sodahead blog. We do not wish to direct traffic there.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Letter to the Editor

Elliott's Column

Correspondence with Elliott Prior to Column

Elliott's Full Correspondence with KC Johnson

Dr. Gustafson's Chronicle Correction

Letter sent to the Chronicle [letter published]:

I am profoundly hurt and disappointed by what Elliott has produced here, but I am especially appalled at the way Elliott has gone about producing it. We are all (DSED and Friends/partners) preparing a well-reasoned, fair, and well informed response to Elliott's column, not only a necessity but also a courtesy to Elliott that we believe he has not extended to us, nor is it what he has provided to the readers of the Chronicle. I hope that in addition to this letter, the Chronicle will publish that response defending our integrity with the same publicity with which Elliott has besmirched it.

In the meantime visit our Blog, ethicalduke.blogspot.com, where you will find much of the substantiation that he demanded and that I provided to him. Elliott made it clear that unless I betrayed my own integrity by revealing to him anonymous sources, he was going to publish a column attempting to eviscerate DSEDuke and me. Though I easily substantiated my arguments - indeed I bent over backwards to meet his absurd time demands - with publicly available sources, he ignored them.

With some minor modifications to a single sentence from my piece in the NRR, I stand by my arguments as I have done my research. We welcome criticism, and as Dr. Gustafson will attest, we often have to pry it from him.

However, it is a bit much to be accused of things like “plagiarism” and “rush to judgment” in a defamation piece for which the near entirety of “investigation,” let alone writing, was conducted long after Elliott’s deadline for submission of the column. Equally odd was the absurd claim we are “rapidly losing support,” substantiated by a flagrant, malicious misquote of Dr. Gustafson (intentional or not) and anonymous “chron[icle message board] postings,” according to Elliott, who accused us of substantiating with “hearsay” and “gossip.”

Regarding what he calls our lack of “policy objectives,” Elliott did not even inquire about them, nor did he ask about any of our non-lacrosse related initiatives. We have not sought publicity for much of what we have done because we wait until we have done our due diligence. We invite the Chronicle to do a story on our other objectives in the near future.

Elliott has made a variety of mistakes and wildly misappropriated several quotes. While he included a quote of which I am quite proud, he left out the most important sentence: “similarly, when we are shown to be wrong, we must readily admit that we are wrong.” I am committed to that statement, and we hope Elliott will make the same humble commitment. I do not know what has prompted this betrayal of his usual journalistic integrity or his rush to discredit us, but we hope that we will be able to continue working for a better, ethical Duke together.

Ken Larrey
Duke Students for an Ethical Duke

Saturday, November 17, 2007

DSED Department of Attributions/Clarifications/Corrections/Proper MLA citations: Errata

[message from Ken Larrey regarding his argument in the New Right Review. The online version contains at least one significant mistake that somehow arose in the editing process, but I believe that mistake was corrected in the print version, though the online version has yet to be updated. As written in the online version, the editor made a modification that has me stating that first amendment rights do not apply to faculty members, which was news to me]

One of the problems when submitting articles for fact-checking, editing, and review to someone who already knows a great deal about the relevant facts is that though both of us may understand what I mean, it may not be clear to others. Especially in an argumentative piece like this one that requires interpretations of fact on the part of the author, that can be a problem.

Precision and accuracy are important, even for irrelevant matters. There were a couple of corrections that I would like to make to my argument in the New Right Review, and you may judge their importance.

1) "what Brodhead termed the 'Good Neighbor Policy'"
According to KC Johnson, the "Good Neighbor Policy" was a nickname among administrators for the described policy or approach. However, we do not actually have Brodhead on record using that term.

2) “it was Duke that collaborated with police and [Alcohol Law Enforcement] to illegally raid student off campus houses without warrants—well in excess of 100 instances"
There were well in excess of 100 citations thrown out by judges because of the lack of warrants. However, as written, 100 instances seems to refer to "raid[s]," which was not the intent. Though this was not Elliott's objection (and actually he overlooked that too), this would nevertheless qualify as sloppy writing.

Also, in the context of the entire paragraph the meaning is much clearer [this is where knowledge of the facts can get in the way], but the argument is that Duke collaborated with the Durham Police in developing and/or approving the policies that led to this sort of police behavior that was abusive of Duke students. No, I was not trying to convince anyone that Dean Bryan went running around with Mark Gottleib threatening to deport people and dragging half asleep college students down stairs. I had taken that assumption for granted...as hilarious as the idea might be.

3) "so that Judicial Affairs could subject them to Duke justice"
Here is what I perceive to be the only mistake of noteworthy significance in the argument, and this is where Elliott did have a point. Including this statement as I did implied that Duke's intent in all of this was to be able to subject them to "Duke justice," and that is not something I am prepared to substantiate publicly. There is, however, ample reason to argue that this was the DPD's intent and ALE's intent - so that Judicial Affairs would subject them to Duke justice even though a court would have to throw out the citations - and that is what I want readers to take from all of this. Equally important is that Duke proved completely indifferent to these abuses and indeed seemed to support them by continuing to apply "Duke justice" based on this illegally obtained information.

So while Elliott is correct that there was some sloppy writing in this single sentence from my argument, I am nonetheless taken aback by his assault on Duke Students for an Ethical Duke, and we look forward to the opportunity to respond to a number of his statements of "fact."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

DSED Department of Attributions/Clarifications/Corrections/Proper MLA citations

[A message from Ken Larrey regarding his argument in the New Right Review]

Elliott Wolf had a few questions regarding my argument in the New Right Review and a few unclear points and minor errors have come to my attention that I would like to address. First of all, he argues that I probably should have attributed certain facts to sources (anonymous or otherwise) even though I was writing an argument (perhaps you could call it an op-ed, but it was one side of a two sided argument) rather than a newspaper story. I'm not sure what journalistic conventions or obligations may apply to such a piece (especially because I am not a journalist, and I'm not sure an argument is "journalism"), but nonetheless I will try to do so below just in case.

There were three passages that he specifically brought to my attention:

Passage 1 (in these passages I am quoting Elliott's rehashing of quotes from my argument)
administrators handed over troves of players’ confidential information that was later used to frame suspects and obtain indictments…[and] Nifong went out of his way to do favors such as his attempted cover up [sic] for this illegally leaked information.
Elliott questioned the basis for this statement. Though there are many ways to substantiate this statement, the easiest is to cite KC Johnson's Blog entry entitled Sunday Roundup from 6/22/07 which states:
the only time when the regular Durham judiciary (Judges Stephens and Titus) stood up to Mike Nifong was last July, when Judge Kenneth Titus rejected Nifong’s request for keycard records of the non-indicted players. Titus cited the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA). [...] the material released by the Bar suggests that “Duke University had already turned these records over to police months earlier in March evidently in violation of FERPA.”
As Gottleib testified in his deposition for Nifong's Bar hearing, this information was used in obtaining indictments. First of all, typically when I make a statement in this argument regarding someone's intentions, I figure it is implied that unless I state otherwise, I am making an educated intimation. Obviously calling it a "favor," whether it was intended as a favor or not, is a judgment call on my part and part of the argument, and I believe it is a fair one.

Passage 2
the Lacrosse Ad Hoc Review Committee, the Campus Culture Initiative and so on were planned several days before the McFadyen [sic] email became public and coach Pressler was fired. Brodhead was simply waiting for the right opportunity.
Here is the statement that I was referring to from Until Proven Innocent page 139:
Brodhead did not stop with banishing McFadyen. Accelerating plans that had already been made, he canceled the team’s season once and for all. He also appointed a gaggle of committees, to examine: (1) “persistent problems involving the men’s lacrosse team, including racist language and a pattern of alcohol abuse and disorderly behavior”—a statement misleadingly suggesting that these Duke students were racists even while a race-pandering prosecutor was making an identical case to Durham voters and potential jurors; (2) his own administration’s response to the crisis, especially complaints that it should have taken harsher action, sooner, against the team; (3) Duke’s disciplinary process; and (4) “campus culture,” including “personal responsibility,” “consideration for others,” and drinking. A fifth committee consisted of supposedly “wise figures” to advise Brodhead and the Board of Trustees. [emphasis added]
Upon second glance I realize that there are other interpretations to the emboldened text, but it was my interpretation that it applied to all of the plans in this paragraph. Because I can't imagine that plans to cancel a season would be complicated enough to require a period of several days or weeks between the decision and the cancellation or announcement, my instinct was that KC was referring to all of these plans. If I am incorrect in interpreting KC's intent, then that is why. Even if I am incorrect in that interpretation [I will update when he responds], then I would not be surprised my argument is nonetheless correct for at least some of the committees, and I will see if I can find other sources that shed light on this. As Elliott acknowledged to me, "one statement from the academic concil [sic] talked about the review committee before the email, but not the cci [sic]." If I did make a mistake, it was relatively insignificant and benign.

Given that Brodhead pulled four more committees out of his pocket on the same day that the McFayden email was released to the public, my guess would be that some sort of plans had been in the works. After all, which takes longer: "planning" the cancellation of a lacrosse season or outlining and organizing five separate committees with separate and formidable tasks? You decide.

Passage 3
“it was Duke that collaborated with police and [Alcohol Law Enforcement] to illegally raid student off campus houses without warrants—well in excess of 100 instances—so that Judicial Affairs could subject them to Duke justice.”
My sources behind this statement are all necessarily anonymous and I will keep them that way for the time being. Now apparently I misunderstood the precise relationship between ALE and the Durham Police. I am aware that ALE and the Durham Police collaborate a great deal, though that does not necessarily mean that policies discussed or arranged between Duke administrators and the Durham Police are actually discussed with ALE as well, even if they both act on them together or separately but in similar ways. Given what my sources have explicitly said, technically I should probably have only said that Duke collaborated with the Durham Police in developing and/or approving the policies that led to this sort of behavior. Nonetheless, there is a remarkable similarity in the behavior of ALE and the Durham police, who were in fact working together in many of the actions in question (see next block quote).

Note that in this argument I have not made the allegation that Duke sought out the Durham Police or ALE with these policies as opposed to vis-versa, though I am asserting that they were at the least mutually involved in the process of creating and approving some of these policies. Legally I understand that there is a difference in who approached whom, and maybe civil suits will shed light on that, but is it really any less disturbing to know that Duke approved of a policy like the Good Neighbor policy even if they didn't create it? You decide. That goes perhaps one step further than Until Proven Innocent, which states:
It was to appease neighbors that Duke’s administration had helped devise the police program targeting Duke’s own students for selective arrest and prosecution on petty charges for which other Durhamites would not be arrested. Duke president Richard Brodhead was later to acknowledge this arrangement, which Duke called its Good Neighbor Policy. But this crackdown had elements of a reign of terror. The year began with a series of planned, warrantless raids of student parties off campus. The police, joined by Alcohol Law Enforcement agents, raided several homes in pursuit of underage drinking.
As always, I am happy to answer questions about anything I print or say to the best of my ability and liberty and in a reasonably timely fashion, and the same goes for Duke Students for an Ethical Duke. We are also always willing to issue corrections when it becomes clear they are necessary. I post these explanations because Elliott tells me people have asked him about the these passages, and I figure that others may have similar questions as well.

Ken Larrey
Duke Students for an Ethical Duke

[Edited 10:02 pm 11/17/07]
The above explanations were provided to Elliott Wolf in advance of his November 15 Column entitled "Physician, Heal Thyself." I have not really made any corrections of significance in it of my argument in the New Right Review (there are a couple minor things that I will be happy to correct) in this post, but I do not wish to modify this post (this edit aside) in order that people may see exactly what was provided to and ignored by Elliott in his column.

Monday, November 12, 2007

University of Delaware Diversity Facilitation Training

A recent editorial published in National Journal by Stuart Taylor explains the University of Delaware's "Diversity Facilitation Training" program. The program was ended promptly on October 30th after it gained media coverage and evoked local outrage. We have posted the editorial here in its original form.

Here is the full document produced by the University of Delaware's Office of Residence Life outlining the program.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Follow up on Chronicle Editorial

Most of what needed to be said about the Chronicle's overt agenda, at least for this week, was said in our previous post, so now we will focus more on the argument of the Chronicle Editorial itself, which should seem untenable to even the most modestly knowledgeable reader.

One point before we do: we notified the Chronicle of Stuart Taylor's speech 9 days before the event at the same time we sent press releases to other local media. Not only did both major local newspapers attend, but so did others that were not even sent the press release, including Metro Magazine and a gent from UNCW as well. Noting that there were no Chronicle reporters present, we then offered to bring them the video of the speech the next day. The offer was ignored.

A peculiarity of the editorial is that while it strongly and repeatedly asserts that "Brodhead should and must stay," the arguments made almost seem to argue the opposite. As one of our members joked, it seems the Chronicle decided to let each editor write a line in an editorial Mad Lib.

First of all the Chronicle describes Brodhead as "a president who is academic not managerial." Is there really such a thing as a presidential position that is not managerial in nature? Or do there exist presidential positions that might prefer or even tolerate someone who is "passive not active?" The title implies that Brodhead has "a chance [...] to do the defining," but the editorial then implies that yet another of his character attributes is "his inability to impose his own trajectory on the University." Somehow that also seems to be not merely a "weakness" but another attribute directly antithetical to presidency as well.

His strengths? The case revealed his "academic prudence, appreciation for complexity, willingness to explore deeper issues involved in the case, and capacity for self-criticism." We aren't sure what is meant by "academic prudence," how the case revealed it, or how it was an attribute in the affair, and a "capacity for self-criticism" or self-reflection is something that has been conspicuously absent throughout. Our sources indicate that Brodhead continues to believe he has done nothing wrong, and up to his apology, has asserted that he would have done almost everything the same if he were to start from the beginning again. As we have noted, Brodhead's apology was far more decorative than substantive. As for the other two strengths, it is probably no accident that the Chronicle avoids explaining how those attributes played out in a positive way.

In short, the Chronicle asserted that among Brodhead's weaknesses as a leader and a president are an inability to lead and an inability to manage. On the plus side though, he is an academic. If that doesn't put the writing on the wall...

Also among the peculiar assertions in this Brodhead apologia:

"Brodhead is no longer on the defensive"
The truth is Brodhead came back into the school year believing the lessons of the lacrosse affair needed to be learned by those meddling kids and their booze only to be rudely confronted with a number of lessons that were apparently lost on him. The Blue Committee presidential review just began a review of his presidency after what was likely among the worst demonstrations of administrative responsibility in university history. Even before that he has had to continuously face outraged students and alumni and defend himself in front of the Board of Trustees. Yet he's "no longer on the defensive?" Really?

"the lacrosse case over"
The second time around, Chronicle made a technically accurate statement, if "the lacrosse case" refers only to the rape charges, but it still misses the point completely. The lacrosse case, though over, is a bigger problem for Dick Brodhead than it ever was while heading towards the rocks.

"with all the forces of the world bearing impossibly down on a presidency barely begun"
First, Brodhead had been president for nearly two full years, so it seems a bit of a stretch to use this as an excuse or a significantly mitigating factor.
Second, if this really was an impossible, lose-lose situation for Brodhead, then it should have been that much easier for him to do the right thing, to speak and stick to the truth, NOT to spend over a year overseeing a massive sliming operation of his own students by his own administration and in several cases, by himself, and NOT to oversee efforts by the Duke administration to push this case to trial thereby denying his own students a fair legal process. If he was really destined to lose no matter what he did, isn't that a liberating predicament?
Third, the "uncertain" nature of this "impossible" situation has been DRAMATICALLY exaggerated, indeed invented, by administrators and Brodhead supporters, and this point is worthy of its own post. For now...read the book (Until Proven Innocent) and watch Stuart Taylor's speech.

"Yet because the Presidential Review Committee formed to evaluate the president's performance closed comments last week, we are compelled to offer the students' perspective-incomplete but important-on his performance thus far. We believe that Brodhead should and must stay."
We have already noted our amazement that a couple of Chronicle editors presumed to speak the collective voice of the student body. What is also peculiar is the explanation that the Chronicle feels "compelled to offer the students' perspective" now that the committee just closed comments...as though the Blue Committee was going to delete all of the comments they received from students, and our voice needed to be heard via the Chronicle staff.

The editorial as a whole was remarkably unprofessional and seemed to reveal a fairly overt bias and would suggest an attempt by the Chronicle to influence the Blue Committee whether there was a conscious attempt or not. We have come to expect much better from the Chronicle.

On the Brodhead front, we agree that "appreciation for complexity" is a positive attribute for people in just about any position. However, "appreciation for complexity" is one of the most notorious backhanded compliments to bestow upon a leader. Good leaders are able to grasp complex issues and from that comprehensive understanding, arrive at correct conclusions and make good decisions. Good leaders are complimented for their decision making. Implicit in the compliment of an "appreciation for complexity" is the acknowledgment that though an individual might contemplate and analyze matters at length, his analytical process falls short of yielding good decisions.

Everday Hero: Moezeldin Elmostafa

Readers Digest honors Moezeldin Elmostafa, the cab driver who risked much simply to tell the truth, as one of its everyday heroes of the year:

The story of Mr. Elmostafa is heartwarming and remarkable indeed, and Duke Students for an Ethical Duke would like to explore the possibility of bringing him to campus to share his life experiences.

Until Proven Innocent Makes Amazon.com Top Ten List

Congratulations to KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor! Until Proven Innocent made Amazon.com's Top Ten list for non-fiction books, checking in at #4. You might also notice that the average customer review is the full 5 stars out of 5 stars after 41 reviews.

It is rare that an institution such as Duke has the opportunity to receive such insightful, comprehensive critique as KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor have provided. Their dutiful and accurate pursuit of every relevant fact is nothing short of extraordinary. The debt of gratitude owed to these scholars by the Duke community is not lost on Duke Students for an Ethical Duke.

We have yet to hear of a single significant factual error that has not been corrected or a single convincing argument against the integrity of this work, and therefore it has the official endorsement of Duke Students for an Ethical Duke. KC Johnson was kind enough to sign 60 copies of the book before he left for Israel, and there may still be a few signed copies left at the Gothic Bookshop for those who have yet to read it.

Chronicle Intentions Become Clearer

On Monday, we posted on the peculiarity that the Chronicle opted not to report on Stuart Taylor's speech on Duke's own campus while several other, far larger papers did. We also noted that instead, the Chronicle published a highly flattering front page article in the Chronicle on President Richard Brodhead. Specifically, we noted the preposterous and (perhaps) wishful assertion that the "lacrosse scandal [is] nearly behind him." Meanwhile, the Herald Sun published an article of the much more accurate title Author: Lacrosse case will 'get uglier'.

Today, the Chronicle made clear that the absurd assertion was no accident with a staff editorial officially endorsing Brodhead by repeating the assertion with a slight modification. In what has to be one of the worst examples of journalistic hackery, to borrow a bit of vernacular, from the Chronicle, the staff editorial preposterously claims to speak for all Duke Students:

Yet because the Presidential Review Committee formed to evaluate the president's performance closed comments last week, we are compelled to offer the students' perspective-incomplete but important-on his performance thus far.

Simply astonishing. They do not even make mention of conducting a poll.

Duke Students for an Ethical Duke aims to represent, among others, the Duke student body, and to that end we go to great lengths to seek out varied opinions. Though we aim to advocate principle and principle alone (indirectly at times), we do our best to consider all perspectives, and in the end come to educated, measured, and wise conclusions where conclusions are warranted. Though we aim to represent and to serve the students, we could NEVER claim to speak for the students. With every position we take and every perspective we voice, we can speak only for Duke Students for an Ethical Duke, and that is the best we can do.

The Chronicle has no business whatsoever claiming to offer the "students' perspective" - not even in an editorial, and especially not in a staff editorial. Their job is to speak to the students (among others), not for them. Tuesday's editorial voices the opinion of a small handful of Chronicle staffers and should be presented as such. If the combination of Tuesday's staff editorial, Monday's article, and the curiously simultaneous decision not to report Stuart Taylor's speech do not make it clear that Chronicle editors have decided this week to rather overtly dedicate the newspaper toward the advocacy of a single man, then the Chronicle's attempt to claim the "students' perspective" should make it exceedingly clear.

The Chronicle should correct this absurdity and apologize. We have again written to them for comment and will post any reply.

Tomorrow, we will break down the remainder of the editorial itself. We will also post again on Stuart Taylor's speech in the near future.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Stuart Taylor Speech at Duke

The speech by Stuart Taylor sponsored by Duke Students for an Ethical Duke last weekend was a great success! Taylor spoke before a substantially packed Love Auditorium about the path to his involvement in reporting on the lacrosse affair. We have posted a very low quality video of the speech at www.ethicalduke.com, also available here. We hope to have a higher quality video available soon.

The crowd was quite impressive considering the number of events occurring on a busy parent's weekend. A number of parents did come and voiced concerns, raised by the lacrosse affair, about the well being of their own children currently attending Duke. Reporters from a variety of local media were in attendance; the Durham Herald Sun, the Raleigh News and Observer, and even UNCW were all represented, among others.

However, conspicuously and curiously unrepresented was the Duke Chronicle, who it seems opted not to report the event occurring on its own campus. Instead, the Chronicle published a front page article on President Brodhead asserting that the "lacrosse scandal [is] nearly behind him." DSEDuke will leave it to readers to judge the objectivity of the rest of the article, but the notion that the lacrosse affair is nearly behind Brodhead is absurd, and reporting it as such is not merely uninformed but dishonest. The Chronicle staff and editors know full well that the lacrosse affair is nowhere close to being a thing of Brodhead's past; quite the contrary, it would seem that Brodhead's problems are just beginning. Had the Chronicle, like other local media, decided to attend Stuart Taylor's speech, they would have had ample reminder of this indisputable fact. Indeed the Chronicle could have simply observed Monica Chen's coverage of the speech in the Herald Sun: Author: Lacrosse case will 'get uglier'

The Chronicle knows full well that the Blue Committee has just gone into deliberation to evaluate Brodhead's performance. If the Chronicle has substantial reason to be able to predict the committee's findings less than a week after the deadline for input, then it should be publishing that as well. Moreover as the Chronicle itself has reported, the university will likely be facing an onslaught of civil lawsuits filed by the remaining lacrosse players, Coach Pressler, and potentially others in the very near future. Far from being behind anyone, the lacrosse affair is about to get ugly for not only the City of Durham, which faces both civil suits from the indicted players and federal investigation for alleged civil rights abuses, but for a number of Duke University administrators. Not only will all of the aforementioned legal battles cost Duke piles of money and bad publicity, but if discovery results from any one of these processes and becomes public, the revelations will almost certainly be embarrassing at best and career-ending at worst for a variety of those involved in the lacrosse affair. Dick Brodhead is right at the center of that group.

As DSEDuke has maintained, if Dick Brodhead is to remain as the Duke president, he has an awful lot of explaining to do. While we do not subscribe to any one interpretation of Brodhead's motives behind a number of his decisions, words, actions and inactions, it is difficult to come up with interpretations that do not reflect poorly on the president, his leadership, his moral courage and his commitment to ethical university policy and policy implementation and enforcement. We believe it is high time that such explanations be heard.

[Edited 6:20 11/5/07]
DSEDuke has emailed the author of the Chronicle article as well as a senior editor at the Chronicle for comment and will post any replies we receive.

Brodhead's Administrative and Ethical Failings

[The New Right Review, a new campus publication, desired a two part piece on Duke President Dick Brodhead and requested that DSEDuke President Ken Larrey compose the argument against the Duke president. The publication also contains an insightful review of Until Proven Innocent written by current DSEDuke treasurer Brian Pike. An unedited and uncut version of Larrey's argument is shown below]

[Edited 3:42 pm 11/14/07]
We have removed the unedited version as the argument has apparently come into question and we wish to avoid confusion as to which argument is being referenced. Ken Larrey has made a couple of minor corrections and/or slight clarifications in a post above, and there may be more to come depending on the allegations made in Thursday's column by Elliott Wolf.

Questionable Hiring Practices by Duke?

Recently, national headlines were made when Duke Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky was initially hired as the founding dean of UC Irvine's new law school, then fired, and then re-hired when the affair brought national scrutiny to the fledgling law school. According to the L.A. Times, Chemerinsky claimed UC Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake told him that the reason for his temporary firing was "pressure from conservatives over his outspoken liberal politics." Drake has denied the claim, and upon Chemerinsky's rehiring, the two issued a joint statement attributing the confusion to "miscommunication and misunderstanding," but declared that "all issues were resolved to our mutual satisfaction." Though the issue may be resolved, several among the faculty, according to the L.A. Times, are pushing for a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Drake over his handling of Chemerinksy's hiring.

Pepperdine Law Professor Douglas W. Kmiec wrote to the L.A. Times in defense of Chemerinsky, noting that Kmiec himself is a conservative who seldom agrees with Chemerinsky on "constitutional outcome." He asserts that Chemerinksy's politics should not matter, only his merit as "one of the finest constitutional scholars in the country."

In a situation that may have certain parallels to UC Irvine's Chemerinsky debacle, guest commentator Wheeler Frost reports in the Chronicle that impeccably qualified historian Mark Moyar, who applied for faculty appointment at Duke University, believes he was rejected based on his political affiliation. Reports Frost, "Moyar graduated first in the history department at Harvard; his revised senior thesis was published as a book and sold more copies than an average history professor ever sells." Given those credentials, what is most surprising is that he was not only rejected, but was denied an interview by Professor Alex Roland who provided no reasons for his refusal. The situation is undeniably peculiar, and if things are as they seem to both Moyar and Frost, it would seem to substantiate what Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson believe is an epidemic of powerful "extremist professors" seeking to "pack departments with more and more ideologically eccentric, intellectually mediocre allies."

Though there are many criteria for hiring professors, it would seem to go without saying that the primary criteria should undoubtedly be merit. Diversity of all kinds is often another desirable trait for an academic department. However if, as Moyar believes, Duke declined to even offer an interview to him based solely on his political affiliation, then it would appear that Duke rejected Moyar in spite of both his merit AND the diversity of thought that he would have provided to Duke's history department. If true, Moyar's rejection would raise a variety of questions about the fundamental ethics of the hiring process for the history department at Duke University.

Therefore, Duke Students for an Ethical Duke intends to explore the issue before rendering any judgments or taking any stance. We will then report back when we have a better understanding.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

DSEDuke Blog Begins

As a perhaps easier way of continually providing new information, we have decided to create a blog in addition to our website www.ethicalduke.com. This will give us more space, and we intend to use it in conjunction with our website. As an added benefit, we found that apparently Google Blogs allows us to earn revenue for Duke Students for an Ethical Duke by allowing advertisements on the page, so we figured we would try that out as well.

Equally important, the blog format should make it easier for readers to communicate with us and exchange information. Readers will be able to comment on postings to let us know what they think and to share what they might like to contribute, but at least initially, we will keep them hidden. We welcome readers to share with us information, articles, educated views, links etc. that pertain to our cause, and also to send us any questions they might have regarding our posts or our mission in general.

From time to time, we may publish thoughtful comments as posts or as available comments, and we welcome our readers to offer "guest posts" for our consideration. We only request that such offerings be thoughtful, respectful, and relevant to the domain of Duke Students for an Ethical Duke.

Duke Students for an Ethical Duke