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.

2 comments:

AlexanderS said...

Imagine how tall Brodhead would be standing today, if he had been willing to oppose mob opinion, like Judge Horton of Scottsboro.

He would be being held up as a figure to emulate.

And Duke would be forever glad to have been associated with such leadership.

david said...

BRAVO. Duke needs to clean house. Many execs, administrators and professors, even those with tenure who can be fired for cause, need to go. And the sooner the better so that Duke can be cleansed off past sins and start to look to a better future. A better future isn't in the cards with the same leadership.

If this were Japan he would have resigned long ago and by now committed hari kari.