A recent article in the Duke University newspaper ("Has lax case changed alum support, giving?," Jan. 26, 2007, reported the inevitable: some Duke alumni, upset with the Group of 88 and Duke's mishandling of last year's off-campus men's lacrosse team party and the bogus criminal charges that followed, are disinclined to contribute their money to Duke.
The Chronicle editorial: "These graduates are misguided in their thinking, placing too much emphasis on an incident, rather than on Duke as an institution, and potentially hurting the rest of the University because of it."
President Brodhead failed to demonstrate the courage, sense of honor and strong judgment that a leader must have to be successful. He failed the parents of the student athletes as well as the student athletes and, most importantly, he failed to properly lead Duke University through a difficult challenge.
Contributing to Duke while Mr. Brodhead is its president is a waste of good money.
There are plenty of more worthy charities than Duke University under the "leadership" of Mr. Brodhead.
Mr. Brodhead does not see a problem: he reportedly told The Chronicle, "I've probably spoken in 30 alumni settings since last April, and very few have cut off their donations. Gifts did not go down after March of last year."
If Duke University is going to be saved from political correctness run amuck, donations need to drop sharply.
Let the Group of 88 contribute their money to Duke.
Let those who recognize that Duke betrayed the members of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men's Lacrosse Team put their money to better use than funding an unrepentant administration. (Keeping the money is better than donating it to Duke now!)
Reportedly,the number of donors has fallen, but total donations are at the expected level.
Apparently the expectation was too low.
The Chronicle sided with President Brodhead and the 88: "Some alumni have been very outspoken against President Brodhead and the Group of 88 faculty who signed the ad 'What Does a Social Disaster Sound Like?' Writing letters to the editors of various print publications and posting comments on blogs and online news stories, this small group of alumni has demonized some members of the Duke community."
Isn't that what was done to the team members, by false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum and rogue prosecutor Michael B. Nifong, aided and abetted by the Group of 88 and President Brodhead?
Is pointing out that a demon is a demon demonizing too?
Chronicle: "Many have also expressed-vehemently-their intent to never donate to Duke and to discourage others from donating as well. In doing so, these alums are overlooking the student body and the well-being of the University as a whole; by threatening to halt, and potentially withhold, their financial support, they are hurting everyone at Duke."
Contributing to business as usual at Duke is detrimental to the student body and the well-being of the University as a whole.
If withholding contribution inspires reform, great.
If not, at least those who withhold donations are not complicit in what is wrong and needs to be made right at Duke.
Chronicle: "By focusing attention on this single case, these alumni miss the many good, indeed, excellent things that have happened at Duke recently and that are in the works for the future."
No. Those alumni are following their good consciences and recognizing that what the Group of 88 and President Brodhead did with respect to the so-called Duke case (actually three cases, not a single case) is symptomatic of a fundamental problem that needs to be rectified instead of tolerated.
John in Carolina has called the attention of The Chronicle's Editor-in-Chief to "five matters which are of great concern to what you call a 'small group of alumni' and many others who care about Duke.
1) President Brodhead’s refusal on Mar. 25 to meet with the lacrosse players’ parents; his refusal to meet with them since; and his refusal to ever explain why he didn't and hasn't.
2) President Brodhead knew by Mar. 25 of the extensive cooperation the lacrosse players – not just the Captains – had provided police investigators. Yet in his Mar. 25 and Apr. 5 statements he said nothing about their cooperation, even as the 'Wall of Silence' falsehood spread and endangered the players.
3) 'Vigilante' posters were circulated on campus and physical threats made against the players at the Mar. 29 Take Back The Night rally. One of the rally organizers subsequently wrote a letter to the Raleigh N&O that said in part:
As one of the organizers of the March 29 Take Back the Night (TBTN) march and speak-out at Duke University, I want to clarify that we did not plan, nor do we endorse, the distribution of names and pictures of members of the Duke men's lacrosse team.
The distribution of the pictures, the targeting of the lacrosse team, and the violence implicit in the defacement of the pictures are nothing less than violations of the space that TBTN exists to create.
The event is neither a protest of the kind we've witnessed recently, a forum for accusation nor a place to target and defame. That some attendees tried to make it so is saddening and not at all in the spirit of the event.
Brodhead has never made a statement about those events that took place literally right outside his office.
4) On Mar. 30 the North Carolina State Bar’s Ethics Committee opened a file on DA Mike Nifong and his treatment of the lacrosse players. During April and May the public became aware of numerous investigative and legal travesties Nifong and certain Durham police officers were committing. On June 13 Duke Law professor Coleman published his 'no wrong choices' letter and called for Nifong to remove himself from the case.
During all that time and until late December, Brodhead supported Nifong’s scheme to bring the three framed young men to trial
5) On May 18 racists shouted physical threats at Reade Seligmann as he walked to the Durham County Courthouse and again within the courtroom, this time adding death threats ('Dead man walking!'). Neither Brodhead nor any member of his administration nor any trustee has ever publicly expressed any criticism of the racists or support and comfort to Seligmann and his family."
Durham County needs to remove Mr. Nifong and his willing enablers in the Durham County District Attorney's office.
Duke needs to remove Mr. Brodhead and reign in those on the faculty who went out of control when keeping control was so important.
Lest a reader not realize The Chronicle's bias, John in Carolina made it obvious in these splendid suggestions to the Editor in Chief:
1) Publish a series of news reports dealing with the concerns I’ve raised here and others that many in the Duke family have expressed to you concerning Brodhead and his administration's handling of the Hoax case. For example, did dean of students Sue Wasiolek advise lacrosse players not to tell their parents what was going on?
2) Publish an editorial explaining why The Chronicle has never reported or editorialized concerning the racists' attacks on Seligmann.
I hope to be pleasantly surprised by The Chronicle, but I'm not planning on it.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.