Thursday, January 04, 2007

Duke tries to fix its image

News from 2 weeks ago:
DURHAM - Dogged by months of damaging news stories about the lacrosse scandal, Duke University has launched a costly campaign of alumni dinners, national surveys and aggressive recruitment.

The effort -- which includes a 12-city tour by President Richard Brodhead and an entourage of faculty and students -- is part of a larger push to blunt publicity generated by gang-rape allegations involving lacrosse players. The charges resulted in an embarrassing examination of the school's social and academic culture. ...

There are signs that Duke's recruitment efforts could take a hit from the lacrosse fallout. The university's early-decision applications dropped by nearly 20 percent this past fall, and officials concede the decrease was related partly to the scandal.
Yesterday's news:
Two former Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexual assault last year are being allowed to return to the North Carolina school in good standing.

The Raleigh News & Observer reported that the university has informed Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty that their administrative leave of absence would be lifted and that both men, who were involved in the rape scandal, would be allowed to return to Duke.

David Evans, the third former lacrosse team player involved in the controversial case, graduated from Duke last year.
Duke is going to have to try harder than this. The scandal has exposed the Duke administration as a bunch of spineless racists. The lacrosse players were loyal Duke students who paid Duke a lot of money in tuition. Duke should have defended them as being innocent until proven guilty. Instead, Duke just threw them to the wolves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Duke lacked courage

I have to agree with Gordon Grunte?s comments [Letters, Dec. 20] regarding how Duke University?s leadership handled the initial phase of the lacrosse story. My wife and I were upset with the lack of reason and courage exhibited by Duke?s leadership during that period and how they turned on and punished the entire team.
The only words of reason and support for these young men (the true victims) came from some of their fellow students. It was clear that many team members were guilty of bad judgment and poor behavior and that they probably violated team rules and Duke policies.

But regarding the rape charge?to anyone with an open mind and an understanding of our legal system, it should have been obvious that this case lacked merit and smacked of political opportunism. As one who loved the university even before I was fortunate enough to attend it (MBA,1981), I had always admired the tradition of Duke?s leadership and vision, as exhibited by leaders such as the late Terry Sanford.
This great university, its students, faculty, alumni, the Durham community and the great state of North Carolina need better leadership at Duke.