2/24/2010 Chronicle challenged for its choice of editorials

✔Why did the editorial board pick this topic? Do you feel it has any particular resonance in the Duke community?

Are you guys sputtering out of ideas?

Where's the follow up on President Brodhead? A week ago he did precisely what you had called for in two stinging editorials. He got out of his office, showed leadership and held a meeting with one segment of the stakeholders and dealt with the financial crisis. After landing a one-two punch on him for the lack of such connection, how did he do? Only Fact Checker has offered commentary so far; the entire editorial page with its stable of columnists (four times as many people as either the NY Times or Wall Street Journal) has only had blather.

Why Binghamton? I am much more interested in Crystal Gail Mangum, for the second time facing charges of attempted murder. You never mentioned how a string of felony charges -- including trying to ram a cop with a taxi cab she stole -- were plea bargained down to three weekends in jail. And more importantly, why haven't you discussed why her children remain in her custody, particularly after the state attorney general determined she was too crazy to stand trial for her lacrosse crimes, including filing false police reports.

Why Binghamton? You guys not worried about the tuition hike the Trustees will adopt later this week? You don't want to weigh in on the balance between the needs of Duke and the needs of families who send their children here? And how about that idea that's been circulating that it doesn't matter what Duke's tuition is, because only the wealthy pay full freight and everyone else falls under the need blind admissions guarantee anyhow? You don't want to comment on that?

Why Binghamton? You have never commented on whether you think the administration was inclusive of students at each stage of the planning for the Keohane K4 dorm. In the decision to make this our #1 priority. In the design decisions. And in the decision to incur vast overtime expenses and have construction 7AM to 7PM seven days a week. Administrators should give out a block of rooms to Chronicle editors overlooking this mess, and maybe you will wake up. Is the editorial board satisfied with the student place at the table? Fact Checker thinks students were rolled over by a huge bulldozer.

Why Binghamton? I bet it is easier than writing an editorial about borrowing and more borrowing and borrowing some more, this time to pay for the Keohane dorm. Did you see the report from the credit rating agency (Fitch) yesterday about Duke Health's borrowing: the revelation that Duke Health had to trim its borrowing on the new hospital addition from $700 million to $300 million because we were getting in over our heads? Or did you see how the Health System is moving (or should I say how lenders are forcing Duke Health to move) its endowment money out of the risky pool with its swinging hedge funds and private equity, the precise shaky place that Duke Management keeps billions designed for the educational side of Duke. And you write about Binghamton?

Binghamton!! Open up your comments section so that people can talk about ideas relevant to Dukies, rather than being restricted to posting only in response to Chronicle articles. Who knows? An idea better than Binghamton might lurk.

✔Time for coffee.

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