Snowjob at Homecoming: Alumni get briefing on Duke's international aspirations

A Chronicle editorial praised Duke for a seminar during Homecoming (it conflicted with the big Pep Rally!!!) where alumni were briefed on international relations. The editorial could have been written without leaving an arm chair.

✔✔This PR stunt (it was even moderated by Duke's #2 PR man) was buried on the Homecoming schedule, conflicting with the main Pep Rally!!!!!!!!

Despite the hard sell during its 90 minutes, Duke's international efforts are in trouble.

Consider the lead program -- the Cross Continent MBA.

FC has just learned (via a Deputy Fact Checker's call to the admissions office expressing interest in attending next year) that the program attracted only 160 students this fall.

Headcount check: this is a far cry from the 280 that the Dean "promised" after a slow start (only 120 of 180 planned for) last year. Since everyone pays full freight, Fuqua is out $14 million this year.

Moreover, under close questioning the admissions officer finally let it be known that only 30 percent of the students who began in August are international, versus a hoped for 50 percent, robbing the program of the international flavor that is at its heart.

And keeping up the close questioning, the Deputy learned that while Fuqua originally thought most students would have their tuition paid by their companies -- and would be able to bring their expertise into the classroom since they would have been employed three to five years -- only 10 percent of the latest class comes from this source. More and more, Fuqua is seeing people fresh out of college, paying their own way, which is quite a mortgage of one's future since the cost is $120,100 for 16 months (exclusive of travel to five international cities), and the cost is going up next year.

Oh yes, information on test scores of those admitted so the Deputy could compare his/her own, was not available.

The admissions officer kept on referring to the city of Shanghai as one of five locations for the MBA program, almost as if Kunshan, the backwater where we will be located, were an embarrassment.

And speaking of Kunshan, Vice President Jones has not answered an inquiry as to whether heavy construction has started there yet. As Loyal Readers know, we were supposed to move in two months ago under the original timetable for this star location in our international thrust.

Rev. Jones, you are new to Allen Building, but it's OK to speak even if the answer is embarrassing.



What financial crisis? Duke salaries and bonuses for top officials revealed

The Fact Checker provided the research for a guest column in today's Durham Herald Sun. The column as submitted appears below; the newspaper may have done some minor editing.

This summer Duke finally released financial reports almost a year old -- for the academic year that ended on June 30, 2009. That was the disastrous period when the endowment shrank from $6.1 billion to $4.4 billion, and massive investments for the pension plan and Health System reserves did as poorly. Net assets -- all the wealth accumulated by Trinity College and Duke University over more than 150 years -- plunged 30 percent from $10.5 billion to $7.5 billion in 12 months.

Offering an overview, the new Trustee chair said Duke was in "dire financial strait."

Well some of Duke. Many people at the top of the food chain fared exceedingly well during the year of turmoil.

New reports from Duke Management Company, the investment arm that lost billions, come as a shock, for they show that Duke awarded huge bonuses anyway. Two managers got bonuses that were double their annual salary. The president got almost as much. You have to wonder what the bonuses would be like in a winning year.

The Fuqua School of Business organizes some of its activities under the banner of Duke Corporate Education. Total revenue plummeted to $47,011,200 from $81,046,560 the year before. Despite the poor performance, the chief sales officer and others were awarded handsome bonuses anyway.

A professor who is not an administrator, Dan Laughhunn, received $1,031,673 from Duke Corporate Education, believed to be in addition to his faculty salary at Fuqua. He has not responded to repeated requests for help in understanding this.

The jewel in Duke's crown is Duke Health -- the treatment of patients -- and it prospered mightily in 2008-09. It had revenues of $1.91 billion, up ten percent in one year. Duke Health had surpluses of $220 million, up 26 percent in one year. In other words, every $1 from patients, insurance companies and the state and federal governments brought Duke 12 cents in profit.

The bonuses at Duke Health were substantial, scaled from the Chancellor who doubled his salary with nearly $1 million.

The statistics for Duke Health are for administrators and do not include doctors, who earn substantial fees largely through another Duke creation called Private Diagnostic Services. This is organized so no public disclosure is required.

Duke's general administrators do not receive bonuses, their salaries scaled from President Richard Brodhead's $824,755, a total that reflects hefty increases every year.

The documents I studied are complex and interwoven. For example, Duke Corporate Education has incorporated subsidiaries in London, India and Johannesburg, as well as DCE Lucky Strike which apparently holds local real estate.

Documents governing Duke Management Company are equally hard to fathom. Instead of operating an investment office in Allen Building, Duke started a new entity, DUMAC. In turn, DUMAC does much of its business through its creations of Gothic Corporation and Gothic London, which in turn operate through Gothic's Blackwell Corporation and Gretmar Corporation. The reason for this shuffle is not known; the result is clear, a web that cannot be penetrated.

I excluded anomalies not likely to repeat themselves. I also did not reference outside income, for example the $1 million a year the Health System chancellor receives for sitting on four corporate boards.

The new statistics on DUMAC, Duke Corporate Education and Duke Health reveal how administrators have fostered a climate where their own salaries balloon. By comparison, the latest survey by the American Association of University Professors shows Duke's male full professors earn an average of $164,700 and female $146,800. Male associate professors average $109,700 while females are $89,100. And male assistant professors are averaging $96,300, while females are $79,500. The numbers are for nine month contracts.

The cushy administrative salaries and bonuses add up to an indictment of the Brodhead administration for allowing the burden of the fiscal crisis to fall unevenly: bonuses for the brass, a direct hit for cafeteria workers, groundskeepers, housekeepers, clerks and underpaid adjunct faculty who lost their jobs.

The numbers raise a new profound moral issue: when money becomes available, will everyone get an across the board raise? Or will people with low salaries get more to restore their base salaries to where they would have been had the wage freeze, now in its second year, not been necessary.

Gathering this information required hard work and repeated correspondence. That should not be. Duke should be transparent, its trustees and officials accountable. And most of all its stakeholders should all be fully informed so that they are enabled to participate intelligently in Duke's governance and future.



Neal Triplett, president
Salary $413,603
Bonus $729,749
Total $1,681,024

Anders Hall, investment manager
Salary $211,701
Bonus $434,804
Total $819,836

David Shumate, executive vice president
Salary $179,603
Bonus $388,887
Total $749,423

Andreas Ritter, investment manager
Salary $195,768
Bonus $269,500
Total $543,477


Gregory Marchi, vice president, global sales
Salary $585,258
Bonus $21,742
Total $665,264

Judith Rosenblum, president
Salary $391,604
Bonus $54,195
Total $607,951

Kim Taylor-Thompson, chief executive officer
Salary $484,685
Bonus $32,359
Total $559,462


Victor Dzau MD, Chancellor
Salary $979,435
Bonus $983,654
Total $2,201,917

Ralph Snyderman MD, chancellor emeritus
Salary $993,084
Total $1,054,805

William Fulkerson, CEO Duke Hospital
Salary $539,994
Bonus $318,799
Total $927,398

Kenneth Morris, senior vice president
Salary $567,173
Bonus $264,691
Total $916,741

R. Sanders Williams, senior vice chancellor
Base $534,147
Bonus $72,172
Total $684,687

Asif Ahmad, vice president, CIO
Salary $332,585
Bonus $196,544
Total $599,092

Nancy Andrews MD, Dean, Medical School
Salary $403,771
Bonus $95,266
Total $581,646

Molly O'Neill, vice president, strategic planning
Salary $302,051
Bonus $190,138
Total $563,500

Douglas Vinsel, President, Duke-Raleigh Hospital
Salary $312,734
Bonus $164,901
Total $556,921

Alice Gould, investments manager
Salary $199,144
Bonus $269,500
Total $546,262

Kevin Sowers, chief operating officer, Duke Hospital
Salary $303,656
Bonus $177,702
Total $536,051

Michael Cuffe MD, vice president, medical affairs
Salary $260,158
Bonus $203,063
Total $535,201

DUKE UNIVERSITY - only coaches with personal
contracts eligible for bonuses.

Michael Krzyzewski, men's basketball coach
Salary $1,958,927
Bonus $1,750,060
Total $4,195,519

David Cutcliffe, football coach
Salary $1,190,938
Bonus $300,050
Total $1,581,903

Richard Brodhead, president
Salary $696,448
Total $824,755

Tallman Trask, executive vice president
Salary $470,922
Total $550,079

Peter Lange, provost
Salary $482,027
Total $518,225

Blair Sheppard, Dean, Fuqua Business School
Base $446,868
Total $511,686

Note: total earnings include many unseen benefits. Like tuition payments for children of employees, a taxable fringe benefit. And life insurance policies for management costing far more than average.


PR man must have written Chronicle editorial on new Fine Arts Masters Degree

In an editorial that just gushes, which surely must have been written by a university PR man, the paper talks about the new Masters Degree in Fine Arts.

FC post follows:

✔The University's strategic plan, "Making a Difference," adopted in 2006 after two years of intense planning led by Peter the Provost that embraced stakeholders throughout the university, does not mention a Masters Program at all.

Rather, in addition to talking about renovation of Baldwin and Page into first class performance venues and other facilities convenient for students on East, West and Central, it focuses on undergraduates and the need "to create multiple avenues for students to deepen their understanding of the arts, while increasing their engagement in artistic creation, performance, and related activities."

It talks of more artists in residence. It does foresee new certificate programs like the one linking cultural policy and arts management.

All of which makes me wonder why this Masters program bubbles to the surface now. I fear the answer is the fiscal crisis, and Duke's realization it can squeeze profit out of Masters degrees created with very little new investment, either in facilities or faculty.

This may be a cynical view. It is also the reality of 2010. And several officials have confirmed this to be the case.

The Academic Council properly has noted this trend and taken steps to keep close tabs, to insure the proliferation of Masters programs that we are seeing through-out the university do indeed offer an experience worthy of a higher Duke degree.

Fact Checker wishes you a good day.


Boyle, Provost Escape Misconduct Charges as Duke Dean Goes off Deep End with Theory of Their Discrimination

✔Fact Checker here.

At Duke in the Brodhead years, as Dr. Anil Potti is teaching us, you can lie on your resume and still be on the faculty. Honor Code be damned.

And as Carter Boyle and his ilk are just now discovering, you can call other students Fag, "S-O-D," Naggar or Jew Pig, and keep up the unwelcome vulgarity incessantly, for example telling a gay man about a masturbation tool called a Fleshlight that you bought for yourself, suggesting he try it to experience a vagina.

Boyle and his ilk were found to have discriminated by unanimous vote of the student Judiciary (the later 2-1 vote ruled these people acted as individuals, not representatives of the Republican Club) and a 20-3 vote of the Senate.

But "zero tolerance policy" be damned, the Administration, in the person of Dean Stephen Bryan has told Justin Robinette that Boyle and the others will face no misconduct charges.

Wait, Fellow Dukies, until you hear why.

By now everyone knows Robinette was impeached and removed as chair of the Republicans when other club leaders discovered he was coming out, a motivation confirmed as the reason for his ouster because all the pretextual reasons fell apart.

And Boyle was ring-leader, becoming coup d'etat chair himself.

Fact Checker has learned that Dean Bryan advanced the "theory" -- which he is acting upon -- that Robinette had a sexual attraction for Boyle and tried to put the make on him, starting when he was still closeted.

In the next sentence, the "theory" has Boyle -- who identifies himself as straight --rejecting overtures. Alas, the "theory" holds that Robinette formed an "alliance" with Boyle, initially using outspoken homophobia to hide being gay. Later, Robinette sought "revenge," so he brought charges.

Since Robinette was part of what Boyle did, and instigated it, there is no harassment. So runs the "theory." A theory developed without even talking to Robinette about its factual basis. Robinette has assured a Deputy FC who questioned him closely that he never had any sexual interest in Boyle.

Thus Bryan advised Robinette to withdraw his complaints, to stop being so full of gay vengeance, and to read 20 pages of "Wild Justice: The Seductive Pleasure of Getting Even"

Fact Checker believes this account is accurate, but of course we have only one side as a source. The administration ducks behind "student privacy" whenever convenient -- even when the student waives his rights.


Dean Bryan has degrees in education administration and higher education administration but does not list in the short bio FC has found on-line, any specialized training dealing with the mind and motivation. He has managed to pick one of the oldest, most discredited stereotypes of gay people and perpetuate a myth.

✔This is the same "reasoning" that prevents open service in the Armed Forces, because everyone knows a gay man will sexually desire anyone next to him in a pup tent or a fox hole. Or anyone in the barracks in the common showers. Brought home to this campus, it means that a gay man who is very intensely interested in GOP politics is counting more than votes and checking out every zipper. Absurd.

✔Dean Bryan's "theory" follows the same logic that female rape victims have encountered, that they themselves are to blame for what happened to them, and in this instance, Robinette and his allegedly uncontrolled libido are at fault.

✔Assume for a moment that Bryan's "theory" had any validity in explaining Boyle's homophobia: what about others, like the #2 campus bigot Rachel Provost, the GOP Chief of Staff.

Ah yes, the "theory" takes note of her years of dating Boyle, and finds she stood between Robinette and his conquest. Thus, Robinette filed charges against her too, to get even, not because of harassment.

Provost has flown a bit below the radar, but she is in the gutter with the others. At a GOP club meeting, when some people started to sense Robinette was gay, she walked up to Robinette, said she saw a hickey, and wanted to know if a male or female planted it.

And the Senate debate two weeks ago, the one that Boyle ducked, more than a few people twittered that Provost, in a jean skirt way too short, trashy shirt and excess make-up, was trying to taunt Robinette about what he is missing.

Her harassment continued right up to last weekend's Homecoming Dance, where she confronted Robinette's great friend and supporter Cliff Satell. Classless.

Let's leave Robinette out of this discussion for a moment.

Boyle and Provost should face misconduct charges for what they did to Duke. Not to Robinette, but to this great university and every one of its stakeholders. They denigrated everyone's experience here, and violated what Fact Checker had assumed -- before Brodhead and his team got involved -- was a policy of zero tolerance.

Just like criminal charges are not brought in the name of the victim, but in the name of the state, the case in this example is not Robinette v. Boyle but rather the Stakeholders of Duke University v. Boyle.

✔In addition to all of us as a group, there are also other specific individuals -- once again, keeping Robinette aside -- who were deeply offended. What about the female who tried to stop Boyle from using the term S-O-D "all the time" in referring to Robinette because it was offensive to her.

Offensive to her.

This witness has the right to an atmosphere at Duke University better than that, and the right to expect the Brodhead Administration will pursue those who stain our character.

What about the black female student on Central Campus, who has no involvement in any of this but who just happens to have a Republican roommate. She does not even know Boyle.

When Boyle singled her out by slipping a note with a derivation of the N-word under her bedroom door, did he violate University policy?

When Boyle followed this up with another note reading "KFC," was this racism also to be excused because of whatever theoretically transpired at a different time and different place between Boyle and Robinette.

What about the other racism, the suggestion that blasting rap music from a Hummer will pull "Naggars" to the Republican booth at a student activities fair. "Maybe you could make a big poster, with attached pamphlets that reads, Can you spell Republican? If so, you might be one! Take a brochure.” Did Robinette somehow provoke this too?

Try this explanation of a resolution the club had passed, contained in an e-mail discussing club business: "I'm not preaching that we bend over and spread our anuuses wide for this fxxxxx. Rather, I urge caution about provoking this 3-incher into tying us up and then calling in a 7 foot, 300 pound black man named Tyrone to fxxx us with his anaconda. The last thing any of us wants is some bullsxxx, legalese application of 'the rules' and College Republicans being hurt in a tangible way."

Oh yes, the President of the United States is repeatedly called "President Wheat and Rice." Did some imagined sexual attraction inspire this as well?

And when a Congresswoman noted all the names of hurricanes sounded Caucasian: "She would prefer some names that reflect African-American culture such as Chamiqua, Tanisha, Woeisha, Shaqueal and Jamal.

"I can hear it now: a weatherman in New Orleans says 'Wazzup, mutha-fXXXXX! Hehr-i-cane Chamiqua be headin' fo' yo ass.... Bitch be a category fo'. So turn off dem chitlins, grab yo' chirren, leave yo crib, run fo the nearest FEMA office fo yo FREE shxx!'"

And now Jews. The president of the college Democratic club is Ben Bergmann: "We should anonymously post an ad for Bally Total Fitness on one of his blogposts. How about great deals on Channukah presents."

Jewish students in general are called "pigs."

We now know that some Republican leaders were vandals, ripping down LGBT flags from students’ windows, threatening to burn LGBT flags, writing the N-word on school property, and throwing school property out windows.

✔The point is: the charges against the leaders of the Republican Club go far beyond the "scorned" Robinette. They go far beyond homophobia although the worst invective is always reserved for gays. The charges should be pursued in the interest of protecting the integrity, dignity and decorum of Duke -- quite apart from the suffering of Robinette.

✔✔Fellow Dukies, we are at this most disappointing point in the continuing controversy over the Republicans because we thought this time it would be different: that the Brodhead administration which has failed us time and time again, would see a fundamental breach of our "zero tolerance" policies.

Not only individuals but the student Judiciary and the Senate, in weighing the severity and persistence of the violations, looked to the administration.

But remember, for more than six years, our Administration has failed us at every turn, blind to justice.

✔Yes, I shall begin with the lacrosse crisis, where a Group of 88 professors escaped without any punishment. Nothing individually or collectively -- for academic misconduct in the classroom, disruptive distasteful conduct on the quad (pot bangers, "Castrate") and financial dishonesty in secret, using university funds to project their views. The academic atmosphere got so bad that members of the economics department felt impelled to speak together and say that all Duke students, including athletes, were welcome in their classes and would be graded fairly. From Brodhead: silence.

Not to mention the disrespect our president showed the parents of the three lax players facing 30 years in jail, by refusing to meet with them. As FC has asked before, what the hell was he thinking?

✔Why did I hold hope that this time there would be justice, when in the fiscal crisis, the Brodhead Administration has laid off some employees and cut back on so many other low level workers -- while feeding its own high level executives bonuses ranging up to $1 million. That's a sneak preview of a scandal involving the concept of justice that is about to explode.

✔And what about the people who came to Duke in desperation, with breast and lung cancer, who were put into the human experiments conducted by Dr. Anil Potti. Surely their faith is shaken too when they see a professor who lied -- lied -- on his resume -- a first class violation of the Duke Community Standard -- still harbored on this campus.

In each of these cases, the Brodhead administration has failed people entitled to apply to it for justice. Why are we surprised this morning?

✔As Fact Checker, but not the Chronicle has reported, Brodhead originally rejected Robinette's request to be heard. Later he and Cliff Satell, whom a Deputy FC interviewed, saw the President:

"Very dismaying... He was incredibly gruff, defensive and arrogant. He claimed no knowledge of any details and insisted on saying that he can't know for sure if we're telling the truth. He said the President shouldn't have to 'come down from Mt. Olympus' to deal with every little issue on campus."

"It was bizarre... I would have expected a University President to be able to charm two undergrads, be courteous, say "wow, that sounds awful, what can I do to help?" But we got the exact opposite."

Had enough of an indictment of the administration, or need more?

Consider the depth of its investigation before it launched its hot pants "theory." As Fact Checker has reported, a very good witness to acts of racism has come forward, first sending FC a confidential e-mail; with permission, we forwarded this to Vice President Moneta.

This witness told Fact Checker no one, no one, no one in the administration ever made contact before Dean Bryan made the decision not to pursue misconduct charges.

Dean Bryan and El-Mo are taking the same tack as former District Attorney Michael Nifong, finding only what they want to hear. If they continue, they deserve the same fate.

✔ Thank you for reading Fact Checker and caring about Duke.



Duke's 10 year return on endowment plummets

Search terms Duke University financial

✔Good day, my Fellow Dukies.

I am now convinced there are two places called Duke University.

A) One is in the second year of a wage freeze, the personal budgets of our employees crimped to the bone. At this place, the number of employees has been reduced by layoffs and three voluntary retirement programs that, despite administrators' praising each other, merely shuffled costs out of the annual budget and into the pension plan.

B) The other is a university that in the same time frame gave obscene bonuses to some employees. A few bonuses were three times annual salary. Other bonuses were scaled from an extra $1 million for the boss. Fact Checker is galloping ahead in revealing this tidbit, but Loyal Readers will have plenty of details in the next 48 hours.

A) One place named Duke University was revealed on September 16 by Alvin Crumbliss, interim Dean of the Arts and Sciences, who painted a bleak picture: the need to reduce the number of faculty in his domain from 645, the need to recruit cheaper assistant professors rather than senior people to fill any holes. He specifically said there is "less predicable gift income," and he projected a "significant deficit" into the 2012-13 academic year, which is one year later than anyone else has spoken of.

B) And last night, in an e-mail curiously made available only to faculty and staff, President Brodhead sure sounded different, cheering the "third best year ever" for giving to Duke. That was just one element leading to the conclusion "we find ourselves better off than we thought we'd be two years ago." He also said there's money for a "modest" salary increase in the academic year starting next July 1.

Now that our president has caught up with an interim dean in updating us on our fiscal crisis, Fact Checker is simply unable to reconcile what the President and Dean of Arts and Sciences told us.

Fellow Dukies, I have question after question, which of course I will now itemize at some length, about Brodhead's e-mail.


In the 2008-09 academic year, Duke took a bloodbath, its $6.1 billion endowment declining to an officially stated $4.4 billion (Ha ha, "Officially stated." Loyal Readers already know I will offer a different number, so keep reading). The news release put the investment results at minus 24.3 percent, never making clear if that was before or after we paid hefty fees to hedge fund and private equity managers, and leaving out the fact that -- quite apart from our investment losses -- we also routinely spent 5 percent of endowment.

Now, President Brodhead has updated for the 2009-2010 academic year, stating we had a return of 13 percent in the 2009-2010 academic year, choosing to say that this beat Harvard's 11 percent!!

Loyal Readers, stand up and shout, "I read Fact Checker. This is misleading!!"

Very few schools have reported their investment returns so far, but most have beaten us!!! Columbia for example, had a 17.3 percent gain. Barnard, Smith, Middlebury, Trinity, Dickinson and the University of Tulsa gained 15.2 to 17.7 percent.

Duke, its endowment heavily managed by a superbly paid staff, did 13 percent. We could have parked our treasure in index funds geared to the Dow Industrials, S and P 500 and Nasdaq and gained better than 14.

So FC's conclusion is: Mr Brodhead, you did not do your credibility any favors by comparing our return with the Harvard return.


Now Fellow Dukies, as I am sure you realize, the stock market bounces around like a loose basketball and a much better measure is the 10 year average of earnings. Duke has been very very proud of this statistic -- because up until this moment it has been favorable to the administration.

Thus the home page of the Duke Management Corporation, the arm of the university that handles such things: "Over the ten-year period ending June 30, 2009, the university's endowment assets earned an average of 10.1 percent per year — making Duke's one of the top-performing endowments in higher education over a ten-year horizon. During the same ten-year period, the average annualized rate of return for other $1 billion+ school endowments was 6.1 percent."

Well guess what, Brodhead forgot to tell us this statistic in his new e-mail -- one that has appeared in EVERY news release about our endowment earnings since he arrived. And with good reason.

Ten years ago, the dot.com boom on Wall Street, gave Duke a 58.8 percent increase in its endowment in one year. We've been riding on that aberration ever since, and now, with arrival of another year, it disappears from the average.

Fact Checker calculates the new average at 7.48 percent. I am willing to listen if Dr Trask has some other number but it will be close (this is more complicated than you would think).

Fellow Dukies, 7.48 percent is not good at all.

Fellow Dukies, 7.48 percent every year for a decade spells real trouble when your financial matrix counts on an 8.5 percent return.

Some big pools of money -- my examples are pension plans, not endowments, CALPERS and the NJ Pension System -- have cut their projections for the years ahead, and Duke better do the same thing. This of course will yield far less income to be spent in each annual budget, and my question, Mr. Brodhead, is, have you accounted for this in your future budgets.

Loyal Readers, stand up and ask, Mr. Brodhead, why aren't you telling us this year about the ten year average!!! Inform him he hurts his credibility when he buries important numbers because they take the shine off his money managers.


Our president left to FC the job of calculating how much is in our endowment as of June 30, 2010. At year end, we apparently had $4.9 billion.

Let's put that into some perspective. At the end of 2007-08, we had $6.1 billion. In today's dollars, we would need approximately $6.5 billion. So we are in today's dollars, $1.6 billion short, which is $400,000,000 different from Brodhead's calculation of what's missing.


When the financial crisis began, we found we did not have the cash flow from new gifts and from the sale of appreciated investments to meet our needs.

So we went out and borrowed $500 million, instead of spending money out of the endowment as we normally do.

We still owe all that money. In fact we are only paying interest on it, with no plan whatsoever to ever pay off the principal, which is true of most Duke debt.

This $500,000,000 of borrowing is not reflected at all in the endowment totals. We properly take $500 million off the endowment total.

Why did we borrow? Aside from the cash flow problem described above, there is an interesting if conspiratorial theory. Almost all of Duke's endowment is evaluated by guess-work. Very little is in stocks and bonds that can be immediately traded on Wall Street within a precise range of their current price.

A bit more -- in terms of dollar value -- is held in investments that have no ready market, but at least there are guideposts to tell us what they are worth. While Duke does not hold residential real estate, think of your family home. You want to sell, you can only estimate what it is worth, but you got pretty good guideposts because you know what the guy down the street and the guy next door got in their sales.

But most of our investments do not have any guideposts at all. All this REIT and hedge fund and private equity and derivative stuff. We only estimate. If we had sold some assets during the meltdown at a low price -- lower than we had estimated -- we would have had to adjust all the estimates because now we had a guidepost -- with the result that our endowment value really would have tumbled.


Now Mr. Brodhead, in your e-mail you state we received $345 million in "gifts" last year. Stop right there.

Stop. Stop. Stop.

Sir, this budget line is not only gifts, but all private support. In many instances these "gifts" require us to do work, like research. Stop calling this gifts.

And second, you know full well that the number you gave, $345 million, is compiled according to an accounting protocol favored by fund-raisers. No other number in Duke's financial reports follows this crazy protocol. Everything else is according to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

In the 2008-09 school year, the crazy method showed we had "gifts" of $301.6 million. Using GAAP the total was only $136.9 including pledges. And we all know from reading about Mr. Nicholas what sometimes happens to pledges.

Please be more candid and report back to us when you have the GAAP number for 2009-10 to go along with your totally misleading fund-raiser's dream total of "gifts."


Gifts are used for different things. Some spent immediately. Some put into buildings that have a useful life of 40 or more years. And some is added to perpetual endowment -- the most valuable dollars.

Mr. Brodhead, your administration has not consistently reported endowment gifts, and FC calls upon you now to give us a chart showing the last ten years. This is your best report card for fund-raising and a very crucial measure of the long term financial strength of Duke.


Mr. Brodhead, your e-mail adds more confusion to the precise number of Duke employees who have departed during the fiscal crisis. You state this time that the workforce shrank by more than 400 positions. This apparently includes reduced overtime, and administrative calculations of how many full-time equivalents would have been hired if it were not for the overtime; that's a device that administrators who do not meet their targets frequently use.

Trouble is, in the March 22 Chronicle, Trask said there were 400 retirements alone.

Can we please have one set of consistent numbers:

A) Number of layoffs

B) Number of people who took retirement incentives

C) Number of people who had to be replaced because of the mis-managed first incentive program, which allowed anyone of sufficient age and years of service to retire with vastly increased benefits, no matter how vital they were to Duke.

D) Number of people you are claiming because of reduced overtime and other gimmicks.

E) Number of people who left on their own.

F) Number of people who left on their own who had to be replaced.

G) Number of jobs vacant to start with that you eliminated.

Oh yes, Mr. President, you state that this past year, "the decision to forgo salary increases... protected over 100 jobs." Now I have never been able to find out, if the salary freeze affected everyone, including people in Duke Health, or just those on the educational side. Assume for a moment, we are only talking about the 8,057 "campus" jobs involved with education. Not the significantly larger number at Duke Health.

Let's assume everyone is making $50,000 a year. And they give up a 2.5 percent wage hike. That's $1,250 per person times 8,057 people. That's a little over $10 million that they have given up.

To employ 100 people -- the number of jobs saved according to you -- requires only $5 million.

I get the same result if I plug in higher salaries or lower. Please take me through your calculation of 100 jobs saved by the wage freeze.


Mr. President, you boast of "more than $200 million in new grants" from the 2009 economic stimulus program. Sir, let's get the number straight to start with so we can have an intelligent discussion.

In an excellent editorial on Sept 2, the Chronicle stated "out of the 854 proposals the University submitted, 237 received funding, totaling approximately $147 million."

$200 million. $147 million. Give or take $53 million, what the hell, it's a federal program.

Next, let's look forward. That money is going to expire. How will that impact our budget, what steps are you taking?


Mr. Brodhead, you reported "we have readjusted teaching loads."

This is news to Fact Checker. Can you be specific? Up til now, the only adjustments that have come to light were in Fuqua, with senior faculty dealing with new, profitable masters degree students, "volunteering" to teach an additional course -- so long as it was something they had recently taught anyway.


Sir, you did transmit some good news to Duke's employees, whose wages are now in the second year of a freeze. You said that starting next July 1, there will be "modest" increases.

Can you tell Fact Checker, please, if there will be an across the board adjustment?

Or -- just like the one-time payments in lieu of raises -- some recognition for people earning less. The one time payments had a cutoff in the first year of the freeze for anyone making $50,000 or more and in the second for anyone making $80,000 or more. So will wage increases be the same for everyone, or will lower paid employees get a larger percentage. It's a moral question. We watch to see if the right things id done.

Can your administration foresee the day when Duke will be able to make up the lost increments, bringing everyone back to where they would have been but for the meltdown. Or is meltdown the right word indeed, never to be made up.


Another fellow with an English Ph.D. from Yale, named Douglas Knight, was our president a long time back (before the Trustees ran him out of town, literally) and his solution to our financial problems at the moment was to bring in more undergraduates -- those who could pay full freight. FC hopes you are not thinking this way.

First, because it violates our fundamental commitment to have students at Duke regardless of the happenstance of their family's finances. We cannot go out cherry picking some people because they will pay full freight.

Second, because it puts stress on our facilities. I am very very very suspicious about the increase in the number of freshmen this year -- and have only heard a garbled explanation that does not jive with the fact that we had more early admissions, and thus fewer slots in the general pool where we had to take a chance whether people would show up or not. 50 extra freshmen puts 150 freshmen in sub-standard dorm living conditions.

Third, because we dilute a key measure of our future health, which is, the amount of endowment that we have per student. Per student. The failure to watch this was a key fault in the expansion of Pratt and Sanford.

✔IN CONCLUSION, I am sure after FC reviews the reports of Drs. Lange and Trask at this afternoon's meeting of the Academic Council, there will be more questions, and every stakeholder deeply appreciates your availability and candor in answering them.

FC had a complaint, that these essays are too long. 2,555 words today. Reading is voluntary.



Duke to cut faculty for first time in financial crisis!!!!

Chronicle editorial analyzes last week's announcement of a crunch in the Arts and Sciences. Fact Checker posts in response.

Search words: Duke University financial Duke faculty

✔Good day fellow Dukies. Fact Checker here.

What is surprising about the announcement from Dean Crumbliss is the depth of the cuts in the Faculty of the Arts and Sciences that lie ahead.

✔ Hopefully attrition will reduce numbers, no goal specified. The word layoffs was not used, but the thought was there.

Faculty -- like all Duke employees -- are in the second year of a wage freeze, but this is the first time in the financial meltdown that regular rank faculty members will be impacted with cuts like those that have already ravaged staff positions. This is a big, negative turn, cutting into the heart of the academy, cutting into both time-frames that President Brodhead has talked about: our short term focus and long term ambition.

✔ The impact will be exacerbated because 35 faculty (the symbol for more or less was used, so this is an approximate number) were hired in recent years even though there was no money in the A and S budget; Crumbliss revealed for the first time that the Provost has been paying these salaries and fringe benefits out of his slush fund.

But that is coming to an end, and these people will be transferred to the regular A and S budget where they will land with a thud.

✔ Any new recruiting to fill holes will be aimed at cheaper assistant professors.

Duke does not release official salary figures; the American Association of University Professors survey for the last academic year showed male full professors averaging $164,700 and assistant professors $96,300. Female full professors averaged $146,800, assistant professors $79,500. The numbers are for nine month contracts. Yes, the disparity between men and women is that big. Question: will Duke also seek out cheaper female labor?

✔ For the first time a University official has stated that the financial crisis will continue into the 2012-2013 academic year.

President Brodhead announced a "smaller Duke" on March 1, 2009, and his timetable was widely interpreted to mean a three year adjustment to a sustainable position. Indeed, the Trustees responded by appropriating extra funds from the endowment to cover deficits for three transition years, which in the current year (the second) total $72 million. (See further discussion of this below)

We will not emerge from the red ink as hoped at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year. And FC would add, at this point, who knows when!

✔ Chambliss spoke for the Arts and Sciences, where the overwhelming element is Trinity College. There was no word on any other part of the University.

But there is no reason to suggest A and S exists in bad times, while the rest of this place thrives. More announcements ahead.

✔ There was no mention of any cutback in administrative blubber. As incredible as it sounds, Crumbliss announced appointment of another potentate.

Crumbliss explained there is a need "to clarify the working relationship between the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, the Dean of Academic Affairs of Arts & Sciences, and the Dean and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education."

In other words, Allen Building is in chaos, people with similar sounding titles stepping on each other's turf. Fact Checker's solution would be to fire two of them.

However, Lee Baker, currently top academic dean in Trinity, will move up a notch on the others, putting the title Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education after his name. Baker, a cultural anthropologist, thus becomes one of the most important -- or more accurately one of the few -- black leaders on the academic side of Duke, a meteoric rise from his March, 2006 role in the lynch mob known as the Group of 88 during the lacrosse hoax.

This also means a consolidation of power under Nowicki. Hell, what's a vice provost if he does not have an associate vice provost!

Fact Checker, Fact Checker, here is a question. Why did you use the word "blubber?"

Well, Loyal Readers, let's have the roll call of academic Deans of Trinity College, not counting people like judicial Dean Bryan who is not academic. Not counting Pratt Engineering and so forth. Not counting the Vice Provosts, the Associate Vice Provosts, nor the Deans of Arts and Sciences who cover more than Trinity College.

Just the academic deans of Trinity:



19!!!!!!!! I wish there were that many Deputy Fact Checkers!!!

My fellow Dukies, the financial situation is of great concern to FC, but so is the way this announcement was made.

This was major, not something to be slipped into a routine report of the Dean at a meeting of elected faculty members watching over the governance of one segment of the University.

Not something to be announced by a new Dean appointed to a one-year term, filling in.

Fact Checker declaration of principle: President Brodhead should have made this announcement.

It should have been made to all stakeholders.

It is another failure of communication during the fiscal crisis, the type of Presidential isolation that drew two blistering Chronicle editorials last spring about Brodhead's leadership.

In the overview, the dismal announcement makes FC wonder what Trustee Chair Dan Blue was referring to after February's Trustee meeting when he declared "The University is in a sound position financially..." You may recall Fact Checker's challenge, since this rosy assessment emerged just five months after Blue declared we were in "dire financial strait."

My Fellow Dukies, please remember Brodhead's e-mail to alumni last April 21, outlining strategy he had followed in the fiscal crisis:

"In the planning, care was taken to preserve our core commitment to financial aid, to sustain the quality of the student experience, and to continue the hiring of outstanding faculty."

So much for continued hiring. Their numbers will now be few few and far far between.

Indeed Duke has been on a hiring binge: In the 2000-01 academic year, all of Duke had 2,159 "regular rank" faculty. The last official numbers are outdated now; they show that by 2009-2010, this had exploded to 2,877.

Not sustainable.

As for the Arts and Sciences, the Dean for the past five years has been George McLendon, lured from Princeton with great fanfare. When he was passed over in favor of Nowicki to be Supreme Undergraduate Commander, he got a consolation prize adding the title Dean of Trinity College, but still word went out that he was shopping his resume.

In April, McLendon gave short notice he was going to Rice as provost, and Brodhead and Lange scrambled and prevailed upon Crumbliss -- a chemistry professor for 40 years and a minor Dean -- to postpone a dream semester's sabbatical in Genoa and become interim Dean for one year.

(Footnote: paid sabbaticals should not be given to professors at the end of their careers, just before retirement, when Duke will reap no continuing benefit. We have a money crunch and higher priorities. Sabbaticals should also be accorded only for clear connection to academics, which is to ask, why Genoa for a chemist? )

With the announcement from Rice, Duke's Provost Lange promptly sent out an e-mail that praised McLendon for an "ambitious strategic vision... that started with a successful effort to expand and renew the faculty" of Arts and Sciences. Continuing, Lange said “More than 130 new faculty members have come to Duke in the past six years (since Duke lured McLendon from Princeton to be Dean of Arts and Sciences). By new, FC believes the Provost means "additional."

Indeed, saying goodbye to the Arts and Science Council, McLendon said his proudest moment was adding faculty.

To put this in perspective, the Arts and Sciences have 645 professors now, apparently meaning six years ago the total was 515 and the expansion was 25 percent. Caveat: FC cannot confirm the 515 figure.

Suddenly, Duke realizes it cannot sustain the crowd.

If all this is news to you, it's also news to Crumbliss.

Newly appointed, he told the the Chronicle (6/30/2010) that he looked forward to hiring more faculty. “I don’t see any drastic direction changes,” Crumbliss explained.

✔Crumbliss got a key point wrong in his address -- and I would sure like to know who fed him this myth. The new Dean said Duke's budget this year is "balanced," a term that Trask has also used.

Stand up and shout, "I read Fact Checker. You are not going to fool me!!!"

The over-all budget has $72 million in red ink, covered by a special withdrawal from the endowment, a withdrawal over and above what's normal.

And in addition the budget for undergraduate financial aid is being sustained only because we are taking 28 percent more money out of the endowment each year than the otherwise prudent Trustee formula allows. There is no free lunch: money we spend today is money that we are not leaving future generations as we should.

The University budget for the current fiscal year is just under $2 billion, with $300 million allocated to Arts and Sciences. In other words, A and S gets about 15 percent, and if you were to assign a portion of the deficit of $72 million to A and S, although this not the way budget decisions are made, it would be roughly $10 million.

✔✔✔Let's look forward. All stakeholders in this University -- students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, friends -- are entitled to far more information than the Brodhead Administration has been providing about the meltdown.

The information must be timely -- not 11 months late like some of the financial reports dealing with the 2008-09 fiscal year made available last summer.

We must be able to ask questions to be able to understand that which is not clear. People like Executive Vice President Trask and PR vice president Schoenfeld should answer all their email -- or find jobs elsewhere where their selective help only to people who sing Brodhead's praises would be appropriate.

Fact Checker foresees many lean years and intense competition for new dollars, choices that often have a moral component.

For example, do we break the two year freeze by raising everyone at the same percentage; or do we freeze faculty salaries for another year and accord a higher percentage increase to our lower-paid employees who have taken the brunt of the fiscal crisis so far, people who have less flexibility in their personal budgets than some of the highest paid professors in the country.

There is also a need for harder decisions on controlling costs. Example: with the out of control medical plan, administrators have not touched the structural problem, but rather danced around the edges with the kind of changes other plans made a decade ago. Limiting name-brand drugs, using generics, and restricting the choice of specialists to those under contract to the medical plan, rather than paying whatever fee they submit.

The DART program to control costs is also just catching up with what others have done a decade ago. There has been neither imagination nor reach.

Some examples: the discovery that we can get a better price for computers if we buy in bulk rather than one or two at a time. The discovery that you use less paper if you print on both sides. The discovery there is no need to mail paperwork every payday to people on direct deposit. We do not need a Ph.D., Dr. Trask, to figure out these mundane steps, nor do we need a press release on each.

✔There is no doubt Brodhead has worked hard to sustain and expand undergraduate financial aid, with great sensitivity to the plight of families. He has explained we cannot erect a barrier due to the economic happenstance of one's birth, to replace the one due to the color of one's skin that took so long to dismantle. Right on.

But Brodhead has given no indication that he realizes that he is the very person who keeps raising the economic barrier -- with higher and higher tuition, far above the inflation rate. He would do just as much to give everyone a shot at higher education if he kept the cost barrier low, rather than just providing help for people to jump over it.

On March 1, 2009, Brodhead sent an e-mail to everyone stating a future budget -- presumably three years out -- "will have to be approximately $125 million smaller than it is today."

The execution has been spotty. Correction: poor.

The first budget submitted under that protocol was flat -- it took no steps toward being smaller.

The second budget -- this year's -- included double digit increases for student aid and employee benefits, an overall increase of 5.6 percent. That's a poor response, for it leaves us even further from the goalpost Brodhead set out than we were when the crisis started.

Thank you for reading Fact Checker and caring about Duke.

Email Duke.Fact.Checker@gmail.com
Archive http://dukefactchecker.blogspot.com/


Chronicle gives vanilla explanation to very rough ride for campus cops

✔Fact Checker here.

There is nothing but turmoil in Duke Police. And this article does not reflect it at all.

We will begin in the time period between January 2006 and April 2008, when "almost 50 percent of the officers left... because of dissatisfaction with the department's leadership and policies." See Chronicle 3-15-2009. That's 32 out of 67 officers, so far as Fact Checker can determine; I can confirm the 67, I hedge the 32 because Duke's administrators do not exactly help you add things up when you seek out information like this.

That time period coincides precisely with the tenure of Robert Dean as director of Duke Police. But don't blame him: he was coaxed out of retirement to take the job with the hope his 45 years at Duke (including the first ten in food service and then 35 as a cop) would sooth over a department already in deep trouble.

Unfortunately, during Dean's tenure, Duke turned to the University of Southern California to bring in Aaron Graves as his boss, with the rank of assistant vice president for public safety. Soon, after a "nationwide search" Graves hired a USC colleague, 35 year old Gloria Graham, to be chief of patrol. Embarrassingly, she had to spend the first six months on Duke's payroll taking classes to become certified as a cop in NC.

In the first year of Graves-Graham, 11 more officers quit (versus a normal turnover of 2 to 4 a year.) Oh yes, Fact Checker wants to note, since vetting of employees is an issue now with the Potti scandal, that Graves-Graham faced similar issues of leadership and favoritism for each other during their USC tenure.

As if all this were not bad enough, the Administration, facing the meltdown of our endowment and other financial resources, decided to offer any employee at the university whose years of service and age added up to a magic number an early retirement incentive. Cop after cop took advantage -- before the obvious step was taken to limit incentives to people who were in jobs deemed non-essential.

The damage was done though: five commanders and a number of officers (Duke, ever transparent, would not say how many) had to be replaced overnight. We do know from a retirement bash that President Brodhead threw at the Nasher that officers with total experience of 372 years retired, that official number given to Brodhead by a spin doctor so he could appear to be in touch.

As if all this were bad enough, the VP who had jurisdiction over Graves and other campus services -- and the cops are considered a service -- Kemel Dawkins was pushed out the door. Anyone who doubts this characterization of his departure for other, unspecified "opportunties" should study his salary history and see the way his colleagues in the administration sent our highest ranking black administrator a message.

Graham -- who had been promptly promoted to assistant police chief after her certification -- correctly read what was happening and started to shop her resume around. She landed a job as police chief at the University of Tennessee at age 38 and has just been sworn in.

Graves, the assistant vice president, fell out of sight suddenly last summer, no announcement ever made. No word at all, just like if the CIA had plucked him off campus for rendition and sent him to another corner of the globe.

And simultaneously, the teflon Executive Vice President Trask, under whom all of this mess developed, decided to do away with one of his four VP's and not replace Dawkins so Kevin Cavanaugh, relatively recent arrival as human resources VP, got stuck with this part of Dawkins' job.

✔The troubles of Duke Police grew in the last school year with one officer killing a man with one or more shots to the face at an entrance to Duke Hospital. Anytime anyone asked, the "leadership" ducked by explaining the investigation was not complete. And shamefully Dukies still do not know what happened.

And then there is my favorite Campus Cop, charged with the S and M rape of a woman. I can never resist this list: he had his Duke uniform, Duke badge, Duke gun and Duke handcuffs, and then some items presumably not issued by Duke: a whip, a long rope, an oversize enema bag and a giant butt plug. The "leadership" ducked explaining the investigation was not complete whenever anyone asked how come we hired this monster who mysteriously left the Raleigh Police Department, where his salary was higher, where he was accumulating pension benefits, and where he was Master Patrolman, a rank he apparently took quite literally.

Meantime, the campus cops last year pledged extra patrols in three areas that were troubled by Durham on Duke violence: Central Campus and both the left and right sides of East Campus. So where did these officers come from, and was someone else cheated? Do these patrols continue? Not even Fact Checker can find out!!!!

Have a good day!!!
Duke. Fact.Checker@gmail.com


Chronicle reveals two health care companies have tossed Potti overboard. But Duke keeps him on the payroll!!!!!

Search words: Anil Potti, Duke University

Very good Zachary and Chronicle. This is an important angle that has emerged through your original reporting; I have not seen this anywhere else. Cheers!

I find it interesting that while Duke University refuses to cut its ties with Potti, keeping him on the payroll but suspended from having to do any work until further review of his scientific "discoveries," two health care companies have thrown him overboard.

As for CancerGuide, Vice Dean Michael Cuffe told the Chronicle that Duke has been working to divest itself -- in the paper's words -- "since allegations against Potti emerged in July."

That's not when the allegations arose at all. They have been around for four years, ignored by our administration.

This is another example of spin from Dr Cuffe, who has a vast personal stake in the career of Potti because last winter he signed off on a Duke report that declared Potti's research valid, and if it turns out to be bum, Cuffe is going to look very very bad.

The precise conflict of interest that is compelling Duke to sell its stake in CancerGuide now... was present when Cuffe signed off on the review of Potti... and no one in our administration paid any attention to it then.

The conflict arises because if the Potti "discoveries" are valid, CancerGuide will be worth a fortune, receiving licensing fees from every patient who gets a test to determine what chemotherapy will work best. One estimate: 700,000 tests a year.

Duke thus has a vested interest in seeing Potti's work sustained -- and should not have done the investigation it did last winter in-house.

Fact Checker has been trying to get information on our stake in CancerGuide -- how much the equity is worth, what the fee per test may be, or at least, what number we have given people to whom we have tried to sell our equity in CancerGuide.

I regret to inform Loyal Readers that neither Rose Ritts, PhD, executive director of licensing and ventures, nor Michael Schoenfeld, university mouthpiece, have responded to e-mail requests from a Deputy Fact Checker. When Chancellor Dzau announced the sale of our stake as well as other Potti-related actions, he promised "transparency." With their refusal to even acknowledge e-mail, Ritts and Schoenfeld are right in Dzau's face.

✔All of this points out the need for an investigation of the actions of our administration in response to the Potti crisis. There must be accountability as well as transparency.

✔And all this talk about the value of CancerGuide points to the profit motive that continues to emerge bigger and bigger in medical research. When federal funds are used, as they were for Potti's research, when a charity like the American Cancer Society supports Potti's research, the discoveries should be in the public domain, and people in desperate need both in the USA and around the world should not be zonked with heavy fees to use the discoveries.

And to keep the record straight. The Chronicle says there are investigations into Potti's credentials and research. That's two investigations. Apparently there is a third, into "faculty misconduct." And Fact checker has been unable to find out what that's about but I assume it is different from lying on the resume or faking scientific results.

Have a good day. FC!


LeFevre strikes a second time with his veto pen

Search words: Duke University Duke Republican Club

✔Fact Checker here.

Student Government President Mike Lefevre's two vetoes of Senate action against the Duke Republican Club are just plain wrong. But they are also irrelevant.

Yes, there will be an attempt to lobby votes to override. Indeed, last night there were reports that LeFevre himself was digging in, knowing he had a battle on his hands. As Loyal Readers will recall, one measure passed 20-3, while the other received two-thirds vote, and any override requires two-thirds.

And yes there will be an attempt to find other remedies. For example, a civil suit because of the nasty lie that Justin Robinette stole club funds, a lie used initially to set up his ouster, a lie exposed by a University audit showing it is not true at all.

Robinette was ousted as club chair because he was coming out as gay, despite the foundering on this point in today's Chronicle editorial. The editors apparently need to brush up on the pretextual reasons the coup d'etat leaders initially gave, and how each of those reasons has failed the test of time.

✔Fact Checker feels strongly that Robinette and Cliff Satell, who quit as vice chair in protest, should be focusing on and celebrating what they did achieve last week, not worrying about LeFevre.

By an overwhelming 20-3 vote on one measure, and a two-thirds majority on another, the Senate provided the first strong condemnation that this campus has heard since the Republican Club emerged last April as a hotbed of hate.

While the judiciary dodged, while Administrators ducked and President Brodhead personally failed to remind us of our heritage and standards, and while the Chronicle was silent and even scooped time and time again by coverage and editorials in the Daily Tar Heel over at Carolina, Robinette and Satell proved to the Senate that individual leaders and the club "culture" itself were equally responsible for the torrent of invective against gays, blacks and Jews, to list only those we know of to date.

They established that all people must stand together against every dimension of bigotry -- for the bigot knows no boundaries and will strike at any opportunity. Gay today, Asian tomorrow and Latino later in the week.

And they also showed themselves to be of extraordinary character and inner strength, an inspiration.

✔The vetoed items would not have prevented the Republican Club from operating on campus, from using meeting rooms, for example, or the e-mail system. Nor should there be any such prohibition, the horrible idea in today's Chronicle editorial notwithstanding.

The vetoed items did affect the club's slice of student fees and university programming money for specific periods of time. Even LeFevre paid lip-service to the symbolic nature, saying in a press release the actions were "passed in large part to condemn the offensive e-mails and disruptive behavior that had been allegedly promulgated by the Duke College Republicans’ senior leadership.” FC does not know why that word "allegedly" remains in there, for all is now proven.

So, the student government president reasoned, two resignations cured the problem. First, the high profile bigot Carter Boyle quit as chair, offering no explanation of why he stepped down, and then the relatively unknown Travis Rapp quit as vice chair, undercutting Lefevre's press release by denying that the controversy played any role (just a coincidence, Travis?)

Cured the problem. No, the resignations do not.

LeFevre himself identified one of the continuing problems: “The inaction of the organization’s other members appeared to be an implicit endorsement of that behavior."

Those other members, particularly the Chief of Staff Rachel Provost, remain in place.

LeFevre should have waited for the Republican Club to prove itself anew, operating under terms of the Senate's legislation, rather than imposing his own speculation that it will now behave.

Moreover, LeFevre should have consulted with the people most involved in this, Robinette and Satell. LeFevre's failure smacks of the kind of summary treatment we have come to expect from the Brodhead Administration, and at the very least students should treat each other with more respect.

The haste with which LeFevre acted is further apparent in a curious statement in his news release that says the Republicans will hold a new election, and "No members of the current executive board will be permitted to run, a
provision made to guarantee the integrity of the leadership change."

Deputy Fact Checkers have picked up on other formulations of this provision, one restricting the current executive board from running for chair but allowing members to seek other positions. Another formulation restricts past executive board members, sweeping in Robinette and Satell. Hey, who knows what will emerge when the election rules are drawn up.

But who is placing this restriction? From whence does it arise? The best information Fact Checker can obtain is that it comes from LeFevre himself, who acted pursuant to the most expansive interpretation of his powers imaginable. The Republican club did make some by-law changes within the past ten days, but apparently not affecting this point, confirmed by comments of the club chair pro temp in today's Chronicle. Anyone with further details, please step forward.

Moreover, if Lefevre feels he does hold these extraordinary powers, to reach into the inner workings of any student organization, it was incumbent on him far earlier than September 11th (when he revealed the new election rules) to pluck out Boyle and his ilk. Let the record show his failure.

The Republican Club exists under student government rules that provide all students must be welcome to participate. The restricted election creates two classes of students -- one eligible for office, the other not -- and it cannot go without challenge.

✔Fact Checker believes that a crucial next step is for the administration to promptly pursue personal misconduct charges against some Republican club individuals. Their testimony to the Senate collides with the honor code's prohibition against lying, not to mention how their words and actions based on homophobia, racism, sexism and anti-Semitism are an affront to this University.


To defund, passed 20-3.
NO - Chris Brown, vice president
Kaveh Danesh, vice predsident
Christina Lieu

Excused from Attending: Kenny Gould,
Ari Ruffer

To decharter, passed 16-7

NO - Gurdane Bhutani, vice president
Chris Brown, vice president
Kaveh Danesh, vice president
Gregory Halperin
Christina Lieu
Brendan Saslow
Alexandra Swain

Excused from Attending: Kenny Gould,
Ari Ruffer

Thank you for reading Fact Checker


Boyle quits as GOP Chair; Lefevre vetoes Senate's stripping Republican Club of student funds

Search words Duke University
Duke Republican Club

✔Fact checker here. Update

Text of veto message at end of post.

Carter Boyle and Travis Rapp -- backed into a corner decorated with the words Fag, Faggot Center, Shit-on-Dicks, Naggers, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Jew Pigs -- have resigned as chair and vice chair of the Duke Republican Club.

(Earlier information from a Fact Checker source indicated Chief of Staff Rachal Provost had also resigned. Not so. FC corrects all errors.)

This was the only decent thing that Boyle, who has been in the thick of things, and Rapp, who has had a much lower profile, could do. In fact, it is the only decent thing Boyle has done during this entire sordid episode.

The resignations apparently came Friday morning, after a double rebuke by the student Senate, confirming the club's leadership was infested with homophobia, racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and a few other equal opportunity varieties of hate.

✔The Club has now announced new elections, with current and former members of the Executive Committee barred from being Chair the new chair. That would seem to be aimed specifically at precluding former chair Justin Robinette and former Vice Chair Cliff Satell.

It's not known how the Club will accomplish this, since such a restriction does not appear in its by-laws. But the Republicans have changed their by-laws in an instant at night before -- as they did when they ousted Robinette, a move now confirmed to have occurred only because he was coming out as gay.

The restriction against Robinette and Satell also presents the issue of whether a student club -- required by its charter to admit all -- can limit some members right to stand for election. First class, second class membership it seems. First class and second class being assigned after you get on board.

✔✔✔✔✔Shortly after Boyle and Rapp slinked away, the Duke Student Government president Mike Lefevre announced his veto of the legislation to strip the club of student funds.

Robinette is saying Lefevre never discussed the situation with him after the vote, so the veto is a total surprise.

LeFevre sent FC the news release attached at the bottom of this post. However, he refused to answer questions.

Robinette is considering his next move -- possibly seeking a senate override which would take a 2/3rds vote. The funding measure passed by a bigger margin than that, either 20-3 or 20-4, and FC is trying to get that little issue ironed out.

All this leaves alive a companion measure passed by 2/3rds of the Senate to stop university funds for club programming activities by de-chartering the club, now pending before the Student Organization Finance Committee for confirmation by majority vote.

The club could still operate on campus no matter the outcome of any of the funding actions.

The Judiciary, citing scheduling conflicts, will not hear a related lawsuit, Satell v DCR Sunday afternoon. Fact Checker expects a lot of the complaint will have to be rewritten, if the litigation continues at all.

VP Moneta, President Brodhead: Fact Checker states without equivocation that official University disciplinary action should continue for any violation of the "zero tolerance policy." The hate evident in the leadership of the club is not just a matter for student concern, but a violation of deeply held university principles and student conduct governed by them.

Moreover, the Senate heard conflict testimony while it was considering action against the Republicans. This gives rise to possible specific violation of the Duke Community Standard, which prohibits lying.

The veto puts a lot of onus on the Brodhead Administration: it's line has been to duck, saying this is for students to resolve themselves. Now, with a veto of the Senate's resolution, we see that students are not doing the job.

Thank you for reading Fact Checker.


Duke Student Government President Mike Lefevre vetoed a hold on the funding of the Duke College Republicans Friday afternoon in response to the resignations of Duke CR senior leadership. The veto came shortly after his office received separate letters of resignation from
Duke CR Chair Carter Boyle and Administrative Vice-Chair Travis Rapp.

President Lefevre’s veto nullifies DSG-BS-090802, A Budgetary Statute of the Duke Student Government Defunding the Duke College Republicans (“DCR”), originally passed by the Senate on September 8, 2010.

“The budgetary statute was passed in large part to condemn the offensive e-mails and disruptive behavior that had been allegedly promulgated by the Duke College Republicans’ senior leadership,” said Lefevre. “The inaction of the organization’s other members appeared to be an implicit endorsement of that behavior.

“Today, the Duke College Republicans took major steps towards changing the culture of their organization. In the interest of preserving the reputation of their group and the political party it represents, the Duke CR’s two most senior leaders voluntarily stepped down from their posts this morning,” Lefevre added.

Duke CR will hold an election to fill the position of Chair following two weeks of public notice, as mandated by a Senate statute taking effect October 1. Stewart Day, the group’s current Executive Vice-Chair, will serve as Interim Chair until elections take place, pursuant to the bylaws of the Duke CR. No members of the current executive board will be permitted to run, a provision made to guarantee the integrity of the leadership change. The group has indicated its
intent to seek external candidates to fill the position of Chair, hoping to bring fresh perspective and new life to the student group.

“With this change in leadership comes a new Duke CR—one that emphasizes political
engagement while embodying the highest ideals of open and tolerant discourse. Duke needs a unified Republican voice for students and I am confident that under new leadership and with ongoing communication with DSG, Duke CR can fill this role responsibly,” said Lefevre.

President Lefevre’s decision will go into effect Saturday afternoon, when the budgetary statute expires without his signature.


Hotbed of hate, Republican club is defunded, defanged by student Senate

Search words: Duke University Duke Republican Club

At Duke, one of the deepest obligations of our elected leaders -- be they student Senators or University Trustees -- is to insure that the promise of this university is fulfilled, that this community not only tolerates but welcomes the entire spectrum of people, to live and learn surrounded by decency and decorum.

Last night, the Senate did its duty very well indeed, defunding the campus Republican organization and, in a further rebuke, taking the first step toward defanging it by revoking its charter.

The leaders of that organization, including the pusillanimous Carter Boyle who did not show despite his consent to a waiver of Senate rules that allowed consideration last night (Peter Feaver, the faculty adviser, also did not attend), stand confirmed as homophobes, racists, sexists, anti-Semites and common vandals. Convicted as individuals last spring by unanimous vote of the judiciary which did not find them guilty as a group, they did not stop, they continued if not escalated, and now stand exposed, gaining succor from each other's hate and utilizing the Republican Club, which should be playing a vital role on this campus, as their dirty instrument.

Justin Robinette, club chair until he was ousted last spring because other club leaders discovered he was coming out as gay, pursued this moment with unusual commitment and vigor, displaying dignity, vast inner strength and fortitude. We all can take pride in his journey to justice, and in the role of his friends, particularly former Republican vice chair Cliff Satell, with him at every turn.

The depth of the bigotry Justin endured, the repetition of it, the slurs, the innuendo, the unwanted sexual e-mails -- not to mention anonymous death threats -- are not just an issue for students to resolve. But rather, the homophobia -- as well as other discrimination by Boyle and his ilk -- cry out for a response from our administration as well.

Vice President for Student Life Larry Moneta is critical. Almost two weeks ago Fact Checker received an unsolicited, confidential e-mail from a student who provided specific information about a racist incident, the target not involved in any way with the Republicans who perpetrated it.

With permission of the writer, this information was forwarded to Moneta, who responded to FC within the hour indicating an entire dossier was being compiled. But as of two days ago, that witness had yet to be contacted by university disciplinary officials. Our community needs reassurance that our zero tolerance policy is being enforced.

As I wrote when I alluded to this in a previous post, this incident alone is of the gravity to merit suspension. Coupled with a pattern of unacceptable behavior, it should lead to expulsion. And it is incumbent upon Moneta and his staff to consider these options.

Last night also revealed contradictions in testimony on other incidents that must merit the concern of disciplinary officials, as the Duke Community Standard's strict prohibition against lying comes into play. If you could see me now, you'd see me chuckle, for today's Republicans seem destined to repeat the sin of fellow Dukie Richard Nixon, who made lying during the cover-up worse than the crime.

President Brodhead refused at first to meet with Robinette, and later allowed him a brief visit. I have held back details of that meeting, expressing instead my hope that Brodhead would at the very least reaffirm university principles.

Unprepared, seemingly disconnected, not tuned in at all to the hate e-mails, Brodhead said he did not want to appear to be taking sides. Mr. President, when you are confronted by people whispering and yelling Fag, calling the LGBT office the Faggot Center, referring to fellow students as Shit-on-Dicks, writing notes about Naggers, suggesting blacks order Kentucky Fried Chicken, and calling all Jews pigs, all directly at odds with the commitment of Duke, you are not accorded the luxury of not taking sides.

When FC heard that Brodhead would not speak out, I recalled the speech that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., gave at Duke, which you can listen to on-line.


I say speech, because the racists who prevented King's appearance for many years, having been trumped by his winning of the Nobel Prize, had their last breath in denying him a sermon from the pulpit of Duke Chapel, relegating him instead to the podium of Page Auditorium.

King made two points, both relevant today.

First he took note of new civil rights legislation, and he said it was remarkable how fast the rule of law was allowing blacks to eat in restaurants and stay in hotels, even in the depths of Mississippi and Alabama.

Brodhead should have renewed for this campus the law under which we live, for that alone would have been a force for good will.

King also said that good men, who in times of moral challenge merely stand by, are as guilty as the segregationists themselves in perpetuating racism. In today's terms, it means that Brodhead's being mute left him no better than Carter Boyle, and indeed our hapless president might just as well have invited Boyle to his office, thrown open the windows, and shouted onto the quad in unison, "Fag!!"

Thank you for reading Fact Checker.


As Chronicle regurgitates on-line searches, it misses key local stories. Senate to consider anti-hate resolution tonight. Potti denied patent .

The Chronicle seems to be drifting more and more away from campus news.

For example, there was a major story on the competition between North Carolina school districts for federal stimulus funds. Huh?

And the rise of Bikram Yoga in Durham. And Hurricane Earl's doing no damage to Duke's Beauport marine lab.

Even today's editorial bears upon a faculty evaluation system at Texas A and M that is unlikely to see the light of day there, much less here. This is lazy journalism, for there is nothing in the editorial indicating the paper spoke to anyone at Duke; rather it is regurgitation of an article from elsewhere.

Here's what the newspaper missed for Wednesday's edition:

-- a preview of tonight's Senate meeting that could strip the Duke Republican Club of student fee funding but leave the club free to operate. Tuesday was a day full of politics and parliamentary procedures; with the DSG having failed to notify the Republicans five days in advance, ten senators had to be rounded up to move the proposal forward.

Students in attendance are expected to use Open Forum to read into the record portions of homophobia, racist, sexist and anti-Semitic e-mails from GOP club leaders. The Chronicle has quoted only three words so far.

Fact Checker is still waiting for President Brodhead -- not to take sides in the issue involving Justin Robinette -- but to declare that Duke has zero tolerance for hate, for words like fag and Nagger repeated time and time again, for slurs like S-O-D, for unwanted sexal innuendo time after time.

Hello, hello, Allen Building!!

The student judiciary considers a request for action against the campus Republicans on Sunday.

-- The federal government's patent office slapped down Dr Anil Potti (and presumably Duke along with him) and rejected his application for a patent based upon his "discovery" of how DNA and RNA can be used to treat cancers.

On a second application for a different cancer, Potti got a tentative rejection. In all the star of Duke medicine and the university have four patents pending, with no ruling yet on two. If granted, the patents would yield big dollars, for example every cancer patient tested would be charged a royalty.

The final rejection came in two stages: first, tentatively, after a patent examiner said she could not figure out how Potti's science fell together. And second, finally, when Potti and his fellow researchers failed to provide back up data.

Wonder why they would do that? Fail to provide back up data.

By the way Potti's name was buried on one application. Even though he was principal investigator, Dr Joseph Nevins name was in the spotlight.

Stay tuned, fellow Dukies, stay tuned.


Brodhead Meets with Robinette; First Involvement of President in Republican Hate Mail Controversy

Search words Duke University student Republicans Justin Robinette

✔Fact Checker here.

My fellow Dukies, the last several days have been very encouraging for those of us who believe that this university should not harbor prejudice of any kind, and should take an affirmative, unequivocal stand when hate surfaces.

1) As the Chronicle story indicates, the student judiciary has agreed to hear a new case against Duke Campus Republicans.

2) President Brodhead -- after weeks of refusing to meet with Justin Robinette -- welcomed him into his Allen Building office on Friday. Also present: Cliff Satell and Brodhead's special assistant, VP Richard Riddell.

This could well mean that the university is at last taking the ouster of Robinette as GOP president after other members learned he is gay as a fundamental violation of its principles, not just a matter to be resolved by students. Not to mention the possibility of a university response to the e-mails between Republican leaders overflowing with hate, homophobia, racism, sexism and anti-Semitism.

✔✔✔3) A new witness has stepped forward, motivated the extent of the vile e-mails and venom directed at Robinette and others.

Vice President Moneta and his staff who handle student misconduct now have devastating testimony of racism: date, time, place, people, specific actions (not merely words) targeting an individual not at all involved in the Republican Club or gay life. Fact Checker knows more, is holding back. This alone could lead to suspensions; combined with other deeds, expulsions.

✔4) On Wednesday, the student Senate is expected to consider a resolution that would suspend student funding of the Republican Club for one year. The club would be allowed to function during this period.

✔5) A $1,000 reward is planned for information on people involved in homophobic acts, including last spring's ugly painting of the East Campus bridge. Apparently the donation of an alumnus.

Now the details:

In one of the all-time dumbest strategic moves, the current leadership of the Duke Republican Club tossed several students off its e-mail list, and presumably off its membership rolls as well. These people were not notified; they figured it out because they were not receiving the usual club notices.

Dumb because this set the stage for another appeal to the student judiciary -- and indeed Chief Justice Matthew Stauss has summoned GOP coup d'etat leaders Carter Boyle and Rachel Provost to a hearing next Sunday at 3:30 PM.

The case could proceed in one of two ways:

A) Narrowly, with the justices examining only the apparent violation of a guarantee that every student will be allowed to participate in a chartered (key word) organization that receives money from student fees.

B) More broadly, by examining who was excluded from the club and determining a pattern of homophobia. Strauss has indicated the judiciary will seek to limit testimony, indicating that this path, which would open the way for all the e-mails and other vile conduct, may not be taken.

It is unclear as Fact Checker writes, precisely what sanctions the judiciary might impose if it were to find the GOP club guilty.

Now the meeting with President Brodhead. Originally his secretary allocated five minutes, but it stretched to 15. Some elements disappointed the students, for example Brodhead knew no details of the vile and vulgar e-mails. He does now, given a sheaf of printouts.

FC has been thoroughly briefed on this meeting, is going to pass -- at least for now -- on most details, to join in the spirit of moving forward.

FC stresses that this was a meeting granted at Robinette's renewed request. It did not occur during the President's regular open hours for students, when anyone is free to show up and the first four are usually given time after some initial staff screening.

Fact Checker learned of the Brodhead-Robinette meeting yesterday (Sunday) afternoon and immediately sought Brodhead's version of the meeting. His PR man, Mike Schoenfeld, got back within 40 minutes, explaining "To protect and respect their privacy, President Brodhead doesn't publicly confirm, discuss or comment on meetings he has with individual students."

Fair enough. The unusual rapid response in the middle of a holiday weekend is perhaps indicative of the seriousness that Allen Building sees.

A mole says one fear is that any university action might be incorrectly portrayed as a move by a liberal school against conservative Republicans. Yes, FC can just hear Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck bloviating.

Behind closed doors, FC believes something is stirring. Last Monday -- in the specific context of student misconduct -- Moneta himself referred to "materials we're reviewing." Other readings of Moneta contradict this, "pretty sure nothing is going to happen."

The potential targets of misconduct accusations are running scared. One has repeatedly texted potential witnesses, asking what they may say, reminding them of old friendships, which is curious, making FC wonder if this is a request to lie.

Dangerous move. The line between a discussion and witness tampering, the line between a discussion and subornation of perjury is thin. Watch it.

At the student activities fair, Robinette and Satell were lobbying the Duke Conservative Union and Duke Democrats, when the GOP's coup d'etat chief of staff, Rachel Provost, and an unidentified male started taking pictures with cellphones. Duke Police told Provost and the male to stop the harassment and had them delete the pictures.

Robinette is a senator, but may sit on the sidelines Wednesday as other members of the Student Affairs Committee carry the resolution to strip the Republicans of a slice of student fees. It's expected that students -- as well as some advocacy groups -- will be present and during Open Forum read aloud vile e-mails.

Key point: the presentations will be aimed at showing that the GOP itself -- not just individuals aligned with it -- are responsible. Quote from a resolution draft: "The Executive Board, Chairman, Chief of Staff, and Executive Director perpetrated traceable cyber-conduct which was lewd, unwelcome, sexually perverse, depraved, prejudicial, and discriminatory."

Fag!! S-O-D. Naggar. All Jews are pigs. These are the words of these people. What!! You don't know what an S-O-D is?
Read from the Fact Checker archive:


Details of the reward are still being negotiated with Duke Police.

Thank you for reading Fact Checker
Email Duke.Fact.Checker@gmail.com


With start of semester, Chronicle does major article on Potti. Fact Checker adds perspective

Search terms: Duke University, Emil Potti

✔✔Fact Checker here.

This article is fine. Fact Checker wants to add some perspective.

Duke University had to be backed into a corner and hammered over the head to institute the first review of Potti last winter. Every Dukie is indebted to the scientists at MD Anderson for their long, intrepid fight challenging Duke. Our honesty, our integrity is at stake.

The first review was internal -- though three outside consultants were hired because of very technical scientific issues. Here's an update: those consultants -- which the Chronicle's sources say supported Potti -- have now explained that Duke limited their inquiry to two questions while others were on the table. They said Duke took their findings and warped them in such a way as to emphasize what supported Potti, and to ignore what challenged him.

This internal review -- which Duke won't let you read, although Fact Checker has read it -- did not involve Potti alone -- but named three people. That's important because Potti is bearing the brunt of this because of his credentials "issues," as Duke likes to say, or lies as Fact Checker reports. The news media can more easily understand a faked Rhodes Scholarship -- than the intricacies of cancer research.

One of the others involved is above Potti in the pecking order at the University: Dr Joseph Nevins, Barbara Levine University Professor of Breast Cancer Genomics and Director of Duke's Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. A 2007 Ph.D. recipient was also involved, William T Barry.

Deans Cuffe and Kornbluth are quoted in the Chronicle article. Their statements must be viewed in this context: having signed off on the first Potti report with its rosy conclusions about his research, they would be very very shaken professionally and embarrassed personally if the new external review proves his science is a fraud. They have much at stake.

Neither should be speaking at this time for Duke University. Period.

✔Duke did not just happen to become interested in a second science review -- this time to be fully conducted externally, still being arranged. Duke had to be badgered:

-- taking more wilting fire from brave scientists at M D Anderson who stood up to Duke's first report.

-- Next came 15 European co-authors of a Potti publication in a medical journals, who retracted their work.

-- Next came the distinguished British journal Lancet Cancer which published an un-heard of alert about one of its Potti articles, saying it was investigating whether to retract it.

-- And lastly, the "July 19 letter of concern signed by 33 other statisticians" spoken of so benignly in the Chronicle just happened to be from a Who's Who of the world's genome researchers -- specifically condemning the use of Potti science on patients who had enrolled in his human experiments before Duke's

Duke did NOTHING in response to all this. It wasn't until the scandal over Potti's resume broke in The Cancer Letter, that our administrators caved.

Please, let's stop using the words "clinical trials." These are experiments on human beings. Desperately ill people who came to Duke for help, and what they got is Potti as their doctor and fraud as their medicine.

With the authority that FC just outlined all aligned against Potti, there are substantial questions of how he slipped through the cracks, or worse, how come his science received any support at all on this campus. Loyal Readers, make no mistake about it: Brodhead, Dzau, Cuffe and Kornbluth among others are also on trial. As the Cancer Letter has stated, this was once about bum science, it is now also about administrators who enabled it.

✔Loyal Dukies, Fact Checker would also like to point out two conflicts of interest, particularly with respect to Cuffe and Kornbluth.

Both were appointed by the Dean of the Medical School Nancy Andrews after she arrived from Harvard 3 years ago. They still report to her.

But Andrews husband, Bernard Mathey-Prevot, Ph.D., a noted cancer researcher who left the renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston to accompany his wife, now works at Duke. He co-authored a major medical journal article with Potti and Nevins, and is a candidate to face review himself as this scandal metathesizes.

We cannot have critical roles in these investigations played by people who are beholden to the Medical Dean, when her husband is in the spotlight. Period. Such a conflict shakes our faith.

There's more. Potti and Duke stand to make millions if his discovery proves to be honest. $$$$ Potti basically has created a screening test using DNA and RNA which will reveal -- if it works -- precisely how to treat a breast or lung tumor; Duke plans to license this -- with as many as 700,000 people a year taking the test and chocking over fees that include handsome royalties.

(The university has a similar stake in the unrelated enzyme work of another scientist under review, Homme Hellinga, James B Duke Professor of Biochemistry)

While Chancellor Dzau announced in late July that Duke is divesting itself from Potti's discoveries -- selling its stake in other words -- this is quite like locking the barn door after the horse galloped away.

Fact Checker is working on a comprehensive conflict of interest report on these scandals.

No I am not done yet. Now, transparency.

✔Fact Checker doesn't know what President Brodhead, Chancellor Dzau, Provost Lange and Vice President for PR Schoenfeld were doing at 7:30 last Thursday evening. But I hope they watched the live broadcast of a news conference on the Carolina campus, courtesy of the WRAL-TV website.

And I hoped the stark contrast with their own handling of the Potti scandal occurred to them.

You could see the pain in the faces of UNC's football coach, their athletic director, their chancellor. Bad enough that they have been coping with an explosive situation involving agents tampering with players, probably two players, now they face academic fraud that apparently embraces as many as 12 more. Plus one of 25 team tutors.

The athletic director swallowed and hesitated and looked like he might begin to tear when he answered a question by saying "We are looking into improprieties that existed outside the classroom."

"Outside the classroom." Was that just his way of expressing academic fraud, or did he mean sex, which is what these words have meant before? No elaboration.

The coach looked down and pursed his lips when he confirmed the unidentified female tutor had also been hired by his family to help his son Drew. "To be honest with you, I think we're really surprised and possibly disappointed, but there has been no revelation as to exactly the extent or what has actually transpired."

The chancellor: "Our hope is that the scope of this is limited.”

The lesson for Brodhead and his team is clear.

Officials at the University of North Carolina faced a crisis. They immediately reported what they knew to the NCAA and sought permission to speak out.

The NCAA responded yes, and instructed that Trustees be informed forthwith.

UNC's officials stood on their campus, affirmed Carolina's historical values, and pledged their personal integrity to the process of rooting out cheating no matter how many starters tumbled from a team ranked 18 in the AP pre-season poll. You could see the strength of their determination.

The UNC officials listed three names: Broome, Evans, Blanchard to head an investigation.

Yes they named the investigators, opening the door rather than sealing it like Brodhead and his team. As best the officials were able, they gave us a timetable. They took questions from reporters, many questions.

And the impact was clear: even Fact Checker as a skeptical, cynical Dukie has confidence in the investigation. Its transparency, the accountability of leaders in Chapel Hill. The coach, the athletic director, the chancellor, already tall, grew in stature. Fact Checker trusts the job they will do.

Loyal Readers, compare all this, please, with Brodhead, Dzau, Lange and Schoenfeld in the Potti scandal.

To Fact Checker's knowledge, and that is considerable, our President, our Chancellor, our Provost, our mouthpiece have never stood publicly before us, taken questions, and given us the kind of assurance only eye-to-eye contact can.

Brodhead did write a cursory reply to the Chronicle when it e-mailed him as the scandal first broke -- before we knew any of its dimensions.

And as Brodhead sat down behind closed doors with the editors at the Herald-Sun ten days ago for a routine interview about the coming school year, he was asked about the scandal. His answer was an embarrassment.

He said we should withhold judgment, for some things are true, some are false, and then there is an "intermediate explanation." So much for the honor code.

Fellow Dukies, those are the mushy words of an English professor, not a mighty declaration of principle that we need from the leader of a world-class university.

✔Aside from Fact Checker posts, those are words you have never seen in the Chronicle. "Intermediate explanation." scandal.

There are three current investigations. One is done, the credentails. Dzau, Lange pledged transparency. We got a faceless committee -- no one knows who sat on it -- behind doors, operating with unknown procedures, finding lies in the resume that are not specified, and then they tell us there are sanctions for now, but they won't tell us what!!!

✔Dzau, normally far more responsive to inquiries than Brodhead, has also circled his wagons. He knows the scandal has spread beyond Potti's fake Rhodes Scholarship, beyond one of his stars in the emerging field of translational medicine, beyond shaky, shifty science from at least three Duke researchers. In plain English, his job is on the line.

Dzau hears the murmurs about his own distractions as a director of four major corporations, monthly meetings in distant cities, with a $1 million a year in fees. Not to mention his being scientific adviser to other major corporations.

And Dzau must realize now that it was a grievous mistake to assign Dean Sandy Williams, since departed for a lab in San Francisco, to spend half-time at Duke Medical School and half-time at our money-making medical school venture in Singapore. A mole tells FC that Williams fought this.

✔And Schoenfeld.

Unlike the PR man at UNC who welcomed questions, he shamefully does not even acknowledge e-mail, right in the face of Dzau and the Provost who have personally pledged "transparency." I repeat, making mockery of the personal pledge of Dzau and Lange, as well as the institutional commitment to transparency.

Schoenfeld simply ignores people who do not warble his tune. Anyone who challenges Brodhead is out, the flow of information to them throttled.

Schoenfeld has even gone mum on questions unrelated to Potti. For example an explanation of what it means for a faculty member to be placed on "administrative leave," which is
double-talk for being suspended. With pay.

✔ Finally, I want to return to the human element: While Duke has stopped new patients from being recruited for the HUMAN EXPERIMENTS that Potti was conducting, 109 people were enrolled earlier and are still receiving treatment for breast and lung cancer according to Potti protocols. The Chronicle has now mentioned them, buried in today's article, for the first time.

109 people who came to this university in desperation, who were given false hope based upon faked credentials and soon to be revealed fraudulent research, who gave up the option of other therapies, who are now confronted with science that everyone -- everyone -- outside the boundaries of the Duke campus is saying is bunk. And many people inside too.


These cancer patients relied on Duke, its reputation, its integrity, its honor. What happened to them should sear the conscience of every Dukie. Where is the outrage!

Mr. Brodhead, has you or Dzau personally gone to these patients or have your lawyers muzzled you lest you give away a point or two of their malpractice defense, leaving the patients to figure it out for themselves?

Mr. Brodhead, Dr Dzau have you had outside doctors examine the patients to see if they have any options left? Today we are only given vague assurances in the Chronicle concluding that these people should continue with their bogus Potti treatments.

Remember please that the Who's Who in genome science said just the opposite.

✔And so late last Friday, after the focus became the weekend getaway, Duke employed the cheapest trick in PR and announced there were "substantial" "issues" with Potti's resume.

Yes a press release. In Schoenfeld's name, which seemed odd since it was Lange's investigation. Anyone who could reach Schoenfeld was told no questions would be answred.

The Chronicle did sneak a question in to Lange. Since he found "issues of substantial concern," what did this say for Duke's process of vetting its employees?

Ha. You have a better chance of rolling a snowball thru hell than getting an answer out of Lange.

Did Duke put this press release on its home page. No. Did Duke put it on the home page of its PR office. No.

The PR page has a box displaying six headlines on news releases. Was it there? No. If you were fortunate enough to click the tiny words "more releases," that's where you found the Potti announcement buried.

Yes it was listed as an "update," not a bombshell.

Remember please, Loyal Readers, the press release said "issues." Plural. Not one lie. Issues. Substantial.

What the hell do you have to do to get fired at Duke?

✔After the Herald-Sun, Brodhead's media tour moved from the Herald-Sun to the News and Observer. A Raleigh reporter asked him how long he would remain President at Duke, and while the question was probably benign, it is indicative of the way more and more stakeholders in this university are thinking.

How long? Not surprisingly Brodhead waffled an answer.

✔Thank you for reading Fact Checker.

Footnote: the Journal of Clinical Oncology is pleased to announce the publication in its new issue of a paper by Potti and co-authors, applying his science to ovarian cancer.

Thank you for reading all of Fact Checker!