Another Chronicle editorial on Brodhead's leadership

✔ Thanks Chronicle. (editorial dated 2-7-2011)

FC disagrees with one statement: "That this discussion took place at all is to the credit of Brodhead and the other administrators who took part, as they were under no obligation to participate."

That's absurd. Their job is to engage all stakeholders in creating a better Duke. Brodhead and his cohorts may have the keys at this moment, like janitors and other custodians, but they do not have all the answers.

Indeed, Brodhead himself has given lip service to this reality from time to time. In addressing the Academic Council in February 2010, he called for participation of a "broad" segment of the community in decisions, the specific context being the financial meltdown. In opening Convocation and on other occasions, he has charged freshmen to not only study at Duke but to build its future.

Good ideas. He just never executes.

✔ What's amazing is how this morning's editorial on campus culture mirrors an editorial exactly one year ago after Brodhead addressed the faculty through the Academic Council on the fiscal crisis.

The headline a year ago read "Brodhead's Incomplete Address"

"... what was missing from his speech—and what will inevitably be on the minds of the Duke employees Brodhead will address tomorrow—was a straightforward analysis of the “short view” and a clear presentation of the University’s strategy to weather its impending budgetary shortfall."

"At tomorrow afternoon’s “Primetime” forum for Duke employees... Brodhead should come prepared with answers."

"Brodhead ... must confront the issue head on... should be honest with employees and tell them up front, refusing to tiptoe around the subject of job cuts and divert difficult decisions to the months ahead."

And again, "administrators should be able to offer employees conclusive answers."

Hey what was that expression I learned in French class, "plus ça change, plus c'est la ..."