Brodhead's handlers call for questions to ask him during employee forum on Wednesday; Fact Checker cooperates!

Mr Brodhead will appear in Reynolds Auditorium at noon Wednesday for the "Primetime" employee series. A chance to see senior administrators!!! Capacity 600. Employees 33,525. The president's handlers are requiring questions in advance, so here goes:

Power plant engineer -- Mr. Brodhead, you said that merit raises would be given to some employees based upon their job performance. Is this the same system than existed before the wage freeze, or if not, how will your new system work?

Food service worker -- Mr. Brodhead, in the 2008-09 school year, I earned $20,000. In the 2009-2010 school year, my salary stayed the same with the wage freeze but I got a one time payment of $1,000, so my checks totalled $21,000. In the current school year, I have the same salary, and another one time payment of $1,000, so this year I am getting $21,000. Starting July 1, for the 2011-12 school year I hope to get a raise on top of my base. I probably won't get more than 3 percent. So am I correct in stating that my income in the next school year will go down under your plans to $20,600?

Law alum - Mr President, I want to ask you about the cost of the lacrosse hoax. Can you give me the current picture -- what we are paying attorneys -- and then what Duke has paid out so far in fees and settlements -- and also your estimate of what lies ahead, all inclusive fees, settlements and judgments?

Medical alum
- Let's do the same with Dr Anil Potti, Mr. President. What have you done to assure and comfort the victims of this quack, and what do you anticipate will be Duke's total legal liability, fees and judgments and settlements.

Faculty member -- Mr. President, I earned $100,000 three years ago. With the freeze, it has stayed the same for two years, even though normally I would have advanced to about $106,000. Now if I qualify, I will get a raise based upon my old base. Will we ever catch up -- or will the $6,000 be missing from my paychecks as long as I am at Duke?

- Mr. Brodhead, how come your handlers require written questions in advance for these meetings?

Chinese visitor -- Mr. Brodhead, I am surprised to see such a diverse group of people on the Duke campus. How come everyone you sent to Kunshan was white? All the new trustees, all your officials. And all were male except for the dean of the nursing school who came for one day.

Parent - Mr. Brodhead, I hear in your discussions with the Chinese, you have talked about academic freedom as it might exist within the walls of the campus, behind the seven foot high steel barricade that is being erected. I have two questions: am I to understand you have not locked down yet whether the Chinese will allow us have unfettered internet, including e-mail? And second, do you realize that Duke's tradition of academic freedom can be traced to John Spencer Bassett and a magazine article -- which is to say the professor's thoughts were not confined to the Trinity College campus at all?

Senior faculty member - I know the new budget is not finalized, but can you give us the total appropriations for Arts and Sciences for next year, and compare that please with the past five years?

Senior faculty member, follow up -- Mr. President do you agree that the responsibility of the faculty in approving each and every academic offering in Kunshan and all these other international hot spots includes going over the finances and considering academic freedom too. In other words, do you agree there is an expansive nature to the responsibility of the faculty?

Academic Council officer - Mr. President, I know you have been so gracious and engaging as to give us 23 pages of the Duke Kunshan Planning Guide. Thank you, Sir. Thank you for your kindness in bestowing this on us. What about the other 24 pages that you excised. And the 30 pages of appendix loaded with facts and figures. And the complete reports of the three or four consultants you hired to evaluate Kunshan?

Student - While you are at it, Mr. Brodhead, explain to us precisely how you decide what information we can have and what you withhold.

Deputy Fact Checker - Mr. President, as you may know only half of the people in Kunshan actually life there. The others come from the vast rural areas of China, seeking better conditions but winding up exploited. Many of these people are the construction workers. With Duke's campus now going up, can you tell us what you have done to insure the people laboring there are being treated fairly. Good working and living conditions, honest wage.

Alumni investment banker - Mr. President, for years Duke has budgeted based upon a 8.5 percent annual return on its investments, its endowment. We now know that in the past ten years, the average has only been 6.5 percent. Will the new budget change expectations and anticipate less money to spend each year from the endowment, assuming the principal stays the same.

Smart reporter - Mr. Brodhead, when the fiscal crisis first hit, you said that in three years, Duke's budget would have to be $125 million less than it was at that moment. In other words, down from $1.85 billion (not counting Duke Medicine which gets its revenue from patients) to around $1.7 billion. The first year you were flat, this year the budget leaped. What is going on next year? The year starting in July, that is your test. Are you gong to pass?

Smart reporter follow up - The reporter was advised to sit down please, we do not allow follow ups even though one was sneaked in earlier.

University watchdog
- Ever since the fiscal crisis, we have covered red ink with special withdrawals from the endowment -- above and beyond normal annual distributions. This year, there is about $72 million of this Enron money in the budget. Will there be any next year? I trust you agree this is not sustainable.

- Mr. Brodhead, is it true you start your day reading Fact Checker?

There will be a drawing from a bowl of employee names -- and several people will go out to lunch with Brodhead!!