Fact Checker demands immediate release of new list of secret Kunshan documents. Brodhead asked to enable campus debate, not seek to derail it.

✔In an open letter to President Brodhead and his administrative team, Fact Checker lists many previously unknown, secret documents that should play a role in campus debate on the Kunshan Initiative, and demands their release forthwith.

Mr President,

With the faculty in the Fuqua School of Business facing its mandate to approve, disapprove, or enter into a moratorium on academic courses proposed for the Duke Kunshan University, The Fact Checker organization calls upon you to immediately release to every stakeholder in the University all documents relating to this Initiative.

And we believe the current atmosphere requires that you affirm your commitment to enabling debate about Kunshan and other international initiatives, not derailing it.

We have not heard any reason whatsoever why all documents cannot be given to all stakeholders; indeed, rather than harm the initiative, we believe it would be strengthened by the active engagement of faculty as well as all stakeholders.

We are aware that some of the documents that we seek were generated for the Board of Trustees, which feels its own deliberations must be conducted behind closed doors to get all members to speak freely. But that justification, whether or not it has merit, must be distinguished from stakeholders' having the documents and other information that went before the board long ago.

The documents we are referring to include the following:

✔A) The full Duke Kunshan Planning Guide. As you know, after Fact Checker obtained a copy and published an essay, you were forced to surrender this document to the Academic Council. But you excised 24 pages from the version given to this elected body of faculty representatives, as reported in the Chronicle March 24th.

We also request the Planning Guides for each of the other international cities where Duke has immediate plans. Our count is 11.

✔B) We also call for you to release all 30 pages of the appendix to the Guide.

✔C) We call upon you to release all consultant reports, including but not limited to those from The Boston Consulting Group, Huron Consulting Group, and the University Leadership Council of the Education Advisory Board. As you know, Fact Checker distributed one of the consultant reports -- from the China Market Research Group; we have reason to believe this consultant submitted more.

✔D) We call upon you to release the report that you commissioned from Professor William Kirby, China scholar at Harvard University.

✔E) We call upon you to release all agreements with the City of Kunshan and Wuhan University, as well as the now defunct agreement with Shanghai Jiao Tong University. We understand that with respect to the city alone, there are at least two agreements, dated January 2010 and January 2011, and that they reflect a significant shift in attitude by Kunshan toward meeting continuing operating losses that is relevant to the faculty's mandate.

This request covers not only individual agreements with the city and Wuhan University, but agreements relating to our joint venture, some of which are dated January 2011.

We call for release of all documents showing Kunshan's shifting positions, whichi caused the Provost to say he could understand why some Dukies may feel there has been bait and switch.

✔F) We call upon you for all internal documents relating to the selection of Wuhan University as our silent partner. By process of elimination, we believe Vice President Greg Jones was referring to Wuhan when he stated to the Academic Council that one potential partner was "weak."

✔G) We call upon you to release all written reports that you and your administration have given to the Board of Trustees on any aspect of all international initiatives. This would include Kunshan and all alternatives.

We call for the release of the minutes of Trustee meetings relevant to any international initiative.

We call for release of the names of the members of the special Trustee committee on China headed by Mr. Rubinstein, and an explanation of why faculty and student representatives are not included.

✔H) We call upon you to release a full copy of Duke's application and supporting statement, as given to the Chinese Ministry of Education and the separate application and supporting statement filed with the Municipal Education Authority of Jiangsu Province (where Kunshan is located), as part of the legal requirements to establish a joint venture university.

✔I) We call upon you to release all agreements and proposed agreements with respect to Duke's core values, including but not limited to academic freedom, affirmative action, and need-blind admissions.

✔J) We ask you to state, unequivocally, whether academic freedom will include unrestricted Internet access, unfettered e-mail and unmonitored text messages. And to furnish the documents guaranteeing whatever you negotiated.

We ask you to state whether academic freedom, as you have discussed the concept with the Chinese, includes only activities within the walls of the Kunshan campus, or does it embrace off-campus as well. We ask for all supporting documents that led you to declare, on page 21 of the Planning Guide released to the Academic Council, a particular concern for great risk to reputation "if we become embroiled in wide-ranging public controversy."

✔K) We call upon you to release the Preamble and all details of the "Fundamental Principles of Academic Quality" negotiated with the Chinese. We call upon you to release all other documents related to governance of the Duke Kunshan University. We seek to know whether the Christie Principles guaranteeing faculty an appropriate role in governance will be incorporated and respected.

✔L) We call upon you to release all financial models for campus operations.
We understand there are three "Monte Carlo" simulations. The Academic Council was given one.

✔M) We call upon you to release the Duke University budget, as well as detailed final financial reports, for each of the five past years, as well as for the current year and for next year, so the Fuqua faculty and others may determine the impact the world-wide financial meltdown had upon Duke in Durham, and the likelihood that any diversion of resources to Kunshan would be at the expense of our mother campus.

✔N) We know that Duke Kunshan University will have its own fund-raising. But in addition, we also know that Duke University will raise funds and send them to offset deficits in Kunshan. Duke has received a $5 million, multi-year grant to establish its own development office for Kunshan. We call upon you for the release of all documentation of the effect on donations to the mother campus.

✔O) We call upon you to release all material being prepared for, or submitted to, the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities (SACS), Duke's primary accrediting body, on Duke's plan to award Duke University degrees to students of Duke Kunshan University.

✔P) We call upon you to release any internal memorandum or other documentation of the time administrators are spending on Kunshan, and whether this represents a diffusion of focus on the mother campus. These must exist because in the Planning Guide, you put a dollar figure on the cost of administrators working on Kunshan.

Finally we seek your personal commitment to an open dialogue on the opportunities and challenges presented by the Kunshan Initiative. As we stated at the start of this open letter, we believe you must make clear that you desire to enable debate, not derail it.

We join with you in shouting GO DUKE!


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  1. you mention 11 other cities in which duke has plans, any chance we could get a run down of what each of those endeavors are for those of us who are not able to keep close tabs on such activities?

  2. FC here. Good idea. OK I will post on the other cities soon.


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