✔✔✔ Fellow Dukies, FC here. Good day!!
Search words: Duke University, Richard Brodhead
Six professors in the Fuqua Business School -- who served on two committees responsible for in-depth investigations of the degrees proposed for Kushan -- have written their colleagues to express their dismay that documents they call "confidential" found their way onto Fact Checker.
Loyal Readers should know that we had a copy of this sniveling e-mail before most of the intended recipients even knew it had hit their in-boxes. This occurred at the same moment we were posting a demand that President Brodhead release two more key reports, these from the Boston Consulting Group. The reports, written in 2008, include finding after finding, recommendation after recommendation, that the small coterie of administrators who put together the Kunshan Folly ignored in their hell-bent drive to start a campus in China to teach Chinese.
With Brodhead not responding, Fact Checker will make the secret reports available at midnight Sunday, as promised.
The six professors make some assumptions, including one that is sheer guesswork on their part: that the source or sources for the series of documents we have liberated is/are within the Business School.
As Loyal Readers know, we are extremely well sourced. We can tell you, for instance, that when we broke the news that one of Dr. Anil Potti's collaborators, Dr. Joseph Nevins, was asking for retraction of their published work, that our source was not within the Medical School.
Most recently, a Deputy Fact Checker obtained in the heart of Allen Building itself, the specific cost of Brodhead's airfare -- $14,315.80 -- for a lavish three week summer-time spree through Europe, Asia and Africa. That's for Uncle Dick alone, not counting his wife Cynthia, whom FC has revealed is paid $132,500 for her spousal duties. Nor does it include supporting personnel for the trip, the director of the Nasher Museum, for example, who is going to London to be with the Brodheads at the Tate for an alumni gathering.
Mind you, this is occurring at a time of austerity in Durham, when the budget for research and travel for the Arts and Sciences has been slashed from $500,000 annually to $100,000.
✔✔ Another assumption by the six professors is that the documents -- including the committee reports -- were "confidential." The six profs reach this conclusion after scolding colleagues that "You were explicitly asked by (Deputy Dean) Bill Boulding to keep these materials confidential."
This raises the rather interesting question of whether someone who has never agreed to confidentiality, but who receives documents, is bound by the wishes of the sender.
✔✔✔ The six professors assert "the release of these documents undermines our ability to have open and frank discussions."
First of all the professors neglect to note that the liberation of the documents the profs are most concerned about -- their committees' own reports -- came only after the discussions were held.
Second, they offer no proof whatsoever that their ability to have open and frank discussions was compromised in any way. In fact FC challenges the six professors to cite any specific example. Certainly a mole at the faculty meeting on June 1 reports not one member of the faculty expressed any misgiving in other stakeholders having full information. And certainly the conclusion does not indicate any wimpering: a rebuke, a show of no confidence in the Dean, the Provost and the President.
Third, the six professors set up a caste system for the availability of information, with some stakeholders having a divine right of access that others do not enjoy. Fact Checker rejects this totally. In fact, one of most curious aspects of the Brodhead Administration is trying to figure out who gets what snippet of information.
And fourth, the six professors do not give their colleagues very much credit, suggesting that other stakeholders might be able to unduly influence their colleagues' thinking. Or that the colleagues would wilt because someone outside of Fuqua would hear their words.
Fact Checker does not believe any of that for a moment. The Fuqua faculty we have met all have backbones, all welcome the opportunity to hone their ideas against others.
Fifth and lastly, the committee proved its fortitude, and the strength of their colleagues, by standing up against their Dean, the Provost and the President, all of whom would be able to find out all details, including who said what. That would seem infinitely harder than any challenge from other stakeholders.
We believe in full disclosure, transparency and accountability. Except, of course, we will not tell you our sources.
The six professors who wrote their colleagues are Jennifer Francis, David Robinson, Jim Smith, Jeannette Song, Rick Staelin and Vish Viswanathan. We would like to know the genesis of their e-mail, whether an administrator suggested it. >
We note their criticism was only of their colleagues whom they say leaked, with no comment on Fact Checker for posting the documents.