Guest Fact Checker: Duke needs new leadership

FC will be expanding this fall and we'll have space on our new homepage for Guest Fact Checkers to write significant essays, in addition to comments. (Right now the comments board is moderated because of irresponsibility; our new site will be able to identify and block dummies.)

We thought we'd jump the gun on Guest FC's -- because the following comment, posted late to a FC essay, is so cogent.

...I fundamentally agree with "anonymous" about Duke being adrift. Until and unless new leadership is found, however, there is no prospect of the situation being remedied: to wit,

1) by restoring priority to undergraduate education by strengthening the identity of individual majors and reverting the intellectually anemic and incoherent culture of learning perpetrated by Curriculum 2000.

2) by supporting genuinely academic and intellectual culture on campus (and off), rather than fostering the "theme-park" culture of tenting, Duke-UNC rivalry, partying, binge-drinking, etc.

3) by recognizing that a corporate structure of management (and the priorities to which it gives rise) is fundamentally incommensurable with a Liberal Arts concept of learning.

4) by recognizing that the faculty is the source and core of a university's collective wisdom, and that it is both arrogant and foolish for presidents or provosts to proceed without consulting and involving their faculty in strategic initiatives from the beginning. A president who dismisses a senior faculty member's concerns regarding the blatant disregard for academic freedom by the Chinese government by belittling him as a "worrier" (even when that faculty member has extensive expertise in Chinese culture, history, and religion that our president so obviously lacks) is a disgrace.

5) and, most importantly, by appointing administrators capable of humility and of learning to reign in personal ambition (or Napoleonic delusions of grandeur) in favor of an institution's long-term flourishing. Above all, that requires a type of administrator committed to the good of the existing university, the one here in Durham--and not some fantasized entity in China or sundry other locations across the globe.

✔ Here's some reaction form Loyal Readers:

whether the current debacle leads to his demise or not, the current administration will not last forever. It will end. It will also go down as one of the worst administrations in the history of Duke University. What positive has there been since Dicky B has been in charge?

All I've seen since I've been there was his incessant need to glorify himself and his 'legacy'....instead we get lies (Kunshan and the recent 'gift' from the endowment for renovations are two examples that come to mind)...we get students who are told that hate speech is acceptable in the case of homosexuals...we have departments that are struggling to function due to budget cuts as we're building new campuses around the world and sending administrators on lavish trips around the world.....I know one thing....duke won't get a cent more of my money until this changes

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