✔✔ Good day, fellow Dukies. This morning Fact Checker is pleased to liberate two reports from the Boston Consulting Group, prepared in 2008 as the Brodhead Administration started to formulate plans for the Kunshan Initiative.
We find that we cannot paste the texts into our Google blog, as is our custom, so we offer .pdf versions to anyone who writes in.
We believe all stakeholders are entitled to have access to documentation like this -- in order to understand how our administrators, in secret, talking only to each other and gaining succor within their narrow fold, planned for the greatest expansion of Duke since 1924 when James B. Duke induced Trinity College to become a university. Simply put, the consultants properly foresaw three years ago, many of the pitfalls the Fuqua faculty cited in its meeting last Wednesday. A less hell-bent administration would have considered and fixed these issues.
We believe access to this kind of information -- including our postings about the Trustee briefing papers prior to their February meeting -- contributed substantially to the campus awareness of an impending train wreck, and informed the decision of the Fuqua faculty to withhold approval of academic courses currently proposed for Kunshan.
Our policy is summed up in two words: Transparency. Accountability.
We can think of no reason why these reports should not be in the public domain. The weak argument of six members of the Fuqua faculty study committee that their deliberations would suffer if these were public surely does not hold any continuing viability, as the deliberations are over. In fact, with no specific examples of how deliberations were affected, we do not believe the claim ever had any truth.
Fact Checker has never revealed a source and never will. The closest we have come was to tease the administration by saying our source for specific information about Brodhead's lavish summer-time spree in Europe, Asia and Africa -- on Duke's credit cards -- came from a source "in the middle of Allen Building." That's accurate. Mr. Brodhead and other administrators, look around you, over your shoulder, around your back, you never know!!!
The six committee members, with no information about any of our sources, assume we got documents from a Fuqua faculty member or members. FC can only hope that the teaching of these six -- who otherwise are rather distinguished -- has a better foundation. Yes some people in Fuqua have had recent access; far more people have held these documents over the past couple of y ears. These include Trustees, administrators, faculty outside of Fuqua and secretaries.
Even if our source were a Fuqua faculty member, we see no valid argument that the papers were confidential. Let's take a hypothetical professor, Biff Chucklehead, who has just come to Duke from the University of Southern California. Regarding Duke as the USC of the east, rather than the Harvard of the South, Chucklehead, who has tenure, is entitled to participate in discussions and to vote.
Yet Deputy Dean Bill Boulding tried to impose a new condition on him -- asking -- note asking not directing -- that the reports be kept confidential once faculty downloaded them from a website only they had access to.
We find this restriction -- imposed ad hoc -- to infringe upon Chucklehead's responsibility, including talking to others throughout the university, honing his own views. From Chucklehead's point of view, the more stakeholders know about the Kunshan Initiative, the more informed his participation in the debate will become.
✔ Loyal Readers, keep those e-mails coming. Fact Checker already has more documents for coming posts. We also have been allowed to read -- but not to copy -- a rather curious routine five-year evaluation of an administrator who somehow survived the review.
Thank you for reading and supporting FC. GO DUKE!!