7/06/2011

New Duke Trustees include woman promoted by Clarence Thomas, pissing off Anita Hill who later revealed the Supreme Court nominee liked kinky sex

Loyal Readers will recall that on Sunday, Fact Checker mentioned in a critique of the Chronicle (the editor had written a column soliciting opinions and suggestions) that six new Trustees had taken office and the Brodhead Administration would not tell us who they were. Such secrecy, such a sad state of affairs.

Then on Monday, because of the snooping of a very Loyal Reader, we were able to list three of the new Trustees. On Wednesday the PR office confirmed that the FC report was -- as usual -- totally correct:

Betsy DeHaas Holden '77 of Winnetka, Illinois for a six year term.

The Rev. (Laura) Ashley Crowder Stanley '77, Divinity '80 of Fletcher, NC (near Asheville) for a six year term.

Robert R. Penn '74 of Dallas, who will serve initially for two years, the unexpired term of Kimberly Jenkins


If you need details on them, scroll down to our earlier post.

Now, via press release, we have, finally, the three names we were not able to ferret out (although we now know where to look in the future!!!):

The Honorable Allyson K. Duncan, Law '75 of Raleigh, for a six year term. (Duke's press release had her first name spelled wrong). Later in this report, we return to her for a full biography, which gets pretty juicy: while she worked at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, her boss was Clarence Thomas, who promoted her over Anita Hill, the woman who later brought sex charges against Thomas during his confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court.

Fellow Dukies, that was NOT in the press release!

Judge Duncan is also known as Mrs. William Webb. We do not believe her husband or son are Dukies.

Another new Trustee: William A. Hawkins '76, of Wayzata, Minnesota, for a six year term. Don't laugh at Wayzata: FC checks the Google satellite view of the homes of new Trustees, and his is the best. An impressive spread on a spit of land poking into a glorious lake. A native of Durham, he has just retired at age 56 from Medtronic, a major supplier of medical technology for hospitals around the world, including Duke Medical Center. Recruited to Medtronic relatively late in his career, he was first senior vice president, then promoted to president for four years and then chair of the board for three, the latter being a $9.6 million a year job. The Medtronic board includes Dr. Victor Dzau, Chancellor of Duke Medicine.

Hawkins was a member and chair of the Board of Visitors at Pratt, which FC describes as a try-out for Trustee, if you cough up enough. We do not believe his wife, his son nor daughter are Dukies.

Gerald Hassell '73, president of BNY Mellon, for a six year term.

Hassell started at the Bank of New York (forerunner of the current entity) as a 21 year old management trainee. He rose and rose, to the top at Bank of NY at age 46. A merger in 2007 resulted in his current position. 2010 salary: $11,179,102. In addition to stock he already owns, he has options -- accumulated since joining Bank of NY -- which according to the FC calculation are worth just north of $300 million.

At the bank, he developed a specialty in financing media, and is on the board of Comcast Corporation, which, in case he is having a hard time making ends meet at his day job, paid a nifty extra $237,905 last year.

An example of how capitalism is supposed to work, he chaired the board of visitors at The Fuqua School of Business at Duke from 2005-11.

Hassell lives in Chappaqua, New York, in a home totally surrounded by old growth trees so we could not get a peak on the Google satellite. This is in the arc of wealthy suburbs north of New York City, in Westchester County and nearby Connecticut, that has given Duke numerous trustees. For example the retiring John Mack and Roy Bostock of Library fame, merely to start the list.

We believe Hassel's daughter is Alyssa '08.

Keep reading. Be patient. We'll get to the juicy stuff about the judge in a minute.

In addition, Jeff Howard '79, president-elect of the Duke Alumni Association, will serve two years as an observer, then two years as a voting member.


Howard is executive vice president of Salem Investment Counselors, Inc., which manages assets for individuals, families, foundations and endowments. He previously practiced law for 15 years in Winston-Salem.

Along with his role with the Duke Alumni Association, Howard served on the Duke Parent Advisory Committee. He has served as chair of the Forsyth County Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation Board of Directors, and as president of the Parents' Association and chair of the board of trustees at Forsyth Country Day School.

Howard, who earned his undergraduate degree from Duke, is founder and president of The First Tee of the Triad, a chapter of the national organization designed to foster character development and life skills in kids through golf.

Michelle Sohn '11, the undergraduate young trustee, will serve one year as an observer and two years as a voting member.


Ali Saaem, the young trustee from graduate/professional students, will serve as an observer for one year, then as a voting member for one year. He's pretty interesting: a fifth year biomedical engineering Ph.D. candidate, he has worked extensively with minority six-graders in Durham to inspire them to pursue careers in medicine and related fields.

Before coming to Duke, Saaem held engineering positions at Motorola and Verizon. He also was a consultant for a bank in his native Bangladesh. And he currently has a biotech start-up.

Now back to the Judge, the stuff you really want to read.

Based in Raleigh, Duncan is a federal appeals court judge on the 4th Circuit in Richmond, meaning she's just one rung below the Supreme Court. There is important lacrosse hoax litigation before this court, with Duke among the defendants, so presumably she will now recuse herself from these cases if any come before her.

Judge Duncan, a Republican, was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by a unanimous Senate in 2003, the first African-American and first woman from North Carolina to sit on this bench. Her nomination won approval of NC's two Senators -- the Republican
(and fellow Dukie) Elizabeth Dole and Democrat John Edwards. Yes that John Edwards. This bi-partisanship was rare, for President Clinton had nominated someone else for this vacancy but the Senate refused to give him a hearing or vote before Clinton left office.

Active in professional affairs, she is on the Committee on International Judicial Relations of the United States Judicial Conference, appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts, and is a vice president of the Federal Judges Association.

She previously served on the North Carolina Utilities Commission, on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and as acting legal counsel of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2002, she was elected president of the North Carolina Bar Association. Her tenure on the North Carolina Court of Appeals was brief. Appointed by Governor James Martin to fill out the term of fellow Dukie Charles Becton, she lost the election for a full term of her own.

At the Equal Employment commission, her boss was Clarence Thomas. Yes that Clarence Thomas, the honorable. Thomas promoted Duncan over Anita Hill, the woman who launched sexual misconduct charges against Thomas during his confirmation hearing.

Hill's allegations captured the nation: Thomas watched and liked pornographic films with women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes.

Hill said, "On several occasions, Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess." Hill also said that "Thomas was drinking a Coke in his office, he got up from the table at which we were working, went over to his desk to get the Coke, looked at the can and asked, 'Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?'."[

Another former Thomas assistant, Sukari Hardnett, had further evidence against Thomas. Although Hardnett made it clear she was not accusing Thomas of sexual harassment, she provided the Judiciary Committee with sworn testimony that "if you were young, black, female, reasonably attractive and worked directly for Clarence Thomas, you knew full well you were being inspected and auditioned as a female."

There was never any public testimony from Duncan about her service to Thomas.

A Deputy FC has just pointed out, that while we have a pretty good idea of who the new Trustees are, we have no indication whatsoever what they stand for. What their position is on any issue. Welcome, new members, to the Board of Lemmings, under the thumb of Richard Brodhead!



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