FC mailbox: what Loyal Readers are saying

Posted 10:30 PM Tuesday
Selections from our incoming e-mail

✔ "The conversation about Duke's inflated aspirations to becoming a "globally networked university" (to invoke the official hollow slogan) ought not to be about means alone but, first and foremost, about ends. What needs to retrieved as a focal point of a campus-wide conversation is this university's core mission: is it corporate? Is it about selling a "brand" to gullible buyers or totalitarian regimes without any regard whatsoever for the integrity of the product or the buyer?

"Or is it about making a long-term contribution to the intellectual and scientific culture of our society, educating young people in specific fields of advanced
inquiry and impressing on them the habits, forms, and values of a life of
learning? Clearly, our benighted and arrogant leadership has made its choice. Will the rest of the Duke community -- alumni, trustees, faculty, students -- allow a small clique of deluded and grandiose individuals to ruin this institution?"


✔ "We need leaders who deserve the name, who recall and honor the core mission and purpose of the university, who earnestly work to support and enhance the work of higher learning, and who grasp the broader ends of these activities. What we have right now are second-hand Napoleon imitations whose every action confirms Marx's observation that history tends to repeat itself, first occurring as a tragedy .. and then as a farce. Would someone (trustees, alumni) please put an end to this farce?!"


✔ "Until the current leadership of the university has been removed, there is no prospect of improvement. Those currently in charge have no principles other than to immortalize themselves and to feed their professional ego and vanity at any cost. They have become so thoroughly detached from actual teaching, research, and meaningful intellectual work that compromising intellectual freedom (or indeed the very notion of it) means nothing more than a bit more of reality to 'spin' in ways favorable to their agenda."

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