Brodhead, Steel face court order to testify in lacrosse case!!!!!!!

Search terms Duke University lacrosse Richard Brodhead Steel hoax Anil Potti

FC note: It is beyond my comprehension that the Chronicle does not report on this in its Friday edition. Even more so, because from the moment that a Loyal Reader first tipped FC about the federal court's rulings, FC sent the Chronicle editors e-mail advisories of the unfolding story. The news editor acknowledged the first by asking for more details.

This spoon-feeding continued through-out the evening, and included the full text of the judge's orders as soon as each was sent to Fact Checker. The e-mail with the most important text was at 7:20 PM -- more than enough time for today's edition (as coverage of the rap singer at a later hour proves).

This is a disgrace; the newspaper's editors -- who on the March anniversary of the start of the hoax offered extensive coverage of the fine journalistic work of their predecessors -- owe readers an explanation.

A federal judge has issued an order that means President Brodhead and former Trustee chair Robert King Steel will be forced to give testimony about the lacrosse hoax.

Other defendants and witnesses will also be compelled to testify. The court order was not one-sided. The judge tossed out some claims of the plaintiffs, who were members of the lacrosse team but not among the three players indicted on false charges of rape. The three were later declared "innocent" by the state Attorney General.

This is a major turn of events; the university has fought a multi-million dollar legal battle to prevent potentially explosive and personally damaging testimony from Brodhead and Steel, and late Thursday evening, in a statement, said it would "aggressively" defend itself on appeal. The Duke statement was institutional, with no reference to the President or former board Chair.

The statement also admitted unspecified "mistakes" in handling the lacrosse case -- but contended these did not lead to legal liability for the university because they principally involved disgraced and disbarred prosecutor Mike Nifong.

And Duke revealed it tried to buy its way out of at least one of three pending lawsuits in recent months, offering to pay plaintiffs' legal fees and other out of pocket expenses, but giving them nothing for their horrendous trip through their undergraduate years.

The players refused the offer, which Duke said it made to save everyone the burden of continued legal battle.

Duke will now face an uphill struggle. The university can't just go in and say it doesn't like the result, so it wants another shot. It must show where a very experienced federal judge, James Beaty, made substantial error.

Beaty was nominated to the federal bench by President Clinton in 1994, and rapidly won unanimous confirmation in the US Senate. He became chief judge of the district two years later. The President tried to advance Beaty to the 4th circuit Court of Appeals, but the late Senator Jesse Helms blocked it. Beaty's name went up time and time again -- and the seat sat vacant for 7 years before being filled by someone else.

The lax players and their families -- along with supporters who have kept a very active website alive -- hailed the decision as a major victory and a step, finally, to full justice in the five year old hoax. They wondered, however, how long Duke would drag out the next phases of the litigation.

Some quotes from posts:

"There was no chance that Judge Beaty would allow all the claims to go forward, since the plaintiff's attorneys were very expansive in their charges. The plaintiffs alleged everything possible in the hope some would stick."

"Look at the big picture-- the major goal has been to get at the truth. These rulings by Judge Beaty advance that cause by ordering depositions by all the major conspirators."

✔✔✔✔✔ As of this moment, Brodhead and Steel will be required to comply with a demand that they each, separately, give sworn testimony about the lacrosse hoax. They will also be compelled to submit documents that plaintiffs' lawyers request. If they refuse, they can be held in contempt of court and even jailed.

The next step is called the discovery phase of the lawsuit -- aimed at further narrowing issues. It allows the plaintiffs' lawyers more latitude than they would have during the trial itself, to go into areas that obviously Brodhead and Steel would desperately want untouched.

The depositions from Brodhead and Steel can be used during the trial to challenge any changes in their testimony. Indeed, they can be used against any witness to challenge a different version of events.

Above all, they become part of the public record and expose an administration that fumbled badly during the crisis.

The order came in the McFadyen lawsuit, brought by members of the lacrosse team who were not indicted. (Hundreds and hundreds of pages long, we have not completed an analysis of the Evans and Carrington decisions, described later in this FC report.)

The order was part of a legal snowstorm involving motions to dismiss and demands for summary judgment. This is all routine defense maneuvering to thin out the allegations and put more focus on the lawsuit. Indeed the judge tossed some of the counts in the plaintiffs' complaint, but let others stand. He said the lawsuit raises the specter of a very fundamental civil rights violation.

✔✔✔✔✔ With respect to university officials, the judge cited an alleged e-mail -- the author was not revealed -- circulated among high officials "to get their stories" straight. The e-mail further said recipients should destroy the e-mail.

The judge said further examination of this is appropriate, for this allegation raises the prospect that Brodhead, Steel and other Duke officials acted with intent to obstruct justice and deny the plaintiffs their legal remedies.

✔✔✔✔✔ The judge said a fraud claim against Brodhead and Executive Vice President Tallman Trask may have validity and the plaintiffs can pursue it. This is based upon claims the officials enticed players to talk to them about the case by promising some sort of "student-administrator privilege." No such privilege (modeled after the husband-wife and priest-penitent privilege of avoiding the need to testify) exists.

✔✔✔✔✔ Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek, an attorney, remains on the hot seat too, for allegedly counseling players not to secure their own lawyers and steering them to a lawyer hand-picked by Duke.

✔✔✔✔✔ In a surprising aspect of the judge's decision, he ruled that Duke may have violated its own stated procedures in dealing with lacrosse players, and this part of the lawsuit can go forward too. Duke has been adamant that all its promotional materials, websites calogues and other printed material designed for students do not amount to a contract, and thus is not enforceable. We do not know what nuances the court may have found, but the general rule in North Carolina is these materials are not part of a contract.

The three indicted players were not part of the McFadyen lawsuit. They reached a settlement with Duke immediately after the North Carolina state Attorney General declared them "innocent." The settlement is a secret, until recently thought to be $6 million each. But a tax lien filed against player Reade Seligmann suggests Duke paid each $18 to $20 million. Seligmann's attorney says taxes were paid four years ago and the lien will be nullified.

Beyond Brodhead and Steel, there was a list of other defendants, headed by the city of Durham. Judge Beaty wrote the lawsuit -- if proven -- shows "significant abuses of government power. Indeed, the intentional or reckless use of false or
misleading evidence before a magistrate judge to obtain a warrant and effect a search and seizure is exactly the type of “unreasonable” search and seizure the Fourth Amendment is designed to protect against."

The judge also wrote, "there can be no question that the Constitution is violated when government officials deliberately fabricate evidence and use that evidence against a citizen, in this case by allegedly making false and misleading representations and creating false and
misleading evidence in order to obtain an NTO (search warrant) against all of the lacrosse team members and obtain a search warrant."

✔✔✔✔✔ The three indicted players have their own lawsuit which also was the subject of a separate ruling late Thursday afternoon from the same judge. This is called the Evans suit, after lead plaintiff David Evans. The principal defendant was the city of Durham and its police.

Disgraced and disbarred former district attorney Mike Nifong was an original defendant. When he filed for bankruptcy, a routine court order let him off the hook. Thursday night, the judge ordered that Nifong once again be a full defendant.

The judge allowed the three lax players to continue, rebuffing attempts by Durham to say they were going into un-chartered legal waters. But again, he thinned out the issues and let some of the defendants off the hook. The players can continue to pursue claims such as malicious prosecution, concealment of evidence and fabrication of false evidence.

One of the big losses for the lax players in the Evans lawsuit was the judge's finding that their complaint was not sufficient to establish severe emotional distress on the part of their families -- and thus any damages assessed could not be boosted.

Statement from the city late Thursday: "We believe the court correctly dismissed the punitive damages claims against the city and are pleased and encouraged by that favorable determination," Durham Public Affairs Director Beverly Thompson said. "The city's legal counsel look forward to studying today's decisions in greater detail and remain optimistic that the cases will ultimately be decided in favor of the city and its personnel."

The players could rejoice in stirring language in their favor. Judge Beaty repeated words he used in the McFayden decision: the lawsuit presented issues of "significant abuses of government power. Indeed, the intentional use of false or misleading evidence before
a grand jury to obtain an indictment and arrest without probable cause is exactly the type of “unreasonable” search and seizure that the Fourth Amendment was designed to protect against, and would violate the most fundamental concepts of due process."

Tonight, the lawyer for Reade, the eminent civil rights attorney Richard Emery, just about the best person you could have on your side, said:

“The opinion is what I would call, overall, a ringing success for the boys.”

✔✔✔✔✔ Late tonight, we received word that the same judge apparently (this stuff is really hard to confirm when opinions are issued at the close of the business day) decided on motions in the third (and final!!) lax lawsuit. This is known as Carrington, after the lead plaintiff.

We do not have the text yet. Early indications are that the judge, as expected, thinned out the plaintiffs' original complaint and number of defendants, but left the core of the lawsuit alive.

Each of these lawsuits is very complicated. Multiple plaintiffs. Multiple defendants. In fact one had more than 2,000 possible combinations. The McFadyen decision is 223 pages. The Evans 96. And be advised these are not the final word; these were just on pre-trial maneuvers.

The judge told attorneys for all sides that going forward, he wants less clutter.

Duke has not only refused to reveal the settlements paid to the three falsely indicted lax players. It has refused repeatedly FC requests for information about its overall legal costs.

We have only snippets of information. Generally speaking, legal costs are four times what they were pre-lacrosse; the best we can find out is the total is $22 million a year.

It will be more difficult to trace legal fees going forward, because Duke will likely face hundreds of lawsuits and hundreds of million dollars of potential liability because of the cancer quack Dr Anil Potti. Up until now, there was no other major issue propelling costs, so the assumption was the entire increment was due to lax.

We do know that one hot shot Washington defense lawyer hired by Duke -- Jamie Gorelick -- billed for $2 million in one year. Unfortunately federal law no longer mandates that the university reveal the highest professional fees that it pays; rather it must now only reveal its five biggest contractors, most often construction companies.

Thank you for reading Fact Checker. And thank God for the strength and endurance of the lacrosse players and their families.

Text of Duke statement on lacrosse litigation.

This apparently refers to the McFadyen lawsuit.

“This lawsuit is another unfortunate result of the misdeeds of former Durham County prosecutor, Mike Nifong, and the Durham police. However, this suit is misdirected against the university. Duke University reasonably relied on the statements of a prosecutor whose path of destruction could be stopped only by the North Carolina Attorney General.

“Duke made some mistakes when the allegations first surfaced in the spring of 2006. The cause of any harm felt by the players, however, clearly lies with parties other than Duke. Nevertheless, to avoid putting the entire community through destructive litigation, the university offered many months ago to reimburse the attorneys' fees and other out-of-pocket expenses of the players whose lives were disrupted but who were not indicted. We were and remain disappointed those offers were not accepted. We will aggressively defend the university in this matter.”

Check with Fact Checker very late tonight or tomorrow morning.


Decision Day: Duke admits the Class of 2015

Welcome, Duke Class of 2015!! This is your first Fact Checker report!!

And congratulations to Dean Guttentag, who every year brings to our doorstep an Awesome group of people. Yes, capital A.

Duke's admissions statistics follow the pattern of numbers that are emerging for the Class of 2015 at our peer institutions.

In the initial hours after notifications to the Class of 2015 began, all reported significant drops in their over-all acceptance rate.

There are some tricks in these numbers:

First the number of applications. From school to school there is fudging -- and Duke does it too -- on what counts as an application. Boost the number of "applications," accept the same number of students and voila, your percentage goes down.

Fact Checker has requested year after year a count of the number of applications that Duke actually reads and makes a decision on. No dice.

Second, a school can keep its acceptance rate low by admitting fewer now -- and turning to its wait list to fill out the class later. In the case of Duke, often there are just marginal differences in the quality of student admitted, and those put on the wait list.

While many schools tell us the number put on the wait list -- Duke did last year -- this year Duke is silent.

The final proof of the pudding of course depends on the yield rate -- how many of those whom we accept actually enroll. And of the very best admitted -- sorta like the all star component of the yield rate -- how many of those choose Duke over other options.

We have lagged in the yield, which is probably to be expected given the schools we compete against. Let's face it, a kid admitted to Harvard, Yale or Princeton is more likely to go there, than to Duke.

Fact Checker notes that Duke did not release demographic figures on its acceptance rates (see Harvard for exemplary disclosure). We have seen snippets of studies -- but been denied the full study -- that indicate that particularly among blacks, the best of the best choose other schools over Duke when presented with the option.

Some comparisons.

Early admits
Class of 2015 645
Class of 2014 602

Regular admits
Class of 2015 3,094
Class of 2014 3,372

Total admits
Class of 2015 3,739
Class of 2014 3,974
Does not include wait list

Total admit rate
Class of 2015 12.6 percent
Class of 2014 14.8 percent

Peer schools - US News and World Report. Comparing Class of 2013 with Class of 2015. At present Duke is in a three way tie for #9-10-11 with Dartmouth and Chicago.

Harvard 6.2 pct down from 7.5 pct
Princeton 8.39 pct down from 10.1 pct
Yale 7.35 pct down from 7.5 pct
Columbia 6.9 pct down from 9.8 pct
Stanford 7.1 percent down from 8.0 pct

Penn 12.3 pct down from 14.2 pct
Cal Tech 15.3 pct
MIT 9.6 percent down from 10.7 pct
Dartmouth 9.7 pct down from 12.6 pct
U Chicago 27.3 pct

Thank you for reading FC.

Trustees ponder future leadership of Duke

✔✔✔✔ FC here.

Since the late February trustee meeting, at least four members of the board have been actively engaged in discussions about the future leadership of Duke.

A reliable source tells us that, to a degree, these discussions have been spawned by the forced retirement of Chair Dan Blue Law '73, who runs into term limits on June 30th.

But the discussions go beyond. They ask "mechanical" questions about President Richard Brodhead. That is, without imposing any judgment on his tenure, these Trustees are wondering if it is not prudent to have a preliminary search. The four Trustees feel strongly that there is no candidate on campus.

The focus is on Brodhead's age -- he was born April 17, 1947 -- and two factors that FC has previously reported:

-- the President has given indications that he is considering a return to teaching to cap his career. Not a decision, but indications. Presumably he would want to make this move, as former President Nan Keohane did, with some "good years" left.

-- the University is heading toward a giant development campaign, and continuity of leadership is mandatory. The campaign will probably not start for a year, most likely will last five to seven years. So the question is, what does Dick Brodhead want to be doing when he enters his 70's?

✔The discussions have also reached Peter the Provost. At many schools, this post is filled by someone on the way up, and the provost is only in office five years or so before going on to a presidency. Indeed, when Duke started to look around for a successor to Keohane, it considered provosts at the "upper Ivies," Harvard, Yale, Princeton, only to find the best had just been captured.

Already the longest serving Provost in Duke's history -- Peter the Provost started in 1999 -- one trustee noted that Peter became a fierce advocate of bringing in new blood to the faculty despite the financial meltdown. So why should his own office stagnate?

The names of Dr. Victor Dzau, medical chancellor, and executive vice president Tallman Trask also came up -- only in the context of making sure that all of Duke's top leadership doesn't change at once. There was little substantive talk of their tenure, although one Trustee noted with agreement of the others that Dzau has done an incredible job with Duke's crown jewel, and Trask has been excellent in steering through the financial meltdown.

We believe Dzau is into his 60's. He arrived at Duke at precisely the same time as Brodhead -- a lot of top level turnover at once. (Brodhead met with Dzau and signed off on his appointment even before he became President.)

✔The expectation is that Rick Wagoner (G. Richard Wagoner '75 if you ever try to look him up) will be elected chair of the board at its Commencement meeting. Wagoner has been vice chair, and his arrival in the top job -- "his if he wants it" -- is eagerly anticipated.

It's not clear if he does want the post.

Wagoner has taken a very low profile since being canned as chair of General Motors in March, 2009, although within the past few months he has become a director of the Washington Post Company. Loyal Readers may recall that during the economic meltdown, the federal government rescued GM, and the White House pushed Wagoner into retirement.

Unlike Blue, who has a three member law firm, Wagoner has built his career leading a complex organization. Unlike Blue, a strong presence around Raleigh, Wagoner has operated internationally and his Rolodex cannot be beat. Unlike Blue, a lawyer, Wagoner's background is in finance, at a time when the university is still shaky.

The downside: GM continued to fall apart under Wagoner's leadership, and at the end you could buy a share of GM for the same price as it was 55 years earlier. Wagoner was also criticized for being very hesitant to fire high level executives whose performance was sub par.

Wagoner has only two years before he, like Blue, is forced into term limits. So one concern is who will become vice chair this June.

If a presidential search is necessary, the new vice chair would probably -- but not necessarily -- head it, just like Robert King Steel '73 did when Keohane retired and Brodhead was discovered.

On the vice chair, the four trustees agree the board should take a lead in deciding its officers, rather than having the in-house nominee promoted by the Brodhead Administration accepted.

Have a good day!


Law School to honor drop-out with top Lifetime Achievement Award; Brodhead leaves employees guessing if the wage freeze is over for them or not.

✔✔✔✔✔ Fuqua Dean Blair Sheppard -- after weeks of refusing to answer Fact Checker questions about Kunshan -- has circulated a Q and A with several of the issues we raised. We are analyzing this and will have a full report soon.

DEVELOPING: At least two Dukies reportedly arrested at Penn State University, allegedly in possession of a $4,000 WalMart scanner and other items. FC working on tip; no confirmation.

✔✔✔✔ President Brodhead's raised two questions -- and answered none -- with his e-mail on the two-year-old wage freeze.

First, he said the financial meltdown "brought us a period of profound uncertainty."

That's a radically different assessment than he has offered stakeholders before, and you have to wonder why he did not level with us earlier:

✔ December 21, 2008 Press Release: ".... Duke continues to enjoy 'great strength and stability'...”

“Duke is fortunate to have responsible, prudent and creative leadership of both our investments and operations, which has shielded us from some of the worst aspects of this crisis and makes it possible to continue our forward momentum.”

“All of us have been through a mix of better times and leaner times,” Brodhead said.

✔ March 1, 2009 e-mail: "Duke faces financial challenges and constraints..."

"I am confident that Duke will be able to navigate through these difficulties..."

✔ April 21, 2010 message to alumni at their reunions: "... I am pleased to report that we have made significant progress in meeting our economic challenge. As the economy has strengthened, our endowment has returned to a positive performance and in the first nine months of the fiscal year has recovered a considerable portion of the previous year's decline, thus reducing the size of our anticipated deficit."

✔✔✔ The second question that Brodhead raised is one that every employee might ask himself or herself: "Hey, am I going to get a raise or not?"

Brodhead said there would be merit raises, the details announced in the coming months. Boy, what a hornet's nest, trying to evaluate a professor!

In speaking to the Chronicle, Peter the Provost was also vague, saying each school and department would get a three percent increase in its budget -- for salaries and other expenditures. It's unclear, for example, if only a few employees -- including faculty -- in the Law School, for example, qualified if individual raises could then be greater.

The President did not say if lower paid and higher paid employees who qualify will all get the same percentage increase, which is a key moral issue on this campus. The financial meltdown has squeezed some employees far more than others, some being in a position to be more flexible in their personal finances and tolerate the disruption.

We are also left guessing about university-wide benefit plans -- most notably the gold plated medical insurance -- which will be devouring most of the money available for employees. There was also no indication of reform in the most abusive of the fringe benefits, extra payments of tens of thousands of dollars -- regardless of income level -- if the employee has a kid in college. These payments should be indexed to Duke's need blind admissions policy, with a cut-off for people making more than $120,000.

✔✔✔✔✔ When Duke Law School's Class of 1961 gathers next week for its 50th reunion, there may be some eyebrows raised when the Dean's Alumni Achievement Award is presented.

The winner is Stanley Star, drop-out.
Yes, not an attorney, not a judge, not a professor.

A drop-out, no degree, no law license. Star departed after only one year at Duke Law; while we have no idea why, it could not have been tuition which was then $800 a year. (That's correct, $800 a year.)

Star returned to his family's winery in upstate New York and grew the business into one of the largest producers of supermarket-brand fruit juices in the nation.

Over the years Duke Law has squeezed him for plenty.

There's the Star Professorship, the Star Scholarship, and the Star Commons, the stunning glass pavilion that appeared when Duke Law got a face job. Currently Star has silently pledged matching money to people who want to give professorships in their own names.

Under Duke's rules, Star is considered an alum and allowed to put his class year after his name. No telling what Stanley Star '61 might have contributed if he had graduated!

✔ Another big time Law School donor will also be honored -- David Noble '66 on his 45th anniversary. He is one of the few Duke Law alumni in the Lanty Smith Society, admission price $1 million. His family's wealth comes from Rubbermaid, which is bigger than we thought (30,000 employees, $7.2 billion in sales).

See, you thought the school was about the Rule of Law. It's the Rule of the Almighty Dollar!

✔✔ Speaking of the Law School, it is sponsoring a VERY expensive summer school in Geneva with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on the faculty. He will join in teaching two courses, "Separation of Powers" and "Copyright in International Law."

There is no word on precisely how much time Scalia will spend in Geneva before taking a steamship back to the US. (He does travel in the 19th century, you know, no jet planes)

Students have the option of two weeks (one course, tuition $2,250) or four weeks (two courses, tuition $4,500).

That's only the start. There's a $300 registration fee, an extra fee of $225 if you are not a resident of the US (we have no idea why this exists), and a mandatory college hotel bill of $3,500 for a single / $2,500 to share including breakfast. The hotel does not sound too swift, advertising that clean sheets and towels are included. Plus it's 20 minutes away from the classrooms.

A boat trip on Lake Geneva is thrown in (a boring trip out to the Jet d'Eau, and even though it spurts 459 feet into the air, it's not that scenic compared to the wonderful vistas in the rest of Switzerland.)

And you are on your own for airfare to and from Europe.

Loans are available.

There is a similar institute in Hong Kong on Asian-American Transnational Law. Bring $$$$.

You are reading Fact Checker Too, shorter items, many compiled by the Deputy Fact Checkers. FCToo will appear frequently, not every day though, and will be in addition to our in-depth analytical essays. Send contributions, comments to Duke.Fact.Checker@gmail.com

✔✔ From Forbes Magazine, the business side of Duke men's basketball. We took in more money ($26.7 million last year) than any other college basketball program in the country. #2 Louisville $25.9 million -- but that's with the 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center, and Yum! Brands paying $13.5 million in naming rights.

RESEARCH -- Studying the Amazon and its surrounding forests and savannas, Duke's Jill Anderson has uncovered a new way that seeds migrate -- in rare cases 5.5 kilometers from the mother tree. (That's 3.4 miles for the non-scientific readers)

Anderson credits a fish called a tambaqui, also called a gamitana, for eating fruit, keeping it in its gut, and then delivering poop -- including the seed -- far away as it looks for more food.

Important stuff as forests are ripped apart by the advance of civilization (so to speak), with many patches left isolated from each other in danger of losing their bio-diversity.

Warning: the seeds are carried best by larger fish, which are being depleted. In fact 90 percent of the tambaqui are gone in some areas.

RESEARCH - From Duke Medicine, a low powered laser (actually two beams) that can spot melanomas (skin cancer) by uncovering pigmentation irregularities the human eye cannot spot. Initial tests on 42 slides showed 100 percent accuracy in finding 11 cancers.

BOTTLED WATER. Dean Bill Chameides, Nicholas School of the Environment, says 40 percent of bottled water is municipal water straight from the tap -- just jazzed up and marketed. Moreover, bottled water, regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, is tested less rigorously than tap water, under the Environmental Protection Agency.

In a survey last year, the student group Environmental Alliance found just over 70 percent of Duke students preferred the taste of good old Durham city water over bottled.

✔ When we discussed Dukies in Japan during the quake and tsunami, we mentioned that the closest reactor to our campus is at NC State. Used for training nuclear engineers, the power generated is used for heating.

A Loyal Reader tells us that this reactor is actually the fourth that NC State has had; the first had a significant, scary problem.

The first started up on September 5, 1953, but less than two years later, monitors picked up a radioactive leak. The reactor was quickly shut down, and its fuel removed to Oak Ridge National Lab for study. Turns out, the fuel had a high concentration of chloride, which corroded the pipes.

After a faculty shake-up, a new reactor was built, and replaced two times. NC State recently got permission to fire up its 4th reactor (fire up? Is that the correct term?) to produce twice as much power.

The closest commercial nuke power plant is the Harris generator in New Hill, Wake County, 20 miles southwest of Raleigh. It's been operative since 1987. In 2008, Progress Energy (soon to be taken over by Duke Energy) got permission to operate the plant through the year 2147.

✔✔ Duke PR is spinning this story, hillarious, as a big positive step forward: 24 hour machines will vend stamps and let you weigh mail, how convenient, at the Duke South post office in the medical center's Green Zone. (Near Medical Records.) What's really happening is the branch is closing effective June 30, to be replaced by a kiosk.

✔✔ Charles Reinhart, president of the American Dance Festival since 1968, will step down after this summer's season. In case you did not know, that's at Duke and, in recent years, also at Durham's Performing Arts Center. Interesting tidbit from his resume: he's an alumnus of Rutgers, the branch in grimy Newark NJ. See, you never know where genius is hatched.

✔ The following event is being held on April 1st, and it is not an April Fool's joke. It is the Edible Book Festival in the Perkins Gothic Reading Room, which as you might imagine involves something looking like a book that you can actually eat. There are prizes, including most edible, least edible, puniest. The festival is a fund-raiser, now in its 12th year.

Check out last year's entries. Some pretty cool, one very gross.


Thank you for reading Fact Checker!


Brodhead ends wage freeze for employees, but leaves big questions on who might benefit

Be sure to scroll down to the earlier post to read about the university press release on last week's Academic Council meeting that was posted, then doctored. FC gives you the original words that Duke PR tried to hide.

Now... on the two year old wage freeze. Here is the text of Brodhead's e-mail to employees. Fact Checker analysis to be posted Tuesday.

Durham, NC -- Dear Colleagues,

I write to give a brief update on the financial state of the University.

As you know, the economic downturn of 2008-09 significantly reduced our endowment income and brought us a period of profound uncertainty. Since that time, with cooperation from the whole Duke community, we have achieved sizeable reductions and identified efficiencies that will save money for many years to come. Coupled with reviving financial markets, these changes have put the university's budget back on a sustainable footing.

Many of our revenue sources remain uncertain, so we need to maintain the self-discipline of the past two years. But it's time to return to a more normal approach to recognizing the good work of Duke employees. I am happy to announce that we will resume merit-based pay increases this year. The details of the merit increase program, which will be tied to performance reviews, will be communicated to individuals later this spring and will be effective July 1.

It is appropriate that the whole Duke community should benefit from our improving financial circumstances, since you helped to create the improvement. In the face of financial challenges, Duke's workforce took on a shared sacrifice. As you know, the suspension of the annual pay raise for the last two years protected hundreds of jobs at Duke, and prevented the widespread layoffs suffered elsewhere. You approached our financial crisis with energy and creativity, ensuring that Duke's essential values were never compromised.

I am proud of the fact that in the face of hardships, we never lost our focus on our core mission. I want to convey my profound thanks for your help in getting us through a difficult time.


Richard H. Brodhead

President, Duke University


FC Exclusive: Duke retracts press release reassuring stakeholders that Kunshan subsidy will not hurt Durham campus!!

✔✔✔✔✔ Fact Checker exclusive.

Saturday morning, readers of Duke Today, the on-line newspaper for employees, found a lengthy story recounting the Academic Council meeting where President Brodhead faced repeated questions about plans for Kunshan.

By Saturday afternoon, the story -- written by a Duke PR man and thus the equivalent of a press release -- had come down.

A very Loyal Reader alerted Fact Checker to this -- and we were lying in wait anticipating changes in the official version. And we hit pay dirt Sunday night:

✔✔✔ The original version talked about the operating losses expected in the initial years, to be shared by the city of Kunshan and Duke. The precise words:

"Duke's financial commitment to the project is not expected to affect other areas of the university, (Brodhead) said, even in the middle of ongoing budget tightening."

✔✔✔ That guarantee went away in the new posting.

This is a very very sensitive area -- how our growing expenses in Kunshan may impact upon Durham. This is not a small edit.

We will be following up on this.

There was an additional subtle change. The old headline: Duke Moves Forward on Kunshan.

The new headline: Brodhead: Duke Moves Forward on Kunshan. This gives greater profile to the President.

Other financial details were added to the revised story. Deputy Fact Checkers are out talking to their contacts to try to assess the importance of this, which is not immediately apparent.

For those of you who want to read the full story -- and FC believes all stakeholders should always be fully informed -- here is what the new version added.

"* The municipality of Kunshan provided 200 acres and funding for the construction of the buildings, which would cost about $260 million if the equivalent space were built in the U.S. This first phase will include the main academic classroom and office Fuqua School of Business building, a conference center, an academic incubatory/laboratory building, a dormitory, a faculty residence building, and a service building."

"For the first six years of the agreement, Duke's estimated commitment of $37 million is not expected to affect other areas of the university, Brodhead said. The majority of Duke funds will come from several sources, including current Fuqua School of Business costs that will become part of the DKU budget ($10. 4 million), reimbursement for academic and administrative support services provided by Duke to DKU ($7.5 million), new philanthropic gifts ($10 million), and the central strategic investment pool ($9.1 million), which provides seed money to new initiatives throughout the university."

Loyal Readers, we got you covered, but if you want to read the edited version, it is here:


Spinmeisters at Duke, you do not fool Fact Checker!!!


Brodhead encounters tsunami of questions as he tries to sell Kunshan to Academic Council.

✔Fact Checker here.

✔✔✔✔✔ Yesterday's meeting of the Academic Council marked a turning point: from the faculty's listening to Brodhead's plans for China and sharing some of his excitement, to many professors posing and reposing serious sustained questions.

Hopefully it was a moment of awakening not only for Brodhead but for the administrators leading us into this sinkhole, including Fuqua Dean Blair Sheppard. Within the business school in particular, even tougher, more incisive questions are arising. Be mindful, please, that the Trustee "green light," to quote the Chronicle for Kunshan plans applies only to negotiations. The faculty, the Academic Council and the Trustees must all approve any agreement.

Beyond a moment of awakening, it should have been a moment of great embarrassment for Dick Brodhead. Last November he sent his global vice president Greg Jones to the Academic Council to suggest the mother campus would have to subsidize Kunshan by $1 million a year. The president himself stood before the Council in January and upped the figure to $1.5 to $2 million annually.

Now -- in a separate document distributed silently before Brodhead spoke, because he did not have the fortitude to face the faculty and say it himself -- the administration concedes those numbers were misleading, as reported by Fact Checker. They only included money coming from Duke's general fund, not larger appropriations from other Duke pockets. Yes, all of it at the expense of Duke in Durham.

✔✔Let's look at the Chronicle article this morning: The lead paragraph states that the operating loss is "expected to cost Duke (is) $37 million" over the next six years.

That assumes our share of losses is contained to the lowest end of the range the administration now concedes, $5.4 million a year.

✔✔✔✔✔ If you take the upper range, $15.6 million a year for six years, you are at $93.6 million -- a number the Chronicle should have used with equal emphasis. (These numbers have deteriorated since the February 25-26 Trustee meeting, when the upper edge was put at $12 million annually)

What did FC tell Loyal Readers weeks ago, based upon secret numbers current at that date: that Duke's share of operating losses will be at least $100 million and more probably $150 million, and maybe higher in the first decade.

✔✔This line in the Trustee briefing documents deserves special emphasis: "We must stress that virtually all of the key drivers of the financial picture are unproven estimates."

That sentence applies particularly to income -- for we know nothing about how many students may show up or how much we can charge them. (Charge we will, other documents show Duke proceeding on the believe that Chinese are intoxicated by high prices, confident they lead to higher quality.)

That's right, our income estimates are uninformed guesses. We might as well go down to Shooters on a losing night for our basketball team, ply someone with a few more drinks, and then ask him or her to throw a dart at numbers we've posted on the wall. That's how accurate Duke's estimates are.

✔ Be mindful, fellow Dukies, that so far we have only talked about annual operating subsidies. The capital start up costs, including construction and furnishings, have similarly spiraled.

Deputy Fact Checkers are at work, talking to faculty contacts. We are examining not only the 23 page excerpt of the "Planning Guide" given to the faculty, but the full 47 pages given us exclusively by a mole.

Please check our blog, as our ability to post on the Chronicle website depends on the newspaper's running a China story.


✔✔Final point: Brodhead told the faculty member who wondered if the Duke campus would be isolated in an industrial park, that a student could easily take a 16 minute train ride into downtown Shanghai.

This is as misleading as this man has ever been.

First, the student has to get to the train station. The bus ride to the train station is 70 minutes. There are no cabs available. The Marriott hotel far outside the city that our basketball team is going to stay at (this is for a summertime tour of China and Dubai) warns its guests arriving by train that they are on their own because there are only 700 cabs in all of Kunshan.

Now the 16 minute trains that Brodhead speaks of (Sheppard puts the timetable at nine minutes in a briefing for Fuqua faculty) are new high speed long distance trains linking Shanghai with the vast inner reaches of the country, and also Shanghai with Beijing. Most of those trains zip by Kunshan, with only four a day stopping, and they are designed primarily for freight -- for computers to be shipped to America -- not for passengers. The ride on regular trains is at least 53 minutes.

And Dick Brodhead, apparently when you were chauffeured around Shanghai, you did not notice this next point. On the Shanghai end, the high speed rail station is a 35 minute subway ride to the historical, tourist and business center of the city.

Oh yes, we hope this is a daytime excursion. The train service from Shanghai to Kunshan stops at 7:35 PM at night. People arriving at Shanghai's international airport are warned to plan on spending the night there.

That's what a student wishing to escape the wasteland of Kunshan faces.


FC Too: First women's basketball recruit. For Class of 2018!! Academic Council to discuss homeless threat to libraries, hear Brodhead on Kunshan

If you did not read Tuesday's Special Report on Duke in Kunshan, please scroll down.

✔✔✔Making one of the rare appearances on campus where Dukies -- in this case elected faculty representatives -- can ask him questions, President Brodhead goes before the Academic Council Thursday afternoon.

Subject Kunshan.

The possibility that Brodhead will be embarrassed is high.

✔Faculty members might ask him about the annual losses this China venture faces and why he has has been offering deceptive figures to the Council.

In November Global Vice President Jones estimated Duke would be responsible for $1 million a year. Earlier this year, Brodhead upped the ante to $1.5 to $2 million a year. And Executive Vice President Trask upped it to $2.4 million, explaining Brodhead's secret authority to spend 20 percent more without going back to the Trustees.

Since the last Academic Council meeting, FC has revealed confidential Trustee briefing documents showing this is only part of the story -- and the Chronicle has gotten Peter the Provost to admit Brodhead was only talking about the university's "general funds."

That is, not counting the Enron-like shuffle of almost as much in Fuqua money.

Or twice as much in gifts he hopes for.

Or almost as much by trying to tuck some Durham costs into Kunshan's operations, if our partners let us get away with this trick and if they don't negate our move by trying to same crap themselves.

Trustee numbers: Duke is heading toward a loss of at least $100 million, more probably $150 million in the first decade.

✔Then the questioning might move to focus on our new partner in Kunshan, Wuhan University. Desperate for a new deal after a Shanghai university backed out at the last minute, facing a deadline set by the Chinese government, Jones told the Council he had three candidates. By process of elimination, FC determined Wuhan was the university that Jones described as "weak."

Mr. Brodhead, do you confirm that?

✔Then we have Dean Sheppard of Fuqua, eschewing the backwater of Kunshan and insisting the business school's premier degree programs "won't work" in Kunshan, but have to be in the business district of Shanghai. Another FC exclusive revelation.

Mr. Brodhead, who has made a career trying to convince us that Kunshan is really Shanghai, should address that. And whether we are being forthright with the city of Kunshan about the competing Shanghai campus.

And also since these two cities are next to each other in Brodhead's assertions, tell us, sir, why our basketball team on its summertime trip to China will be moving to hotels in each city as if they were far apart.

✔Lastly, we have the issue of whether the faculty and trustees should have their own staff and consultants to develop financial figures -- or just to nod in assent and go ahead and take the administration's rather pie-in-the-sky numbers for income.

Luckily, FC will not be at this meeting to ask questions. But faculty, you have an obligation to do so!

✔✔✔ The Academic Council will also take up the threat of Durham's homeless to the safety and security of Duke's libraries. Oh, the official agenda doesn't put it that way, but this is what is afoot when two library officials are scheduled to discuss "issues with open access." FC had an exclusive report February 15 after a tip from a Loyal Reader.


✔✔✔ The women's basketball team has its first recruit for the Class of 2018. Yes that's right, Class of 2018. Erin Mathias, 15-year-old 9th grader at Fox Chapel High School near Pittsburgh, has verbally committed, the 6 foot 3 inch center forward landing a full scholarship. She's good for a double double in most of her games. And averages 2.6 blocks per game. In one game she had 31 rebounds!

Several schools had written her. Pitt had pursued her. But Duke won out. All this is verbal, she can sign a letter of intent in November of her senior year. "I've always loved Duke and have always been a big Duke fan," she said.

Ron Mumbray, Mathias' AAU coach. "When I first saw Erin, when she was 11, she came into the gym wearing a Duke hoodie. It's amazing how from the time I first saw her until now, she has a scholarship offer from Duke. There is a lot of skill there."

Arizona ticket sales. How hot is a ticket to the Duke game? Meaning of course the men's team in the NCAA's. 424 miles to travel to Anaheim. The latest we have is that the University of Arizona sold 1,000 of its allotment of tickets on Monday, leaving 250 for Tuesday sales and 250 for the team.

✔So what's the talk of the campus at Arizona? The Daily Wildcat tells about a campus debate over a new state law that prohibits courses advocating ethnic solidarity, in any school getting state money.

The law states that students should be taught to treat and value each other as individuals and not to resent other races or classes of people. Both former state attorney general Thomas Horne and lawyer Richard Martinez, lawyer for 11 teachers challenging the law, called the other's argument racist and both spoke on how either support or opposition toward the bill has created bullying and intimidation.

"Ethnic solidarity is a racist concept," Horn said. "If you tell me that someone is Hispanic, that is irrelevant. I want to know about their character."

✔also in the Wildcat: "Teammates joke that forward Derrick Williams leaves games with 10 seconds to go, runs into some basketball version of a telephone booth and puts on his Superman jersey."

The Wildcat's sports section on Monday led with NCAA women's swimming, 4th story on March Madness. Only columnist talked about baseball.

Video spoofing frat life by Pi Kappa Phi pledge on Tucson campus goes viral.


RESEARCH -- for this I pay taxes. A professor and his graduate students (I shall leave them nameless though FC knows) with National Science Foundation money (part of the Obama job stimulus package) have figured out, the closer to the basketball game, the more fans will pay for a NCAA playoff ticket!!!! Except when you get real close and there are still tickets, though you cannot be sure of getting in, the price may decline. To be fair, and FC is fair, this is part of the research into the complexities of markets for perishable goods.

✔ You are reading Fact Checker Too, part of our expansion plans. The Deputy Fact Checkers are experimenting with frequent posts of shorter items -- in addition to our traditional in-depth essays. Tell us what you think.


NAN KEOHANE AT PRINCETON -- Former Duke President Nan Keohane is now teaching and researching at Princeton, where the president, Shirley Tilghman, got her to reprise her campus examination of the status of women.

And the report of the Keohane committee is in: when Princeton woke up and admitted its first women in 1969, they moved into high profile leadership roles in campus organizations, things like student government, the campus newspaper, the eating clubs.

No more. Keohane and committee find women work hard in student organizations but eschew the highest profile executive positions.

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The report says women tend to undersell themselves, and in some cases might be explicitly discouraged from seeking elective office. Men, on the other hand, tend to assert themselves with more confidence, even when that confidence is not necessarily justified.

“Men tend to speak up more quickly than women, to raise their hands and express their thoughts even before they are fully formulated,” the committee writes, “whereas women may take a bit more time to shape their comments and be more reticent about speaking up” -- even though “women are outpacing men on our campus in academic achievement, except at the very highest level.”

RESEARCH - you could have fooled me. Here's Fuqua's sixth annual survey of trends in off-shoring of American jobs. Most companies can't find the skilled workers they want in the USA, so they look overseas. It has very little to do with saving a buck. Hmmm.

But if they were driven by profits, surprise, more and more companies report they were not finding the efficiency they were seeking off-shore.

I have no idea about surveys and trends. All I know is I had to call up to question one of my credit card bills. The guy on the line said "Thank you for calling Mah-cheese." I thought I had the wrong number. No, when I read out the phone number, the man who took on the name Gary for his Phillipines call-center job confirmed. I had dialed right. Where did I reach?? "Mah-cheese." It took a moment, then I discovered I always pronounce it Macy's.


Fact Checker Special Report: Domination, Fame and Riches Drive Fuqua Dean into Kunshan

Third of a series of Special Reports on Kunshan, the sinkhole.

We regret Dean Blair Sheppard of the Fuqua School of Business has not responded in any way to our repeated requests for an interview. Beyond discourteous, we find this disrespectful of Loyal Readers and disdainful of the appropriate role that informed stakeholders should play at Duke.

✔After the February trustee meeting, the Dean of the Fuqua sent the faculty an internal briefing. This paints a dramatically different picture of Duke's excursion into China than the one that we -- and other stakeholders we have talked to -- had.

Repeatedly, Dean Blair Sheppard talks about the profits to be made, as if Duke University were just another industrial corporation seizing cheap labor and setting up a manufacturing plant. Repeatedly, he dodges discussion of values that are at the heart of our university, giving short-shrift to academic freedom, to privacy, to financing need-blind admissions when there is no endowment, and to socio-economic diversity among students and faculty in a poor nation where the regime picks its favorites.

There is not even assurance of unfettered access to the internet or to text messages. (Don't laugh. Dubai told Sheppard it would block Blackberry's mobile services.)

✔Sheppard acknowledges that Fuqua's administration has moved far out in front of the faculty in his desire to plunge into China, explaining "I have not been in a position to share some of the information in this note until now because negotiations with our partners were not finalized and we were engaged in sensitive negotiations." As to precisely why information that the Chinese had been given could not be shared with faculty in Durham was never explained.

Indeed, we found a faculty -- in Fuqua and throughout the university -- deep in the dark. Deputy Fact Checkers seeking information often encountered professors who pumped them for details.

The dean emphasized that "it is now time (for the faculty) to take up the question of our own (Fuqua's) presence in China." This is a step that many thought would be taken long before now.

Sheppard did stress that now normal governance procedures will follow, with our China partners Kunshan and Wuhan University understanding any agreement is tentative, until approved by the faculty, the Academic Council which is the faculty senate, and Board of Trustees.

✔✔A key question is emerging about the next step: whether the faculty should rely on estimates for income and expenditures -- as well as academic details -- developed by administrators. Or if the stakes are high enough for the faculty to make its own independent but parallel inquiry before voting to approve or turn down. The Trustees are facing the same issue.

We will explore this particular angle in detail in our next Special Report.

✔Sheppard revealed there is a big carrot for Durham faculty to shuffle to teach in bleak Kunshan: they can fulfill one half of their annual teaching obligation in just six weeks.

The dean is specific in estimating -- if indeed an estimate is specific -- that only half of the professors will be tenure or tenure track, with his numbers showing it costs Duke only 50 percent as much for salary and 40 percent as much for travel expenses for adjutants. Ahhhh, the bottom line.

He is vague on how many of the professors would move from or rotate from Durham, and how many would be appointed by the separately incorporated joint venture called Duke Kunshan University, known as DKU. One eyebrow raiser: he suggests the DKU faculty might enjoy tenure in Durham as well.

✔✔✔Page after page, Sheppard focuses on Kunshan -- and does not even hint at or mention until the very last 13 words the competing Shanghai campus that FC described in depth in our last Special Report. Terming this an "opportunity" to locate Fuqua's premiere programs in the bustling Bund financial center of Shanghai -- albeit at the expense of the backwater city of Kunshan -- Sheppard merely notes this clandestine proposal "still exists and is dependent upon our getting approval from the Ministry." This is the link to our earlier Special Report.


With respect to Fuqua's premier Cross-Continent MBA, which costs a stunning $140,000 over 14 months and involves only 70 classroom days in five international cities plus Durham, Sheppard makes a big leap.

He notes China is the second biggest economy in the world. He says leaders of our own destiny must have knowledge of it. But then he translates a one week stop in China (along with a one week general orientation about the overall prgoram) into time sufficient for degree candidates to absorb the political economy and culture, and significant enough for in-depth networking that will endure through an entire career. A big leap. A yawning leap.

✔In tracing the history of Duke's involvement with Kunshan, Sheppard seems to contradict what he told the Chronicle on April 16, 2009 in the initial revelation of Kunshan plans.

Originally Sheppard said that Kunshan would pay for construction and operations, unqualified assurances giving Duke a free ride. But in his report to the faculty, Sheppard states "When the city of Kunshan realized that Duke's initial presence was likely to be more than the business school, they agreed to underwrite half of all the operating losses... where their initial promise was only to provide the land and buildings."

This calls into question the time-line, what happened when in negotiations. It seems to mean that at one point, Duke was going to pick up all the expected deficits in the opening years; we were never told that.

And we are wondering about the phrase "more than the business school" that so warmed up the Chinese to share the operating deficits, for the most advanced plans for Kunshan beyond Fuqua only include a possible certificate course in public health for 20 undergraduates a year. FC wonders if the Chinese understand this.

In our last Special Report, based upon a confidential briefing document for the Trustees, we estimated that Duke's share of deficits in the first decade would easily be $100 million, more probably $150 million and possibly more.

✔✔Sheppard gives more detail than we've ever had about the six buildings on the new campus. (As recently as October, the PR department and Duke Magazine were saying there were five buildings.)

First, a "teaching building" with four classrooms, two for 80 people and two for 90. Four seminar rooms, an auditorium, "a small library," dining, and support areas.

The construction of this building -- or perhaps the plans for it -- have been the source of whispers, that the Chinese architect designed the walls so they were not strong enough to hold up the roof. An updated sketch shows that a dome, once dominant above the teaching building, is gone.

Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public relations and obfuscation, clammed up when asked to confirm or deny a problem with the roof. But it could explain the mysterious, unexpected $5.5 million Trustee appropriation for construction supervision to insure the buildings are up to "Duke standard."

The second building Dean Sheppard discussed is an Executive Conference Center housing 220 students with support facilities. Presumably this is for programs run by Fuqua's subsidiary, Corporate Education, which crafts non-degree training sessions for corporations.

Third, a dormitory for 200 students who are seeking degrees. And fourth, sixteen faculty apartments with up to three bedrooms.

These raise an interesting issue: when Duke's Board of Trustees voted $10 million for furnishings -- a capital expenditure we were initially told Kunshan was picking up -- it apparently only covered the first stage of the dorm. That's 200 out of 700 beds. And the first stage of the faculty apartments. That's 16 out of 70. There was never any indication that only a part of the total was involved.

This points to the need for Duke University to pony up even more money than we previously calculated, when it wishes to finish furnishing, 500 more dorm beds and 54 more faculty apartments.

Back to the count of buildings. Fifth, there will be a general purpose laboratory and teaching building with wet labs, dry labs, offices and teaching space. We know of no program going into Kunshan that would require wet and dry labs, and we wonder if this building will be finished initially or if Duke will be clipped for more furnishings.

Sixth, there will be a utility building.

Despite repeated attempts -- including trying to find someone in Kunshan who speaks English whom we could ask -- we have been unable to ascertain the status of construction on any building. We will be making new efforts, as we have just had a Loyal Reader volunteer as a translator.

Previously Schoenfeld confirmed only grading of the site and installation of utilities, presumably part of the new 1,500 acre industrial park which includes 201 acres devoted to Duke.

FC asked Schoenfeld for pictures, given that Duke always loads pictures upon editors during construction projects on its home campus, but there has been no response.

An architect's sketch presented by Sheppard shows the buildings forming a single quadrangle with a huge square pool, rather than grass, occupying much of the left-center.

(FC asked the Brodhead administration to create a website with information about our China designs. No response.)

✔✔On page after page of his note to the faculty, Sheppard talks of profits to be made. Asking "why have a global presence?" he responds himself with four answers, the first of which is our global presence will augur to the success of MBA programs. Programs that "represent over 28 percent of our total revenue... a key aspect of continued profitable growth for the school and... key to our brand." No noble, ringing words, just the bottom line.

While most Dukies have long recognized that having students from around the world contributes to the educational experience, for Sheppard this means "distributing (financial) risk outside of a predominant geography." Translation: if the economy in the U.S. tanks and domestic corporations are loath to put out big bucks for employee education, we might get international corporations to pick up the slack.

He all but chortles at a separate agreement -- undoubtedly made possible because of developing goodwill during the Kunshan negotiations -- with the Chinese government to pay to enroll 20 students in Duke's Global Executive MBA program in Durham. He says the added students will entail very little new cost, thus a "new margin to the school" of $1 million a year. Sheppard sees the Chinese as providing "much needed revenue to the Thomas Center and profitable work" for faculty. Profits yes, but no mention of the perspective the Chinese might add to the program.

The Thomas Center on the mother campus, in its own building next to the main Fuqua building, is used largely for non-degree corporate training sessions and meetings. Because of the recession, corporations have throttled back on sending executives to such gatherings, which can be very expensive, and thus the Thomas Center, which includes a hotel, has been hurting. Hurting enough so that the Thomas Center has taken out ads hawking bed and breakfast rooms to the public for $99.

The Dean also reveals Fuqua is shuffling some expenses to Duke Kunshan University. Capping a list, he writes that "next year, some development costs will also be moved to China." He might have added, if our partners let us get away with it, and if our partners do not get the same idea to plant some of their costs in Kunshan.

Adding insult to injury, he said a "non-trivial portion of the fundraising will come to Fuqua in Durham." In other words, we make the Chinese pay part of the fund-raising and then take the loot donated in Kunshan back to the U.S.

✔While administrators express great excitement about a global Duke, the world is starting to be littered with American universities that flopped. Michigan State in Dubai. Johns Hopkins in Singapore. Merely to start the list. And replete too with schools that shied from international affiliations, like the distinguished Warwick University in Britain, which turned down the precise Singapore deal that Duke accepted.

Duke has taken its hits: when President Brodhead addressed the faculty on internationalization in 2007, he cited with pride Fuqua's programs with the London School of Economics, the Goethe-University Frankfurt Faculty of Economics and Business, Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, as well as nascent deals with the Faculty of Economics and Management at Tsinghua, China and the new Skolkovo Business School in Moscow.

All of those have dropped off the radar. Though the dream behind them lives, described by Brodhead as "making Duke the hub in a wheel that connects the world’s main emerging economies."

Did someone say grandiose?

Every other American university -- save NYU which has opened a full 2,000 student undergraduate college in the Abu Dhabi, sharing an island with extensions of the Louvre and Guggenheim -- has gone carefully step by step. Thus, in a list appearing in Duke Magazine, Cal Tech, Berkley, the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell and Stanford have single purpose extensions in Singapore. Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A and M, Virginia Commonwealth and the Weill Cornell Medical Center have single purpose extensions in Qatar.

But Duke is creating an entirely new university -- DKU -- Duke Kunshan University to serve Chinese students. Unlike earlier international agreements -- and there are more than 700 -- there is no focus on "faculty exchanges, joint conferences and research collaborations." That is, no focus on enriching the experience in Durham.

In fact Duke/Durham will have virtually no intercourse with DKU.

At the moment Fuqua is developing these locations in one gulp. London, Dubai, New Delhi, St. Petersburg, Kunshan, Shanghai, Nanjing. The new university vice president for global affairs, Greg Jones, visited Brazil recently, we believe the city of Sao Paulo. Then there is Seoul, where an executive education program is underway. And Johannesburg, for Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE) elective courses, and Global Consulting Practicums which have flown under the radar.

So far, the array of locations does not include Sheppard's undisclosed plans for the Master of Management Studies (MMS) degree. Unlike most business school degrees, which contemplate students will work for several years before seeking an MBA, this is designed for students immediately after they get their undergraduate degrees. It has feasted off the lack of jobs in the economy, with many students finding this a more attractive opportunity than unemployment or working in a supermarket.

With only one graduating class -- and not the originally planned three year trial run -- Sheppard has slammed permanent approval for the Durham program through the Academic Council and Trustees. Immediately he proposed a "template" for international expansion of this master's program, obviating the need for the faculty and Trustees to approve city by city, which would be the normal formula. Approval of the template is pending.

✔A mole in the administration, who has been the source of other FC stories but not about Kunshan, suggests the President and Peter the Provost found they could not reign Sheppard in with the existing structure, that he was riding all over the Vice Provost in charge of international programs. And in fact Allen Building did not even know what Sheppard was up to.

On that score, Brodhead seemed prescient in his 2007 speech: "I would never advocate central control and direction of Duke’s international efforts: the interest, commitment and inventiveness of actual individuals is the absolute precondition for these programs’ success. But we do need more centralized information about our ventures. We have programs exploring possible partnerships in countries (even in cities) where Duke already has an institutional presence that our new Duke ambassadors often know nothing about. Before we go forward, it would help to be able to know what’s already going on."

Thus, with his usual penchant for solving problems by creating a new layer of bureaucracy, Brodhead installed a vice president, Greg Jones MDiv '85, Ph.D. 88, who served as dean of the Divinity School for 13 years:

"I am a planner by temperament; I don’t like risky business. I don’t even take fun trips without guaranteed reservations and clear itineraries.... there is a great deal at stake in developing education globally in ways that nurture life rather than replicate or intensify brokenness.”

And he added, “my new position is anything but guaranteed or clear…. There are risks on all sides.”

“My worry is that we’ll do too much too quickly,” he says, “and not be able to maintain quality and deliver what we anticipate wanting to do.

“But the mirror image is that we could easily think too small and miss opportunities where we could actually provide significant leadership. Calibrating what is the appropriate strategy that is ambitious enough to really stretch us but not so ambitious as to break us or impede quality—that’s what will always keep me up at night.”

Sheppard noted that the Trustees "voted unanimously" to take the next step, wrapping up details with the city of Kunshan and our silent partner, Wuhan University, and submitting a formal proposal to the Ministry of Education. Unanimous. Providing once again a solid reason for Fact Checker to call them the Board of Lemmings.

As Brodhead himself told the faculty in 2007, "In American universities, the list of showy memoranda of understanding with international partners is far longer than the list of substantive relationships that have followed."

"Momentous," wrote Sheppard.

Fact Checker is indebted to Loyal Readers who have sent many internal documents to us in confidence. They have informed and illuminated our coverage of Duke's China ambitions, while the Brodhead Administration seemingly would leave stakeholders in the dark.

FC also salutes the five Deputy Fact Checkers whose quiet, dogged pursuit has further enabled our coverage.

Thank you for reading and supporting Fact Checker. GO DUKE!


Fact Checker Too: Counting viewers, TV execs cheer as Duke advances

Welcome to Fact Checker Too. A project of the Deputy Fact Checkers offering shorter articles.

✔Some times you just have to endure hardship. This item was buried deep in a Chronicle article on student government: "The Senate tabled a statute to allocate $2,600 from the Surplus Account Trustee Fund for massage therapists during reading period in April. Although freshman Frank Lee, an athletics and campus services senator, highlighted the 'proven medicinal benefits' of massage therapy in his statute, the Senate tabled it by a vote of 25-21."

Men's basketball. CBS MarketWatch says TV executives are hoping Duke gets to the championship game -- and that it is a close contest. Duke... because it's a big draw. Close... because everyone will watch both the action and the commercials to the end. The price of a 30 second spot during the NCAA finale: $1.2 million, more than any other sport except the NFL playoffs. Total tournament revenue last year: $614 million, up from $589 million the year before.

Last year an estimated 24 million people saw Duke edge Butler. That's better than in the recent past, but a far cry from the larger audiences 20 years ago. For example 34 million for Duke-Michigan in 1994. The reason for the erosion? Several factors, says TV ratings executive Stephen Master, but the early departure of the best talent before they develop a firm fan base is #1.

Master: “Duke is like the New York Yankees: Whether people love or hate them, they’re nevertheless interested in them.”

Question: shouldn't the schools be getting a larger slice of this big pie?

Butler -- you know, the Cinderella team that pulled the stunning upset of top-seed Pitt on Saturday -- may have lost the championship game last year, but the publicity saw sales of season tickets jump 25 percent; total attendance an average of 7,177 at home games this year, the highest in 40 years. Ah yes, applications up 62 percent from out of state, 41 percent overall.

✔Erstwhile Michigan star Jalen Rose, under fire, sidesteps the mess caused by his nasty assertion that Duke shuns street kids and recruits only Uncle Toms for its basketball program. He tells USA Today that he has "great respect and appreciation for Duke."

✔You are reading Fact Checker Too. This is an experiment with shorter items of interest to Dukies, in addition to our traditional compelling essays. Let us know what you think. Duke.Fact.Checker@gmail.com

Katie Douglas '11 will be this year's student preacher in Duke Chapel. Thoughts derived from Exodus 17 and John 4, "Rocks and Hard Places," March 27.

✔That parade of people from the Chapel on Sunday were the participants in the 37th annual Durham CROP Walk, raising funds for the hungry. They walked 4.8 miles, symbolic of the six miles a day many people in the third world must walk to feed themselves each day. Organizers concede Sunday's crowd looked thin, probably watching basketball. No word on the $200,000 goal. Earlier marches raised a total of $3,214,202 for hungry people, including $803,551 for local programs.

✔More spring break news: the Duke a cappella group "Something Borrowed Something Blue" went to Vero Beach, Florida. 15 students, five vehicles, just one day with the surf and sand, the rest of the time according to the local newspaper scrubbing toilets and showers, picking up garbage and serving meals at The Source, a soup kitchen for the homeless.

✔The Carteret County NC News-Times, covering the area around the Duke Marine Lab at Beaufort, has interviewed six Dukies who were in Japan during the quake, the only first person accounts we've seen about people from the university.

Five of the students, Cameron Zohoori, Elizabeth Campbell, Alison Rogers, Abner Romero and Stephani Zakutansky, were together, touring the Tokyo Shibuya district on spring break and later classes in Singapore.

Zohoori says they were on a crosswalk on Omote-Sando in the Harajuki district of western Tokyo when the earthquake hit. “The streets were teeming with trendy Japanese shoppers and businessmen. But as the ground suddenly began to move beneath our feet, the bustling crowds froze.”

A bookshelf on the 10th floor of a building shook, crashed into a window, and threw books down to the street nearby. “Everyone rushed to the middle of the streets. Not knowing what else to do, we followed suit. Surrounded by worried Japanese faces, we rode out the undulations in the concrete below us.”

“As traffic began to move again, we decided to continue down the street, knowing we were not safe staying put. The occupants of the buildings around us had abandoned their offices and huddled on the streets. Hard hats spontaneously appeared in the hands and on the heads of passersby.”

The students decided to try to contact their parents via internet from a Starbucks, but an aftershock hit while they were there. “Through all of this, the Japanese remained calm, organized and patient in the face of fear and tragedy.”

The sixth student, Angela Ostendorf, was with her parents riding in a cab downtown. “It felt like someone was behind the car, shaking the trunk up and down. People fled the buildings immediately in fear of the occurrence … one of the men came out carrying his mattress on his head for protection. Another was just putting his shopping bag over his head as protection.”

The Ostendorfs ended up spending the night in a refuge center at Tokyo University because they couldn’t reach their hotel.

With great hassle, all the Dukies, amid aftershocks, walked, hitched, rode trains to the airport. As they waited to board, the terminal building shook.

Lupe Fiasco has a busy spring: his tour starts March 27 in LA, comes to Duke March 31st, then on to the University of Michigan, SUNY Albany, Keen State in New Hampshire, Miami of Ohio, Yale, Roger Williams University, Penn State, Boise State and Bates. A couple non college appearances too.

Jazz more to the FC's liking: Duke University and Lincoln Center have commissioned The Bad Plus, a jazz trio with a rock-heavy repertoire, to create a "reappraisal and rearrangement" of Stravinsky's iconic, riot-inducing ballet "Rite of Spring." Premier at Duke March 26th.

✔Fact Checker has more Kunshan documents. A Special Report is being prepared, to be posted by Wednesday.

Faculty thoughts: Libya. "The administration hasn't mobilized the American public nor the Congress to support US military intervention" Peter Feaver, a Duke University professor and former national security adviser to President George W. Bush.

Research: Ryohei Yasuda, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology, says a biochemical process usually yields a very brief signal, but when a longer-lasting tsunami of molecules comes along, the brain can form stronger connections (synapses) that can summon deep memory back to life. Implications for mental retardation, Alzheimer's.

FC Mailbox. From a Loyal Reader and library staffer, a male: "I don't feel comfortable being in certain parts of campus or the libraries after hours." Worse, the Loyal Reader reminded us that the overnight staff is all students.

Two other factors are emerging in the problems homeless are bringing to campus. First, the new free bus from downtown Durham to Duke. And Duke's transition from a centralized professional armed police force, to department by department hiring of security guards by the hour. If for example, someone causes a problem at the Bryan Center and is sent packing, the same person could go over to Perkins and be unknown.


Chronicle profile of new Duke Endowment chair reads like a junior high school newspaper story

✔✔Having passed on (or missed) the January press release about a new chair of The Duke Endowment, the Chronicle tries to recover today. In a story that is the least probative in a generation, the paper properly salutes Neil Williams '58, Law '61 for his long service to the university as well as the separate charity called The Duke Endowment. But the newspaper does not raise a single substantive issue.

A team of PR agents could not have planted a better bouquet. "Williams Embodies Loyalty to Duke."

Fact Checker offers some questions:

✔ -- The Duke Endowment got battered during the great financial meltdown. It came out far worse than many endowments, losing 1/3rd of all its investments. As a result, you had to curtail many gifts throughout the Carolinas. To churches, to orphanages, to hospitals, to community programs, and to the four universities that The Endowment helps. One example: here at Duke, for 17 years The Endowment had funded the Duke-Durham office with great benefit, but you ended this grant and caused an uproar in the city because the university refused to use its own money to continue the office. Does this $80 million gift signal an end to the austerity? What message does such a large gift send to charities that have been crimped?

✔ -- When The Endowment gave $75 million for the Financial Aid Initiative, it was stressed that this gift was above and beyond the "normal" gifts -- it was extra. By normal we mean those funds that Mr Duke himself specified be paid to the university every year, and also that share of the extra discretionary gravy that The Duke Endowment trustees voted for the university consistently each year. With the $80 million, there is no such statement. What are we to read into that? Is this just a PR packaging of expected gifts over the next several years -- all wrapped up in glitz?

✔ -- When The Duke Endowment gave $75 million for the Financial Aid Initiative, it was in the form of a challenge grant, encouraging others to contribute. This time, there is no challenge, as is common in gifts of this size. Why?

✔ -- All over America people volunteer. In their churches, on the Little League fields. In hospitals. We saw where some Duke students gave up their spring break to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Texas. To volunteer is at the heart of the DukeEngage program too. You yourself volunteered for many years and were a trustee of Duke, even its chair, and you received not a cent, not even reimbursement for your travel costs. So why does The Duke Endowment feel its trustees must be handsomely paid -- about $132,000 a year for each as I recall. Yes, Mr Duke provided for payment, but Trustees can change that by court order and indeed they have gone to court to clean up the language on their own fees, as well as other language on several occasions. You could also refuse to appropriate the money or refuse to take it like Doris Duke did.

✔ -- Mr. Williams, for all the good The Duke Endowment does, it sometimes seems as though its own house is not in order. Since 1924, you have had only three black trustees, including two who continue to serve. In fact, in the 60's a consultant whom The Endowment hired told the Trustees their most urgent task was to elect a black -- but 13 other life-time white male trustees and one white female member of the Duke family were elected before John Hope Franklin was picked at age 80 in 1993. Your office staff -- as recently as three years ago -- included 43 people (since reduced by about five since you farmed out the management of your investments) and your predecessor confirmed only two were black and one an Indian. The highest ranking black ever hired -- in charge of evaluating programs and not initiating any -- has departed. We believe it accurate to state that The Duke Endowment has never promoted a black employee. This hardly reflects Charlotte where you are headquartered, much less the Carolinas which you are charged to help. Your comments please.

✔ -- Last question. Mr Williams, at every other university, the Founder put the loot into the hands of the university itself. Every year when the original endowment yields capital gains, dividends and interest, there is merely an unheralded announcement of return on the investment to keep stakeholders informed. But at Duke -- with legal title vested in the separate The Duke Endowment -- we view the "grants" as a gift, with big splash press conferences, speeches, photo ops. Isn't this a distortion? Isn't this just money flowing from the left hand to the right, and not a new strength for Duke University? Shouldn't The Duke Endowment gifts be excluded from university fundraising, because they give a distorted picture, particularly when compared with other schools.

✔ ✔ Thank you Mr. Williams. If we have any other questions, Fact Checker of course will be in touch.


COACH K -- "KYRIE WILL PLAY FRIDAY." COUP: Jane Goodall moving archives to Duke

Developing -- At practice in Greensboro, Coach K has just confirmed that Kyrie Irving will play in the first round of the NCAA championship series against Hampton.

Holding a news briefing, the coach did not wait for anyone to ask the #1 question. He volunteered the announcement.

Moments later, in the locker room, Kyrie said the decision was made last night with the coaching staff, doctors and his father participating.

He is not expected to start. And there is no indication how many minutes he might play in his initial game.

Jane Goodall archives coming to Duke

Developing: The University will announce later today that the renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall will move her archives to Duke. She has scheduled a visit to campus March 28.

(Earlier versions of this story included an error transmitted by the AP, that Goodall was moving an institute she runs at USC)

Fact Checker has learned that Goodall will speak in Page, and that tickets were supposed to go on sale today (Thursday)

Her address will be entitled "Gombe and Beyond: The Next 50 Years." She will review her work for the past half century and reflect on its meaning. And she will outline "the role we must all play over the next 50 years to ensure a better future for generations to come."

A book signing will follow the speech.

Around 2 PM Duke spokesman Karl Bates told the San Francisco Chronicle that the archive on chimpanzees that Goodall gathered during decades of work in Tanzania is being moved to the Durham campus. They are not at USC, but at the University of Minnesota.

It will be under the direction of Anne E. Pusey, recruited a year ago to be chair of Evolutionary Anthropology, who seems to have played a key role in this coup. Pusey collaborated with Goodall in Tanzania and previously managed the archives from her post at Minnesota.


FCToo Headlines || Kyrie, yes or no?? || Grant Hill, Christian Laettner respond to Uncle Tom slur in Jalen Rose ESPN documentary.

✔ ✔ ✔ No one knows. Everyone's talking about it. That sums up the Kyrie Irving situation, will he or will he not play?

“I can’t really put a percentage on it,” Irving told The Charlotte Observer. “It all depends on how I feel, and if the medical staff feels good about it.”

The following quotes were put together by the New York Times.

Eamonn Brennan, ESPN.com: “It’s a huge risk-reward proposition: With a healthy Irving in the lineup, the Blue Devils are probably the favorite to win the NCAA tournament. But if Irving gets hurt, or even if he throws a bit of a wrench into Coach K’s well-oiled machine, the Blue Devils could very well under perform their already-high tournament expectations. …After all, it’s March Madness: As every coach in the country knows, all it takes is one haphazard game to end your season for good.”

Andy Staples, SI. com: “…Krzyzewski said the Blue Devils are “far away” from making a decision on Irving, but the idea of a return certainly adds intrigue. Irving was considered one of the nation’s top point guards before he ever played a college game. In the eight games he played, Irving more than lived up to his advance hype. If he could come back, a very good Duke team would get even better.”

✔ Just in time for the tournament, an IPad App specifically for Duke fans:


You are reading Fact Checker Too. A compilation of shorter stories of interest to Dukies, most of which you are unlikely to see anywhere else. The traditional FC essays on compelling topics will continue. Scroll down for the latest: how Fuqua is expanding all over the globe, too much, too fast.

✔ Nothing imaginative in President Obama's pick for the Final Four. All the first seed teams. The bloviators on right wing talk radio had a field day, since they believe the President should never look up from the serious business of his job.

FCToo does not cover competitive sporting events. Yet. Probably not for another 18 months. But we do include items of interest.

✔ Hurry. Hurry. The travel agency selling seats to alumni and other Duke basketball crazies says the 200 passenger charter 767 jet that will take the team to China and Dubai is filling up fast. So fast that when we called for basic information on Wednesday, we were not even asked our name or contact information for a follow-up. That's unusual when dealing with a travel agent.

So far 160 seats are claimed. We could not find out how many by the team, support staff and official hangers-on.

The all inclusive package is for the truly devoted: including airfare, luxury hotels, all meals, all shuttle buses, sightseeing and of course game tickets. Singles: $13,465, Doubles $11,995.

This is on the high side, particularly when you consider those prices get you a back-of-the-plane economy ticket, maybe even a middle seat. Configuration 2-3-2. Members of the team will fly business class, not a whole lot better on a 767. In typical configuration a 767 has only six first class seats.

The team will not stay in the city of Kunshan, which has only one hotel with stars (and its current status is shaky since it was sold last month.) Rather everyone will be in the Fairmont out in lake country, said to be quite beautiful.

In Shanghai it's the Portman. In Beijing it's the Peninsula. and in Dubai the Jumeirah Madinat resort.

Departure August 14. Return August 27 or 28. There will be four games in China: Kunshan, Shanghai and Beijing. Then one game in Dubai.

What's interesting to FC is that the team will stay at one hotel near Kunshan and then move to one in Shanghai. Haven't we been told by the Brodhead administration that Kunshan is right next to Shanghai, only 9 minutes away by train? If this is so, why the move?

✔ ✔ The ESPN documentary with Jalen Rose and two other Fab 5 (Michigan in the early 90's) grabbed headlines because of remarks about Duke's shunning black street kids and going for Uncle Toms. But Christian Laettner also came in for a personal attack as a "soft, over-rated pretty boy" and far worse.

In Michigan for a basketball clinic, Laettner had a low-key response, noting Duke defeated Michigan in the regular season and in the 1992 national championship game.

“When you’re competing against people, trying to cut their heads off and beat them, you can’t expect them to love you — or even like you," Laettner said. "All you can ask is they respect you after the game and say the game was decided fair and square.

“Jalen Rose has always been a good guy to me. Chris Webber has always been a good to me... But I don’t expect them to love me. I can’t even get Grant Hill to love me all the time.”

✔ ✔ Grant Hill also has a response, appearing as a letter to the New York Times:

The Fab Five,” an ESPN film about the Michigan basketball careers of Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Chris Webber, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson from 1991 to 1993, was broadcast for the first time Sunday night. In the show, Rose, the show’s executive producer, stated that Duke recruited only black players he considered to be “Uncle Toms.” Grant Hill, a player on the Duke team that beat Michigan in the 1992 Final Four, reflected on Rose’s comments.

I am a fan, friend and longtime competitor of the Fab Five. I have competed against Jalen Rose and Chris Webber since the age of 13. At Michigan, the Fab Five represented a cultural phenomenon that impacted the country in a permanent and positive way. The very idea of the Fab Five elicited pride and promise in much the same way the Georgetown teams did in the mid-1980s when I was in high school and idolized them. Their journey from youthful icons to successful men today is a road map for so many young, black men (and women) who saw their journey through the powerful documentary, “The Fab Five.”

It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a bitch and worse, calling all black players at Duke “Uncle Toms” and, to some degree, disparaging my parents for their education, work ethic and commitment to each other and to me. I should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary when I received a Twitter apology from Jalen before its premiere. I am aware Jalen has gone to some length to explain his remarks about my family in numerous interviews, so I believe he has some admiration for them.

In his garbled but sweeping comment that Duke recruits only “black players that were ‘Uncle Toms,’ ” Jalen seems to change the usual meaning of those very vitriolic words into his own meaning, i.e., blacks from two-parent, middle-class families. He leaves us all guessing exactly what he believes today.

I am beyond fortunate to have two parents who are still working well into their 60s. They received great educations and use them every day. My parents taught me a personal ethic I try to live by and pass on to my children.

I come from a strong legacy of black Americans. My namesake, Henry Hill, my father’s father, was a day laborer in Baltimore. He could not read or write until he was taught to do so by my grandmother. His first present to my dad was a set of encyclopedias, which I now have. He wanted his only child, my father, to have a good education, so he made numerous sacrifices to see that he got an education, including attending Yale.

This is part of our great tradition as black Americans. We aspire for the best or better for our children and work hard to make that happen for them. Jalen’s mother is part of our great black tradition and made the same sacrifices for him.

My teammates at Duke — all of them, black and white — were a band of brothers who came together to play at the highest level for the best coach in basketball. I know most of the black players who preceded and followed me at Duke. They all contribute to our tradition of excellence on the court.

It is insulting and ignorant to suggest that men like Johnny Dawkins (coach at Stanford), Tommy Amaker (coach at Harvard), Billy King (general manager of the Nets), Tony Lang (coach of the Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins in Japan), Thomas Hill (small-business owner in Texas), Jeff Capel (former coach at Oklahoma and Virginia Commonwealth), Kenny Blakeney (assistant coach at Harvard), Jay Williams (ESPN analyst), Shane Battier (Memphis Grizzlies) and Chris Duhon (Orlando Magic) ever sold out their race.

To hint that those who grew up in a household with a mother and father are somehow less black than those who did not is beyond ridiculous. All of us are extremely proud of the current Duke team, especially Nolan Smith. He was raised by his mother, plays in memory of his late father and carries himself with the pride and confidence that they instilled in him.

The sacrifice, the effort, the education and the friendships I experienced in my four years are cherished. The many Duke graduates I have met around the world are also my “family,” and they are a special group of people. A good education is a privilege.

Just as Jalen has founded a charter school in Michigan, we are expected to use our education to help others, to improve life for those who need our assistance and to use the excellent education we have received to better the world.

A highlight of my time at Duke was getting to know the great John Hope Franklin, James B. Duke Professor of History and the leading scholar of the last century on the total history of African-Americans in this country. His insights and perspectives contributed significantly to my overall development and helped me understand myself, my forefathers and my place in the world.

Ad ingenium faciendum, toward the building of character, is a phrase I recently heard. To me, it is the essence of an educational experience. Struggling, succeeding, trying again and having fun within a nurturing but competitive environment built character in all of us, including every black graduate of Duke.

My mother always says, “You can live without Chaucer and you can live without calculus, but you cannot make it in the wide, wide world without common sense.” As we get older, we understand the importance of these words. Adulthood is nothing but a series of choices: you can say yes or no, but you cannot avoid saying one or the other. In the end, those who are successful are those who adjust and adapt to the decisions they have made and make the best of them.

I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger. I wish for you the restoration of the bond that made you friends, brothers and icons.

I am proud of my family. I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates. And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.

Grant Henry Hill
Phoenix Suns
Duke ‘94

✔ First team All-American honors to Kate Van Buskirk '11,
who came in second in the mile at the NCAA Championships. Second by 7/100ths of a second. Time: 4:33.71, beating the Duke record held by Olympian Shannon Rowbury.

Duke will celebrate the life of the late Reynolds Price '55, James B. Duke Professor of English, on May 19th with readings, performances and remembrances in Duke Chapel. That's four days after graduation, a timing FC will not comment on.

Edward (Ted) Kaufman '60 has a new career. For much of his professional life, he tracked Delaware senator Joe Biden as a top staffer. When Biden became Vice President, Kaufman was selected to succeed him in the Senate, an assignment that ended when Kaufman decided not to seek election to his own term. This week Kaufman told a hometown newspaper in Delaware his primary focus now is to help Duke University expand its law program in Washington where the school offers a chance for its second- and third-year students to work with government agencies and special interest groups.

Research: audiologist Becca Price reports success in treating patients with tinnitus, a gnawing ringing in the ears. With a device that looks like an MP3 player, she trains the brain to ignore the high frequency ringing.

✔ Most times when we hear students are heading to Texas for spring break, it's South Padre Island, the wonderfully warm strip of beach on the Gulf. This year, some Dukies -- we do not have their names -- led off a three week effort to help Habitat for Humanity build homes in El Paso. Duke for week one, University of Wisconsin students for week two. And University of California for week three. No publicity locally, lots at the other schools. Hmmm.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled against a Duke Hospital security guard who was convicted of a February, 2009, sexual assault on a hospital nursing assistant in a dark spot near the Emergency Department. Imran Shafiq-Khan, the guard, was assigned to sitting with suicidal patients. Technically he was not a Duke employee, getting his job through the On Premises Agency.

The defendant's lawyers said that because the victim did not run screaming from the crime scene, did not sustain any physical injuries and did not report the crime for a few days showed that prosecutors had insufficient evidence. Court ruling: nice try. Unanimous.

✔ From NC State, word that there is a working nuclear reactor right in the middle of campus. A small one, but it glows nonetheless. It's 40 years old, giving 300 engineering students hands on experience. Last year NC State won a federal grant to increase the power of its nuke.

✔ Next week on Fact Checker: Part two of a special report on Duke in China.