Memorial Day: Glory to our fallen heroes, shame on Richard Brodhead

Shame on you Richard Brodhead!! According to the official calendar and the lack of a news release, Duke University under your leadership did not observe Memorial Day in any way. It's not the first time, you are well aware.

We note that the Alumni Department lays a wreath on 9-11 each year (right now the memorial is moved because of Keohane Quad construction), but it ignores the men and women from Duke who sacrificed their lives.


Fuqua faculty to meet Wednesday in extraordinary session to discuss Kunshan. FC presents two professors, one aye, one nay.

Surprise! FC thought this blog would be out of commission for ten days or so during a sailing and fishing vacation; but alas, the internet is accessible.

Full disclosure: FC believes the Fuqua faculty should withhold approval of academic courses to be offered in Kunshan, bringing about a moratorium of at least one year so the entire Initiative can be reviewed. As the June 20th vote in the Fuqua Business School approaches, we will post a detailed analysis.

✔✔✔ Loyal Readers, usually we report on events as they unfold. Today, the story is what has not occurred.

A) The Brodhead Administration has made no response whatsoever to the liberation of a secret consultant's report that impeaches its financial calculations for Kunshan. As Loyal Readers know, FC got this report from a mole and promptly offered copies to anyone who requested one. The consultant found Chinese would be willing to spend, on average, $15,000 a year for a masters degree. This is consistent with the $15,000 range that the Ministry of Education has specified for tuition in applications from other universities. But Duke's Planning Guide calls for tuition of $46,000 for one small academic program, and more than $41,000 for the biggest. The difference means huge increases in the already substantial subsidies Duke is ripping out of Durham to send to Kunshan. Silence, Uncle Dick, silence.

B) While the Deputy Dean in Fuqua has stated that "all" documentation on Kunshan has been surrendered to two committees studying two possible degrees, the committees themselves have refused to detail for FC what they have received. And the committees have shared no documents at all with the faculty, which meets June 1 to discuss the Initiative and June 20 to vote on it. It seems the discussion would be more useful if it were fully informed.

C) Dick Brodhead has done nothing to enable the current dialogue on campus, but has done much to disdain it.

✔✔ Fact Checker sought out two professors in the Fuqua Business School -- one in favor of starting two masters degree programs in the fall of 2012, the other in favor of a moratorium to delve into very substantial questions that surround the Initiative.

Questions? Academic freedom for one. One professor in the Arts and Sciences has noted he assigns reading about the Dali Lama every year, and there is no assurance someone on campus who tried to Google the name of the religious leader would not be arrested by the Chinese government.

The words of the two professors in the coming paragraphs are a preview of the lively discussion likely to occur on Wednesday, June 1 when the faculty gathers in extraordinary session to discuss Duke's entry into China. And on June 20th, the faculty -- about 95 people who are tenured, in tenure track positions or Professors of the Practice -- will vote in secret. If there is an affirmative vote, the elected university wide faculty senate, the Academic Council, will go through the same process in the fall.

After an e-mail against the Initiative circulated in Fuqua, according to our sources, only two professors spoke up in favor of the Initiative. They include Paul Zipkin, the R.J. Reynolds Professor in Business Administration:

"Right, I'm a supporter of the Kunshan initiative. Not wholehearted, not uncritical, not unreservedly optimistic, etc., but overall a supporter."

We wrote Professor Zipkin back, saying we thought that with reservations like that, he was a candidate to vote for the moratorium, rather than supporting the two degrees. He replied that he did not share that view:

"I've been saying for many years that Fuqua and Duke should do *something* in other countries, especially China. I have tried to push this or that program, but without much success. I see other major U.S. universities doing much more than Duke, with considerable success.

"So, my support of the Kunshan initiative comes mainly from the fact that it's *something* in approximately the right direction.

"As for how it's been done, here are my thoughts. Duke is a big organism with lots of moving parts. China is a much bigger organism with vastly more moving parts. To make anything happen between them is a huge undertaking. A lot of internal communication is necessary, but you can't communicate with everybody all the time. So, compared to the ways such things get done elsewhere, I think Brodhead & Co. have handled it in a satisfactory way. Not perfect, but satisfactory.

"I read somewhere the claim that Yale handled its undertaking in Singapore more openly. That's amusing. I can tell you that the Yale community is just as split and upset as we are. (Fact Checker is preparing a major analysis of this.)

"The people in Fuqua who are worried about it seem mainly worried about the money. We've seen various financial projections. Having seen (and made) many of these financial projections over the years, I think they are almost all ridiculous. None of us understands the market for our products, not even the domestic market. With Kunshan we're introducing a whole new product in a new country. We can't possibly know what will happen.

"So, the projections are wild guesses. The reason this doesn't bother me is, such things are *always* wild guesses.

"Plus, if we *don't* do Kunshan, the future is hardly more predictable. In sum, this is a highly entrepreneurial venture, and there's no way to avoid that.

"Plus, I like Chinese food.

"My main hesitation is, I wish we had more people on our side who understand the country, the culture, etc. We have some, but not enough. And, we have not always used the expertise we have in the wisest ways."

✔ The FC analysis: As the chair of the Academic Council, Associate Professor Craig Henriquez has noted, he cannot find a "champion" of Kunshan anywhere on the faculty. We certainly did not find such a supporter in Professor Zipkin. Assuming he is right in saying we must do *something*, that is a big leap away from supporting the Kunshan Initiative -- the creation of a new university to serve Chinese, the first in a Duke network around the globe.

And Zipkin's statement that other schools have met with great success is selective, neglecting schools like Johns Hopkins and Michigan State that have packed up and returned home.

There is also a list of Duke failures; one only has to look in President Brodhead's major address on international aspirations in 2007 to see him list with pride programs that have since all failed: partnerships with London School of Economics, the Goethe-University Frankfurt Faculty of Economics and Business, and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. And budding programs with the Faculty of Economics and Management at Tsinghua and the new Skolkovo Business School in Moscow.

✔✔ Now, the opposite view. Professor Allan Lind is the James L. Vincent Professor of Leadership in Fuqua. He favors a moratorium, and he responded to our initial e-mail:

"I think Dean Sheppard thinks we have to be physically present in (Kunshan and eight or more other international cities) to be a great university; he misses the point that we are and will be a great university because of the quality of our research and teaching. If we invested the money we are thinking of spending on Kunshan and (the other global cities) in resources to improve our research and teaching here in Durham, we would be even more widely recognized as a great global university, in my opinion."

Professor Lind offered this analysis in an e-mail to all his Fuqua colleagues:

"The arguments in support of the initiative, advanced in documents like the Duke-Kunshan Planning Guide, (provide) benefit to the Fuqua School and the University only when one makes optimistic — in my view unrealistically optimistic — assumptions. Given the investment of money and time involved in the Duke-Kunshan initiative, as well as the substantial risk to Duke’s reputation, we need evidence, not just hopeful assumptions, to justify proceeding with the project.

"We faculty of the Fuqua School have not been given any real marketing data or any objective analysis of what the consequences might be if some or all of these very optimistic assumptions do not prove to be correct. What we have been given is, in my opinion, a “sales brochure” that highlights potential (but unproven) positive consequences of the initiative while ignoring or discounting most of the potential negative consequences."

✔✔ FC agrees. The version of the Duke Kunshan Planning Guide surrendered to the Academic Council in March -- after FC broke the secrecy in February -- omits some of the very strong language from earlier versions warning about financial uncertainty.

And Deputy Fact Checkers have learned that two consultants whose reports remain secret both threw up red flags too. The Boston Consulting Group said our "price point" is troublesome; ironically the Brodhead Administration shared its estimated tuition with the consultants, but won't tell us what it is. And the Huron Consulting Group warned Kunshan will not be self-supporting and will need subsidies.

✔✔ As for the often heard faculty complaint that President Brodhead, Peter the Provost and Fuqua's Dean Blair Sheppard rolled right over everyone, Zipkin wrote: "Right, we always say we want administrators to communicate more with us. (And, when they do, we complain about too many meetings.) But as I said above, my expectations are not very high, and I think they did an ok job of this."

While FC appreciates Professor Zipkin's interest and time, his arguments in favor of the Kunshan Initiative ring hollow. As President Brodhead has stated, this is the biggest strategic move for Duke since James B. Duke created the institution in 1924. This merits more than an "OK job" to be judged by "expectations (that) are not very high."

We add we are most disappointed in the tone this debate is taking on -- even among senior faculty. From Zipkin: "I think Prof. Pfau (Thomas Pfau, a leader of the faculty seeking a moratorium) and his colleagues would be more effective working quietly than making public spectacles."

For the record, Fact Checker believes Professor Pfau has provided great service to this university in leading the debate, and we thank him.

Thank you for reading FC. Have a good day!


Administration goes on offensive to win support for Kunshan..... Alumni group points to lack of chapel or any religious accomodation.

✔✔✔✔ Within the past 48 hours, the Brodhead Administration has launched a two-pronged offensive to try to shore up support for the Kunshan Initiative.

Brodhead himself has written an e-mail to alumni world-wide, and the administration has started a website with information about all international initiatives. Neither e-mail nor website mentions the controversy swirling around Kunshan.


In another development, a group of alumni has spoken out because the plans for Kunshan -- as released so far -- do not show a chapel or any other accommodation for religion. They point out that Duke's history and values are being ignored, and cite two documents.

First, the Indenture of Trust from James B. Duke: "And I advise that the courses at this institution be arranged, first, with special reference to the training of preachers, teachers, lawyers and physicians..." Almost the entire Kunshan effort to date comes from the Fuqua School of Business.

The alumni group also quotes from the Aims of Duke University, which start this way: "The aims of Duke University are to assert a faith in the eternal union of knowledge and religion set forth in the teachings and character of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; to advance learning in all lines of truth; to defend scholarship against
all false notions and ideals; to develop a Christian love of freedom and truth..."

The alumni group says the Brodhead Administration is not being faithful to those words, which are the first in the by-laws of Duke University.

The group wants to know if the seal of Duke Kunshan will include a cross. And if Bibles will be distributed at graduations.


Brodhead's e-mail went to approximately 150,000 alumni. It is in the form of a quick recap on the academic year that is now ending. With respect to Kunshan, it's interesting how he acknowledges that the the Chinese Ministry of Education has the power to say yes or no to the application filed for the new Duke Kunshan University.

Then he says "we'll start with programs in business and global health," neglecting that the Durham faculty must go through an analogous process of approval.

That two-step process for faculty approval is anything but assured. The faculty in Fuqua will vote June 20th, with one option being a moratorium of a year or two to iron out uncertainies and deep concerns about Kunshan. If the Kunshan Folly survives in Fuqua, it will go before the Academic Council, the elected university-wide faculty senate, in the fall.

✔✔ The website has been created a full year after FC first called for such a project. However, our vision was very very different than the Administration's execution. And curiously, Brodhead's e-mail to alumni does not mention the website, suggesting left hand of PR does not know what right hand is doing.


There are stories galore written by PR agents. There is not one original document -- like the Duke Kunshan Planning Guide, or the consultant's report from the China Market Research Group that undermined many of Duke's financial assumptions for Kunshan. In other words, fellow Dukies the administration is filtering news, not letting you read original documents and reach your own conclusions.

✔ As Fact Checker has stated before, Mr. Brodhead, your job is to enable debate among stakeholders -- most notably the faculty -- not to try to derail it.


✔✔✔ The influential Chronicle of Higher Education has a news story today headlined: Duke's China Plan Sparks Doubts on Campus.


Thank you for reading FC and caring about DUKE!

Med school starts formal investigation of prof who warned generic drug might not work, after pocketing hidden $260,000 from brand name manufacturer

✔✔✔✔✔UPDATE - Duke Medical School launches formal investigation.

✔✔✔✔ The Wall St Journal reported Wednesday that the maker of the very expensive blood-thinning medicine Lovenox paid two professional societies and Duke's Dr. Victor Tapson millions of dollars to warn against approving a much cheaper generic version.

The payments were not disclosed during testimony against the generic before U-S regulators at the Food and Drug Administration.

It is not clear if Congressional investigators who issued a report on this, found that Tapson or the societies were influenced by the payments to render anything other than their professional judgment that the generic equivalent did not work as well. There is e-mail, however, that one of the societies did not feel it should offer any opinion at all, saying it had never done so. But money talked and there is a stench.

Tapson, a thrombosis expert who is director of pulmonary medicine at Duke, got more than $260,000. It is not clear if this is a personal fee, or if it paid for research.

The other recipients -- of far larger amounts -- are the Society of Hospital Medicine and the North American Thrombosis Forum. In all $5 million changed hands, paid by Sanofi SA, which holds the patent.

While the generic equivalent drug has been approved for years and used safely in European countries and elsewhere, without US approval Sanofi had a firm grip on a $4 billion a year world-wide market.

Ultimately the FDA did approve the generic version of the drug in the US -- and Sanofi's brand name sales plummeted.

These details are from an investigation by the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.), chairman of the committee said, "Pharmaceutical companies simply cannot be allowed to spend millions of dollars to buy medical opinions that claim objectivity but instead favor their products."

Before Lovenox, some people -- for example those with episodes of an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation -- had to use blood thinning drugs all the time. The reason: the blood thinning (anti-clogging) drugs before Lovenox took so long to work, they would not prevent strokes that can arise during an episode.

These drugs -- the same as rat poison!! -- were very cheap. They were also very dangerous because other drugs and foods could make them act unpredictably, easily causing blood to thin so much it could seep and cause a stroke. People taking these blood thinners have to have repeated blood tests to monitor their condition.

Lovenox resolved these problems -- at a very very fancy price. The drug could be injected during an episode and it worked rapidly. And the drug was tolerated better, removing some of the risks of a dosage too high.

✔✔ The medical professional has been struggling with consultant's fees for some time, and various ethical codes have been enacted to address the issue. We do not know at this moment if Duke has any policies that may have been violated.

Loyal Readers will recall how the cancer quack Dr. Anil Potti collected $100,000 over two years from Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline to speak favorably about their drugs at so-called education meetings. Potti typically traveled to meet other doctors at breakfast -- before coming to Duke for his "cancer research." Other Duke doctors got even larger amounts.

Even local doctors have come under the drug companies's grip, being offered first class vacations if they write enough prescriptions for a company's expensive drugs.

The investigative journalists at http://www.propublica.org/ have done an outstanding job defining the dimensions of this. On their home page, on the right, see Major Investigations. There is a searchable database where you can check your doctor!

End of the year: Brodhead fails to mention controversy over Kunshan in report to alums.. Athletics Dept won't give costs of BB trip to Asia, Mideast

Developing: We've gotten the supreme runaround and no answers in questioning the Athletic Department about the costs of sending the men's basketball team to China and the Mideast. How much? And what's the source of the money? A double double shutout.

And Brodhead's e-mail to all alumni raises the issue of how he decides what information to reveal -- and what to withhold. Whether it's for the good of Duke -- or to polish his legacy.

Check back late Wed - early Thurs.


Fact Checker demands immediate release of new list of secret Kunshan documents. Brodhead asked to enable campus debate, not seek to derail it.

✔In an open letter to President Brodhead and his administrative team, Fact Checker lists many previously unknown, secret documents that should play a role in campus debate on the Kunshan Initiative, and demands their release forthwith.

Mr President,

With the faculty in the Fuqua School of Business facing its mandate to approve, disapprove, or enter into a moratorium on academic courses proposed for the Duke Kunshan University, The Fact Checker organization calls upon you to immediately release to every stakeholder in the University all documents relating to this Initiative.

And we believe the current atmosphere requires that you affirm your commitment to enabling debate about Kunshan and other international initiatives, not derailing it.

We have not heard any reason whatsoever why all documents cannot be given to all stakeholders; indeed, rather than harm the initiative, we believe it would be strengthened by the active engagement of faculty as well as all stakeholders.

We are aware that some of the documents that we seek were generated for the Board of Trustees, which feels its own deliberations must be conducted behind closed doors to get all members to speak freely. But that justification, whether or not it has merit, must be distinguished from stakeholders' having the documents and other information that went before the board long ago.

The documents we are referring to include the following:

✔A) The full Duke Kunshan Planning Guide. As you know, after Fact Checker obtained a copy and published an essay, you were forced to surrender this document to the Academic Council. But you excised 24 pages from the version given to this elected body of faculty representatives, as reported in the Chronicle March 24th.

We also request the Planning Guides for each of the other international cities where Duke has immediate plans. Our count is 11.

✔B) We also call for you to release all 30 pages of the appendix to the Guide.

✔C) We call upon you to release all consultant reports, including but not limited to those from The Boston Consulting Group, Huron Consulting Group, and the University Leadership Council of the Education Advisory Board. As you know, Fact Checker distributed one of the consultant reports -- from the China Market Research Group; we have reason to believe this consultant submitted more.

✔D) We call upon you to release the report that you commissioned from Professor William Kirby, China scholar at Harvard University.

✔E) We call upon you to release all agreements with the City of Kunshan and Wuhan University, as well as the now defunct agreement with Shanghai Jiao Tong University. We understand that with respect to the city alone, there are at least two agreements, dated January 2010 and January 2011, and that they reflect a significant shift in attitude by Kunshan toward meeting continuing operating losses that is relevant to the faculty's mandate.

This request covers not only individual agreements with the city and Wuhan University, but agreements relating to our joint venture, some of which are dated January 2011.

We call for release of all documents showing Kunshan's shifting positions, whichi caused the Provost to say he could understand why some Dukies may feel there has been bait and switch.

✔F) We call upon you for all internal documents relating to the selection of Wuhan University as our silent partner. By process of elimination, we believe Vice President Greg Jones was referring to Wuhan when he stated to the Academic Council that one potential partner was "weak."

✔G) We call upon you to release all written reports that you and your administration have given to the Board of Trustees on any aspect of all international initiatives. This would include Kunshan and all alternatives.

We call for the release of the minutes of Trustee meetings relevant to any international initiative.

We call for release of the names of the members of the special Trustee committee on China headed by Mr. Rubinstein, and an explanation of why faculty and student representatives are not included.

✔H) We call upon you to release a full copy of Duke's application and supporting statement, as given to the Chinese Ministry of Education and the separate application and supporting statement filed with the Municipal Education Authority of Jiangsu Province (where Kunshan is located), as part of the legal requirements to establish a joint venture university.

✔I) We call upon you to release all agreements and proposed agreements with respect to Duke's core values, including but not limited to academic freedom, affirmative action, and need-blind admissions.

✔J) We ask you to state, unequivocally, whether academic freedom will include unrestricted Internet access, unfettered e-mail and unmonitored text messages. And to furnish the documents guaranteeing whatever you negotiated.

We ask you to state whether academic freedom, as you have discussed the concept with the Chinese, includes only activities within the walls of the Kunshan campus, or does it embrace off-campus as well. We ask for all supporting documents that led you to declare, on page 21 of the Planning Guide released to the Academic Council, a particular concern for great risk to reputation "if we become embroiled in wide-ranging public controversy."

✔K) We call upon you to release the Preamble and all details of the "Fundamental Principles of Academic Quality" negotiated with the Chinese. We call upon you to release all other documents related to governance of the Duke Kunshan University. We seek to know whether the Christie Principles guaranteeing faculty an appropriate role in governance will be incorporated and respected.

✔L) We call upon you to release all financial models for campus operations.
We understand there are three "Monte Carlo" simulations. The Academic Council was given one.

✔M) We call upon you to release the Duke University budget, as well as detailed final financial reports, for each of the five past years, as well as for the current year and for next year, so the Fuqua faculty and others may determine the impact the world-wide financial meltdown had upon Duke in Durham, and the likelihood that any diversion of resources to Kunshan would be at the expense of our mother campus.

✔N) We know that Duke Kunshan University will have its own fund-raising. But in addition, we also know that Duke University will raise funds and send them to offset deficits in Kunshan. Duke has received a $5 million, multi-year grant to establish its own development office for Kunshan. We call upon you for the release of all documentation of the effect on donations to the mother campus.

✔O) We call upon you to release all material being prepared for, or submitted to, the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities (SACS), Duke's primary accrediting body, on Duke's plan to award Duke University degrees to students of Duke Kunshan University.

✔P) We call upon you to release any internal memorandum or other documentation of the time administrators are spending on Kunshan, and whether this represents a diffusion of focus on the mother campus. These must exist because in the Planning Guide, you put a dollar figure on the cost of administrators working on Kunshan.

Finally we seek your personal commitment to an open dialogue on the opportunities and challenges presented by the Kunshan Initiative. As we stated at the start of this open letter, we believe you must make clear that you desire to enable debate, not derail it.

We join with you in shouting GO DUKE!


New features. Loyal Readers, click on the Comments button below and leave your thoughts. This is unfiltered; please be responsible.

Also, the little envelope icon below. Click to easily e-mail this FC post to friends.


In Fuqua, discussion of Kunshan moves into high gear

✔ Fact Checker here.

As the faculty in the Fuqua Business School prepares to discuss Kunshan in formal session on June 1 and vote June 20, FC culled the following from many sources:

✔✔ --- There is a huge hole in the Brodhead Administration's financial plans for Kunshan. It's estimated that Fuqua would have to spend at least $30,000 to $35,000 per student, with two of our sources cautioning about that estimate, noting they cannot come up with any hard numbers. The marketing studies suggest Chinese students and parents would be willing to pay an average of $15,000. The final figures will be set by the government, with Duke University forced to subsidize the difference out of its Durham funds. That's a real sensitive proposition, particularly at a time when the home campus is operating with a crimped budget.

✔✔ --- The Duke Kunshan Planning Guide given to the Academic Council shows enrollment of 600 students in various degrees in the 2016-17 academic year. With a $20,000 per student difference between tuition income and cost, this points to the need for a subsidy of $12 million. That's $2.5 million more than the Brodhead Administration's own calculation for that year. And that's the most favorable calculation.

✔✔ --- Dean Blair Sheppard is having a tough time getting faculty to commit to teach in Kunshan, assuming courses are approved. He has participated in discussions where various pay incentives and other goodies were discussed. One possibility: giving a faculty member who teaches in Kunshan extra credit toward the professor's annual teaching obligation.

Indeed, the Dean was luring faculty originally by promising that in six weeks, they could fulfill half of their annual teaching requirement. Another version was "six weeks or less." FC notes that in the current international offerings by Fuqua, faculty are away from Durham for only two weeks. There is a cost factor here, of course, not reflected in the calculations we presented earlier in this essay.

✔✔ --- With faculty only in China six weeks, or less, this raises the reciprocal question of whether professors will carry back to Durham in-depth knowledge. This is one of the main justifications for our entry into China, as outlined by President Brodhead.

✔✔ --- Some faculty feel Sheppard is stretching faculty involvement with students for the Masters of Management Studies degree -- the biggest planned offering in Kunshan -- too thin. Sheppard is reportedly recasting, adding more faculty and, just as important, adding more faculty who are tenure or tenure track rather than adjunct. While this improves academic quality and guards reputation, the huge additional cost is not reflected in the subsidy figures we discussed earlier in this essay. Sheppard had earlier boasted about how few faculty he could get away with, and how there would be profits in a couple years.

✔✔✔ --- FC is told that Sheppard is considering moving some of the courses now planned for Kunshan to Durham, perhaps having students spend one of four terms in Durham. This would be a major turn-around and blow to the Dean's plans. This move is to address the marketing studies that the overwhelming number of Chinese want to leave their country to study for master's degrees. It of course raises the question of why a consultant's report that arrived last December is only now being acted on, amid the faculty furor.

This change would really upset the financial apple cart; and it raises the question of whether the entire Kunshan program -- not just a term -- should be scrapped in favor of Durham. It is precisely this kind of complicated question that is causing many Fuqua faculty to favor a moratorium, a year or two to thrash through issues.

✔✔ --- While Sheppard is trying to reconfigure his plans to accommodate faculty concerns, there is also a lot of arm twisting and pressure to go along with the plans as they are. Or as one professor put it, "We rarely see Blair anymore, except when he wants to try to bully us into voting for these programs."

Even though the vote will be secret, Sheppard has warned that the School could encounter the wrath of Peter the Provost if Kunshan degree programs are not approved. Another source says the general talk in Fuqua is that if the Kunshan program is voted down -- or put into moratorium -- they can expect a visit from the President or Provost arguing for reconsideration.

We close by reminding Loyal Readers that the Chinese have been aware from day one that our faculty must vote its approval for academic programs. This is specified in the university by-laws; it is not just a policy adopted for these negotiations.

The Fuqua faculty will vote in secret first, approximately 95 professors who are tenured, tenure track or Professors of the Practice. Assuming Kunshan is not stopped on June 20, the focus then turns to the Academic Council, the university wide elected faculty senate, in the fall.

We have made several inquiries into plans other than Kunshan -- as this Chinese backwater was designed as just one spoke in an entire hub of international campuses. The Brodhead Administration has clammed up on these other cities because one of the issues is whether we are going too fast to too many destinations. Not one person we talked to has heard anything for weeks.

Deputy Fact Checkers are at work. With officials circling the wagons and refusing to speak, we are dependent on sources, and some very impressive people have emerged. We are trying to get copies of all the secret documents the Brodhead Admnistration surrendered to two committees of Fuqua faculty for their consideration. One committee deals with the MMS degree, the other with the EMBA.

Indeed, we are trying to get a list of these documents as there is confusion on what was surrendered even though Dean Boulding said "all existing sources of information" had been provided to the two committees.

Plenty of reasons to read FC all summer!

Students at Wuhan University pelt Chinese official responsible for internet censorship

There are two new posts this morning. Make sure you scroll down for new details on President Brodhead's trip to Europe, Asia and Africa.

The French news agency APF and blogs are carrying stories from Wuhan University -- Duke's silent partner in the new Duke Kunshan University -- that some students used eggs and shoes to pelt a speaker: Fang Binxing, creator of the firewall that restricts internet access in China.

Deep in Duke's Planning Guide for Kunshan, the possibility that students, faculty or staff might become "embroiled in wide-ranging public controversy" is mentioned because it could hurt Duke's reputation. There is no elaboration. But Loyal Readers, if it happened at Wuhan, it can happen at Kunshan.

Following from APF: Fang told the Global Times newspaper in a rare interview in February that he had endured "dirty abuse ... as a sacrifice for my country".

He defended the "Great Firewall" as an urgent necessity and said the censorship technology should be made even stronger.

"Drivers just obey the rules," Fang said, comparing web controls to traffic controls. "So citizens should just play with what they have."


New details: Duke credit cards to take Brodheads on grand tour of Europe, Asia and Africa

Search words: Duke Fact Checker Duke University Kunshan Richard Brodhead.

✔✔ President Brodhead and his wife, Cynthia Brodhead (this is the official, preferred style, rather than President and Mrs. Brodhead), are planning a lavish three-week official trip to Europe, Asia and Africa starting in late June.

Mrs. Brodhead will be on business too. She is "senior adviser for external relations" in the President's Office, earning $132,500 a year. Fact Checker believes she is the first Presidential spouse at Duke with her own salary.

Details are scarce. In fact, there is a total blackout on news, with the principal mouthpiece for Brodhead, Michael Schoenfeld, declining to provide any information whatsoever. We had explained to Schoenfeld that we thought it important to hear from him or the President about the purpose of the trip and what might be accomplished. No dice. Of course, that only caused the Deputy Fact Checkers to work harder.

✔ The trip will begin just after a crucial June 20 vote in the Fuqua Business School, with its faculty deciding whether to go ahead with academic programs in Kunshan. Fact Checker is working intensively on this and will have frequent posts.

One stop for the Brodheads is Singapore, where we believe the President will attend graduation of the first class at the Duke - National University of Singapore Medical School. But information is so tight that when we e-mailed the school for the date of graduation, we were told it could not be disclosed. Yes, this is correct, the date of graduation is a secret. (Seeing our post, a loyal reader in Singapore promptly wrote in giving us three dates for various graduations involving the same candidates for MD degrees. As a Washington Post editor once stated, we can only write what people tell us and what we can find out. So maybe graduation is July 4.)

The trip is notable for its length: three weeks with stops in London, Shanghai, Wuhan, Singapore, Kilimanjaro and Entebbe. We have no specific information about Kunshan, but we assume that he'll take time from Shanghai to visit the boondocks.

It is also notable because Brodhead was in China in mid-April, a trip that took almost a full week from his schedule. It raises the substantial issue of whether his international aspirations are diluting the focus of his administration back home in Durham.

✔ Our mole in the middle of Allen Building says the trip is notable because of its cost. Brodhead's airfare is $14,315.80. His wife's is slightly less because she is skipping a side-trip to Wuhan, location of the university that is Duke's silent partner in Kunshan, and remaining in Shanghai. This huge expenditure for travel -- on a Duke credit card -- comes at a time when there is a crimp on faculty travel for scholarly conferences and research, with the Arts and Sciences budget for this being slashed from $500,000 per year to $100,000. Individual professors with personal contracts providing for travel have also had cutbacks.

The trip was booked through a travel agent who rents a desk in a prominent Raleigh travel agency. It qualifies as a minority business, so dealing with this agent sure beats going to the posh suburbs north of Chicago where Duke once made travel arrangements through an agency owned by a Trustee.

We have the specific flights and hotels but are withholding that voluntarily. That's our own contribution to security. Lavish, even for a President who has taken extensive foreign trips before on Duke's credit cards, including the Taj Mahal.

The Brodhead's will fly business class; we have been unsuccessful in getting a copy of the university first class travel policy, but that may be moot because almost all of their flights have only business and coach. (FC news alert: There is new information about the Athletic Department's use of private jets emerging.)

✔ We know Brodhead will be in London at the Tate Museum on June 26th, a date made public by the Alumni Department for another in the "The Duke Idea" series of meetings. In our view, the idea is to quickly move from Mr. Brodhead's making a few remarks at an alumni gathering, into a structured program that precludes any pesky questions.

In various cities, various topics have been explored. In Miami, for example, The Duke Idea wound up being the local art scene. The set includes two big chairs on an Oriental rug, set in front of a bay window with leaded panes. We assume this is to replicate the President's office, which is silly since only a sliver of the people at Duke ever get in the door and have any idea at all what it is like.

✔ From London, the Brodheads hop to Shanghai for five days, interrupted by a two day excursion to Wuhan. As noted above, Mrs. Brodhead will not make this side-trip. The Alumni Department publicly lists another "Duke Idea" in Shanghai at the JW Marriott Hotel on July 1.

✔ After Shanghai, the trip takes the Brodheads to Singapore, where there is another "Duke Idea" on July 5. It will be interesting to note if the trip embraces the medical school commencement, if the National University, our partner in the successful joint venture there, gives Brodhead an honorary degree. This would be tit for tat for the degree given to the NUS president a week ago in Durham, and only the fourth for Brodhead.

After Singapore, there is a very hard trip to Africa, necessitating a connection in Amsterdam. So there are two flights back to back, 13 hours and 11 hours, plus the layover. Fact Checker -- as someone who has flown extensively, with 1.6 million miles on American Airlines alone in the past 25 years -- can tell you this is a killer.

✔ In Africa, the Brodheads first go to Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, where the Duke Global Health Institute has an outpost principally focused on AIDS research. Next, to Entebbe, Uganda, where the Global Health Institute, Duke Engage and Duke Engineers without Borders all have outposts.

Finally another killer day in the air, from Entebbe to London and back home. On these flights, the Brodheads can plan their vacation, away from the campus for some more weeks.

Fact Checker has conflicting information on whether any staff members will travel with the Brodheads. We also have conflicting information on staff members meeting Brodhead in various cities, particularly for the Duke Idea programs. On his India trip, the PR department tried to offer extensive coverage, including a blog. That was in a more favorable atmosphere, however, without the concern about over-extension internationally.

✔ Thank you for reading FC. All summer. No vacation. Check by frequently.


Fact Checker finds more smoke than fire in $80 million gift to renovate Union, Page and Baldwin

✔✔Fellow Dukies, good day!! FC here!! Please note in the following essay that The Duke Endowment, which holds roughly $2.5 billion, is an independent charity with its own separate Trustees, frequently confused with Duke University because James B. Duke founded both. The University has roughly $5 billion in its own endowment.

With an apology to New Yorker magazine, which used this line to introduce The Ford Foundation a long time ago, The Duke Endowment is a huge amount of money completely surrounded by people wanting some.

In the case of Richard Brodhead and Duke University, the recent headlines said that The Duke Endowment (henceforth referred to as TDE, the insider's lingo) had responded to need and was giving $80 million to gut renovate three of the university's original buildings: the West Union as well as Page and Baldwin Auditoriums. The PR people glowed that this was a double double: the biggest grant in TDE history, the biggest gift in Duke University's history.

Now the story gets complicated and requires a lot of background. By the end of this essay, Loyal Readers will likely believe, as FC does, that this "gift" was more smoke than fire.

TDE is not just one big ocean of money. It is actually many pools of different sizes, each with a purpose that the founder, James B. Duke, specified.

One of the largest pools is reserved for Duke University, which every year, automatically, gets the income from it. (If you want to be technical about it, TDE trustees can withhold this income if the school is falling apart, but aside from mouth flailing, this has never occurred.) According to the last two financial reports from the university, we got $12.5 million each year from this pool. There are smaller pools for three other educational institutions, for the Methodist Church and for its retired preachers who get pension supplements, and large pools reserved for numerous hospitals and child care .

Beyond the pools that have specific beneficiaries, there is a very large pool that TDE trustees can allocate at their discretion. They have decided that Duke University -- as the principal memorial to James B. and his family -- should benefit the most from this, so they lard much our way.

In the 2008-09 academic year, the total the university received from the discretionary pool was $34 million, which was quite typical of recent years. In 2009-10, given the shrinkage in the endowment caused by the world-wide financial meltdown, we got only $26.4 million. (Because of the meltdown, when TDE lost fully one-third of its assets, the endowment put all its beneficiaries on notice that times are tough.)

Duke University applies for these grants, carefully restricting who at the university can apply and tailoring requests so TDE is not overwhelmed. And so Duke University sought the $80 million for renovations.


Brodhead and Duke University got mega-money from TDE's discretionary pool before, most notably $75 million for the Financial Aid Initiative.

✔✔✔✔At the time of this gift, in November, 2005, FC had extensive correspondence with John Burness, then VP for public relations, who stressed that the $75 million was above and beyond the "normal" level of discretionary contributions the University had been getting. Nice!

But a Deputy Fact Checker noticed when TDE announced the $80 million for renovations that there was no such stipulation. So we got suspicious.

✔✔✔✔ After several quick back and forth e-mails, TDE, which has always answered promptly and been totally forthright even when we asked pointed questions, told FC that $80 million was NOT on top of the "normal" level. Rather, it was a multi-year total of appropriations from the discretionary pool. (Brodhead told alumni returning for Reunion Weekend that he had gotten an $80 million check. That was inaccurate; he got a pledge to have money dribbled in.)

For how many years? That's not known yet, because given the meltdown, TDE does not know what is possible. What's for sure, is that during this entire period, the University can forget about other requests.

So, Loyal Readers may be asking what is the importance of this?

Presumably, this would eliminate gifts like the $12 million to the Divinity School for a multi-year study of the health of Methodist ministers. Or the $15 million to kick Duke Engage into high gear. Or $1 million to add to the John Hope Franklin Professorship. Or any resumption of the roughly $750,000 that had been given before the meltdown for Duke Durham Partnership programs.

✔✔✔ The importance? It means that the double double was just puffery. It was not a candid disclosure. In fact, why not loop in a couple more years, and claim that TDE has given Duke University $100 million? That would make an even bigger splash.

As FC asked at the time the gift was announced, is this really something spectacular, or is it a public relations ploy, an amalgamation of smaller annual gifts rolled into one package with a big ribbon?

Answer: more smoke than new fire.

✔✔✔ For some time FC has been concerned about distortion in the way Duke University tallies all of its contributions from any source. The big numbers that the Brodhead Administration's current PR maven Michael Schoenfeld touts every year are compiled using an accounting standard called CASE. This is favored by the development office because it makes them look good.

Every other number in every other Duke University financial report uses Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). As executive vice president Tallman Trask admitted in footnotes buried in his last annual report, the CASE method showed $345 million in philanthropy, while GAAP only totalled $174 million. We're talking pledges here, not money received; remember how Peter and Ginny Nicholas reneged on a $72 million pledge that at the time was announced with glee as the largest in the school's history.

Many of the gifts are spent immediately; some pay for longer-range assets like buildings. The most significant number -- the amount contributed for new endowment each year -- is very very hard to come by, and even FC, after multiple attempts, does not have a year-to-year chart. The amount added to endowment, of course, determines the true, long range potential of the university because it will pump money into the annual budget in perpetuity.

Contributions from TDE constitute a large portion of the annual gifts flowing to Duke University -- and just like CASE -- they distort what is actually being raised. Not one of our peer institutions has an outside, captive foundation pumping huge amounts of money into the campus every year.

In his wisdom, James B. Duke decided not to vest the endowment money for his new school with its Trustees. Rather he created a new entity that would handle all his charity, TDE.

But for this anomaly, if the university's own trustees held the loot, the TDE "gifts" would be recognized as earnings on our own endowment. And this is how we should regard them: not as a new strength, but as the result of interest, dividends and capital gains on the founder's original gift.

That TDE provides a crutch for our development staff is clear if you look at the last two big fund-raising efforts. Nan Keohane's wildly successful Campaign for Duke got 17 percent of all its money from TDE. And Brodhead's Financial Aid Initiative fully 25 percent. (The PR department invariably uses the word "successful" every time it mentions the Financial Aid Initiative, even though by the deadline it fell short of its principal goal of raising money for undergraduate scholarships.)

Duke University should straighten out the way it reports TDE money, indicating it is a transfer from one pocket to another, and not a legitimate new strength for the university. And when a huge gift occurs merely because smaller ones that we were destined to get anyway were looped together, we should be so advised.

Thank you for reading FC and for caring about DUKE!


Brodhead Administration surrenders "all" Kunshan documents to Fuqua faculty. Vote on June 20th on new degrees could lead to moratorium.

✔✔✔✔✔ Fact Checker here. All summer. No vacation.

The Brodhead Administration, with its back to the wall, has surrendered to the faculty in the Fuqua School of Business "all existing sources of information" about the Kunshan Initiative.

As Loyal Readers know, the Administration has been operating largely in secret for two years -- and this very fact has caused an uproar among faculty and other stakeholders. But larger by far, there is a revolt against the Initiative itself, substantive opposition that has grown as more and more details have emerged. Fact Checker is developing a Special Report to explore the issues.

The quote "all existing sources of information" is from e-mail by Fuqua's Deputy Dean Bill Boulding, who announced two extraordinary faculty meetings. The meetings will be held pursuant to authority granted the faculty in the by-laws of the University to approve all academic programs. In addition to the Fuqua consideration -- mandated because the first offerings at Duke Kunshan would be from the business school -- there are other steps including review by the Academic Council, the university-wide elected faculty senate. The Chinese have been aware of the necessity for the Duke faculty's approval of any academic program in Kunshan since the start of negotiations.

Curiously Boulding notes that while the Administration has delivered "all" information, faculty committees working on Kunshan "have been working to collect additional information."

The first faculty meeting, on June 1, is to discuss two degree programs that Fuqua Dean Blair Sheppard wants to start.

The degrees are:

----- MMS, Masters in Management Studies, a one year program designed for students who have just completed their undergraduate studies and thus have no work experience. The more arduous and traditional MBA is a two year program designed for people with several years of work experience.

----- EMBA, an executive MBA program designed for rising stars in business who will continue working while completing their degree. In some cases, the employees get time off and have their tuition paid.

✔✔✔✔ The second, and more important, faculty meeting is on June 20th. On this date, the tenured faculty, tenure track faculty and professors of the practice -- about 95 professors of various ranks -- will vote in secret, giving an up or down decision to the proposed degrees. FC expects many faculty will vote the proposals down in order to impose a moratorium on Kunshan and step back and assess the financial risks and the damage a mis-step could cause to Duke's reputation, assessments that are incredibly missing in the Administration's undertaking.

Anything less than a "yes" vote is sure to be seen as a rebuke of the leadership of President Brodhead, Peter the Provost, and Dean Sheppard. The Special Report we are preparing will include information on arm twisting and horse trading.

According to Dean Boulding, the documents surrendered to the faculty went to two committees, one for each of the proposed degrees. It is unclear if the committees, one with four members, one with three, will share the entire texts with other faculty.

A consistently reliable source tells FC the documents include the 24 pages excised from the Duke Kunshan Planning Report given to the Academic Council in early March. This omission alone caused a furor and further ruptured trust in the Administration.

Our source says consultant reports were included in the surrender. As Loyal Readers know, one report, arriving last December, undercut the Administration's projection of the finances of Kunshan. It said Chinese would be unwilling, on average, to pay more than $15,000 tuition for the MMS, while the administration was counting on more than $41,000. This omission of this information from the Planning Report given to the Academic Council three months later made some professors livid.

$15,000 vs $41,000 -- the annual operating deficit could soar. In the latest version -- there have been several versions, each one worse than the previous, causing Peter the Provost to concede some faculty might feel there has been bait and switch -- the Brodhead Administration is forecasting that Duke's share of deficits in the next 6 years will be $37 million. Fact Checker estimates the red ink, plus start up and capital costs, will exceed $100 million in the first decade, and more likely will be $150 million.

There are other consultant reports too, perhaps as many as eight in all, but that is not confirmed.

Our source says he or she believes the 30 page appendix to the Planning Report was surrendered, although this is not confirmed. We have confirmed existence of the appendix. We have no idea what is in it. Yet.

We have no information on whether other documents were surrendered. For example the agreements with the city of Kunshan and Wuhan University, our silent partner in creating Duke Kunshan University. Another example is the documents that the Administration has assembled with respect to the attempt to get the Chinese to guarantee academic freedom; FC has learned that the Administration is only negotiating for on-campus freedom, and that off-campus will not be included, despite the tradition started at Trinity College by John Spencer Bassett. President Brodhead has been wishy washy about such basics as unfiltered internet access, unfiltered e-mail and unrestricted text messages.

Another key document that we have no information about is the application to the Chinese Ministry of Education, on both the provincial and national levels, to operate a university. A source in China -- in a superior position to know who has just started proving a Deputy Fact Checker with a wealth of background -- says the application would include a proposed tuition.

Deputy Fact Checker's are hard at work. We already have compiled far more information than in this interim report and will share it with Loyal Readers as soon as possible.

Continue to visit our blog. All summer. No vacation.


Kunshan Initiative battered by national and international news articles. Faculty uproar featured.

Please scroll down to see our report on this weekend's Trustee meeting. Developing: Fuqua schedules faculty vote on academic offerings in Kunshan. Brodheads to take lavish summer-time tour of Asia and Africa. We will post soon.

✔✔✔✔ FC here. Good day! As the faculty revolt against Kunshan has grown, Duke's thrust into China has become big national and international news.

One headline on a recent story: "If you built it, they might not come."

Ouch. That is from the May 10th edition of "Inside Higher Education," an authoritative daily web newspaper that is closely watched, particularly since it has the latest job openings.

That story focused on the December, 2010 report of consultants that Duke hired to shore up its case for Kunshan. As it turned out, the China Market Research Group challenged basic assumptions about the amount of tuition that can be charged, the numbers of students who might attend, and their intellectual ability.

The Brodhead Administration had hopes of keeping that consultant's report -- and others like it -- secret. But Fact Checker got a copy from a mole and defiantly offered a .pdf file to anyone who requested it. More than 300 Loyal Readers responded.

✔ As "Inside Higher Education" points out, the main finding of the consultants was that Chinese will pay -- on average -- only $15,000 for a Duke degree. The Duke Kunshan Planning Guide, given up grudgingly by the administration after being revealed by FC, includes revenue estimates based on tuition of $41,000 a year. One master's program, in global health, is foreseen as charging more than $46,000 in tuition.

✔ A secondary finding is that few Chinese would be interested in Duke's programs in Kunshan -- preferring by an overwhelming margin to go overseas for education. The lack of interest was particularly acute for the global health degree.

✔ The report also challenges specific statements from President Brodhead and Fuqua Dean Blair Sheppard, among others, about the prospects for donations to help cut losses in Kunshan. While Sheppard has talked in terms of charging full-freight to corporations sending their employees to earn the master's degree, the consultants could find no employer interested at all.

✔✔ The faculty revolt and deep questions about Kunshan have also made headlines in the Herald-Sun, which is better known for its gobbling and regurgitating effusive press releases than its probative reporting on Duke. There was also an article in the Triangle Business Journal, a regional paper focusing on the economy.

✔✔ International publications have chimed in. "University World News" did an excellent, major story on-line that detailed how the Brodhead Administration has rolled over the faculty in planning Kunshan -- and went on to show how financially the new university could either flop or become a very significant drain on the mother campus in Durham.

This article presented an interesting conflict between the vice president in charge of our global expansion, Rev. Greg Jones, and the Dean of the Fuqua Business School, Blair Sheppard.

Discussing the marketing consultant's finding that many Chinese think U-S universities are interested in their country merely to make a buck, Jones said: "We are not worried about some of the things other universities are worried about. We are not bothered about taking money out of China. We try not to loose money but we will reinvest money. More a matter for us is what are the conditions and whether we want to be present."

The article -- which had extensive quotes -- included this contradiction from Dean Sheppard: "it should be possible within a fairly short period to be making money on our China activities." Sheppard has also stated, although not included in this article, that he chose a new one-year master's degree as the principal offering in Kunshan because it does not require much in the way of faculty.

✔✔✔ The highly influential Chronicle of Higher Education has also chimed in, its most recent article focusing on the repressive government in China and new fears for academic freedom. Headline: "In China, Political Chill Begins to Reach Universities"

After describing the long-standing repression of activists and most recently members of a small Christian Church in Beijing, the article turns to attacks on academic life. This comes at the same time that Brodhead has been trying to sell Dukies on the idea that the Chinese realize how a liberal education must be free of intimidation and limitation.

Brodhead has been his wishy-washy self when pressed for specifics: whether the Duke Kunshan campus will have unfettered internet, unfiltered e-mail, and uncensored texting. He has talked of "trade-offs" but we think the word "sell-out" is more accurate.

As bad as the on-campus situation will be, FC has reported that there are no assurances at all about off-campus activities of students and faculty. Our essay recalled how Duke's tradition of academic freedom started with John Spencer Basset's expressing his opinion -- expressed not in a classroom -- but in a magazine circulated throughout the south.

Among the examples cited in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

-- Peking University (cq) announced in March that it would expand a pilot counseling program to help struggling students, including those for the first time who suffer from "radical thoughts."

-- Teng Biao, professor at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, was held without charges for 70 days and finally released. Speculation: the regime wanted to send a message to his colleagues lest they try to replicate protests and uprisings across the Mideast.

Thank you for reading Fact Checker. All summer. No vacation.


Trustees elect new chair, adopt budget but don' tell us much. Kunshan apparently not high on agenda.

✔✔✔ Fact Checker here. All summer. No vacation.

Surprising no one, behind closed doors, the Board of Trustees has elected Rick Wagoner '75 its new chair, succeeding Dan Blue Law '73 who is being forced from the board by term limits.

A walk-on Duke basketball player who became the decade-long chair of General Motors, Wagoner had been vice chair for two years.

He brings impressive experience to his new job: he came up through the financial management ranks of GM and thus brings significant expertise at a time when Duke's budget is still challenged. He has substantial exposure to international operations, having worked as a top executive in South America for GM for many years. And he understands complex institutions, all qualifications that FC felt that Blue, principal in a three man Raleigh law firm and local politician, did not have.

Wagoner also brings a lot of baggage, since his years at GM ended with a thud, which we will explore below.

The Board elected two vice chairs, both hugely wealthy, setting up a contest when term limits catch up with Wagoner in two years. They are hospital magnate Jack Bovender and private equity genius David Rubenstein. Most importantly, if a search is conducted for a high level administrator -- such as President -- one of them might well be in charge.

The board honored its retiring members, but did not announce who is joining the board. The ultra-secretive Brodhead Administration not only nominates and "elects" these people behind closed doors, but they won't even reveal who they are until July 1 when their term actually begins. If you could see FC right now, you'd see someone shaking his head.

As it does every year at its Commencement meeting, the board adopted a new budget. This year's is surprising because it includes a 4.2 percent increase in spending. Aside from confirming that the two year wage freeze will end and some employees will receive small merit increases, we do not have enough information to write intelligently about the budget.

✔✔✔ --- We have no indication if lower paid employees might enjoy a bigger percentage, having been particularly hard crimped during the freeze. If you do the math, employees making less than $30,000 -- who benefited from two annual payments of $1,000 in lieu of raises -- will actually see their pay go down with average raises.

✔✔✔ --- How did the Arts and Sciences fare? Were there more cuts, or were any restored? Will A and S be able to keep its entire complement of faculty?

✔✔ --- Is Duke continuing to dip into its reserves to patch up red ink in the budget. In the year just ending, the budget called for $72 million.

✔ --- What assumptions is Duke making about earnings on its endowment. We have been budgeting for a 8.5 percent return (spending around 5 percent, using the rest to protect against inflation) but over the last decade, the return has only averaged 6.5 percent.

✔ --- While the official press release extols an increase in financial aid, we do not know if we are continuing to draw down the endowment for financial aid at a higher rate than is prudent. That's FC's evaluation, prudent. In the past two years we have taken more than our fair share, robbing future generations of a resource.


Wagoner is True Blue. He met his wife Kathy '77 at Duke. Their three sons are all Dukies too: Trip '06, Scott '08, and Matt '12. His career at GM began after a Harvard MBA as an analyst in the treasurer's office. He served as treasurer and later managing executive of GM's operations in Brazil before returning to Detroit to climb the ladder.

Now the bad news. GM -- challenged when Wagoner took over -- "30 years of management mistakes" -- did not do any better during his term. He was criticized for holding on to dead-wood executives who had come up the ranks with him. During cutback after cutback, tens of thousands of union workers lost their jobs.

Ultimately, during Wagoner's term, GM would lose $85 billion; Wall Street punished its shareholders, and at the end of Wagoner's service, you could buy a share of GM at the same price offered 55 years earlier.

The end for Wagoner came during a crisis brought on by the world-wide recession. Seeking government help, he and other auto industry leaders went to Washington. They were roundly scolded for arriving in their private jets; on a subsequent trip to the Capitol, Wagoner drove himself, somehow fitting his lanky frame into a Chevy Malibu. As the price for government involvement, Wagoner was canned at the insistence of the White House, forced into retirement. The BBC said he lacked the "ruthless streak needed to make the tough decisions required to bring GM back from the brink of bankruptcy."

In early retirement, Wagoner, 58, has kept a low profile. He recently became a director of the Washington Post Company. This was about the same time that Duke entered into an agreement with a Post subsidiary, the Kaplan education company. We do not know if Wagoner had any role.

Typically, we have no idea in hell where he stands on any Duke issue.


He holds two degrees from Duke, in psychology '67 and a masters in hospital administration '69. He retired as chair of the Hospital Corporation of America, which in becoming the largest private operator of hospitals and other medical facilities in the nation, made relatives of former US Senate majority leader Bill Frist billionaires many times over. Bovender did very well indeed for himself.

Loyal Readers, make sure you understand. These people got rich off of sick people, charging huge amounts for medical care, making untold profits.

There is much stench surrounding HCA. Convicted of felony after felony, the corporation -- not its officers -- was slapped with penalties for cheating Medicare and other insurers, and it ultimately paid a civil settlement of more than $2 billion.

The corporation has also bounced back and forth from private ownership thru hedge funds and the Frist family to being traded on the stock exchange.

A spin-off of HCA recently completed a deal with Duke Health for certain facilities in North Carolina. We do not know if Bovender made introductions or had any role. And we have no idea in hell where he stands on any Duke issue.

His rise to vice chair was not expected, since he has only been a trustee for four years.


Anyone who saw Michael Moore's epic documentary "Fahrenheit 911" on the re-election campaign of George W. Bush will surely remember the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm that Rubenstein co-founded in Washington. It operates at the intersection of government power, politicians out of power, the military-industrial complex and Wall Street. Duke '70 and University of Chicago law grad, he was a domestic policy adviser to President Carter before he co-founded Carlyle. (We do not know his politics today; Carlyle is associated with Republicans)

Rubenstein went on to become a billionaire several times over -- and has announced that he is going to give much of it away.

He got his start by paying for the building in the Sanford School of Public Policy that bears his name.

Rubenstein is stretched thin with lots of outside charitable directorships and a global presence in business. He is chair of the board at the Kennedy Center in Washington, vice chair at Lincoln Center in New York. Just the same he is not stuffy. Speaking at Harvard: “I analogize [private equity] to sex...You realize there were certain things you shouldn’t do, but the urge is there and you can’t resist.”

He owns one of the few copies of the Magna Carta in private hands.

Rubenstein chairs the Duke Trustees special committee on China and has not responded to numerous FC inquiries. Naughty, naughty. We do not know who is on this committee, when it was formed, how often they meet, and if they get any input other than that provided by the Brodhead Administration. That latter point should have particular resonance for a financier in private equity deals used to doing "due diligence."

Rubenstein was not scheduled to attend this weekend's Trustee meeting; we do not believe the Trustees had any focus on China, although Duke's medical school in Singapore, which is about to award its first Duke MD degrees, was discussed.


At the start of the fiscal meltdown, President Brodhead surveyed a budget of approximately $1.8 billion and announced that in three years there had to be a "smaller Duke" with a budget $125 million less. Three years because making all the cuts in one year would be too brutal.

In the next budget that the Brodhead Administration formulated, for the 2009-10 academic year, spending was "flat." This year, the second in the three year transition, it showed an increase, and next year -- when it was supposed to come in at $1.7 billion -- it shows another jump of 4.2 percent and will total $2.1 billion.

Fact Checker has no explanation. Nor has the administration ever done anything but obfuscate.

Judging by the PR announcement today after the Trustees meeting, executive vice president Tallman Trask is going to need an orthopedic doctor, from thrusting his arm around in back of himself and patting himself on the back so hard.

The announcement also said that after a two year hiatus, planning would resume for capital projects. We await the announcement of faculty names and other stakeholders involved in these efforts.

Thank you for reading FC.


$80 million pledge for Union, Page and Baldwin is more smoke than fire.... Fuqua schedules faculty vote on Kunshan degrees.....Developing

Stories that Deputy Fact Checkers are working on. Check back through the weekend. We are also collecting details on the extravagant Brodhead trip to Asia and Africa this summer.

Duke's PR machine at work shining Sunday's Commencement speaker

The Chronicle calls John Chambers "one of America's most successful" CEO's. And the chief spokesperson for the Brodhead Administration says he "built one of the most successful companies in the world... he is a leader... in solving problems."

✔✔✔ Wait a second Mr Schoenfeld. I hate to rain on your PR parade about Chambers being the most successful businessman since Noah managed to overfill the berths on his Ark, but Cisco itself has impeached your words.

The company has just announced it is cutting $1 billion from its annual expenditures because of lagging sales and sagging profits -- and Wall Street analysts expect a bloodbath for 4,000 employees plus at least that many independent contractors. That's not a success story.

In fact Chambers has taken personal responsibility for the failure of his four year plan for the company. He thus admits it's not a success story.

We do not know where these cuts will take place -- but the Cisco campus at the Research Triangle Park is its second biggest (after headquarters in California), with 4,000 out of Cisco's 73,000 employees.

Chambers has been chief executive for 16 years. Let us calm down here on the Duke campus about the reappearance of our "alum" -- he went through one year at Duke -- and look at the stock charts. For the past 13 years, the stock has traded in a narrow range. Today you can buy a share for the same price you would have paid in 1998.

Some quotes from today's Reuters story: "Cisco cannot point to bad market conditions or a weak economy as excuses for wielding the ax to its payroll. Instead, Chambers last month took responsibility for mistakes in managing Cisco, saying it needs to focus on its core businesses and be more disciplined about expanding into new areas....

"Cisco's planned job cuts stand out at a time when most other U.S. technology companies have started to add jobs after cutbacks during the recession. HP said last week that it was hiring more people....."

Chambers is a perennial on the Commencement circuit. It is quite entertaining to watch him light up, to walk from the podium through the graduates, to wave his arms and raise them like an evangelist.

He is mercifully brief -- 13 minutes in one speech that Fact Checker caught on the internet -- but one of the most successful businessmen he is not.

Thank you for reading Fact Checker. On duty all summer. http://dukefactchecker.blogspot.com/


Central Campus: Student awakes at 4 AM to find intruder in apartment

There are several posts this morning. Please scroll down for our story on Cisco Systems, likely to lay off thousands to boost profits; the chief executive officer is Duke's Commencement speaker on Sunday.

Duke Police have released only the skimpiest of details. At 4 AM Thursday, a student sleeping in his or her apartment, which was unlocked, awoke to find an intruder.

Luckily, the suspect fled. There is a weak description: 5'9", race unknown, thin build, short hair, wearing jeans, t-shirt, and gloves.

Duke's emergency website does not list any alerts; an e-mail blast did go out approximately 90 minutes after the crime.

Campus Police have listed Central Campus as one of four areas that they are giving "extra" patrols. But Vice President for Public Relations and Obfuscation Michael Schoenfeld has refused and refused to give FC information about staffing. He won't even tell us if Duke Police are staffed up to the levels pledged in the Clery Report.

Historically breaking and entering an occupied home at night with intent to commit a serious crime was a capital offense in North Carolina. This is a very very serious crime.


Travel budget for faculty slashed, but Brodhead plans three week grand tour including Kunshan. His airfare $14,315. And that doesn't include his wife

DEVELOPING. Full report in a few days.

President and Mrs. Brodhead will make a grand tour of several of Duke's international locations, including Kunshan, this summer. Departing June 24 and lasting 21 days, it's obvious that Duke's global thrust is robbing the Durham campus of attention and focus.

And robbing financial resources too.

A mole in Allen Building tells FC that Brodhead's business class airfare -- most of his flights do not offer first class -- is $14,315.80. Yes our mole is very very well informed and precise.

His wife -- who prefers to be called Cynthia Brodhead and is paid as "senior adviser for external affairs" -- is running up a tab almost as high, but she's skipping a round trip from Shanghai to Wuhan University, the silent partner in our Kunshan folly.

Remember please, Loyal Readers, that the Arts and Sciences once had an annual budget of $500,000 for faculty research and travel -- and this was cut in stages to $100,000. This hurt the humanities in particular, since funding is hard to come by.

So if your professor didn't get to a scholarly meeting, tell him to be at RDU (Raleigh Durham airport) for the send-off!!

We do not know if any staff member is flying with the Brodhead's. More accurately, we do not know this yet. The above totals do not include hotels and ground transportation.

We have been trying to find out if the Brodhead's will be making a second trip to China and Dubai with the basketball team departing August 14th. (Convocations for new undergraduates and graduate students are August 24th.)

But we've been given the run-around royally by the Athletics Department which traditionally has been very cooperative. Administrators are very very sensitive to any questions. And be assured FC is very delicate in asking them!

Read more in the next FC post... later this week. FC... on duty... all summer. No vacation.


Mole: In confidential Kunshan briefing for senior Deans, the Brodhead Administration skips over concerns about finances and academic freedom

✔✔✔ FC here. On duty all summer. No vacation. Check back often for new posts.

The following report was enabled by a mole who attended the Dean's meeting described below.

Last Monday, the Brodhead Administration -- through Nora Bynum, director of global strategy -- briefed the top deans from every Duke division on the Kunshan Initiative.

✔ The briefing -- behind closed doors -- showed a disconnect if not an arrogance: the growing concerns on campus about financial viability and the truncated academic freedom being offered by the Chinese were not mentioned at all.

✔ Nor were the Deans offered key documents that the Brodhead Administration is withholding. These include 24 pages excised from the Duke Kunshan Planning Guide given to the faculty's senate, the Academic Council; 30 pages of appendixes; and the reports of outside consultants (FC believes there are six to eight reports) that in some instances are highly critical of Duke's course.

Our mole says this may indicate the Brodhead Administration is going to tough out demands for release of these documents, and resist a thorough, expansive faculty review before the Academic Council vote necessary under university by-laws to start any academic program.

The briefing was typical of the administration's thrust into China: the deans were told some of what is happening. It was not a give and take session to plan what is happening, nor a session where the deans were expected to contribute and where their ideas would be incorporated.

There is some news in the briefing, however. Perhaps hearing that portion of the faculty uproar occasioned because Kunshan has gone forward without collegiality and appropriate consultation, a new China Faculty Council was scheduled to be convened for the first time last Thursday. The Council will advise Peter the Provost and Rev. Greg Jones, VP for global expansion. We do not yet have a report on Thursday's meeting, nor any indication who will sit on the Council.

The Council will form several working groups, with these under consideration. Curriculum design. Seed funding for research and training. Connection between faculty or school-led research and projects. Fellow Dukies, if this were October 1, 2009, this would be appropriate. Coming in May, 2011, it is too little, too late.


For the first time, the Brodhead Administration has revealed its long-term development timetable for Kunshan. Originally conceived as a full scale research university established in one swoop, the plans were scaled back.

PHASE ONE: In the first six years, Fuqua will offer most of the academic programs. There will be two non-degree undergraduate programs involving a minimum number of students, to satisfy a technical requirement of the Chinese government.

PHASE TWO: In years 2017-2020, Duke Kunshan University will move toward with additional graduate and professional degrees as well as Research Centers. And of utmost interest, this line: "During this phase, DKU will develop or collaborate with others to develop a world-class undergraduate degree program."

✔ PHASE THREE: In years 2020-2024,
"By the conclusion of this phase, DKU will have fundamentally realized its goal of establishing a comprehensive university with world-class education and research quality.

We hasten to point out that the city of Kushan has committed itself only to constructing buildings for the first phase, and letting Duke have access without rent for ten years. It's any body's guess what happens then.

And we hasten to point out further that the city of Kunshan has committed to paying 45 percent of the expected massive operating deficits for only six years. After that, it's any one's guess.

✔Fact Checker got a laugh out of a map projected in front of the Deans. In its continuing effort to bring Shanghai, a city of 22 million, and Kunshan, a backwater, together, we are told by the Administration that the cities are 37 miles apart. An artfully drawn arrow illustrates this.

But unless you are a Deputy Fact Checker, you would not recognize that the arrow points to the most westerly part of Shanghai possible, along with the most easterly boundary of Kunshan. The distance between Duke's campus and the center of Shanghai is not revealed.

We can only repeat our findings on the high speed railroad that is also shown connecting the two cities, trying to knit Shanghai with the backwater of Kunshan:

A) The railroad is not designed for people, but to open up the vast inner region to manufacturing. It will carry freight to the Shanghai airports and seaport.

B) The cost of a seat between Kunshan and Shanghai equals approximately half a day's pay for people working in the electronics factories of Kunshan.

C) The seats will require a reservation one day in advance.

D) The high speed railroad will not run after 8PM. Because of uncertainties in negotiating the teeming mass that is Shanghai to reach the high speed rail station, the international airport warns people arriving on most flights from the U-S not to count on a connection, but to stay overnight at the airport.

E) Only a few of the high speed trains (some schedules have shown as few as two, other information indicates far more, and all will likely change as more sections of the full Beijing-Shanghai route are completed) will stop in Kunshan, as the train approaches 350 kilometers an hour.

F) The high speed Shanghai station is no where near the Bund, the historic, cultural and financial hub of the city where Fuqua's Dean Blair Sheppard is clandestinely planning a campus that will take the business school's premiere programs out of Kunshan. The high speed rail is a 35 minute subway ride from the Bund.

G) On the Kunshan side, Duke is in the K-STEP industrial park. With only 700 cabs in the entire city, it's any one's guess how Dukies will get to and from the train station. Peter the Provost has estimated this at 15 minutes. Beware: it is dangerous after dark.

We are still waiting for ANY senior administrator from Duke to tell us he actually rode this railroad. We say HE because all of the senior administrators who have gone to Kunshan -- save the Nursing Dean -- are male. And white.

An interesting omission: in describing the imperative for China, the administration has backed away from its original assertion that Duke is in a particularly favorable position to carry the international flag.

In the briefing, Bynum, the director of global strategy, stated that we are waiting the Chinese Ministry of Education on the provincial level, to see if they approve of the campus and move the proposal to the national Ministry.


✔✔ This would indicate to FC that the Trustee meeting on Friday and Saturday of Commencement weekend (May 13-14) will not focus on China. Indeed, the chair of the Trustee committee on the initiative, David Rubenstein, won't even be in attendance.

Here's what we are watching for out of the Trustee meeting:

A) The election of a new chair, with Dan Blue reaching term limits. The vice chair Rick Wagoner has the inside track, but there is no indication if he wants the job; since being canned at General Motors, he has taken a very low profile.

B) The election of a new vice chair will be key. In the past, the vice chair has often led searches for the highest officers, including a new President.

C) The Trustees will adopt a budget for the new fiscal year starting July 1.

1) How will the Arts and Sciences fare, after being brutalized during the financial meltdown.

2) Will the Trustees change the assumptions for income from our endowment, budgeted at 8.5 percent, while in the past decade our endowment earnings have only averaged 6.5 percent.
This would be prudent, but yield far less endowment income for the current budget.

3. And will they be dipping into the endowment (or more precisely what's called funds functioning as endowment) to cover red ink in the 2011-12 budget. For three years, Duke has been doing this, in order to cushion the impact of the financial meltdown. The coming budget is supposed to be balanced without this crutch. It is a major test of the Administration's fiscal discipline. In the current fiscal year the budget called for $72 million in deficits covered by special withdrawals, obviously not sustainable.

4) Will financial aid continue to require spending from the endowment at a rate above the norm, so that to pay for today's need blind admissions, we continue to rob future generations.

5. D) We will be watching for any hints of the start of a new fund-raising campaign. Consider please, the recent gifts of $15 million for the nursing school and $10 million to endow aspects of our medical enterprise, as well as the transfer of $80 million from The Duke Endowment over several years to pay for renovations to Page, Baldwin and the Union. These are the kind of transactions you would expect the development people to capture as part of their new campaign.


✔✔ We expect the faculty concerns about Kushan to grow during the summer, and emerge in the fall in the new Academic Council. The faculty of individual schools proposing a new academic program votes first -- followed by a vote of the Academic Council.

There have been some signs the Council will be taking an expansive view of the authority granted it under the by-laws, raising questions about financing, academic freedom and how all this is going to benefit Duke/Durham and whether we might be better off moving in another direction.

We note the new Academic Council website on Kunshan includes a sub-section for faculty questions about the initiative -- and no one has posted a thing yet. Stay tuned, Fellow Dukies.


No transparency, no accountability as Brodhead Administration slathers $57 million windfall bonus on bondholders. Yes, $57 million

✔✔✔✔✔ FC here. Everyone who loves Duke is indebted to the mole in Allen Building who enabled this report.

At the height of the financial meltdown in January, 2009, Duke borrowed $500 million by issuing bonds. That is, it made a long-term promise to pay only the interest on $250 million until April, 2014 when the principal was due in lump sum, and a similar promise to pay only the interest on another $250 million due in lump sum in April, 2019.

Fact Checker has learned that Duke has just paid off the entire amount -- years early -- at a very, very steep cost. The holders of the 2014 bonds received -- in addition to all their interest due to date -- a windfall bonus of 15 percent over their current value, while the holders of the 2019 bonds got their interest plus a windfall bonus of 7.9 percent.

Fact Checker estimates the total windfall at $57 million!

As staggering as that number is, it is of even more concern to Fact Checker that we do not know who got the loot.

✔ For several years, we have been watching conflicts of interest involving some members of the Board of Trustees who run big financial institutions that do a substantial -- and suspicious -- amount of business with Duke. We first picked up the scent -- or stench -- on this when we noticed Duke was using a travel agency north of Chicago. Yes, it turned out to be owned by a Trustee.

We have been delaying a Special Report on conflicts of interest until we examined Form 990 from Duke's 2009-2010 tax returns -- but the Brodhead Administration has been stalling and stalling on releasing these documents as required by federal law. All the numbers that will be embraced in these tax returns were finalized early last October when the outside auditor signed off on them. All the conflict of interest declarations in these documents would have been in place even earlier, by June 30, 2010. We see no charitable explanation for the delay.

We feel stakeholders in the University are entitled to a clear, specific accounting of who got the $57 million (our calculation) windfall. More specifically, if any institution run by a trustee was involved.

✔ Breckinridge Capital Advisors, a relatively small Boston investment house with no apparent Trustee tie, is only institution we know of that bought some of the bonds. We do not know if Breckinridge kept the investment and will now reap some of the windfall -- or if its bonds were traded earlier.

But there is another equally important angle. Breckinridge does business through intermediaries, and much of the abuse that has been uncovered in institutional investments involves the people who helped organizations such as Breckinridge and Duke do business. Was any Trustee involved? We need disclosure so we have assurance.

✔✔✔ We also feel we are owed a clear explanation of why we borrowed the money to start with; we have posed questions, not one of which was ever answered satisfactorily.

✔ To be sure, other universities borrowed massive amounts in in 2008 and 2009. Six of the schools in the Ivy League, including Harvard, borrowed a combined $7.2 billion. Stanford borrowed a cool $1 billion. The other schools explained -- and Duke did not -- that the money was needed because in investing in fancy private equity deals and hedge funds, the universities had promised not only their initial investments but had become obligated to invest even more on a schedule that now looked impossible to keep. In ordinary times, money for the new investments would come from donations which were drying up, and from the sale of older investments for capital gains, which were rapidly turning into massive loses.

In other words, the loans were to keep the money flowing to private equity deals and hedge funds -- favoring the big investment houses -- rather than defaulting on a contractual obligation despite radically changed unforeseen circumstances. Others -- like employees ushered into retirement, people laid off, and faculty and staff with frozen salaries -- would feel the downturn, but not the big boys who would be favored.

As times got better, and it became feasible to sell older investments without a blood bath, universities have been paying off their debt. Harvard has announced plans to pay off a sliver -- $300 million -- of what it borrowed but the terms have not yet been set. In the case of Stanford, it has been doing a juggling act, now deciding to use part of its bond money to finance construction and other parts to pay down debt earning higher interest rates.

Duke never offered such an explanation. In fact when FC inquired about the status of the money we borrowed, we were assured it was intact. As it turned out, we had spent $90 million on current expenses.

Executive Vice President Tallman Trask has stated that the loan provided an insurance policy to make sure Duke could meet all its obligations. What he is really saying is that the Brodhead Admnistraton took steps to make sure the big boys were taken care of, while its faculty and staff were hurting. Trask smiles now saying by reinvesting the loans along side other endowment funds, Duke actually made money on the loans, plus it got the insurance, in effect, for free. However....

This begs the question. If Duke could make money on the loans, why didn't it continue to rake it in, instead of paying a staggering $57 million to end the deal?

Thank you for reading FC.


Racism: Law School terminates Willis Smith Award for graduate with highest academic achievement. Fact Checker to target Aycock dorm next semester

✔✔✔✔✔ For generations, the Duke Law School student with the highest academic average received the Willis Smith Award at graduation.

No more. The faculty has terminated the award following a determined campaign by a small number of alumni. This was done quietly, with no announcement, proving the need for Fact Checker to keep us all informed.

Smith had all the credentials for his name to be carried on the award that he and his family endowed: Duke degrees in 1910 and 1912, founder of a major Raleigh law firm that flourishes to this day, president of the American Bar Association, chair of Duke's Trustees, and United States Senator.

FC will give you a hint of where this is going. Today, 58 years after his death, his firm, Smith Anderson, has 73 white partners and about 50 white associates. A year ago at this time, there was one black female associate, but she failed the bar exam repeatedly and was dismissed. The Smith firm then hired two black male associates who had just graduated from law school.

The law firm is a white bastion, but at least a quiet, respectful one. It was Willis Smith's loud campaign for the United States senate that did him in at Duke Law.

Engineered by the late Jesse Helms (yes THE Jesse Helms), Smith went forth under the slogan, "White People Wake Up!" We'll give you some details from a campaign poster:

White People!! Do you want?

* Negroes working beside you, your wife and daughters in your mills and factories?
* Negroes eating beside you in all public eating places?
* Negroes riding beside you, your wife and your daughters in buses, cabs and trains?
* Negroes sleeping in the same hotels and rooming houses?
* Negroes teaching and disciplining your children in school?
* Negroes sitting with you and your family at all public meetings?
* Negroes Going to white schools and white children going to Negro schools?
* Negroes to occupy the same hospital rooms with you and your wife and daughters?
* Negroes as your foremen and overseers in the mills?
* Negroes using your toilet facilities?

Despite this, the alumni active in getting the award zapped found it difficult to get the Dean of the Law School to move and submit the issue to the faculty. Now Duke is discussing with Smith's family what to do with the money that supported the award.

✔✔✔There are many memorials to racists that remain at Duke. Some may shock you.

Edens Quad is named for a president who, as North Carolina and the South wrestled with ending segregation, did nothing. Nothing, neither pro nor con. Finally Hollis Edens did reveal himself, cracking down when drama students invited their counterparts from North Carolina Central to a performance in Page. Edens said this would be impossible -- because there were no rest rooms that Negroes (contemporaneous term) could use in or around Page.

One day in his office, Edens entertained a back-slapping politician and trustee, Amos Kearns. Edens noted the Divinity School dean had just forwarded an application from a Negro, and when Kearns looked over Edens' shoulder, he recognized the name.

This same guy had dared to seek a permit to fish at a whites-only pond in a state park. Whereupon Amos Kearns suggested Duke and the state join in establishing a secret list of troublemakers. The Divinity School remembers good old Amos today with the Amos Kearns Professorship. This has had varying focus over the years, the professor of Christian ethics and professor of the Bible.

✔✔✔✔✔ And then there is Aycock Dorm. The Fact Checker organization is going to rumble on this in the new school year. Big time rumble.

We have written President Brodhead four times about this, never receiving any reply whatsoever. A student leader was in his office recently to discuss another issue; she tried raising Aycock, and he waived her off saying he would not discuss it.

Mr. Brodhead, your ducking, your lack of leadership is no longer acceptable.

"....protect the white race,
especially the white women,
against the Negro.”

Charles Brantley Aycock

Aycock was North Carolina's 50th governor, from 1901-1905. Cheered as the first education governor, the good he did was more than eclipsed by his racism. Violent rabid racism.

He was a terrorist.

On November 10, 1898, Aycock -- a great orator -- egged on a mob of 2,000 who marched to city hall in Wilmington and staged a coup d'etat, perhaps the only one in American history.

The gun-firing mob forced the progressive city government to resign -- whites and blacks together -- and installed their own segregationists. The mob torched a black newspaper.

According to his biographer Oliver Orr, Jr., Aycock advised the coup planners “to wear red shirts or carry guns” and to remember that “they must do these things to protect the white race, especially the white women, against the Negro.”

By day's end, Aycock proclaimed the city to be “the center of the white supremacy movement” in North Carolina. Once elected governor, Aycock diligently worked to protect and further entrench segregation in the state, setting the stage for a Dixie stain upon the Democratic Party.

November 10, 1898 in Wilmington: Scores of blacks were killed during the rampage, with some estimates going well over 100.

Commencement 2011: Duke University still honors the memory of Aycock with his name on a freshman dorm.

✔The Aycock situation was brought to the attention of our campus two years ago by two students who wrote a letter to the editor of the Chronicle. They learned of the horrendous crimes of Aycock by accident -- because the Democratic Party in North Carolina stripped his name from its annual fund-raising dinner in Asheville. So far as FC knows, the letter writers did not follow up. And shamefully neither did the Chronicle.

Duke is not unique in facing an issue like this. Three years ago Georgia Tech tore down its Pickrick Cafeteria. The school had acquired the eatery from Lester Maddox, "Mr. White Backlash," who in 1964 chased blacks trying to eat there with a revolver. His son wielded a pickax, which became widely known as a symbol. Politically active, candidate for Governor, Maddox achieved iconic status in segregation's last stand.

Another example: The University of Texas at Austin had a long dialogue and its president led the Regents in stripping the name of William Stewart Simkins from a law school dorm.

Simkins taught law at UT -- continuing as an active and open member of the KKK, promoting the organization in his classes and around the law school.

Gregory Vincent, vice president, UT: "...the name compromises public trust and the university's reputation... By his own admission, Simkins engaged in violent behavior against African Americans. These were actions taken outside of the law....

Continuing, a building "... named for a founder of the Florida KKK is inconsistent with the core values of this university."

University President William Powers: "An institution like ours is shaped by its history, but it need not be encumbered by it... While reflecting on the past and learning from it, it is important to focus on the future.

"The University of Texas at Austin is now among the most diverse institutions of higher education in the nation, and we will continue to invest in ensuring this is a place of opportunity for young people from all racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds."

Mr. Brodhead, consider those words a template for what you must say

Thank you for reading Fact Checker.

✔✔✔✔✔ We are pleased to report record readership for our latest essay on the folly of Kunshan, revealing the consultant's report that Brodhead won't let you read. We had 1100 hits in the first 24 hours. (In addition to hits on our own website, many people access Fact Checker through the Chronicle's discussion boards) And so far 161 Dukies have requested the text of the report that Brodhead wishes were kept secret.