Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hitting Duke where it hurts

The disgraceful actions of many Duke faculty, and even of the Dean of Social Sciences at Duke,
have been documented all over the place. Even when it was obvious to any sensible observer that the players were innocent, the guilty faculty typically refused to apologize. This behavior continues even today, after the North Carolina Attorney General said in no uncertain terms that the players were innocent. Yet Duke has failed to take any public action against the guilty faculty. I believe that the actions of these faculty demonstrate such a deep lack of fundamental fairness that the proper solution is to fire them, tenure or no tenure.

Duke, however, has taken no action against even one of the guilty faculty. This is even true in cases where the faculty in question appear to also be guilty of other conduct which ought to be sufficient grounds for dismissal.

Duke needs a wake up call. And the way to give them one is to get nasty. For this reason, I am going to start a letter-writing campaign to Duke's donors. I will ask them to stop giving money to Duke, and to tell Duke that its failure to discipline its faculty is the reason. Some might object that it is wrong to take an action which would hurt Duke, which surely has given a fine education to many deserving people. I disagree. When an institution strays too far from fundamental fairness, and fails to take dramatic, and planly necessary, action to correct itself, even after the problem is pointed out to it from many quarters, the time for tough love has arrived.

The first letter will be addressed to Bill Gates. I hope to post it soon.

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