Skip to comments.Duke deal shields faculty
Posted on 06/20/2007 2:53:32 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets
Duke deal shields faculty
Some spoke out after rape claims
Anne Blythe and Eric Ferreri, Staff Writers DURHAM - Duke University's settlement with exonerated lacrosse players gives legal protection to faculty members, some of whom have been under siege for speaking out in the wake of the gang-rape allegations. Neither side would disclose the terms of the agreement, announced Monday, but Duke's faculty chairman, Paul Haagen, informed professors that one provision is that all faculty members have been released from liability related to the lacrosse case.
That news sparked another round of vitriolic messages from e-mailers and bloggers still exercised over a student newspaper ad signed in the spring of 2006 by 88 Duke professors, who decried a campus culture of racism and sexism.
As Duke shut the door on lawsuits by the players in the lacrosse case, the Durham County sheriff on Tuesday slammed shut District Attorney Mike Nifong's access to the courthouse where he has worked 29 years. Orlando Hudson, the county's chief resident Superior Court judge, entered an order suspending Nifong with pay.
Sheriff Worth Hill went to Nifong's house Tuesday morning, after a courtesy call to let him know he was on his way, and confiscated the district attorney's keys and access card to the courthouse. Arrangements will be made so Nifong can collect his personal belongings from an office he has occupied since April 2005.
Nifong was found guilty last week of ethics violations and professional misconduct in his handling of the lacrosse case by an N.C. State Bar disciplinary panel. The panel ruled that he should be disbarred. The disbarment does not take effect until 30 days after a written order is entered, and that could be several weeks.
Nifong on Monday submitted resignation letters to Hudson and Gov. Mike Easley, laying out a timetable that caused dismay among his critics. Nifong said he would step down July 13 -- not soon enough for people who worried that Nifong's being in office would do more damage to a court system struggling to restore its image.
In Nifong's absence, assistant district attorneys are handling the office's caseload.
"Everything is running smoothly," said Candy Clark, the district attorney's administrative assistant.
Once there is a vacancy, Easley must appoint a replacement. Easley began talking with potential candidates and others Tuesday about who Nifong's successor should be.
"He wants to do that as soon as he can," said Seth Effron, a spokesman for the governor. "Some of the limitations are based on what the law says."
In his order, Judge Hudson said Nifong's conduct in the Duke lacrosse case was "prejudicial to the administration of justice" and had brought disrepute to the District Attorney's Office.
Efforts to reach Nifong failed.
Duke, too, is struggling to restore its image, and that, legal experts say, is one reason the university would settle such a case.
"This was an unprecedented situation, the likes of which we believe will not recur, and it was dealt with accordingly," said John Burness, Duke's chief spokesman. "The settlement covers all matters related to the situation to date involving Duke and its employees, including members of the Duke faculty."
The money came from a legal fund, not an endowment, Burness said, but he would not disclose how much money was in the fund.
Duke trustees, who approved the settlement, either declined to discuss it or could not be reached for comment.
The agreement with the families and the players is the third settlement stemming from the lacrosse case. The university settled with Mike Pressler, the head lacrosse coach forced to resign last spring at the height of the accusations against the players. Recently, the university also settled with Kyle Dowd, a former lacrosse player who complained of receiving a bad grade because of his association with the team.
Paula McClain, a political science professor who on July 1 becomes chairwoman of Duke's Academic Council, said Tuesday that she hopes the settlement allows the university to move forward. Removing faculty members from any liability likely just made good sense, said McClain, who was not part of the legal discussions.
"I don't know if any faculty really felt any liability," she said. "But in a very litigious society, anyone can sue for anything."
In March 2006, lacrosse players hired two escort service dancers for a spring break party that ended with one of the dancers making allegations of gang-rape.
The accusations triggered an uproar in Durham and on the Duke campus.
Word of the settlement apparently sparked an increase in the number of furious e-mail messages that McClain and some of her colleagues have received since endorsing an ad placed in the student newspaper, The Chronicle. The ad featured anonymous quotes from students who described a campus culture of racism and sexism, decrying "what happened to this young woman."
The ad did not mention the lacrosse team, but it was viewed by some as a condemnation of the players. It became a popular target of bloggers, a symbol of political correctness run amok.
The messages -- and the occasional fax -- range from critical to downright racist and threatening. McClain, who is black, reports the worst of them to campus police.
McClain rarely responds to the e-mail messages. "I'm not going to be intimidated into modulating speech," she said.
(Staff writers Benjamin Niolet and Joseph Neff contributed to this report.)
Staff writer Anne Blythe can be reached at 932-8741 or email@example.com. Staff writers Benjamin Niolet and Joseph Neff contributed to this report.
Is anyone nationally reporting the new Duke rape case? A young black man is accused of raping a white freshman a few days ago. Apparently in a bathroom during a party.
Aside from a short story on a rightwing blog I’ve seen nothing else anywhere. Maybe if the MSM doesn’t report it, it’s not news.
If I were one of the 88 professors, I would take out a similarly sized advertisement and apologize. It is the only way out of this mess.
I had not heard a report that the freshman supposedly raped was white. Don’t jump to conclusions.
Duke is just an example of all of them.
I wouldn’t have taken that deal.
wonder how the present and future alumni feel about their contributions being used to pay hush money by the duke adminsitration????
This woman is really too stupid to be teaching anything to anybody. She just escaped a lawsuit, which could have been quite expensive, and she talks like she's the victim. What an idiot.
So the scumbag profs walk? Isn’t that sweet.
I wouldn’t have taken that deal.
Duke sucks. They were stupid in what the administration did to the coach, the team and the innocent players, they were stupid to buy the left wing faculty out of their problem and they are stupid to think that this is ended.
The only smart thing they did was to settle with the players fast. There will be no redemption for Duke.
You’re assuming that the mad profs possess something that you obviously have: honor.
No, being typical liberal scum, they let mommy/daddy/big brother (i.e. their employer, Duke) pay their way out of trouble.
Alumni and parents of prospective students should take note and stop the money flow that funds this irresponsible behavior.
That is one of my thoughts, the other being that I hope these kids and their families are well compensated far above whatever they had to put out to defend them.
As for the faculty members who joined the lynch mob? They deserve a beat down.
What standing does the Duke have in relations to the Gang of 88?
Is this an admission that the 88 were acting in an official Duke role and not independently of Duke?
Any lawyers out there?
True, they’d have to have a conscience first.
What a tragedy that these liberal demons get yet another free pass.
Diane M Nelson, Associated
Associate Professor, Cultural Anthropology
Abe, Stan (Art, Art History, and Visual Studies)
Albers, Benjamin (University Writing Program)
Allison, Anne (Cultural Anthropology)
Aravamudan, Srinivas (English)
Baker, Houston (English and AAAS)
Baker, Lee (Cultural Anthropology)
Beckwith, Sarah (English)
Berliner, Paul (Music)
Christina Beaule (University Writing Program)
Blackmore, Connie (AAAS)
Jessica Boa (Religion & University Writing Program)
Boatwright, Mary T. (Classical Studies)
Boero, Silvia (Romance Studies)
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo (Sociology)
Brim, Matthew (University Writing Program)
Chafe, William (History)
Ching, Leo (Asian & African Languages and Literatures)
Coles, Rom (Political Science)
Cooke, Miriam (Asian & African Languages and Literatures)
Crichlow, Michaeline (AAAS)
Curtis, Kim (Political Science)
Damasceno, Leslie (Romance Studies)
Davidson, Cathy (English)
Deutsch, Sally (History)
Dorfman, Ariel (Literature & Latin American Stds.)
Edwards, Laura (History)
Farred, Grant (Literature)
Fellini, Luciana (Romance Studies)
Fulkerson, Mary McClintock (Divinity School)
Gabara, Esther (Romance Studies)
Gavins, Raymond (History)
Greer, Meg (Romance Studies)
Glymph, Thavolia (History)
Hardt, Michael (Literature)
Harris, Joseph (University Writing Program)
Holloway, Karla (English)
Holsey, Bayo (AAAS)
Hovsepian, Mary (Sociology)
James, Sherman (Public Policy)
Kaplan, Alice (Literature)
Khalsa, Keval Kaur (Dance Program)
Khanna, Ranjana (English)
King, Ashley (Romance Studies)
Koonz, Claudia (History)
Lasch, Peter (Art, Art History, and Visual Studies & Latino/a Studies)
Lee, Dan A. (Math)
Leighten, Pat (Art, Art History, and Visual Studies)
Lentricchia, Frank (Literature)
Light, Caroline (Inst. for Crit. U.S. Stds.)
Litle, Marcy (Comparative Area Studies)
Litzinger, Ralph (Cultural Anthropology)
Longino, Michele (Romance Studies)
Lubiano, Wahneema (AAAS and Literature)
Mahn, Jason (University Writing Program)
Makhulu, Anne-Maria (AAAS)
Mason, Lisa (Surgical Unit-2100)
McClain, Paula (Political Science)
Meintjes, Louise (Music)
Mignolo, Walter (Literature and Romance Studies)
Moreiras, Alberto (Romance Studies)
Neal, Mark Anthony (AAAS)
Nelson, Diane (Cultural Anthropology)
Olcott, Jolie (History)
Parades, Liliana (Romance Studies)
Payne, Charles (AAAS and History)
Pierce-Baker, Charlotte (Womens Studies)
Petters, Arlie (Math)
Plesser, Ronen (Physics)
Radway, Jan (Literature)
Rankin, Tom (Center for Documentary Studies)
Rego, Marcia (University Writing Program)
Reisinger, Deborah S. (Romance Studies)
Rosenberg, Alex (Philosophy)
Rudy, Kathy (Womens Studies)
Schachter, Marc (English)
Shannon, Laurie (English)
Sigal, Pete (History)
Silverblatt, Irene (Cultural Anthropology)
Somerset, Fiona (English)
Stein, Rebecca (Cultural Anthropology)
Thorne, Susan (History)
Viego, Antonio (Literature)
Vilaros, Teresa (Romance Studies)
Wald, Priscilla (English)
Wallace, Maurice (English and AAAS)
Wong, David (Philosophy)
Notice that very, very few (two?) of these professors teach the hard sciences or business.
They are mostly "McStudies" morons who aren't really scholars. They play dress up Professor.
The next time you have to shell out $50,000 per year per child, remember that your dollars have to pay for this foolishness at almost every single university in the US.
>>>>I had not heard a report that the freshman supposedly raped was white. Dont jump to conclusions.<<<<
Then you must have been living under a rock.
It is the trial lawyers who file frivolous suits that in the back pocket of the Democrats. A Google search will show that shark lawyers are the biggest funders of Liberalism.
This was a case where these professors deserved to get their Birkenstocks sued off them.
They acted recklessly to destroy the lives of those young men.
They show no remorse.
This will happen again someday. Liberals cannot stop being evil.
Her research interests focus on minority group politics, particularly social and political competition between minority groups, and urban politics. She recently received national attention for a study exploring the dynamics of relations between blacks and Latino immigrants in American cities.
That isn't scholarship - it is racist garbage and liberal worship.
If the “Gang of 88” were let off the hook...I can only surmise that Duke paid these kids even more than I thought they already did. I expect it was a very substantial amount over and above their legal fees.
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