|Blog and Media Roundup - Monday, July 16, 2012; News Roundup|
|Topic Started: Jul 16 2012, 04:10 AM (156 Views)|
|abb||Jul 16 2012, 04:10 AM Post #1|
✓ Joseph Stalin: how his words resonate at Duke today
Posted on July 15, 2012 by DukeCheck
The late Joseph Stalin, Premier of the Soviet Union, did not get particularly excited if political parties other than the Communists participated in elections. Because, the dictator explained, the candidates are not as important as who is counting the votes.
Let’s bring that idea home to Duke: what’s important is who is doing the counting.
Counting the money, that is, in the coming development campaign. We, quite frankly, are worried and do not want that task left to the same people who are raising money, who have a vested interest in declaring their own victories.
We note that many of their reports will be issued without outside audit, and we say enough is enough: there has to be built in some device to give us more confidence than we have. Or to return to the Soviet Union, we recall what President Ronald Reagan said about a later dictator, “Trust but verify.”
In the coming campaign, there is much speculation on size, how many billions of dollars will be sought. We have made our own suggestion, that $4 billion is an absolute minimum, for that’s what other Top 10 schools in our league had as their initial goals. For example:
#4 Sanford. Started seeking $4 billion, has recently concluded five years with $6.2 billion.
#5 Columbia. Started seeking $4 billion, and recently moved the goal to $5 billion.
Yes, in the years while Uncle Dick Brodhead was roping in $307 million for the Financial Aid Initiative, and his flack was at every opportunity declaring this a “success,” Lee Bollinger of Columbia and John Hennessy of Stanford delivered.
And at the University of Pennsylvania, where President Amy Gutmann started on the same day as Brodhead did at Duke, a drive edged over its goal this spring and concluded at $3.7 billion.
So that’s where we got $4 billion from. $4 billion or more. Fine. But let’s move on to what’s counted?
We’ve already seen indications that the Brodhead Administration intends to back-date the start of the campaign and claim the past 18 to 24 months were part of it, even though we didn’t know it.
Thus, the $80 million that the Duke Endowment announced on March 7, 2011 to renovate the Union, Page and Baldwin is conveniently swooped in. (The picture here was staged for the announcement in the empty Great Hall during spring break)
More swoop. Gifts like the $25 million that Trustee vice chair Jack Bovender ’67 and his wife intend to leave in their wills, someday.
And that just begins the list, a rather creative, we must say, way of building painlessly toward the goal.
This back-dating is unprecedented. We point out that in Brodhead’s first fund-raising effort, the Financial Aid Initiative, which was announced on December 1, 2005, he looked back only two months to October 3, 2005 when The Duke Endowment ponied up $75 million. And as he fired the starting gun, Brodhead said he had another $25 million from four heavy hitters that had not been revealed.
Loyal Readers, the point is that it’s likely — according to a good source — that Team Brodhead will claim when the big announcement is made at the end of September that it has $1 billion or more on the road toward its goal. But let’s be alert to manipulation before we start cheering.
Our second concern, as we explore “what’s counted,” is alumni Annual Giving.
At #2 Princeton, which you will have to remember is dramatically smaller than Duke with no medical school, nursing school, or law school, and 5200 undergraduates compared to our 6200, to begin the list, President Tilghman announced victory on July 1 for the “Aspire Campaign.” This was a five year effort that netted $1.88 billion. (By the way, she took a dive on a statement she had made to the campus newspaper that she would resign upon completion of the campaign.)
Looking beyond the headlines in the Daily Princetonian that trumpeted $130 million over goal, we discovered fine print that shows $254.5 million of the total is from alumni Annual Giving. That’s no more than Princeton would have taken in even if there were no high octane campaign — and thus is not reflective of a great infusion that will transform the campus.
And it suggests to us that Tilghman produced more smoke than fire.
In a seven year campaign, alumni giving at Duke — which it seems will recur in any atmosphere — will total more than $200 million. That’s enough to distort the campaign’s achievement if it is included.
(The careful reader will note that Princeton’s annual take — just over $50 million with 61 percent participation — dwarfs Duke’s $29.6 million. Our rate of participation is very much open to debate. Yes, we are working on that story.)
Third point. The big crutch at Duke University is The Duke Endowment.
A little history: back in 1924 when James B. Duke created the University by Indenture and in 1925 when he added to its wealth by bequest, he did not give ownership of the money used to endow the school to the school itself. Rather, in a unique legal arrangement, the principal went into a totally separate trust called The Duke Endowment. The reasons for this strategy are not clear, though they probably relate to a desire to keep control of Duke Power Company (now Duke Energy).
Now….. every year when The Duke Endowment forks over money as it is required to do, the University cheers a “gift.” If Mr. Duke had structured things differently, indeed had structured things like they are at every other university, these so-called gifts would be nothing more than earnings on endowment, hardly worth a headline.
In Nan Koehane’s Campaign for Duke, 17 percent of the money “raised” came from The Duke Endowment. In Dick Broadhead’s Financial Aid Initiative, 25 percent.
Our point is that this money is not an inoculation that strengthens the university, but rather a juggle from pocket to pocket that should be accounted for as a transfer of funds. Not as a gift.
Next we turn to “routine” government grants and contracts, like the seven year, $139 million addition that the feds have just made to our quest for an AIDS vaccine. We just don’t know how this will be accounted for in the fund-raising drive.
Or perhaps only private sources, like the American Cancer Society, might be counted. Again, we want to know in order what’s new, what’s above and beyond, to distinguish what is truly an enhancement to Duke’s position.
Lastly, our campaign is likely to stretch over five active and two “silent” years. If we take $4 billion, and divide it by five years, this suggests a pace of $800 million a year. But if you divide by seven years, the pace is $571 million. That’s a big difference, and we want to understand precisely what is going on.
Here is what we are suggesting:
A SYSTEM FOR AUDIT
To give Dukies confidence (hey, remember even Joe Paterno lied) we need some device, which we have not settled on, perhaps an independent audit commission of stakeholders with full access to all information.
PLEDGES VS. MONEY RECEIVED
It’s one thing to pledge. It’s another to write a check. Thus, in the Campaign for Duke, its chairs, Peter ’64 and Ginny Nicholas ’64, pictured in their Boston mansion, pledged $72 million (“a fitting capstone,” said Keohane) and stiffed the University for every cent.
They have the money; they just stiffed Duke. (Talk about chutzpah, Peter later became chair of the Board, and was still not motivated to sign a check)
Our news releases should be a bit less exuberant, our Trustees slower to name buildings and programs, doing this only after funds are received.
GOAL BY GOAL TOTALS
In the Financial Aid Initiative, some parts took off and others did not. Rather rapidly, the Athletic Department exceeded its goal to endow scholarships. This kept hidden how badly the principal focus of the drive — the endowing of need-blind undergraduate admissions — was languishing.
In fact, the Initiative attained its goal for need-blind endowment only after the deadline was extended. We must watch each goal, not just the total.
People make donations for all sorts of reasons. Some anticipate immediate spending, and just let the Administration decide how their money will be applied. Some lay down requirements — you must do cancer research with these dollars, which, when they are spent, are gone (as Yogi Berra might say).
Some people may give a building, with a useful life of 30 or 40 or 50 years.
And then there is the most important gift of all — perpetual endowment. Notre Dame University is the only school that we know of that clearly distinguished in its reports to its stakeholders how its fund-raising drive was progressing toward perpetual endowment.
And we are going to insist on this. For the true measure of the long-standing strength of the school is what each generation leaves to the next.
Today we have written President Brodhead, Chair Wagoner, our chief financial officer Executive Vice President Trask and the PR guru Schoenfeld to express our intense interest in the campaign and to offer anew to conduct any interview and review any documents. We have also extended an invitation for Duke’s leadership to suggest stories that DukeCheck might pursue. We await their response.
|abb||Jul 16 2012, 04:18 AM Post #2|
In NYC suit vs. Strauss-Kahn, both sides look to dismissed criminal case to bolster positions
By Associated Press, Published: July 15
A year after the criminal case accusing Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting a hotel maid started to crumble, it’s getting renewed scrutiny in her lawsuit over the encounter.
Legally, the ongoing lawsuit and the now-dismissed criminal charges are separate realms. But both sides have recently invoked the criminal case as they seek to strengthen their stances in the civil case.
Housekeeper Nafissatou Diallo’s lawyers are trying to get a swath of information about the criminal investigation, reflecting their contention that prosecutors rashly cut a legitimate case loose. Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys are underscoring that prosecutors decided Diallo couldn’t be trusted, and he’s countersuing her for launching what he calls baseless charges.
It’s not yet clear how much discussion of the criminal case might be allowed in a civil trial, if the case comes to that. But their recent moves provide a prism on how both camps might seek to turn the unraveling of the criminal case to their advantage.
“Each side can point to a particular occurrence in the criminal case to support its position,” said Michael Shapiro, a former New York state prosecutor who is now a criminal defense and civil lawyer. He’s not involved in the Diallo-Strauss-Kahn case.
Strauss-Kahn was the head of the International Monetary Fund and a potential French presidential contender in May 2011 when Diallo reported that he’d attacked her after she entered his Manhattan hotel suite to clean it. The married economist has called the encounter a “moral failing” but says it was consensual.
The charges halted his political career and seemed to open a floodgate of further sex-crime accusations in France, some going back years, against a man who had been seen as a randy charmer. He has acknowledged some “libertine” behavior but denied doing anything criminal or violent.
Strauss-Kahn, 63, is now facing preliminary charges in France related to an alleged hotel prostitution ring, even as he is in a deepening legal fight with Diallo in New York. After a clash over whether Strauss-Kahn should have diplomatic immunity from Diallo’s lawsuit, both sides have recently returned the focus to her allegations — and how they were handled in criminal court.
Lawyers for Diallo and Strauss-Kahn declined to comment for this story.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office initially said it had a compelling case, with DNA evidence showing a sexual encounter and an accuser who provided a “very powerful” description of being made to perform oral sex and nearly being raped.
A grand jury indicted Strauss-Kahn, but prosecutors soon backed off.
Diallo, they said, had lied about her past — including a false account of a previous rape — and her actions after leaving Strauss-Kahn’s room. She says she told the truth about their encounter.
Ultimately, prosecutors said their DNA and medical evidence didn’t prove the encounter was forced, and they no longer felt they could take Diallo’s word for it. They dropped the case last August.
Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers argue that prosecutors’ doubts should also sink the civil case.
“The criminal prosecution of Mr. Strauss-Kahn was terminated in his favor,” William W. Taylor III and other Strauss-Kahn attorneys noted as Strauss-Kahn lodged malicious prosecution, defamation and other claims against Diallo in a May countersuit. It quotes from prosecutors’ papers explaining their concerns about her credibility.
Diallo’s lawyers have long emphasized that a grand jury found there was enough evidence to indict Strauss-Kahn, and the attorneys have said prosecutors cravenly discredited Diallo to extricate themselves from a daunting, high-profile case.
Her attorneys have portrayed the lawsuit as her way of getting justice in another court, and they clearly aim to raise questions there about how — and how fairly — the DA’s office reached its decision to shed the case.
Lawyers Kenneth P. Thompson and Douglas H. Wigdor asked a court in May to sign off on a demand for prosecutors to turn over an array of information. Diallo’s lawyers want to see any notes and other documents tied to statements portraying her as a chronic liar, as well as prosecutors’ communications with Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, the media and others about the case.
The DA’s office is fighting the demand for what it says is largely confidential material. Bronx state Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon hasn’t yet ruled on the issue.
The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Diallo has done.
|Payback||Jul 16 2012, 09:01 PM Post #3|
||What can we do to amuse and bemuse DukeCheck as he or she awaits that response from Brodhead & Co.? Ms Mangum might record the works of George Eliot for him to listen to. She's waiting too.|
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