Duke Debacle

I’ve had several requests for context surrounding my experience at Duke University as a student and employee, as well as the subsequent federal investigation. This page has been placed under the ADVOCATE header because what I reported to the Departments of Labor and Education included the experiences of multiple student and employee veterans.

Below is a curated list, with brief annotations, of articles pertinent to that experience. Unless stated otherwise, all articles are authored by me and are archived here on this website. I’ve arranged them in an order that assists with making some sense of all that I’ve witnessed. 

  • Federal Protections of Veterans” – A recent post that covers the federal nondiscrimination protections owed to certain veterans by public institutions as well as those private institutions receiving at least $100k in government funding.
  • Veteran Protections at Duke” – This post outlines how federal nondiscrimination protections play out at Duke University and Health System, including data establishing that Duke employs veterans at well below the national average. 
  • Why So Few Undergrad Veterans at Duke?” – This post describes how the the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions was reappointed to a five year term after failing or refusing to respond to emails, for no less than three years, from the the Director of Higher Education Initiatives for the Marine Corps.
  • POLSCI 497 Course Rationale” – A post with an accompanying video which I composed as part of the “Virtues of War” class I taught in Spring 2017, despite behind the scenes opposition. It reinforces the reasons why the Office of Institutional Equity endorsed the course as “integral… to educate and raise awareness among all members of Duke University community.”

Standards mean nothing if they are not enforced, and any “top tier” institution must both appear and operate in such a manner, not merely the former. My embattled history of holding Duke to it’s own standards as an elite institution are laid out in the following;

After realizing that I was self-censoring the fuller extent of my experiences out of a flawed sense of professional decorum, I gave up silence on this and other issues for Lent 2017 (March 1st – April 15th).

  • Dogfood” – Describing veteran backbiting which erupted after I sought support from others in the military community at Duke.
  • Memorializing” – About the War Memorial outside Duke Chapel, installed in 1993 and (partially) updated in 2008. 
  • Appropriation” – On the appropriation of military culture (“blue devils”) and experience by tenured professors. 
  • Exclusion” – Outlines the total neglect of veterans as a protected population by Duke’s “Taskforce on Bias and Hate Issues.” 
    • Exclusion (cont’d)” – added May 21, 2017. Relays additional formal university documents that omit veteran status from its list of protected populations
  • Editorializing” – Publicizes suspicious editorial choices made by Duke News in a back-patting article tokenizing veterans as their presence on campus began to explode. 
  • The Feast of Alexander Ney” – Hastily written description of the troubling genesis of Duke Vets, involving the 2008 suicide of a student veteran.
  • The Privilege of Protection” – A post triggered by another debacle at Duke with information here. In this post, I question how ink and pixels can be expended with such excess when a complaint is filed by tenured faculty, but so little concern is displayed when the claimant is a veteran.

Finally, there are several PDF documents I have archived on this website that relate directly to the context laid out above. Here I provide a simple and straightforward list of these documents, with Duke policy files omitted (some which have been updated and removed from the internet are preserved here).

  • Duke Vets Issues and Proposals” – Table compiling multiple complaints by veterans at Duke, shared with administrators as early as 2013.
  • VETS 4212 Data” on Duke veteran employment statistics for the 2014-2015 academic year.
  • OIE Final Report – a scanned copy of the internal inquiry, with comments embedded in the PDF.
  • Duke Narrative Redacted” – A lengthy narrative document outlining the history and definition of bias, harassment, and discrimination against  Duke veterans. The majority of all the above can be found here, arranged by heading and subheading.

Since filing my complaint with the Department of Labor, incidents have not ceased entirely, and additional information continues to come forth and/or ongoing actions disclose either confirmation of my claims or increase the appearance of either malice or negligence.

  • For example, “The Privilege of Protection” points out that the Divinity Dean intervening for a female professor makes her refusal to intervene for a protected veteran all the more suspect. Furthermore, the “persistent and pervasive standard” for a hostile environment is confirmed by that same female professor’s own separate OIE complaint nearly a year after my own.
  • Additional context I found, which prompted the writing of “The Feast of Alexander Ney,” established that claims made by Senior Vice President for Student Affairs in 2013 contradict promises, by the same person in the same position, made as early as March 2009.
  • In the same vein, I discovered that I was accused by university general counsel of turning down the offer of a paid ‘veteran liaison’ position that I recommended in 2013. What’s more, that same position may have been offered to a non-veteran without the three interviews required by NC state law if a “protected veteran” (any veteran service connected at 30% or higher) is passed over for the same position.

With the exception of the above three items, all the information cited can be found in the links provided, either in blogs or in PDFs archived here. As items are added, I will update this page.

The following posts are specific to professor emeritus Stanley Hauerwas, but are not yet complete. There has been some concern expressed that I am attacking him, or that I am willfully maligning his reputation. This does not address the veracity of my claims, only misdirects away from the actions of a senior ethicist who, frankly, should know better considering his field of expertise.

  • Best” – Outlining bits of our history and the reaction I feel when I encounter him.
  • Better” – Describes his cavalier association of soldiers with murder in an objectionable panel “on war.”
  • Good” – My (mostly failed) attempt to approach the situation as a Christian and seek reconciliation.