The Faculty Forum

Vol. 9, No. 6, February 1998

"Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length." --Robert Frost


Vesilind on angry professors

Dowell on curriculum change

Report of Task Force on the Arts

Minutes of Academic Council

Possum (Passim)

Ferret's Deconstruction (JFK)

Parrot's Recitation (Housman)

Note: Full Academic Council Minutes for the meeting of January 22, 1998 (and for all meetings from 1991 to the present) are located at


For several years I have been teaching a course for senior graduate students interested in careers in academia. We cover issues of university governance, teaching theory and technique, research funding, tenure, and how to get a job. In the course of preparing for this semester I found a book entitled Good Start by Gerald Gibson in which he gives good advice to young faculty just starting their university careers. In the book is a table setting out the career stages of faculty.

As I studied this table I thought, "Ohmygosh! This is ME!" Almost everything fit. And then I got to the very last block on the table, the hazards in late career. Cynicism and isolation. I hope I am not guilty of the latter. But cynicism? Yes, I had to admit I had more than a touch of that. And then I started to think of my contemporaries, particularly some of the worthies I occasionally share lunch with at the Faculty Commons. This was clearly an affliction shared by many.

But WHY? We are at the peak of our professions, having served faithfully our students and the university, and we should now be looking back at our careers with smug satisfaction. And yet cynicism is the common thread that creeps into our conversation when we talk about the university. Not being a psychologist, I cannot begin to offer a clinical reason for this, but let me advance two notions that seems to make sense.

The first reason is the apparent indifference some of our administrators feel toward what we consider the essence of the university, the search for truth and the education of our students. Too often the administrators seem to place their own careers ahead of student welfare in the elusive search for reputation. They cause our best teachers to be fired and themselves do little if any instruction. Some of these administrators would not know an undergraduate student if they tripped over one. Asking the faculty to work hard while themselves padding their own administrative reputations just does not sit well. A true leader would lead by example.

The second reason for latent cynicism is a little more difficult to describe because it has many unflattering overtones. Many of us have worked long and hard at our jobs. We have spent uncounted hours with students in and out of the classroom; we have grubbed for external funds when our hearts may not have been in it; we have served on innumerable university committees with little reward or glory. We have done all this because we cared about the students and the university, and we have done so with enthusiasm and out of love for the institution. And, if truth be known, we are well compensated for our efforts. When senior faculty grouse about their jobs, their salary is not often an issue. We appreciate the freedom to carry on a life of the mind, and if the remuneration is not equal to what might be available in the outside world, that is the price we gladly pay. Many of us will, in a quiet moment, admit that we truly are fortunate to have found the best job in the world.

But faculty also have a keen sense of justice and fairness. If we all have to teach two classes a semester and grade exams and advise students and serve on committees, then that's fine. All for the good of the place. But what about those who are recruited from the outside and given almost no duties, allowed to be away from the campus for years, all the time being subsidized by undergraduate tuition, and contribute nothing to the university except their fame? What about the Henry Gateses of this world? Or what about the faculty who are paid huge sums of money for doing nothing but bringing in research dollars which are then subsidized by undergraduate tuition? These eminences who do come to Duke are often treated with excessive generosity, given special assignments and granted special favors just so they will stay and not leave for greener pastures.

I know the argument. This is how reputations are built. Go out and hire the academic equivalents of Michael Jordan and Steve Young and the halo effect will benefit all. But in truth the halo effect will benefit only the administrators who take great pride in enhanced reputation. The professors who have given their careers to the university are not impressed by the expenditure of university funds to hire wunderkind. All we see is injustice. And injustice breeds cynicism.

It would seem to me that the administration should be extremely careful about the last block in Gibson's table. Cynicism, if carried to an extreme, is debilitating and can undo all the good that we as a university community have accomplished.

My prescription would be to build the university from within. We at Duke have some outstanding young faculty. Give them a chance to shine, grant them tenure, encourage them to do well, and reward them when they do. Allow them to be famous as DUKE professors and not itinerant laborers who sell their services to the highest bidder at every opportunity.

[Ed Note: In our original Faculty Forum, Professor Vesilind's essay was accompanied by a graphic that we are technically unable to reproduce here. We regret imposing this limitation on his article.]


In his recent article on curriculum review, Professor Aarne Vesilind makes a number of interesting assertions and proposals. Given the importance of the topic we all need to contribute what we can to the dialogue that is taking place at Duke and at other universities in the United States.

Of course, none of the relevant issues is wholly new, but in each generation the context and opportunities do change substantially and we owe it to ourselves and our posterity to engage these issues from time to time. Now does seems a good time to do so at Duke and in that Professor Vesilind and I are in complete agreement.

Perhaps some background on engineering education from a national perspective will be helpful before discussing the issues and opportunities at Duke to partner with our colleagues in Trinty College and the Arts and Sciences.

Schools of Engineering in the United State have their curricula reviewed by a national external organization, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), on a six year cycle. For several years ABET has been criticized by some for becoming too rigid and prescriptive in its criteria for accreditation and the recent ABET 2000 initiative is designed to give more freedom and flexibility to individual programs in schools of engineering in setting their goals and constructing their curricula.

It should be noted that individual programs such as in Civil Engineering are accredited in the United States rather than Schools of Engineering per se. Thus at Duke we have four accredited programs in engineering. With ABET 2000, rather than requiring each engineering program throughout the United States to take essentially the same number and type of courses in mathematics, science, fundamental engineering principles, and a distribution in the humanities and the social sciences as has been the case, now each program will be given greater latitude to tailor their curriculum.

What this means in practice remains to be seen. Only a small number of programs have been reviewed under the new ABET 2000 criteria and the results are just now being digested by both ABET and the schools in the pilot study. I think it is fair to say that the new criteria will foster evolution rather than revolution. But it is a significant and I believe potentially helpful step in encouraging constructive change.

The impetus for all this is to encourage schools to be more innovative in their approach to undergraduate education and recognizes that entire specialties such as biomedical engineering did not exist only a few decades ago and that other disciplines such as electrical and computer engineering have radically changed in terms of course and curricular content. Indeed major elements of more traditional fields such as mechanical and civil engineering have undergone significant change as well. On the other hand, Newton's Laws, Maxwell's theory of electromagnetics and the now classical quantum mechanics, though continually challenged and occasionally refined or given a deeper interpretation, do continue to serve engineers and scientists remarkably well on the whole. But the modern artifacts of engineering ranging over biomedical practice to communications, energy and environmental systems to transportation and including truly amazing advances in materials over scales from the human cell to outer space are treated in engineering schools throughout the world today as well. And no doubt they would seem to portray a world of miracles to engineers trained only thirty years ago unless those engineers have continued to practice and learn throughout their post-graduate days.

With all this in mind, what are the implications at Duke, both for Engineering and for Trinity students? Because much of what has been described above could be said of most science majors as well, and because we do want our engineering and science students to have an understanding and appreciation for the humanities, it is natural to inquire about the unity and diversity of undergraduate education at Duke and indeed throughout the United States. I am reminded of something that was said by a colleague about a decade ago. She said that in her mind the students who receive the most well rounded and in many ways the best education at Duke were the majors in the natural sciences. Her point was that the science majors did enjoy a significant experience in the humanities and the social sciences as well as in the natural sciences. But of course the converse is much less often true. My colleague, Professor Ernestine Friedl, was then the Dean of Trinity College and Arts and Sciences, and is of course a distinguished cultural anthropologist.

Dean Friedl's view is one that most scientists and, I must confess, engineers find compelling. And I do not think it is simply because this view flatters our egos, though there is more than a little of that involved. In the late twentieth century as we approach the new millennium, it is not unreasonable to ask whether the basic idea of what is truly a liberal arts education can continue to be based on concepts which were defined by the needs of an economically elite student body in the nineteenth century. Surely it is time to think anew about the core of an education for our students today who are selected for their intellectual and personal merits and their potential for benefitting from the finest education we can possibly offer. This may require our rethinking at Duke how we organize ourselves for such an education. A few years ago, a Task Force on Science and Engineering was formed by then Provost, Thomas Langford, at the urging of several of us. It was chaired by the Dean of the Graduate School, Lewis Siegel, and had some of our most distinguished faculty as members. Our current Provost, John Strohbehn, has said on several occasions that it is the most candid assessment by a university committee that he has seen and I would agree.

As a member of the Task Force, I recognized that much of the discussion would focus on graduate education and research and that was very much needed at the time. However, I also recall from time to time encouraging our colleagues to think about the synergy and oneness of undergraduate and graduate education as the faculty are the primary force for both. I also recall being rewarded for my insistence on the need to make some mention of undergraduate education in the Task Force Report by being asked to write a first draft of that portion of the report.

But one of my most vivid memories is recalling that when I suggested we consider uniting the sciences and engineering at Duke under one organization, I was quickly discouraged on that point. I then gently suggested we might think of making Engineering a fourth division of the Arts and Sciences with a dean for each division. That was not received quite so critically, but it was clear that most members of the Task Force thought we had more than enough to do in sorting out the graduate programs in the sciences and engineering. While the result of my modest efforts were not surprising to me, nor I suspect to anyone else on the Task Force, I do agree with Professor Vesilind that the partnership between the Arts and Sciences and Engineering is ripe for reexamination.

I do not think it wise, however, to separate graduate from undergraduate education. These should not be seen as, and are not in my view, two separate things, but rather are each part of a glorious whole. And certainly each, and both together, can be better as we dedicate ourselves to accomplishing those ends by constructing a modern liberal arts education for our undergraduates, an intellectually exciting and challenging experience for our post-graduates that may well include creative partnerships with our professional schools, and accepting the responsibility and enjoying the privilege of working with all these students as part of an integrated team.

Task Force on the Arts: Final Report

[EdNote: This report, which was submitted to the Provost on June 16,1997, was compiled by the following committee members: Janice Radway (chair), James Applewhite, Richard Burton, Susan Coon, Barbara Dickinson, Seymour Mauskopf, Michael Mezzatesta, David Paletz, Richard Powell, Richard Riddell, Noah Rosenblatt-Farrell, Kathy Silbiger, Larry Todd and Richard White.]

A. The Charge:

In September, 1996, President Nannerl Keohane, Provost John Strohbehn, and Dean William Chafe constituted a Task Force on the Arts and provided the group with an expansive and complex charge. Anticipating the start of a new capital campaign, the administration wanted to have a clearer understanding of the role of the arts at Duke and desired an assessment of the needs of the individual arts programs. Noting the lack of a strategic plan for the arts at Duke, the official charge to the Task Force requested that the group shape a strategy that would appropriately situate them within the overall priorities of the University. As part of that larger project, the charge further asked the Task Force to assess the current state of the arts at Duke and to provide an analysis of what might be done to enhance the quality of the various programs on campus. The charge also requested advice about how best to coordinate the arts to everyone's mutual benefit and asked the Task Force to consider how potential strategies for addressing the individual programs' needs might be designed to meet the needs of other Duke programs and initiatives. Finally, the charge asked the Task Force to review the need for future facilities in the arts and especially asked it to consider how the planning process for a proposed new art museum might be incorporated into overall planning efforts for the arts.

B. Scope of the Inquiry

Since the Task Force was asked to report by the end of the Spring semester, 1997, it was necessary to prioritize the various components of the umbrella charge and to focus on five essential tasks. First, we sought to articulate a vision for the arts at Duke University and to elaborate general strategies that would help implement that vision. Second, we assessed the current state of the arts at Duke and sought to understand where the individual programs stood in both an intellectual and pragmatic sense. Third, the Task Force focused on the academic aims of the various programs and identified what each needs to carry out those aims. Fourth, we sought to articulate a prioritized plan that would enable most of these needs to be met in the current financial context. Fifth, and finally, the Task Force considered the consequences and potential effects (both positive and negative) of placing a new Art Museum at certain key sites on the campus. In all of our deliberations, we have attempted to keep at the forefront the larger question of what can and should be done pragmatically to enhance the life of Duke University.

In September, 1994, shortly after the inauguration of Nannerl Keohane as the eighth President of the institution, the Duke University Strategic Planning Committee articulated a comprehensive mission for the university. Honoring principles first set forth by James Buchanan Duke in the 1924 University Indenture, the committee rededicated Duke University to the pursuit of five basic goals. These included the following: to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduates while fostering their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation in the community; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to foster health and well-being through medical research and patient care; to promote a sincere spirit of tolerance, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.

What is remarkable about this mission is its concerted effort to foster links between the scholarly pursuit of knowledge and the most expansive of human hopes and desires. Equally notable is its effort to link the institution to larger community concerns and goals. Because the arts possess unique capacities for exploring, representing, and assessing the nature of human aspiration, and because their very nature demands the integration of individual creation with community reception and response, the arts can and should play a strategic role in Duke's efforts to fulfill its mission. If the university will cultivate and nurture the arts, the arts will in turn better enable the university to achieve its goals and to implement its broad vision. In keeping with Duke University's larger mission, then, the arts at Duke should strive to accomplish the following basic goals: to contribute to the liberal education of all Duke students; to initiate specialized training for those who plan a career in the arts; to develop new scholarship and to contribute to the development of new ways for understanding the world and its inhabitants; to serve the surrounding communities that support the university and contribute to its daily work.

In order to ensure that the arts in all their variety and complexity contribute everything they can to these stipulated goals as well as to the larger mission of the university, we suggest the following as a guiding vision for the arts at Duke University.

A. Through an integrated yet multi-focal approach, Duke's programs in the arts should everywhere foster rigorous study of aesthetic expression and seek to promote creative activity throughout the university community.

Historically, the arts have been central to human civilization because they provide crucial ways for societies to reflect upon themselves, their desires, and their failings. The arts of dance, music, drama, visual art, creative writing, and film manage to perform this complex social role in large part because they engage not only the human intellect, but our emotional and spiritual life as well. Duke's approach to the arts should therefore explore, in the most complex of ways, both the social role of art and its capacity to challenge all individuals to create. Artists take in the world through all of the senses; they meditate and reflect critically on the nature of that perception; and then they embody that sentient knowledge in a carefully-crafted communicative form with particular material features and sensuous qualities. Artists help all of us to realize what it means to be fully human. Duke's programs in the arts should be devoted to enabling as many individuals as possible, from within all the diverse communities the university serves, to realize this extraordinary potential.

Since a conservatory model of professional arts education would be too narrow to foster the comprehensive goals articulated above, Duke should instead seek to integrate the intellectual study of the arts into the very fabric of the institution. Equally significantly, Duke should pursue a multi-focal approach to the arts. Through curricular programs and classroom education; through on and off campus performances and exhibitions; through community involvement and outreach; through student initiated co-curricular efforts and organizations, the arts at Duke should foster individual creativity, cultivate courage in the exploration of new ways of knowing and representing experience, and help to encourage community formation by building mutual respect for the dynamic interdependence between professionals and amateurs, producers and consumers, thinkers and doers. The coordinated arts programs at Duke should function as a kind of aesthetic laboratory designed to foster creative activity among all who come into contact with them through the integration of making and doing, appreciating and evaluating. What the arts can offer Duke and those it serves are ways to nourish the senses, to hone the mind, to sharpen critique, and finally to deepen reflection. Ultimately, they can promote greater understanding of the diversity of human experience.

B. The backbone of Duke's approach to the arts should be individually strong, academically excellent programs and departments

Although Duke should encourage the arts to flourish in many different corners of the institution and through the efforts of many different groups, its first priority should be to foster academically strong, individually excellent programs devoted to the intellectual study of aesthetic expression. Strong curricular programs in the arts with first-class faculty and passionately-engaged students will have a powerful, rippling impact on the general atmosphere at the university. Because the arts attract and inspire devotion in many different individuals with diverse career goals, these programs will themselves inevitably have multiple purposes, foci, and constituencies.

The individual programs offer intellectually coherent courses of study that combine both theoretical and practical training for students who wish to concentrate. In particular, the programs aim to attract to Duke those top students who are looking for a liberal arts education in a university with a vigorous academic reputation that can recognize their artistic accomplishments and provide outstanding additional training in their art form. However, such students are not the only focus and concern of the arts programs and departments. Many Duke students, including those who intend to go on in the sciences, social sciences, and in professions like business, medicine, and the law, come to the university already well-versed in the arts. Some have devoted many years to study and performance of a particular instrument. Many regularly compose poetry and fiction and have produced shelves of personally-authored journals. Others have conceived a passion for the dance or are aficionados of film or are already well on their way to becoming knowledgeable collectors of paintings, drawings, and sculpture. Such students are also a principal concern of Duke's arts programs. As a significant part of their mission, these programs seek to increase the number of artistically-involved students at the university and to serve them by deepening and enriching their commitments through the cultivation of wider familiarity with the history of the arts and the promotion of theoretical reflection upon their special properties and possibilities. The programs also seek to enable these students to integrate their creative abilities and interest in the arts into their daily lives and the futures they plan for themselves.

The arts programs and departments also regularly welcome into their midst students who have suddenly discovered the arts and the pleasures of participating in them through attendance at a performance, through participation in extra-curricular activities, or simply through discussion with a friend. They help these students build on their new-found interests and show them how to strengthen their familiarity with the arts. The programs and departments aim to show such students that study of the arts can provide a richer and more complex approach to all of their other interests.

In more informal but not less influential ways, strong arts programs and departments also have a major impact on student-initiated, co-curricular activities as well as on the quality of life of the campus and wider communities. Because many of the students who devote their time, their energy, and their ardor to activities like Cable 13, WXDU, Duke Players, and Hoof-'n'-Horn take classes in the arts programs, they bring what they learn in those programs to their work with their peers. Through formal and informal mentoring and advising, the arts faculty can help guide students as they try to make intelligent choices about programming and can encourage students to take aesthetic risks. Through carefully planned courses on arts production and management, Duke's art departments and programs and the Institute of the Arts also can build on students' prior interests and commitments and help to transform them into future advocates for the arts and potential leaders in fostering the essential work that creative expression does in our society.

C. Duke's approach to the arts should seek to foreground their inherent interdisciplinarity.

Although artists tend to specialize in one form of aesthetic creation or another, they draw upon other arts and incorporate them into their various productions. Whether it is a composer creating for a particular instrument or performer, a novelist meditating on the relationship between musical form and narrative, a choreographer organizing movement in space so as to create particular scenes and images, or a director laboring to embody a dramatist's words in gesture, movement and glance, the arts inevitably defy what we tend to think of as disciplinary boundaries. As a consequence, artistic training encourages the student-creator to respond to the world fully and to create compositions that engage not just the senses but the mind and the heart as well. Similarly, familiarity with the history and theory of aesthetic production encourages those who would engage and appreciate art to respond to it with every physical and imaginative resource available to them. At Duke, the arts programs and departments should seek to encourage this natural multi-dimensionality and interdisciplinarity by cultivating performers' and audiences' capacities for rich, synaesthetic response and by exploring the historical and theoretical connections between the different art forms themselves.

This interdisciplinarity should be pursued through the content of regularly-offered courses within individual programs, through collaboration with faculty and students in other art programs and departments, and through the work of public exhibition and performance. Interdisciplinarity also should be pursued at Duke by fostering connections and collaborations between the art programs and departments and other programs and departments in the humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences. This kind of activity is already regularly encouraged by DUMA as it draws on the talents and expertise of faculty throughout the university to conceptualize and mount its exhibits. Similarly, Drama, Dance, the Institute of the Arts and historical branches of music and art increasingly find ways to collaborate both within and among themselves and with other disciplines. The university should find ways to encourage and institutionalize this kind of collaboration whenever possible.

The synergy generated by interdisciplinary and interdepartmental collaboration also should be nurtured at Duke by encouraging the rest of the university community to integrate the talents, performances, and exhibitions sponsored by the arts programs themselves into the non-arts curricula throughout the institution. Although it makes sense for the arts programs themselves to initiate some of this collaborative work, Duke should find ways to encourage the perception that it is the responsibility of all within the university community to see that the arts and the perspectives they bring to virtually every issue are fully integrated into the scholarly and pedagogical work carried out here.

As a sign of the value placed on interdisciplinarity at Duke generally and the arts specifically, the programs and departments in the arts are recommending an intellectually rigorous interdisciplinary arts minor. This will aim to reach those students who do not intend to specialize in the arts but who seek to enrich their own lives and that of the communities within which they will later work by bringing the wisdom and perspective of the arts to bear on major problems and concerns. Designed to familiarize its students with the history, theory, and pragmatics of aesthetic creation, production, and reception, this minor will give students a relationship to art through experience in the making of creative decisions and by teaching them the traditions against which individual expression is played out. At the same time that this program benefits the students, it also will institutionalize collaboration and conversation among the different faculty team-teaching the core courses. This will enrich their own individual work and simultaneously enable them to bring this multidimensional and interdisciplinary focus back to their own more specialized courses in their disciplines.

D. The arts at Duke should foster the integration of the university into the many different communities which nurture it and depend upon it.

By their very nature, the arts encourage the breaking down of many different kinds of barriers and the questioning of familiar categories. This special feature of the arts should be exploited at Duke to create permeable and fluid boundaries between the institution and its many surrounding and supporting communities. Because aesthetic creation demands the presence of an audience, artists cannot afford to isolate themselves from those they wish to reach and to inspire. Not only must artists imagine their readers, viewers, or listeners and aim to catch their attention; they must also seek to comprehend their audience's familiar habits and expectations so as to go beyond them in the interest of exploring the new and the unknown. Artistic creators and producers, then, are skilled at mixing and mingling roles and functions that are often completely distinguished from each other; they also are skilled at promoting this kind of functional creativity in their audiences. At Duke, the arts should seek to promote both this sort of individual creativity and the respect for diversity and interdependence that flows from it.

This particular feature of the arts has meant that university-based arts programs have historically been as dependent on the communities within which they find themselves as they have been on the traditional forms of support the institution conventionally provides. They have usually been one of the two most powerful forces in drawing non-university personnel to the campus university athletics is the other. At the same time, the arts have regularly sent their students out into the community to interact with other artists and to engage with local citizens in public performance. Duke is no different in this regard. Its arts programs are already deeply embedded in the cultural life of Durham, the Triangle, and the region. The university should do everything in its power to strengthen this interpenetration and mutual dependence. Through community outreach to students in local schools; through teacher training and in-service education; through involvement of community-based writers, actors, painters, photographers, sculptors, choreographers, dancers, composers, and musicians in performances created or initiated by Duke faculty or students; through works addressed to the special concerns of local audiences, the Duke arts programs can and should be encouraged to "break out of the box" that is the conventional university, and insist that it function much more as an integral part of its surrounding social world. What the arts can demonstrate at Duke is that the university is never as isolated as it fears. Rather, it is intricately and inevitably woven into a larger social fabric, a fabric which itself blends the local and the global. With all this in mind, the university should facilitate and encourage the arts in their capacity to foster creativity everywhere and to draw people together from many walks of life in the common pursuit of aesthetic reflection and exploration.

[EdNote: Our limited space requires us to use the the Task Force's Summary Outline from this point.]

A Set of Guiding Principles to Guide Short-Term Decision Making and Long-Range Planning

A. Encourage experimentation and distinctiveness in the arts programs at Duke as befits the institution's status and aspirations as a creator of new knowledge.

B. Foster individual program excellence by enabling curricular, pedagogical, and performing innovations and achievement.

C. Make the arts an integral, visible, and accessible part of the university curriculum and, wherever and whenever possible, foster their public integration into the day-to-day work of the institution.

D. In a period of restricted resources, seek to cultivate and nurture the arts systematically through the pragmatic, non-redundant, and modest infusion of resources that will have multiple, ever-increasing effects.

The Present State of the Arts and Current Restrictions on Achievement of their Academic Goals

A. The State of the Arts Today

1.Despite historical lack of attention from the larger university, the arts programs have developed diversified, innovative, and interdisciplinary curricular and performance programs.

2. Because so many of Duke's arts programs developed first as student-initiated co-curricular activities, the university's students have been deeply involved in helping to define the direction of the arts programs and remain so involved today.

3.At the present time, the arts programs are hampered from achieving their full academic aims by certain key problems.

(1.) The status of and review procedures for their largely non-tenure track faculty. Their uncertain status makes it difficult to retain and attract faculty of the very highest quality.

(2.) Critical problems with outmoded and inadequately adapted facilities that constrain creativity, teaching, rehearsal and performance capabilities.

(3.) Review of each program's critical facilities needs [see text of report]

Three Key Facilities Initiatives [Please Note: Because curricular and personnel issues were not part of the charge to the Task Force, we have not addressed either of these here ]

A. Construct a New Facility for the Duke University Museum of Art

1. Site #1 The Anderson Street Site

a. Strengths

* site is aesthetically pleasing

*site would allow for sculpture garden

*because site is free of the architectural vernacular of East and West Campus, it would allow the designers free reign

*site would allow for adequate parking and future expansion

*site would accommodate significant outdoor spaces

*site is easily accessible to Durham and Triangle community

*site could symbolically connect East and West campus

*site is close to the Gardens and Admissions of fice

*site is accessible to students via the bus route


*the site is removed from current Art and Art History activity

*the site is removed from student residence halls

*selection of site may reignite past controversy

2. Site #2 The East Campus Site

a. Strengths

*would allow for public use of a significant greenspace that is currently underutilized

*if building was carefully sited, much of the greenspace and the trees could be preserved

*site would allow for sculpture garden

*site is easily accessible to Durham and Triangle community

*site is contiguous to Art and Art History and close to much of the other arts and arts-related activity in and around campus such as the Center for Documentary Studies, the Carolina Theatre, the Durham Art Center

*site is close to first year student residences


*site would be controversial with Trinity Park community and with alumni/ae

*because of need to preserve greenspace, the site would be limited for parking and future expansion

*site is far removed from upper level student residence halls

*proximity to East Campus will constrain designers who will have to take account of existing architectural vernacular

B. Consolidate Drama Program in an Addition to the Bryan Center

1.would enable Drama to coordinate the intellectual study of drama and the practice of theater

2. would enable Drama to use present facilities more effectively

3. would allow for more effective cooperation between Drama and Theater Operations

4. by locating key rehearsal and performance spaces on West Campus, will promote student safety since many advanced students live on West

5. will promote greater cooperation among faculty, students and production staff

6. facility should include expanded classroom space; studios for teaching and rehearsal; faculty and administrative offices; library; costume shop; expanded scene and props shop; production storage

7. retention and modest expansion of space for the Film and Video Program, will foster greater cooperation between Drama and Film and Video

C. Address the Needs of the Other Arts Programs by Developing an Arts Complex at the Power Plant Site

1. power plant complex (including the carpentry shop and the L&M Warehouse) should be developed in a phased manner to create an arts complex

2. the architectural distinction of the Power Plant should be preserved by retaining its soaring open space could be developed for exhibition, performance, ceremonial space

3. small restaurant or coffee shop would draw students and faculty for study and conversation

4. offices for Institute of the Arts could be relocated here

5. carpentry shop could be adapted to the needs of Studio Art and the Craft Center

6. warehouse could be redeveloped to accommodate multiple uses, including office space for ADF; performance and rehearsal spaces for Visual Arts, Dance, Music, ADF, and the other arts programs; additional screening rooms for Film and Video; a space configured for interdisciplinary courses integrating all the arts

D. An Additional Organizational Initiative

Enhance the Infrastructure for Coordination of Duke's Arts Programs and Performances and The Institute of the Arts and the Office of University Life

1. Reposition the Institute and its Director by re- quiring both to report to the Provost, signaling that the Institute serves a larger constituency than undergraduates in Trinity College

2. Change the title of Program Director to Executive Director

3. Enlarge the membership of the Institute

Council to include four faculty from disciplines outside the arts

4. Charge the Institute with encouraging interdisciplinary initiatives

5. Charge the Institute with building on existing collegial relationships with the staff of University Life

6. Assign a university development officer to work with the Institute to help secure additional financial resources so that it can continue to support an array of university and community programs

7. Address funding issues raised by the Office of University Life with respect to arts activity that is not supported by student fees

8. Retain Office of University Life Oversight over student-initiated as well as staff-initiated programs

A. Find ways to institutionalize innovative thinking about the place of the arts in the university curriculum

B. Increase administrative interaction with individual programs and the council of the Institute of the Arts

C. Address the Dance Program's desire to offer a major in dance

D. Address the Drama Program's request for departmental status

E. Better integrate the arts faculty into the day-to-day business of running the university, especially on committees dealing with resource decisions

FERRET: Transgressive Deconstructions

JFK (1917-1963)

"Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them. . . ." --F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Rich Boy"

1. 1957: "Jack's reputation as a thinker and scholar soared on May 6 when he won the Pulitzer Prize [for Profiles in Courage]. Other winners included the late playwright Eugene O'Neill, historian and diplomat George F. Kennan, poet Richard Wilbur, and journalist James Reston. Media all over the nation trumpeted Kennedy's new triumph. A laudatory New York Times biography reported that Profiles 'was written during a convalescence from World War II injuries.' . . . And he took the accolade seriously. [His close friend] Sorensen would later recall, 'Of all honors [he] would receive throughout his life, none would make him more happy than his receipt in 1957 of his Pulitzer Prize for biography.'"

2. 1955: "Sorensen worked almost full-time on the project during the first half of 1955, aided by Georgetown historian . . . Jules Davids; James Landis of the ambassador's [JFK's father's] staff; William R. Tansill of the Library of Congress; and a number of well-known scholars including Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., James MacGregor Burns, and Allan Nevins. Sorensen and Davids did most of the research and drafting of chapters for what became known as Profiles in Courage. Sorensen was responsible for the book's lucid and compelling style."

3. 1980: "Almost all of the manuscript material rests in eight folders of Box 35 in the Kennedy Library. . . . [This material shows] no evidence of a Kennedy draft for the overwhelming bulk of the book; and there is evidence for concluding that much of what he did draft was simply not included in the final version. . . . The Senator served principally as an overseer or, more charitably, as a sponsor and editor. . . ."

4. 1957: "Careful research has revealed that the judges for biography made no mention of Profiles in their recommendations to the Pulitzer Advisory Board. The board, consisting largely of journalists, ignored the two distinguished historians who lauded volumes by such well-known scholars as Alpheus T. Mason, Irving Brant, and Samuel Flagg Bemis."

4. 1957-1963: "In the Preface to Profiles, Jack paid tribute to Sorensen ('my research associate'), Davids, Landis, and others, but he claimed unequivocally to be the volume's author. . . . For the rest of his life, Kennedy's wrath could be roused by few things like the persistent suggestion that others had written or helped to write Profiles."

5. 1960: "He had read about McNamara. . . in Time magazine on December 2 and met him six days later. McNamara asked the first question: 'Did you really write Profiles in Courage?' Kennedy insisted he did and then offered McNamara his choice of Treasury or Defense."

--Collated fromThomas C. Reeves, A Question of Character: A Life of John F. Kennedy (1991), 127-8 & 141-2; from Herbert S. Parmet, Jack: The Struggles of John F. Kennedy (1980), 332; and from Richard Reeves, President Kennedy: Profile of Power (1993), 25.

POSSUM (Passim)

Random Readings & Culture Studies



[EdNote: A colleague sent in this Internet item.]

Approaches To Resistance (edited collection)

Editor seeks submissions for a collection of original essays on resistance in composition for Insurrection: Pedagogical and Theoretical Approaches to Resistance. The anthology will examine the intersection of composition studies with contemporary social, political, and cultural manifestations of resistance, through a theoretical and pedagogical exploration of feminism, postcolonial, cultural, and working-class studies, rhetoric, ethics, linguistics, radical pedagogy, Marxism, and technology.

The collection seeks to consider configurations of resistance as a means toward political empowerment, providing students and teachers with a sense of agency in understanding that resistance, in its myriad permutations, is ultimately about social action and intellectual transformation, invariably leading to productive disruptions not only in the composition classroom, but to the outer borders of academia.

Topics to be explored include: forms of teacher resistance, student resistant aesthetic practice (clothing, piercing, and tattooing), critical teaching, contact zones, postcolonial practice, autobiographical writing as resistance, institutional forms of resistance through labor movements, resistance in the public and private sphere, cultural forms of resistance, constructions of literacy, collaboration as resistance to institutional competition, media influences in the classroom, writing centers as sites of resistance, linguistic resistance, multi-cultural approaches, WAC programs, and ethnographic research.

Please send 1 page abstracts (250 words) by April 1st to: Andrea Greenbaum, Department of English, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, CPR 107; Tampa, FL 33620-5550. For further information please e-mail at; ph. (813) 974-1711.


"Only seldom can we date the emergence of a psychiatric syndrome with such precision: Multiple Personality Disorder. . . was born in 1973 with the publication of Flora Rheta Schreiber's book Sybil. . . . Schreiber's book was. . . the first one that firmly tied multiple personality to child abuse. . . . The case of Sibyl was treated by [psychiatrist] Cornelia Wilbur and dramatized by Schreiber. . . . [What follows is the statement of Herbert Spiegel, another psychiatrist who participated in the case:]

'So I told Wilbur and Schreiber that it would not be accurate to call Sibyl a multiple personality, and that it was not at all consistent with what I knew about her. Schreiber then got in a huff. . . and she said, "But if we don't call it multiple personality disorder, we don't have a book! The publishers want it to be that, otherwise it won't sell!" That was the logic behind their calling Sibyl a multiple personality. . . .'"

--Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, The New York Review of Books 4/24/97 (60,63)


"Number of calls made last October to 888-HARASS-U, the presidential-sexual-harassment hot line: 4,195"

--Harper's Index, in Harper's Magazine 2/98, 13


"By teaching the students different ways of raising their hands, the teacher also invites students to signal the nature of their comment. For example, a flat palm held away from the body would indicate a different type of response than a clenched fist would signify. This approach allows participation from the girls in the class who take time to think before they speak."

--Lani Guinier

[the 1993 nominee for Assistant U. S. Attorney General] in Becoming Gentleman (pages 72-73). Professor Guinier now serves on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

--Cited from Academic Questions (Winter 97/98, 14)


"In 1991 the [Forest Service] agency created a task force to investigate charges that logging companies, with the complicity of federal foresters, were stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal trees every year. Over three years the agency won multi-million-dollar settlements against a host of timber corporations. But in 1994. . . the agency did an astonishing about-face. Task force management was handed to a Forest Service official previously implicated in the cover-up of timber theft. Investigations idled, and the agency began harassing frustrated theft investigators who dared to take their findings public. . . .

Along these lines, when a Washington State environmental group submitted the high bid for a timber sale in 1995, the Forest Service refused to sell them the trees because agency rules currently allow bidding only by 'responsive purchasers' who intend to cut the trees."

--Paul Roberts, Harper's 6/97 (46-47)


". . . the left has gone silent across the [Southern] hemisphere, its old logic short-circuited by the end of the Cold War, its vocabulary inadequate to the challenge of NAFTA, GATT, and MERCOSUR, globalization, privatization, liberalization. The victory of free-market thinking is not without benefits or without costs. This morning's newspaper reports above the fold that stocks on the Argentine Bolsa are again climbing; below the fold an intrepid reporter has solved the mystery of Argentina's missing cats. As a rather gory photo shows, the children of the new shantytowns are roasting them for dinner."

--Patrick Symmes, Harper's 6/97 (53)


"Circa A.D. 1000: Earth's population is 250 million, unchanged for a thousand years. China is home to one-fourth of these people. Cordova, Spainthe world's largest cityhas 450,000 inhabitants. World population will grow by an average of one-tenth of one percent a year until modern medicine and improved public works emerge in the 1700s. Half of all children die before age five. . . . The slave trade flourishes. Slavs and Africans are major sources. Ten percent of England's people are slaves, mostly from Europe. Economic hardship prompts many families to sell children."

--Joel L. Swerdlow, The National Geographic (1/98, 6-9)

PARROT: Recitations

Adventures in Noble Thinking


These, in the day when heaven was falling,

The hour when earth's foundations fled,

Followed their mercenary calling

And took their wages and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;

They stood, and earth's foundations stay;

What God abandoned, these defended,

And saved the sum of things for pay.

EdNote: My editorial for this month has again been happily pre-empted by other contributions to the Faculty Forum. It may appear next month.


The Faculty Forum is published monthly by the Academic Council of Duke University.

Editor Victor Strandberg (English). Editorial Advisory Board: Matt Cartmill (Biological Anthropology & Anatomy), Howard Clark (Biomedical Engineering), Buford Jones (English), Seymour Mauskopf (History), and Kathy Rudy (Women's Studies).

The purpose of the Faculty Forum is to provide an opportunity for faculty members to discuss topics of common interest. The FF therefore welcomes, and indeed depends on, contributions by faculty members. Contributions may be published anonymously, but the editor will need to know the identity of all contributors so as to authenticate the contribution and permit appropriate editing procedures. We welcome fact, opinion, and creative whimsy from across the wide range of Arts & Sciences and Professional Schools--book reviews (new or reprinted), short essays, serendipitous items from random reading, and voices from the eternal kulturkampf.

Contributions of every kind should be sent, in both print and (if lengthy) computer disk, to the editor,Victor Strandberg, in 315 Allen Building. Voicemail is 684-3976; no objection to calls at home, 489-5531. E-mail is FAX (English department) is 919-684-4871. The deadline for submissions is about the 25th of each month.