Immediately after the joyous announcement last summer that DKU had received “final approval,” Team Brodhead set its marketing plan into motion. Festoons of balloons appeared on the Durham campus, hoping to draw the attention of Dukies desiring to go to grad school, and Nora Bynum, vice provost for DKU and China, told the Chronicle “we were well-organized and ready to go as soon as we got… approval.”
Within weeks, information sessions were held on leading campuses in China — Wuhan, Fudan and Nanjing Universities. And the Fuqua School of Business, in particular, with the most seats to fill at DKU, announced plans for presentations in the US, China, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, South Korea and Japan.
Allen Building gushed: DKU immediately drew 136 likes on Facebook, 158 Twitter followers and 45 Instagram followers at the time of publication.
On Tuesday of this week, the DKU Chancellor apparently mis-stepped and revealed that there are only 80 applications for three grad programs scheduled to enroll 100 or more students at this summer’s grand opening. Moreover, as the Allen Building Mole noted, the good Chancellor should have more accurately said he had 80 expressions of interest — almost none from within China — for there are fewer than 20 completed applications. No one has checked for English proficiency yet, as all classes are in English, and that’s a real problem in graduate-level rapid-fire teaching where complicated concepts need to be exploed.d
And beyond proficiency in English, we have no idea if these 20 or so students are worthy of studying for a Duke graduate-level degree.
Compare the numbers, please, with the 300 applications for 15 seats that the Durham English Department receives each year for its graduate programs. Or the 6,099 applications the Law School considered to find 211 members of the Class of 2017.
That’s Duke. Hard as hell to get into.
Team Brodhead has already started with the excuses for its latest foundering in Kunshan. Uncle Dick flew half way around the world this week to stand silently with the DKU Chancellor as he announced the start of recruitment.
Huh? The start. How can these people pretend they haven’t been going full steam?
Team Brodhead is blaming the failure of the Chinese government to set tuition levels. Excuse me, but this is the same Team that said this little detail did not matter and everything would work out in the end. (There’s a new smoking gun on tuition; read our post next Monday!)
We should be questioning anew the location in a backwater; the nebulous academic mission of the place; the way a faculty is still being slapped together (much less a curriculum assembled) in repeated ads in professional publications; and the strong desire, which we knew about from day one from marketing studies that Duke University paid for out of Boston and Hong Kong, for Chinese grad students to leave their homeland for grad degrees.
With the first students promised that they will be told by February 1 whether they will be admitted to the Fuqua Master in Management Studies program in Kunshan, it seems to us that the Durham faculty has an urgent need to speak and enforce our integrity and standards at the front door.
Remember, please, that the hair-brained idea of DKU includes awarding to students who study there, precisely the same Duke degree as they would get in Durham. It should be no easier to enroll or earn.
During the course of his three days in China, Brodhead addressed about 100 faciulty at Tsinghua University. We asked the Duke Mouthpiece Michael Schoenfeld what the occasion was, for his news release gave us the text without any explanation, and of course Schoenfeld did not respond. Why Brodhead lets this clown get away with his discourtesy and his bedeveling of his image, is beyond us
Perhaps it was the ardor of travel, but there was no spark in the remarks. Yes, there were 4,104 words. But just words, nothing crafted into a powerful message. In fact we started to wonder if the message was the sales job about Duke that we could all recite: the interdisciplinary outlook, the Bass Connections, and speakers like Fahreed Zakaria.
Boy, was Zakaria out of the blue. And an odd person to bring up, given his confession of plagiarism right after his Duke Commencement address.
At one point, Brodhead did seem to brush against academic freedom — without ever using the words or expressing our deep concern for its well-being at DKU. He said he had been at a panel discussion in Chicago, where “the issue of university autonomy” came up.
And taking time from his Duke stories to spin one about Yale, Brodhead talked about a Chinese graduate who had gone on to great distinction and service. For a moment, we thought these lines in his speech were going to at last identify the Chinese leader who told him that China is ready to open up for a liberal Western education. But alas, that identity secure.
Welcome back to Durham, Dick. Let’s see… you’ve had news conferences in three cities in China, in Washington DC, in London and in India. Isn’t it about time you schedule in advance a real dialogue with reporters in Durham?