The President of Duke University today apologizes to the Duke Lacrosse students for failing to do more to protect their rights — an act strikingly transparent and tragically too late. For the full story, click here Duke University President Richard Brodhead apologized for Duke’s “failure to reach out” in a “time of extraordinary peril.” He went on to say: “Given the complexities of this case, getting the communication right would never have been easy,” Brodhead said. “But the fact is that we did not get it right, causing the families to feel abandoned when they were most in need of support. This was a mistake. I take responsibility for it and I apologize for it.”
The apology is a bit late and lame. This is not some difficult or unforeseen event. Universities are supposed to guarantee due process, particularly in protection of students and faculty. Instead, Duke acted out of the worst of motivations to join the mob against its own students. It was not some lapse in judgment, it was a complete betrayal of the most basic requirements of an institution of learning. To put it in another way, it was an act of cowardice and cannot be wiped clean with an apology years too late.