The Ivy Coach Daily

June 8, 2018

Profiles in School Scandals

Scandal at Duke, College Scandals, University Scandals
Duke University has faced its share of scandals over the years.

Every university will be faced with a scandal. Maybe it happened last year. Maybe it’ll happen in ten years. Maybe it’ll be a scandal that rocks the nation. Maybe it’ll be a scandal that barely makes the local press. Who knows. But what we do know is that every school, irrespective of its prestige, will have to deal with a scandal. In 2001, two Dartmouth professors were murdered. In 2006, Duke University dealt with a high profile scandal — three Duke lacrosse players were falsely accused of rape. In 2015-2016, Princeton University grappled with distancing itself from former President Woodrow Wilson, a man closely tied with the school’s history and a man who happened to be racist. In 2017, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill dealt with a cheating scandal involving its athletes. The list goes on and on.

Every University Will Grapple with a Scandal

When parents and students express doubts about applying to a certain university because of a past scandal or scandals, we always tell them that every school — in time — will have its scandal. We also tell them that one of the benefits of attending an Ivy League school is that these schools have a certain amount of, say, protection. You see, a scandal can just as easily rock Yale University as it could rock the University of New Hampshire. But because Yale University is an Ivy League school, it will still be an Ivy League school after the scandal fades from the headlines. The same is not the case even for one of our nation’s most elite schools — Duke University — which has been rocked by multiple scandals over the years. While Duke is one of America’s most prestigious universities, it is not a member of the Ivy League. It does not have the same protection that is afforded a school like Penn.

Profiles in School Scandals

And just in case those headlines have faded from your memory banks, we figured we’d tout a great book published this past year, one edited by Graydon Carter, the crazy haired former editor of “Vanity Fair.” The book is entitled “Vanity Fair’s Schools for Scandal.” It contains a series of essays by some of “Vanity Fair’s” most respected reporters on scandals that have rocked America’s schools over the years. As the Amazon description details, “The stories collected here speak to an American obsession with status and to the lengths we will go to achieve it, preserve it, or destroy it—from the enduring, shadowy influence of Yale’s secret societies to the infamous ’senior salute’ at St. Paul’s School; from the false accusations in the Duke lacrosse team’s infamous rape case to the (mis)reportage of a sexual assault at the University of Virginia; from a deadly extreme-sport episode at Oxford to the Keystone Kop theft of a college’s rare books to the allegations of fraud by the now-shuttered Trump University.”

Would a past scandal at a university discourage our readers from applying? Let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.

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