Dependable Erection

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Guest editorial: Laney Funderburk has a lot of nerve

Durham activist and writer John Schelp has long been involved with town/gown issues, working to weave Duke into the greater Durham community, encouraging the University to shed its fortress-like attitude by arguing against self-contained commercial development deep within University property, among other issues. Laney Funderburk, an administrator at the University, is also a candidate for City Council on today's ballot. His recent op-ed piece in the Herald-Sun (not available online, as far as i can tell) A recent profile of the candidate by Ray Gronberg in the Herald-Sun drew Schelp's ire. This piece circulated via email yesterday, and is posted here with the permission of the writer.
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw
stones. In the 11/02 Herald-Sun, longtime Duke
University administrator Laney Funderburk describes:

"a city government that spends its time 'careening
from one crisis to another,' that's overly
image-conscious and that sometimes makes decisions
that 'smack of cronyism.'"

Funny, that's a pretty darn good description of Duke.

** "careening from one crisis to another"...

Jesica Santillan getting the wrong organs, Duke pushing
drinking off-campus and then blaming Durham Police for
out-of-control student parties, hydraulic fluid
scandal, l'Affaire Lacrosse, multiple out-of-court
settlements, senior administrators getting sued and/or
stepping down, etc.

** "overly image-conscious"...

Duke puts out hundreds of press releases a year and
manufactures its own self-serving puff pieces for
publication in the local media. The university has a
whole building dedicated to protecting its image.

** decisions that "smack of cronyism"...

Duke's $2 million dollar bribe for Central Campus that
both the Herald-Sun and the News & Observer called
quid pro quo -- which is illegal in North Carolina.
(By the way, Duke's blunder backfired.) :)

This longtime Duke University administrator has a lot
of nerve criticizing local government -- when Duke has
taken specific steps to avoid paying both property
taxes and sales taxes.

Duke officials fought for more than three years to
build unlimited retail shops on campus that wouldn't
have to pay property taxes -- and the university
systematically avoids paying sales taxes by not
allowing the DukeCard to be used off-campus.

Fortunately, we've been able to stop much of this
nonsense. And Duke is finally showing some signs of
progress, like hiring Phail Wynn.

Like any small city, Durham has its challenges and
mistakes have been made. But, this is a great town.
People care passionately about this town. Durham is a
place where people can roll up their sleeves and get
things done.

The last thing we need is some Duke administrator
sitting on the sidelines throwing stones. I'd suggest
that Laney clean up his own house before throwing
rocks at Durham.

have a good day,
John Schelp

Don't forget to vote today. Polls are now open, and will remain open till 7:30 pm.

DE will be voting for Bill Bell for mayor, and Diane Catotti, Eugene Brown, and David Harris for City Council

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  • How does Duke Med operate?

    "Buyer beware," that's how.

    I can't tell you how much fun it was to have my Duke-affiliated care provider take what should be a routine colonoscopy and turn it into a nightmare.

    My visit was re-classified from "preventive" to "sick." I was not sick. This creates a "pre-existing condition" with my HSA.

    I was sent to a doctor "out of network" (okay, maybe I could have checked up on this--but I've had the same doctor for over 10 years and he sends me out of network! WTF?)

    I appreciate anytime anyone calls Duke on their B.S.

    Keep up the good work!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:08 AM  

  • Wow. Last I heard, Funderburk worked in the Alumni Affairs Office at Duke. I had no idea he was responsible for the Duke medical system, Duke's handling of the lacrosse case, Duke's plan for Central Campus, Duke's PR department AND students' off-campus parties. How dare anyone with that kind of power speak his mind about his community. Shocking. Brilliant political analysis: don't vote for Funderburk because he worked at Duke.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:19 PM  

  • I think John is pointing out the hypocrisy of a Duke admin guy criticizing Durham's city government when the university has similar problems.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:27 PM  

  • Quick correction - Funderburk retired from Duke in 2005 (where he was indeed in charge of the Alumni Affairs office).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:35 PM  

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