Duke University has tried and succeeded in becoming the East Coast equivalent of Stanford — an academic institution that excels in athletics. (Stanford has won the all-sports trophy 11 years in a row. No one else with that kind of academic record comes closer than the Blue Devils.) Their emerging success has been enviable, to the point that Duke is one of those schools a lot of people love to hate.
In the last few weeks, a lot of people have found a new reason to hate Duke: several members of the lacrosse team are accused of raping an exotic dancer at an out-of-control party.
I’ll let you ferret out as many details as you’d like, because it’s quite easy. The school is taking a very proactive step in becoming a hub for information. Some would balk at the idea of linking to so many negative articles and editorials, but by establishing their website in the center of attention, they are positioning themselves to ensure their messages and apologies will take center stage.
That’s a textbook example of “filling the void.” If you don’t get out front with transparency, you let your detractors define you.