Chicago Tribune: NU President Should Intervene

A staff editorial published in the Chicago Tribune's Saturday edition says it sees no end in sight for "Quotegate's" impact on Medill and Northwestern's reputations, despite a recent attempt by Provost Linzer to end the controversy.

The editorial calls Linzer's investigation into whether the Dean fabricated quotes as "a carefully lawyered" and "mush-mouth" statement.

Linzer argued there is "ample evidence that the quotes were consistent with the statement students expressed about the course in course evaluation and no evidence to point to any likelihood that the quotes were fabricated."

The Tribune editorial challenges Linzer's line of reasoning as to why fabrication was not possible:

- That passage is evasive. Direct quotation isn't merely "consistent with sentiment." That's called paraphrasing. Direct quotation chronicles what a person said.

- That passage also is inaccurate. There is indeed evidence suggesting that the quotations were fabricated: Spett's research. Spett may have produced evidence that, on closer scrutiny, proves accurate or inaccurate, compelling or unpersuasive. But he certainly produced provocative evidence.

The editorial concludes 'Quotegate' will continue to be "embarrassing" to both Northwestern University and Medill, until President Bienen intervenes.

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