President Dougherty’s Comments Draw International Attention

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By Kaye Burnet | News Editor


Duquesne University has garnered international attention for an Oct. 22 staff editorial written in The Duke that criticized comments made by President Charles Dougherty at a meeting with university faculty earlier this week about the supposed “libertine” practices of students who live off-campus.

After the Associated Press wrote an article about the incident Saturday morning, the story has appeared in more than 50 publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Daily Mail, a popular paper in the United Kingdom.

Angered students, parents and faculty have left more than 60 comments about Dougherty’s statements on The Duke‘s website, and the story has over 17,000 views online. The story made local news headlines Friday and was covered by Pittsburgh’s Channel 4 News.

The full text of the original editorial and President Dougherty’s letter in response can be found here.


  1. Alright clearly not SGA member. ^^ He apology was basically saying, “I’m sorry I offended people, but y’all know I’m right.” His original statement is not ok to make then simply try to retract it. Also I’m not sure how news works, but I do not think that the Duke does sell stories. If Wikipedia is correct (take that for what it’s worth) when a story starts to gain traction the local news sources are usually the first to pick it up. After that, if is a big big story the AP will pick it up and world wide news sources can take it off the AP website and run the story. But I am merely a math student so I am just regurgitating what I have read.

    Regardless, the point here is that the President of Duquense University alienated many of his own students who, I might add, paid his salary (indirectly). Not only that, but look at the facts. Brottier is expensive. A Brottier 2 bedroom furnished apartment runs a single student $26,050 ( for 12 months. That’s $2,170 a month (which does not include parking or food). For that kind of money you can get a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom house right on 4th Ave ( Not to mention the super sweet apartments on Liberty. Not only that but one cannot choose what kind of WiFi or cable access to have. The current cable on campus is very good, I will gladly admit that. However, doing a quick test on will show you that our internet is terrible. I just did a quick test and got about 600Kbps. That is in the bottom 1% of Pittsburgh and the bottom 3% of the nation.

    Also just because students do not have a diverse vocabulary does not make the using insulting words ok. I could rattle off rather insulting Victorian era curses but just because not everyone understands them does not mean my behavior should be defended or excused. President Dougherty was making the assumption that students move off campus to get drunk and have sex. When in fact the main reason people move off campus is to have a higher standard of living at a lower price.

    Thank you for your time and consideration,

    Yet another Duquesne student like very other Duquesne student

  2. I think it’s pathetic how we are glorifying our school gaining international attention under such negative circumstances. I also find it interesting that duke staff snuck into the town hall meeting that was labeled “employees only”. What do you want from the guy? Isn’t enough, enough? He made the statement, you made your point, he made an attempt to apologize, and now what? Maybe you should contact ABC News or CNN and demand that your university president give a national apology for using a word that has 75% of Duquesne students didn’t even know the meaning of before Thursday and that has been taken way out of context. Congrats, you guys made the big leagues. Definitely something to put on your resumes.


    A Duquesne student just like yourselves

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