The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
I can't say this any better than Glenn Reynolds has, regarding the rape hoax at U. Va. published in Rolling Stone:
One person who shouldn't get off the hook here is UVA President Teresa Sullivan. She essentially found the fraternity guilty based on a story in a music tabloid. She could have told the University community that "we don't convict people based on stories in the media," that she was going to independently investigate the accusations, and that people named in tabloid stories should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty in the American tradition. She did no such thing. She hastily imposed a group punishment on the entire Greek system, and pretty much stood by while angry crowds mobbed and vandalized the fraternity house…. As I've said before, there's no place in America today where the authorities are more likely to be found siding with (or at least enabling) a lynch mob than on a university campus, and that's a disgrace.
University presidents, along with the rest of the administration and faculty, talk a lot about a "university community." But when it comes time to show students who produce bad press the kind of fairness that any member of an academic community should expect as a matter of right, they often drop the ball. At the very least, Sullivan owes these fraternity guys, and the Greek community, an open, public, and contrite apology. If I were on the UVA Board of Visitors, I'd be demanding her resignation.