DePauw's tricky decision

August 3, 2010
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Put yourself in the shoes of DePauw University officials and then ask yourself this question: Should a prospective student be accepted if he has been charged with a high-profile crime?

DePauw yesterday decided the answer is no, and indefinitely deferred the enrollment of Robert Kitzinger. Kitzinger is one of the four Carmel High School basketball team members charged with battery and criminal recklessness in connection with hazing incidents on a bus and in a locker room last winter.

The accusations, investigations and, finally, in March, the charges, made headlines for weeks. Kitzinger, whose father, Kirk Kitzinger, played for DePauw in the late ’70s, has been charged with four misdemeanors.

A DePauw statement said it was in the best interests of Kitzinger and other students to delay his enrollment because the allegations are up in the air. The university will reconsider his enrollment after the criminal and civil cases are resolved, the statement said. Ken Owen, DePauw’s executive director of media relations, refused further comment.

In other words, DePauw had to weigh respect for due process and Kitzinger’s presumed innocence against the almost-certain circus on campus. Imagine the school paper covering the trial blow-by-blow.

Legal liability is another wild card. Every campus has its share of students with potential to stir controversy, but would DePauw have stuck its neck out by allowing Kitzinger on campus? What if he joined a fraternity and a hazing accusation erupted? Even if Kitzinger were nowhere near the incident, the cloud would be thicker.

What are your thoughts? Could Kitzinger have assimilated into campus life? Did the officials make the right call?

    What goes around DOES come around.
  • DePauw is DeBomb
    Actions do have consequences. Good for DePauw for not allowing him to attend. It is good to see a college stand up for what it believes and sticking to it without a lot of wishy-washy P.C. crap.
  • Good Decision
    As an alumni, I was very pleased with this decision and hoped this kid would never set foot on DePauw's campus. As mentioned in another post, actions have consequences. Having a privileged kid on campus who thinks he's above the law and acts in this hideous manner deserves to be punished and shunned. It's not a dilemma at all. What if this kids was found guilty of rape or some other crime? He would be kicked out of school or his enrollment would be revoked - as appropriate. There was no other decision to make.
    • Great Decision
      As a DePauw grad myself, I'm thrilled that they are upholding the morals that have put them in a higher tier than most other schools. DePauw prides itself on graduating people like Brad Stevens, not people like Ron Artest. From Kitzinger's perspective, he should want to be in a school outside the midwest at this point or he'll only be reminded of his mistake by other Carmel grads at DePauw or any others from central Indiana since this is such a big story now.
    • Unacceptable Delay
      I am angry at DePauw for dragging its feet on this. Regardless of the decision, it should have been made weeks ago, since the publicly available facts have not changed. To force the young man to twist in the wind while the administration muddles through this is unforgivable. Give Carmel High credit for taking action quickly, with even less information. Now, regardless of the outcome (and he is innocent at this point in time), this poor kid's immediate future is in disarray, simply because of foot-dragging by bureaucrats and lawyers. Shame on them.
    • Justification
      I live in Carmel. Some of them know the families involved. I know people in the school system. They know the depth of what really happened, and of the cover-up. Yes, there was and is a cover-up. It might not come out in the criminal trial. It will come out in the civil trial, assuming the family doesn't get bought off. Robert Kitzinger should not want to go to an Indiana college, he should want to get as far away from all of this as possible.
    • Duke rape claims???
      We don't have evidence in this case. Those make the accusations, are also requesting millions of dollars. In this cloud, it would be best to allow the man to do has any free person does. He has no court order to not attend college or stay away from other basketball players.

      DePauw should not be playing the role of finding guilt or punishing a person. DePauw may develop a policy where ALL students under criminal investigation are to be rejected. But to select this one student is clearly unfair.

    • Is it really that different?
      If you as a prospective employer find a candidate with online "problems", is it any different? Those people aren't convicted of a crime, but would you like them (and behaviors) associated with your company?

      Imagine *one*, just *one* slip-up where they appear in the media. "John Q Public, who ... is currently employed as a at . Some of the postings to Twitter and Facebook reveal..." If you won't talk to the media, your friends & relatives won't rat you out, they're going to have to find *something*, *anything* which they can scoop someone else on. Social networking sites have become a juicy place which saves time over retracing the steps of someone.

      Are you aware of the fact the Library of Congress is keeping a copy of *every* tweet (since the day of inception)?

      Indiana is one of those states which permits employment/termination at-will. If you're a black eye for your employer, how long do you think they'll keep you around?

      Prospective employers will frequently do things such as obtain a copy of your credit rating. Is this any different?

    • Remember
      Do any of you remember the "Guilty as hell Duke Lacross Team"?. Oh,thats right,they were found not guilty of the false charges.
      The news media had convinced most of you that they were guilty, because of all the attention and headlines. Right? How many schools has the team manager involved in this lawsuit attended in the last 4 years?Don't know, well check it out, why did he leave them? Seems to me over 2 million dollars is really involved here!!!!! DePauw would welcome him with open arms,Right?
    • Is this a Christian school?
      Need I say more... No forgiveness... No second chances... Our higher power would be ashamed of what this school is doing to a non-convicted person.
      • What????
        Having a "privelaged kid on campus"? At Depauw??? What a shock! Unheard of, right? I think the comparison to Duke might turn out to be apt, but I suspect that DePauw is more worried about its precious Reputation than it is about a media circus or potential harm to other students!
      • What?
        DePauw is an institute of higher education, not a church or a seminary. These young men can seek forgiveness wherever they see fit, but DePauw made the right decision. At the end of the day, they have much fewer spaces available for students than applicants. They choose who to accept by considering a long list of factors. And to those that would criticize DePauw for making this decision, remember that DePauw did not bring this upon themselves. The young man from Carmel brought this unwanted attention. DePauw and the kind of institution they are trying to maintain is more important than any one student.
      • Deferred is not denied
        This young man is not being denied by DePauw, only deferred. This allows him to be found guilty or innocent. Schools will often rescind acceptance if a student has been disciplined in high school, receives a bad final grade, etc. The school has every right to use any and all available resources to determine a students character. With these charges looming, his character is in question. If he is found innocent, then he will be able to attend the college with head held high. If not, he will be serving time in another Indiana institution, courtesy of the taxpayers.
      • Tricky? Decision
        DePauw officials absolutely made the right decision - nothing tricky about it.

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