One of the few sensible voices at Duke during the lacrosse debacle was Provost Peter Lange’s. His reaction to the cultural task force report released earlier this year continues his run of uncommon (for academia) common sense:

Dismantling the selective-living system that allows fraternities and a few other groups to book large blocks of dorm rooms, as the campus culture task force urged in February, “would be inconsistent with our aspirations to create a vibrant, pluralistic community,” according to a new report from Provost Peter Lange’s office.

While it does seem that fraternities have too great an influence on the university’s social scene, the way to deal with that is to strengthen the ability of other students to band together, the new report said.

Lange has refused to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the cultural task force report urged. That approach is gaining strong support on campus among faculty and students:

“The previous approach in the Campus Culture Initiative didn’t reflect a very deep or specific understanding of the way undergraduate culture functions,” Duke Student Government President Paul Slattery said. “The notion that if the social scene is not ideal, the solution is to obliterate it, doesn’t seem very compelling to me.”