• Eric Ferkenhoff
  • Medill photo

My Reader column this week comments on the recent Chicago magazine article by Bryan Smith on David Protess and Medill. There were a couple of areas I didn’t have space to get into in print, so I’ll do that here.

First of all, Smith offhandedly uncorks a fascinating piece of information. He’s sketching in the contentious backstory of Protess and his dean, John Lavine, at Medill, and he recalls the notorious Quotegate episode of 2008. That’s when Lavine published a column in the alumni magazine touting the curriculum changes he’d rammed through, and he quoted an unnamed junior saying about a particular class, “I sure felt good about this class. It’s one of the best I’ve taken.” David Spett, a Medill senior, then published a story in the Daily Northwestern that accused Lavine of making up the quote; Spett had asked all the juniors in the class if they’d said such a thing, and they all said no.