The five students to whom Dean John Lavine could have correctly attributed his now-infamous anonymous quote have made a second, on-record denial to Medill Prof. David Protess.
While there were 29 students in the Integrated Marketing Communications class to which Lavine referred, 5 were Medill juniors at the time. Lavine’s attribution was: “A Medill junior told me.”
Via e-mail, Protess asked if and how the students spoke to Spett, if they said the quote, and if Spett correctly classified their denials of the quote.
Protess disclosed that Spett was his student Fall Quarter. On a previous Zorn blog post, Protess had called Spett “a truly outstanding student” in the class and said “I believe him.”
Protess’s re-reporting further implies that Lavine misquoted, but not necessarily that he was dishonest. There were other Medill students in the class.
Each student denied ever talking to the Dean about the class before Spett’s column, either by e-mail or in person, according to Protess*.
Clarification – February 28, 2009: The original version of this blog post incorrectly portrayed the nature of the students’ responses to Prof. Protess. The sentence now correctly asserts that each student denied ever speaking to the Dean about the class.