Dear Duke Community:
Earlier this semester I reported to the Academic Council on a new academic strategic planning process. I am pleased to announce the formation of a steering committee under the leadership of chair Susan Lozier (Nicholas School of the Environment) and vice chair Noah Pickus (Kenan Institute for Ethics/Sanford School of Public Policy), and the launch of the first phase of what will be a university-wide discussion that will frame the next academic strategic plan for Duke University. Duke has a strong tradition of turning ideas into action. Our two most recent academic strategic plans, “Building on Excellence” and “Making a Difference,” have led to the renowned excellence of our faculty, a strong research infrastructure, and advances in teaching, learning, discovery and outreach that propelled Duke to the highest ranks of global universities.
We anticipate this to be an 18-month process that will engage a number and variety of stakeholders — faculty of course, but also students, staff, alumni and others interested in Duke’s future success and impact. I have asked Susan and Noah to lead a committee that will solicit input from throughout the university and prepare a white paper by the end of this academic year that defines the overarching themes we should consider for Duke, and for higher education in general. That will be followed by a year of intense analysis, debate and consensus-building, with the goal of delivering a new academic strategic plan by summer 2016.
Your engagement in this endeavor is crucial, and will form the basis of the steering committee’s work. I invite you to participate in one of several opportunities to provide input through meetings, dinners, lunches and written submissions. It is to Duke’s great credit and strength that our most enduring success, and most exhilarating innovations, have come from the ideas conceived, nurtured and executed by our community. I hope you will join us in this effort.
James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology