The Academic Council has approved the Master of Science in Global Health degree to be offered at Duke Kunshan University.
In its last meeting of the 2011-2012 academic year, the Academic Council voted 52 to 7—with three abstentions—to approve the new Duke Global Health Institute degree program that was proposed in its April meeting. The degree will now go to the Board of Trustees for approval. The council also approved the 2011-2012 candidates for earned degrees, and received the annual update from the chairs of the Academic Programs Committee, the University Priorities Committee and the Athletic Council.
The Master of Science in Global Health curriculum, which aims to increase DKU’s engagement in China and provide students with new context to health problems and systems in China, will include five core courses, four elective courses, a 10-week long fieldwork component and a thesis, said DGHI Deputy Director Randall Kramer. Modeled after the existing Duke degree offered by the Graduate School, the program will offer a Duke degree to Chinese and other Asian students. Initially offered to 20 students, administrators hope to expand the program to 35 students by the time the degree is reviewed in three years.
“Launching a second offering of our [Master of Science] degree in China provides an exceptional opportunity to continue to build the institute’s reputation in global health, expand our research collaborations with leading universities and teach the next generation of global health researchers and policy advisors,” Kramer said.
If approved by the Board, the degree would enroll its inaugural class in 2013. The program is part of a plan to launch a global health research center at DKU that year, which will focus on research in chronic disease, environmental health and health systems research, said DGHI Director Dr. Michael Merson, who also serves as interim vice president and vice provost for the Office of Global Strategy and Programs.
This marks the second degree program to be approved for DKU, after the Master of Management Studies offered by the Fuqua School of Business.
In other business
The council approved candidates for earned degrees from all University schools to be presented to the Board of Trustees Friday for final approval. These included Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, which had 720 candidates eligible for the Bachelor of Arts degree and 529 for the Bachelor of Science degree, and the Pratt School of Engineering, which had 332 total candidates.
“Although [graduation] day belongs to the students, we all have reason to celebrate their success,” said Academic Council Chair Susan Lozier, professor of physical oceanography.
John York, professor of pharmacology and cancer biology, and chair of the APC, a faculty governance committee that interacts with the administration, lauded the importance of the open communication that occurred between faculty members and administrators this year. The programs the committee addressed this past year included the addition of a MMS program in the United Arab Emirates, he said, adding that the committee’s focus this year was on global programs.
“We started in United Arab Emirates and we finished in Kunshan,” he said. “[Global programs] is one of the issues that will continue to come before the council for many years to come.”
York added that one of the greatest challenges in the coming years will be maintaining academic freedom and the Duke brand as the institution continues to expand its global presence.
John Payne, Joseph J. Ruvane, Jr. professor of business administration and chair of the UPC, a committee that provides feedback to the administration on defining issues and academic priorities, said that the University’s endowment is not as strong as it was last year. The strategic investment pool of funding has traditionally provided the resources for funding new initiatives and academic programs, but SIP fund expenditures have exceeded its income.
“We may not have enough new money to support the kinds of new initiatives that I believe we need to have as a University to grow and evolve,” Payne said.
The council also heard from Jim Coleman, John S. Bradway professor of law and chair of the Athletic Council, which aims to improve the relationship between members of the faculty and the athletic department. He reported that Duke student athletes are succeeding both on the field and in the classroom. Eighteen members of the Duke football team were placed on the ACC Academic Honor Roll, compared to the next highest of five from Wake Forest and Clemson and two from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For the first time, the Academic Council heard a presentation from Faculty Athletic Representative Martha Putallaz, professor of psychology and neuroscience. She highlighted the changes to the NCAA standards, which will be implemented August 2015, and the expansion of the ACC.