This article was updated at 1:25 a.m. Thursday to reflect new information.
Peter Lange is stepping down after 15 years as provost.
The longest-serving provost in Duke history, he will leave the position at the conclusion of his third term in June.
“Duke is what it is today because of the work of a lot of people, but at the top of that list is Peter Lange,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for government affairs and public relations. “His service to Duke as a faculty member, as a department chair, as vice provost and as provost has been quite simply transformative.”
The decision to step down was “fairly natural,” said Lange, who is 68.
As provost, he has overseen notable operations such as the University’s adoption of interdisciplinary measures and increased globalization. He has also worked closely with Duke Forward—the University’s current capital campaign—as well as the Campaign for Duke, a previous one. Lange appointed all of the University's current deans, as well as nearly two-thirds of current faculty members, according to a Duke News press release.
“I always wanted the job to be one in which the ability to make strategic things happen would be a very significant part of what I was doing,” Lange said. “That’s what made it so fun.”
His time as provost has not been without its critics, however. He has served as one of the driving forces of Duke Kunshun University, which has drawn concern from some faculty members, and his recent push for online for-credit courses was also met with resistance.
“Peter Lange has made his mark on Duke University as have few others,” said President Richard H. Brodhead in a University press release. “He has helped launch some of Duke’s most distinctive academic programs and has led the transformation of the student experience at Duke as well, with a strong commitment to access, diversity and excellence. Through it all, Peter has brought wisdom, integrity and innovation to the counsels of this university.”
After taking some time off, Lange will return to Duke to teach in the political science department as the Thomas A. Langford University professor.
To appoint Lange’s successor, President Brodhead is in consultation with the Executive Committee of Academic Council and has selected a search committee to assist. The committee is chaired by George Truskey, the R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson professor of biomedical engineering and senior associate dean for research in the Pratt School.
Among the committee’s other members are faculty members, students, trustees and an administrator: Ellen Davis, the Amos Ragan Kearns professor of Bible and practical theology at the Divinity School, Katherine Franz, associate professor of chemistry, Michael Platt, director of the Institute for Brain Science and of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Richard Schmalbeck, the Simpson Thacher and Bartlett professor of law, sociology professor Lynn Smith-Lovin, Maurice Wallace, associate professor of English and African and African American Studies, senior Stefani Jones, president of Duke Student Government, Amol Yadav, president of Duke Graduate and Professional Student Council, trustees Frank Emory and Betsy Holden and Benjamin Reese, vice president of the Office for Institutional Equity.