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Vice provost to provide global perspective

Peter Lange, the new vice provost for academic and international affairs, said he wants to give students and faculty a more global perspective during their time at the University.

"The overall goal is to make international experiences of various sorts an integral part of what it means to be at Duke," the political science professor said.

Lange, who has been at the University since 1981, was named to the post of vice provost Tuesday by Provost Thomas Langford. Lange's appointment takes effect June 1 and lasts for two years.

Langford said he appointed Lange to the office because of his long experience in international affairs.

"Peter will be excellent, not only because he does excellent work, but also he will be one of the people who provide continuity from one provost to another," said Langford, who plans to step down June 30.

As special assistant to the provost for international affairs, Lange chaired a committee on internationalization which released a 30-page draft report in February.

The report detailed several steps the University should take to enhance the international educational experience, including providing more support for students to study abroad, creating a fund to support international faculty initiatives in research and teaching and doubling funding for international library acquisitions.

"[Internationalization] took a couple of giant steps under him, and we want to keep that momentum," Langford said.

In an interview Thursday, Lange said that the recommendations made in the report will be his top priorities.

Duke is already very successful in one facet of internationalization, Lange said: About 35 percent of undergraduates study abroad at some point during their University careers. But Duke has to catch up with schools such as Harvard University and broaden its curriculum to include a more global vision.

As vice provost for academic affairs, Lange succeeds Charles Clotfelter, a professor in the Terry Sanford Institute of Policy Studies who has served as acting vice provost for academic programs since last summer. Lange will be responsible for all academic programs at the University and will have to address a wide range of issues, Langford said.

"The portfolio picks up on what the issues of the day and month are," he said. "We do the things that don't fit within a single school."

The job description is flexible to allow the next provost to decide how to best utilize his staff.

Lange, who will teach a course each semester and continue his research, earned an undergraduate degree at Oberlin College and his doctorate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lectures extensively in the United States and abroad and has contributed to many publications.

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