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Faculty pounce on master plan

An Academic Council meeting that begins with a whimper doesn't always end that way.

After quickly passing three resolutions Thursday, the council progressed into more cumbersome issues of debate, including the presentation of the draft Campus Master Plan to the faculty-which culminated in a bang.

Executive Vice President Tallman Trask introduced the master plan, and the architect behind it, Lee Copeland.

Trask highlighted his hope that the plan, scheduled to be approved by the Board of Trustees in May, would serve as "a road map for the potential development of the campus in the years, and more likely, decades ahead," as well as foster discussion among all members of the community.

Copeland then briefly overviewed the draft plan for the faculty, who had been given copies of its introduction for review.

Copeland explained the basic themes behind the plan, including the creation of a more walkable campus and an implementation program that will allow the master plan to guide short-term University goals.

The faculty, however, were not so quick to welcome the plan, and their complaints focused on the format of the plan itself and its overall goals. "Not everybody can walk," said Barbara Ramsay Shaw, professor of chemistry. "[The plan] actually discourages the ability for people to move around."

Russell Richey, a professor at the Divinity School, agreed, presenting his own proposed addendum to the master plan and leaving Copeland speechless.

"Who is being served by a plan that forces walking?" he asked. He then read aloud his addendum, which sarcastically listed the goals for the master plan. "By presenting the attractive new plans oblivious to the other half of the student body and the great majority of employees who must access campus via automobile rather than a leisurely walk..." he said, "Duke will be an institution of privilege."

Other complaints included questions about the format of the plan, with James B. Duke Professor of Psychology John Staddon asking if the writer had gone to the "Dwight D. Eisenhower school of expository writing," and then calling for future documents for the council's perusal to be in a simpler one-page format.

Shaw also complained about the diagrams in the plan, noting that they didn't feature compass directions or street names. "It's not clear to me where these places are on campus," she said.

Professor of Law Robert Mosteller, chair of the council, reiterated that Thursday's presentation was only an introduction to the master plan, and that future discussions with the council would be arranged. He also stated his desire to see future documents condensed, so that the council would have perhaps one or two pages of major themes to review, rather than a bulky packet.

IN OTHER BUSINESS: Before the master plan debate, Medical Center officials presented plans for a master's degree in health sciences in clinical leadership, designed to train health professionals for management positions.

Students would take classes in several of the University's schools, and culminate the degree with a preceptorship modeled on the public policy department's master's memo.

"How do you balance the needs of clinical training and economic solvency?" asked Dr. Lloyd Michener, chair of the department of community and family medicine. "Very few of us who are trained as clinicians have experience in doing this."

Duncan Yaggy, chief planning officer for the Duke University Health System, said the program was designed to begin attacking a national dilemma of leaving the management of health care in the hands of those without practical health care experience.

If approved next month, the degree would be offered on a part-time, two-year basis, to allow clinicians who could not otherwise afford to leave their practices the chance to participate.

"We want to start small with this, perhaps as few as five students," Yaggy said.

Early in the meeting, the council passed resolutions supporting a doctoral program in ecology and revisions to Appendix C.

The appendix defines the Academic Council's role in administrative reviews and searches.

The council also voted Professor Emeritus of English Carl Anderson into his 11th year as the faculty ombudsman, who handles disputes.

The term is usually two years, but Anderson was only reelected for one while the council reviews his idea that the position be eliminated.


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