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Trustees hold light meeting

With The Campaign for Duke about $80 million from its $2 billion goal, the need to meet the fundraising effort's smaller targets is becoming much more pressing than the overall goal, Peter Nicholas, Campaign co-chair, told the Board of Trustees this weekend.

During the Trustees' regular session Friday, Nicholas pointed to individual fundraising goals that remain unfilled. For example, donations for graduate student doctoral fellowships and for University-wide faculty chairs have reached only 58 percent and 32 percent of their respective goals. In addition, while some schools--including the School of Law and the Pratt School of Engineering--have surpassed their targets, other divisions such as the library system and Arts and Sciences will require more time.

"We want to benefit all areas that we've identified as strategic," said Nicholas, also vice chair of the Board. "Until we do that, we can't call the campaign a success."

Nicholas said fundraising efforts are on a $5.5-million-per-week pace, which, if maintained, would put the Campaign over its goal in about three months. He told the Trustees to expect several large gifts in the near future and that, assuming the Campaign hits its individual targets, it would finish with around $2.244 billion raised.

In the rest of the weekend's quarterly meeting, the Board took few official actions. Trustees heard presentations on several ongoing University initiatives-including international growth and community relations-but only officially approved additions to the Bryan Center and the Vivarium.

The $2 million Bryan Center addition, announced last year, will provide 5,400 square feet of rehearsal, classroom and shop space for the Department of Theater Studies and the Bryan Center's three theaters.

The $1.8 million Vivarium addition and renovation will net 4,000 square feet to advance neurobiology research, specifically a project to develop neuroprosthetic limbs and other devices to augment human performance. The space will be used for research labs and offices.

In her address to the Trustees during Friday's regular session, President Nan Keohane discussed a recent ranking by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, which called Duke the most integrated of America's top universities. She echoed other administrators in saying that, although the ranking is encouraging, Duke should not become complacent.

Keohane also called on Board members to recommit to a discussion of academic integrity--a theme highlighted this weekend during Founders' Day and in a film shown to freshmen.

In addition, she announced that Rotary International has chosen Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill together as one of two U.S. centers for the study of peace and diplomacy. Collaboration between the schools led them to stand out among 100 institutions applying, Keohane said. "I'm truly convinced that the growth and innovation of our interdisciplinary programs are gaining strength from other institutions in the Triangle," Keohane said.

Also at Friday's regular session, Nancy Allen, Academic Council chair and professor of rheumatology and immunology, updated the Trustees on the faculty's priorities, including rising medical benefit costs and faculty diversity.

Rob Saunders, Graduate and Professional Student Council president, used his address to identify five specific needs among his constituents: parking and transportation, childcare, health insurance, housing and social space. Backed, he said, by 1,000 people who signed a parking petition earlier this semester, Saunders urged Trustees to push for a parking master plan.

In his speech, Duke Student Government President Joshua Jean-Baptiste focused on the balance between creating an intellectual community and maintaining a fun on-campus social life.

"Duke's social environment is one of the unique advantages it has over its peer institutions," he said. "We should work hard to make sure that this environment is maintained in a safe, healthy and friendly way."


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