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Trustees approve budget, elect Nicholas as chair

The Board of Trustees approved the budget for the 2003-2004 academic year and reappointed or elected a plethora of University officials, among other business, during its annual May meetings last weekend.

The $749 million balanced operating budget represents a 7.2 percent increase over the 2002-2003 budget. The University's overall budget totals $1.334 billion, when funds restricted for specific purposes and sponsored research funding are included. The budget includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing, but excludes Duke Hospital, which is included in a separate spending plan for the Duke University Health System.

The new budget includes a 5 percent increase in the standard undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board total to $37,555. Income from tuition and fees from all schools will account for nearly half of unrestricted revenues, or $370.1 million, an increase of 9.2 percent over the current year's budget.

On the expense side of the budget, non-payroll operating and administrative expenses increased by $16.7 million, or 15.2 percent.

Each of Duke's schools - with the exception of Arts and Sciences, which is drawing on $1.4 million from reserves, and the Fuqua School of Business, which is drawing on $800,000 from reserves - submitted a balanced budget within its annual revenue stream.

The Nursing School is budgeting an excess of $800,000, which is attributable to a high yield in its master's program and the successful launch of its bachelor of science in nursing program.

Salary and benefits will increase by $23 million, or 5.8 percent over the current year's budget.

Also over the weekend, Peter Nicholas was elected chair of the Board, University officials announced Saturday. Nicholas has served as co-vice chair of the Board since 2000. He and his wife Virginia Nicholas, both of whom graduated from Duke in 1964, also are the co-chairs for the steering committee of the Campaign for Duke, which surpassed its $2 billion goal in January, almost a full year before its Dec. 2003 deadline. During the meetings, Nicholas presented the latest statistics regarding the campaign.

Nicholas succeeds Harold "Spike" Yoh, who has served as board chair since July 2000. First elected as a trustee in 1991, Yoh will retire from the board June 30.

"Pete has shown tremendous energy and unwavering service to Duke through his work on the board and leadership of the Campaign for Duke, which has been so successful in raising the financial resources Duke needs to pursue its strategic goals," Yoh said in a statement. "He is an outstanding choice to lead the Board of Trustees during this pivotal time for the University."

Robert Steel, vice chair of Goldman Sachs and chair of the Duke University Management Company, was also re-elected as vice chair of the Board. Steel, Trinity '73, has served as co-vice chair of the Board of Trustees with Nicholas since July 2000. He also chairs the presidential search committee for Nan Keohane's replacement.

The Board re-elected Allison Haltom as University secretary and vice president, and reappointed Provost Peter Lange, Pratt School of Engineering Dean Kristina Johnson, Athletic Director Joe Alleva and Vice President for Development Robert Shepard.

IN OTHER BUSINESS: The proposed addition of 200 new undergraduates to the Pratt School of Engineering dominated committee discussions throughout the weekend, but the Trustees will wait until their October meetings before making any decisions on the matter.

The Trustees approved the construction of the Albert Eye Research Institute, to be located next to the Duke Eye Center on Erwin Road.

The new $24 million institute will provide 72,000 gross square feet to house additional ophthalmology investigators and state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. The institute is named for Ruth and the late Herman Albert of Purchase, N.Y., and Palm Beach, Fla., whose $11.5 million gift to the University last year included $8 million for the institute.

The Board also gave the go-ahead to study a possible site for and design of a second medical sciences research building at Duke. The project, which must receive additional Board approval before construction can begin, would provide additional research space for the School of Medicine - in particular for the Cancer Center, Nutrition Center, Department of Molecular Genetics and Department of Microbiology.

Trustees also approved a report that calls for Duke's varsity athletic program to maintain its current "middle course" for the next decade.