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Trustees pass $1.8M budget

The Board of Trustees approved a $1.8-billion budget during their May meeting this weekend that will bring some major goals of the University's new strategic plan to fruition.

The fiscal year 2007-2008 budget, which sees revenues jump 9.9 percent and expenditures increase 8.5 percent, will fund the new DukeEngage initiative and Duke's Global Health Institute, among other projects.

"This is the first budget since the release of Duke's strategic plan and it does a great job of supporting the University's values and priorities," Provost Peter Lange said in a statement Saturday.

Lange said Wednesday that strategic hiring as outlined in the plan, called "Making a Difference" and passed by the Board in October, will be a major area of impact for the fiscal plan.

"We've been able to do some very exciting things and interdisciplinary things by making cluster hires or reinforcing hires across different schools or promoting underrepresented minority hires," he said. "The great thing is that these are hires that departments have wanted to make anyway."

A 4.6-percent hike in tuition, room and board-bringing the standard cost at Duke to $45,121 a year-accounts for more than a quarter of the new revenue. The increase was announced prior to the Board's meeting.

The budget covers most of the University-including the medical and nursing schools-but not Duke Hospital and Duke University Health System.

In other business, Trustees approved resolutions recognizing former women's basketball players Lindsey Harding and Alison Bales, both Trinity '07, and former coach Gail Goestenkors for their accomplishments at a regular session Friday.

An update on the Campus Culture Initiative from Lange, originally scheduled for Friday's open meeting, was pushed back to a closed session Saturday.

"I think they were very pleased with what I told them," Lange said. "They found the report provocative.... I think they are very pleased that we've been guiding a set of very focused but expansive discussions with lots of students and increasingly lots of other groups also."

Trustees also heard a closed-door report from Director of Athletics Joe Alleva.

"He gave a kind of update about accomplishments and developments in athletics this year and identified a set of questions we're interested in just as part of having a strategic vision of athletics in the future," Brodhead said after the presentation. "We did not do a plan at this time; it was just sort of a preview of things to come."


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