Divinity dean to take post as Duke senior adviser

On March 1, Divinity School Dean Gregory Jones will take his new post as Duke's senior adviser for international strategy.

President Richard Brodhead and Provost Peter Lange made the announcement Wednesday that Jones will succeed Dr. Sanders Williams, who is leaving Duke to become president of the J. David Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco. Richard Hays, who is the George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at the Divinity School, will assume the position of dean for the next two years.

“The president and I selected Dean Jones because he’s ideal for the job,” Lange said, adding that he believes Jones has the best experience, energy, vision and commitment to Duke’s international initiatives.

Jones said his new role is multi-faceted, adding that he will work with the president, the provost, the Board of Trustees and other deans to ensure that all international projects on campus are followed through.

“A number of the schools [at Duke] and organizations, such as the Global Health Institute, are already developing relationships and initiatives internationally,” Jones said. “For example, in China, we need to develop the relationship there and develop the campus [in Kunshan]. We have to be sure we deliver on the agreement made with China.”

Concerning future international relationships, Jones said he hopes to develop new partners and more opportunities on Duke’s campus for students to become more globally aware.

“Environmental, cultural and economic studies aren’t confined to geographic boundaries,” he said. “We don’t want to be tourists of the world, we want to develop deeper relationships that will give us an opportunity to learn and make deep connections with others internationally.”

Jones added that his plans for the position are still in early stages, but he is working with Williams over the next month to learn and develop the work Williams has done as senior adviser for international strategy.  

Hays, who will assume deanship July 1, said he has no plans to make any drastic changes to the school.

“The Divinity School is in a very strong position, part of what I need to do is to keep things on course,” Hays said. “Jones has done a splendid job as dean and we have a strong faculty and excellent student body.”

Hays added that he wants to continue strategic planning for installing several new degree programs within the Divinity School, which would include overseeing some faculty appointments, and wants to continue strengthening both the Th.D. program and expanding the new field of theology and art.

“During the two-year appointment, the plan is to put in place a search process for a dean to take over the office in 2012,” Hays said, but noted that the process has not yet started.

CORRECTION: An previous version of this story incorrectly stated the role that Gregory Jones will assume. He has been named senior adviser for international strategy for the University as a whole. The Chronicle regrets the error.


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