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Board of Trustees to discuss endowment transparency and performance

The Board of Trustees will review current endowment transparency policies and approve a number of construction projects at their meeting this weekend.

The Board will be informed of the Duke University Management Companys return on the endowment for fiscal year 2012, and receive routine updates from a number of University initiatives—such as online education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Duke Forward capital campaign.

President Richard Brodhead will also recommend a number of changes to endowment policies after having held meetings with DukeOpen—a student coalition that aims to increase the transparency of Duke's endowment.

The recommendations include expanding the Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility, by adding one trustee, one faculty member, one undergraduate student and one graduate student. The committee—which oversees and advises on issues of social responsibility related to endowment assets—currently consists of three faculty members, two students, four administrators and one alumna.

In addition, Brodhead will recommend that the ACIR, which currently meets on an ad hoc basis, begin meeting regularly to monitor the social responsibility issues related to DUMAC, eliminating the President's Special Committee on Investment Responsibility which currently screens investment-related concerns and refers the most pertinent ones to ACIR. If the recommendations are approved, ACIR members will be placed under nondisclosure agreements and have access to information on DUMAC's direct holdings, allowing the committee to advise the president on investment responsibility.

An additional recommendation is the creation of a social choice fund. If the fund is approved, University donors who make contributions to the endowment can choose to contribute to the social choice fund.

"These were first introduced through DukeOpen which has provided a valuable forum for looking at these issues," said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations.

The Board will also discuss Duke Forward—a seven-year campaign to raise $3.25 billion. Duke Forward is currently ahead of initial projections for this time of the year, Schoenfeld said.

Dean of the Divinity School Richard Hays will present to the Board about plans at the school in the upcoming year.

Hays could not be reached for comment in time for publication.

Tracy Futhey, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, will update the trustees on IT security.

"I will be presenting about information technology security and the risks we face everyday, along with the steps we take to protect the campus IT environment today and into the future," Futhey wrote in an email Thursday.

A number of the trustees will be participating in the events this weekend that conclude a nine-month commemoration of the 50th anniversary of black students enrolling at the University. Events include a gala celebration and a jazz performance by Billy Childs and Diane Reeves.