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Former Board chair to lead Duke Kunshan advisory group

Duke leadership is at the helm of a new advisory board at Duke Kunshan University.

DKU announced Monday the creation of the Duke Kunshan University Advisory Board. The board will advise DKU Chancellor Liu Jingnan and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Brown Bullock on a wide-range of issues—including finances and DKU’s relationship with the Chinese government and surrounding community. The group is not intended to address specific academic issues, though there is no set agenda.

The 19-member group includes Chinese and American representatives from the business, education, medicine and foreign policy sectors. Former Duke Board of Trustees Chair Richard Wagoner, Trinity ’75 and former CEO of General Motors, will lead the group.

“We will provide input on issues that DKU’s leaders think we can be most helpful on,” Wagoner wrote in an email Monday. “Our priority is supporting the development of the school and educational opportunities for its students.”

He noted that he has 15 years of experience working on joint venture institutions in China and that DKU was developed during his tenure on the Duke Board of Trustees.

The members were chosen over a months-long discussion among leaders at Duke, DKU and its Chinese partners—Wuhan University and the city of Kunshan, said Provost Peter Lange, calling the board an "extremely strong list of people." Duke and Wuhan both nominated members, but the final selection does not include a Kunshan representative.

Wagoner added that the advisory board has been part of the long-term plan for DKU, but it was only possible to establish the group after the Chinese Ministry of Education gave final approval for DKU last Fall.

There is not, however, any connection between the advisory board and the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry did not choose members, Lange noted.

The group will meet for the first time this spring in Beijing.

Other advisory board members with Duke connections are: current Duke Board Chair David Rubenstein, Trinity ’70 and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group; Board member Gao Xiqing, Law '86 and president of the China Investment Corporation; professor of medicine Dr. Andrew Huang, president and CEO of the Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center; Johnson & Johnson China Chairman Jesse Wu, Fuqua '82 and member of the Fuqua School of Business Board of Visitors; Fuqua Board Chairman Dennis Nally, chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International; and DKU consultant Yuan Ming, deputy dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University.

“Their cumulative experience in education, business and civic life will be of great benefit to DKU, and we are grateful for their willingness to lend their expertise to this new endeavor,” President Richard Brodhead said in a statement.

DKU also has a seven-person board of directors that met for the first time in November. The campus is slated to open Fall 2014.


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