Everyone knows about men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and President Richard Brodhead, but what about the other important figures on Duke's campus? The Chronicle compiled a list of important people to know as the 2016-17 academic year begins, spanning administrators to athletic figures and student leaders.
Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, just celebrated 15 years at Duke. Known affectionately as "LMo," he is famous around campus for his (often humorous) snow day emails, but also his engagement with the Duke community during a global tragedy. Check out an interview The Chronicle did with Moneta June 2015 here.
Executive Vice President Tallman Trask manages financial services for the University, but since last Spring has been the subject of controversy on campus. The Chronicle reported that in 2013, he hit a parking attendant with his car and allegedly used a racial slur against her. Following the article, a group of nine students staged a sit-in of the Allen Building that lasted a week, and activist group Duke Student and Workers in Solidarity also issued demands that Trask's employment be terminated.
Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek is a Duke alum who is passionate about the University, and cows—she collects models of them in her office and apartment. A faculty-in-residence for East Campus dorm Gilbert-Addoms, Wasiolek—known affectionately as Dean Sue—is a well-known face on campus and is often willing to talk with students during tough situations.
Valerie Ashby, dean of the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, is responsible for providing undergraduates with a well-rounded, engaging liberal arts education. One of her main goals is to promote diversity among the student body and faculty. At an open forum last November, she promised that new faculty will be held to high standards during their annual review. “We will evaluate the entirety of the person—you can’t be a great scholar and intolerant. You have to go,” she said.
As the dean and vice provost for undergraduate education, Steve Nowicki works to create enriching academic, extracurricular and social experiences for Duke students. He loves interacting with students and helped begin Duke Conversations, in which students can get to know professors in a more casual setting. He works to increase diversity in the University through programs like the Washington Duke Scholars. You can often find him in the band section at Cameron Indoor Stadium cheering on the Blue Devils.
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A former director of Duke in Venice, Starn is one professor of the popular Introduction to Cultural Anthropology course in the Spring. Nationally, Starn is recognized for speaking out during the Duke lacrosse case and for writing a book about Tiger Woods. On campus, he is known for his hijinks in class—including bringing chickens to lecture.
Astrachan, associate director of undergraduate studies in computer science, is a professor of the Introduction to Computer Science course, a common class for freshmen. Outside of Duke, he is an expert in his field—he testified on behalf of Google in their case against Oracle this May. He is known for making his classes interesting with jokes and, occasionally, cupcakes.
Ariely—James B. Duke professor of psychology and behavioral economics—is known for his studies in decision making. He released a documentary in summer 2015 titled "Dishonesty: The Truth About Lies" and is the co-founder of BEworks, which aims to use behavioral science techniques to solve businesses' problems. He also directs the Center for Advanced Hindsight and has been featured on TED talks.
Bansal is a senior and the current president of Duke Student Government. In her first few weeks in office, Bansal had to deal with controversy over funding of the Peer Advocates for Sexual Health initiative. Looking forward, Bansal said she hopes to see a “dynamic and progressive vision." Bansal is also the fifth consecutive female president of DSG.
Oliver is a senior and current president of Duke University Union. With the opening of West Union, DUU has a number of new responsibilities this year to coordinate programming for that space. In an interview with The Chronicle, Oliver noted that her goals for her time in office include collaborating with other groups, having more intimate programming and executing changes made in the past year.
In March, senior Tiana Horn was elected to serve as president of the Black Student Alliance for the 2016-17 school year. The group focuses on advocacy and activism, in addition to hosting social events. In an earlier interview with The Chronicle, Horn said that she plans to focus on “continuing BSA’s legacy” and strengthening Duke’s black community.
This year, senior Steven Soto will serve as the president of Blue Devils United, Duke's undergraduate LGBTQ+ organization. In an email to The Chronicle, Soto said that this year, BDU plans to focus on creating more intersectional and collaborative spaces, in addition to advocating against House Bill 2 and engaging in the greater Durham community.
Kim Cates is the owner of Shooters II—an 18-to-enter, 21-to-drink Wednesday and Saturday night destination a short walk from East Campus. Famous for its mechanical bull, Shooters is a staple—and perhaps the cornerstone—of Duke’s nightlife. In an interview with The Chronicle last June, Cates said that she loves getting to know Duke students and making sure everyone “is having a good time.”
The man behind the recent renovations of Duke’s athletic facilities is definitely someone to know when you step on campus. Kevin White, vice president and director of athletics, came to Duke in May 2008 after eight years at Notre Dame. He has helped oversee major construction projects on Duke’s athletics campus—including renovations to Cameron Indoor Stadium and Wallace Wade Stadium—and has brought softball to the University.
The Blue Devils have won seven team NCAA championships and 17 ACC titles during White’s time in Durham. He also serves on the U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors and the NCAA's men’s basketball tournament selection committee.
Duke won 10 football games between 2000 to 2007. Then the Blue Devils hired David Cutcliffe. They have won 48 football games in the past eight years, including Duke’s first bowl victory in 54 years last December against Indiana. Duke has made four straight bowl games, and in 2013 Cutcliffe won National Coach of the Year honors after leading a team that was picked to finish at the bottom of the Coastal Division to a division title and ACC championship berth.