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Board of Trustees approves new $61 million building, changes name of Sanford degrees at December meeting

This Saturday, the Board of Trustees approved a new building for the School of Nursing, School of Medicine’s doctor of physical therapy program and department of orthopedic surgery. 

According to a Duke Today release, the University has scheduled construction on the new building, which will cost $61 million, to be completed in Fall 2019. The new 102,000 square-foot facility, which will have five floors, will replace the one-story, 14,000 square-foot Elizabeth C. Clipp Research Building. 

The trustees also approved new graduate degree programs in materials science and engineering and in dance.

The School of Nursing will occupy half of the new building, and it will house the school’s Ph.D. program, Center for Nursing Research, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Student Services and the Duke Health Center for Inter-Professional Education. Additionally, Duke's doctor of physical therapy program, as well as administration and graduate medical education offices for the department of orthopedic surgery will be placed in the new building.

The trustees also approved a new university program in materials science and engineering that will offer multidisciplinary Master of Science, Master of Engineering and doctoral degrees. Faculty for the new programs will come from all four academic departments of the Pratt School of Engineering and from the biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics departments in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences.  

According to the Duke Today release, the program expects to matriculate its first students in Fall 2018. In October, the Academic Council unanimously approved the proposal for the new program.

The trustees also approved a degree in Master of Fine Arts in Dance. Purnima Shah, associate professor of the practice of dance and director of the program of dance, said at the Academic Council's first November meeting that they hope to recruit seven students per year for the two-year terminal degree program.

“We’ve been working very hard on this for over a year, so it’s very exciting,” Shah said.

The Dance Program will be housed in the new Rubenstein Arts Center, which holds two dance studios and faculty and staff offices. The Arts Center will open in January.

In other business

Current and former students, coaches and staff involved in athletics discussed various aspects of intercollegiate athletics with the trustees. Speakers present included Kevin White, vice president and director of athletics, men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Olympic Gold Medalist Abby Johnston, Trinity '13 and a student in the School of Medicine.

Price noted that key points talked about included student-athletes' “academic welfare” and “academic progress,” but that the discussion was not for decision-making regarding athletics.

The trustees approved a change in the names of Sanford School degrees from “public policy studies” to “public policy.” According to the Duke Today release, the name change affects the school’s undergraduate major and Ph.D. degree, and was made in order to create consistency between the school's name, program and degree names and course titles.

Durham Mayor-elect Steve Schewel, Trinity '73 and Ph.D. '82, also spoke to the trustees.

“Steve Schewel has a 45-year history with Duke. He's a very proud alum, he's taught at the Sanford School, he's been involved in DukeEngage, he's a neighbor, he's a very active citizen,” Schoenfeld said. “So as far as Duke is concerned, having Steve as mayor—someone who knows Duke and knows Duke well—and someone who has seen how Duke has evolved over the years, especially in its relationship with the community, is very valuable.”

In light of recent sexual harassment allegations, Charlie Rose—Trinity ‘64 and Law ‘68, who received an honorary degree during the 2016 commencement ceremony—was the subject of a discussion by the Honorary Degree Committee.

However, no decision was made about Rose's honorary degree during the meeting, and Price said the matter “continues to be under discussion.”


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