Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, will retire from the post in 2019, despite his term being slated to end June 30, 2021.
Duke announced Moneta's retirement in a Duke Today article Monday morning.
"When I came to Duke 17 years ago, I never expected that I would complete my student affairs career here, and I’m so very grateful to have had the opportunity to do so," Moneta said in the release.
Moneta told The Chronicle in an email Monday that he had picked the date for his retirement two years ago—as he said his wife will affirm—and that at that time, he agreed with Provost Sally Kornbluth that he would not complete his five-year term.
He will use his newfound free time for "teaching, consulting, travel and grandkids."
Moneta came to Duke in 2001 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the associate vice president for campus services. In his role as vice president for student affairs at Duke, he oversaw a variety of university functions—including student activities, housing and dining. Student conduct at the undergraduate and graduate level was also under his purview.
"There’s an old phrase in student affairs. Student affairs is about comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable," Moneta said in a May interview with The Chronicle. "That always had meaning to me."
His position oversees a variety of university functions, ranging from housing and dining to health and wellness.
At Duke, Moneta has been a public face for the University on a number of incidents that have drawn national attention, including the lacrosse case and the controversy when a noose was found on campus in 2015. He often sent emails to the student body regarding news on topics ranging from snow days to campus crimes and world events.
Moneta came under fire last semester for an incident that resulted in two campus baristas being fired after Moneta complained about a rap song they were playing. The University and Joe Van Gogh issued statements on the incident, with Moneta adding that it was "never my intent that any of the Joe Van Gogh employees be terminated."
“If one were to just spend some time understanding what my role is and the work I’ve done, I’ve been a very loud and vocal advocate for our underrepresented and marginalized communities,” Moneta told The Chronicle afterward. “Nothing hurt me more than being portrayed as racist.”
President Vincent Price issued a statement apologizing for the incident.
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"I am, in particular, sorry that the words of one of my senior administrators recently resulted in two individuals working for one of our on-campus vendors losing their jobs; and while I am pleased that the vendor has taken steps to reverse this action, I apologize for the precipitous and unfair treatment these employees experienced," Price wrote in a statement at the time.
Joe Van Gogh left its campus location in the wake of the incident.
During his time as vice president of student affairs, Moneta oversaw the opening of the Student Wellness Center in 2017 and the revamping of the Brodhead Center.
“Larry has turned Duke into a national leader in nearly every aspect of student life,” said President Vincent Price in the Duke Today release Monday morning. “We have all benefited from Larry’s wisdom, boundless energy, commitment to diversity and inclusion, deep compassion and concern for the success of our students."
As Moneta has for more than 20 years, he says he will continue to teach at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education as an adjunct faculty member. Moneta said he is also exploring other options and is "not sure" if he will teach at Duke, where he is adjunct faculty in the Sanford School of Public Policy’s Hart Leadership Program.
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, told The Chronicle that Moneta's role at Duke going forward is "still to be determined," but Schoenfeld said he anticipates staying in touch with Moneta.
"Personally, I look forward to calling on Larry for wisdom and advice for a long time to come," Schoenfeld wrote in an email to The Chronicle.
The University will commence a search for Moneta's successor in the Fall.
"After 45 years of working on a college campus, though, my list of unfinished projects remains as long today as when I started," Moneta said in Monday's news release.
Check back for updates to this developing story.