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Board of Trustees to hold open forum Wednesday

Duke’s Board of Trustees will hold the first of its four annual public forums on Wednesday, Sept. 4. The forum will be open to Duke community members per a new transparency initiative, which began in 2018.

Richard Riddell, senior vice president and secretary to the Board, announced the forum Aug. 27 in an email to the Duke community.

Riddell wrote that the forum will follow up on the May 2019 Board of Trustees meeting and the results of task forces that met during the 2018-2019 academic year. At the May meeting, the Trustees approved Duke’s $2.8 billion operating budget and determined that two of the four task forces⁠—Activating the Global Network and the Next Generation Living and Learning Experience—would continue to meet for the 2019-2020 academic year. 

The other two task forces were Future of Central Campus and Advancing Duke Science and Technology. The Board only released one-page executive summaries of the task forces’ reports.

The Board also re-elected Jack Bovender, Trinity ‘67 and Graduate School ‘69, to a second two-year term as chair of the Board. Bovender will now serve through 2021.

The Board of Trustees is Duke’s fiduciary, responsible for controlling Duke’s financial and strategic direction.

Summaries of the board meetings are available from the Office of the Secretary on the public Board of Trustees website within a week after each meeting. After the meeting summaries are published, the open forums provide an opportunity for members of the Duke community to discuss the meetings and ask questions of Riddell and other meeting participants who choose to attend. Along with Riddell, one Trustee—Patricia Morton, Trinity ‘77—attended the inaugural open forum in January 2019.

The next forum is scheduled for Oct. 16, and there will be two more in the Spring semester. 

The transparency initiatives were announced in October 2018 in response to calls from the student body and People’s State of the University—a student activist organization—for increased transparency. The Board then approved a three-pronged approach, including reviewing the policy on corporate records, publishing meeting summaries and hosting open forums like the one this week.

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