With all the uncertainty surrounding the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke is preparing for all scenarios—even the possibility that students don't return to campus this upcoming fall.
President Vincent Price has appointed two committees tasked with guiding Duke's short- and long-term plans as the COVID-19 pandemic poses logistical and financial challenges to the University. The two groups—dubbed Team 2021 and Team 2030—will focus on pressing difficulties and big-picture problems, respectively.
The committees will collaborate with and consult many governing bodies within and outside of Duke, including Academic Council and Price's cabinet.
“The Duke community has responded to this crisis in an extraordinary way, with creativity, commitment and courage,” Price said in the news release. “Now as we move from emergency management to recovery, the fact is that we simply don’t know when we will be able to reopen, or in what form. Even with that uncertainty, it is also clear that when we do get back to business, it will not be business as usual.”
Team 2021 will focus on how operations on Duke's campus will shift in the coming months, with an emphasis on the next academic year. The group will consider a range of options for keeping the Duke community safe, exploring if students and staff can return normally in the fall or if alternate scenarios, such as a delayed semester or complete shutdown, may be necessary.
A preliminary report will be delivered by June 1, with the full report coming by Aug. 30, after the currently scheduled first day of classes. Price directed Team 2021 to "seek and mitigate impact on low-income students," according to the release. The group will be chaired by Executive Vice Provost Jennifer Francis and Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh.
Team 2030 will address overarching financial challenges posed by a recession-bound economy as coronavirus and government-imposed lockdowns ensnare a variety of sectors in economic downturn. The committee will review the University's finances with an eye for potential avenues to redirect funding to safeguard Duke's future. A preliminary report will be delivered by Aug. 30, and the complete version will be submitted by Dec. 31.
Team 2030 will be chaired by Provost Sally Kornbluth and include the deans from Duke's 10 schools, among other administrators.