After more than 13 years with the University, Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh will retire Sept. 30, according to a Tuesday press release.
Cavanaugh first served as Duke’s vice president for human resources in 2009, before an expansion of his responsibilities resulted in his title change to vice president for administration. Cavanaugh oversees human resources, staffing, disability management, parking and transportation, police and security and visa services. He also serves as the University’s emergency coordinator.
"It has been an absolute honor to serve this great institution and support Duke’s core missions over the past 13 years,” Cavanaugh said in the release. “Enormous thanks go out to the various diverse teams who have accomplished so much over the past decade and have allowed Duke to flourish on so many fronts.”
Cavanaugh’s tenure has seen a growth of 14,000 employees, an expansion of Duke’s benefit package and numerous recognitions for the University as a best place to work, according to the release. He led efforts to raise Duke’s minimum wage to $15 per hour and double parental leave benefits for staff. Cavanaugh has also worked to improve Duke’s security and transportation, such as bringing electric buses to campus and increasing security cameras across campus.
But Cavanaugh’s time at Duke, especially amid the pandemic, has also seen calls from workers for better compensation and safety, including hazard pay, back pay and improved communication from administration.
Most recently, Cavanaugh has helped guide Duke’s pandemic response as co-chair of the Team 2021 task force. Appointed by President Vincent Price in April 2020, Cavanaugh has advised Price and his team on short-term planning and decisions for the University’s operations amid the pandemic, including Duke’s surveillance testing approach and campus re-openings.
“I know I speak for the entire Duke community in expressing my deepest thanks to Kyle for his remarkable leadership,” Price said in the release. “Few university leaders have served their institutions as broadly or so well. His wide experience, mastery of planning, selfless commitment to teamwork, and unflagging energy have elevated our work for many years, and perhaps never so much as in these past several years navigating the pandemic.”
Before coming to Duke, Cavanaugh held senior positions at the University of Florida, University of Texas at Austin, Rice University and Vanderbilt University and Medical Center.
A search for Cavanaugh’s replacement has not yet been announced. Executive Vice President Daniel Ennis said in the coming weeks he would “assess the current role and scope of operations under Cavanaugh before determining how to best provide the necessary leadership,” according to the release.
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Milla Surjadi is a Trinity sophomore and a university news editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.