‘Excited to learn’: Public policy professor Deondra Rose named presidential fellow, talks priorities

Courtesy of Scholars @ Duke.
Courtesy of Scholars @ Duke.

President Vincent Price announced Deondra Rose, Kevin D. Gorter associate professor of public policy, as the 2023-24 school year's Presidential Fellow on Sept. 1.

“I am so excited about this opportunity to think about what it means to empower bold thinkers, remove barriers between faculty and administration and move the needle forward on positive change in society,” Rose said.

Rose is in her 10th year at Duke. She is also a professor of history and political science and the director of POLIS: Center for Politics.

The Presidential Fellowship was established by Price in 2020. The year-long commitment is designed to allow a promising faculty member to rotate through different aspects of administration and connect with university leadership in a variety of areas like academics, healthcare, campus life and athletics, according to Rose.

As a Presidential Fellow, Rose will shadow Price to gain insight into the strategic challenges facing the University. 

During the spring semester, the Presidential Fellow also works on a personal project of interest "to both the fellow and the President’s office."

Rose is Duke’s third Presidential Fellow, having been preceded by Tyson Brown, associate professor of sociology, and Adrienne Stiff-Roberts, Jeffrey N. Vinik professor of electrical and computer engineering. 

Rose noted that she “has had her eye on the program for a while,” especially after “[Brown] had glowing things to say about the unique opportunity to learn how the university works.” 

In addition to her new role, Rose maintains her appointment as chair of the President’s Council on Black Affairs. Rose emphasized that she is committed to advancing on-campus diversity, equity and inclusion efforts as part of her fellowship. 

“As a scholar of higher education policy, I spend a lot of time thinking about what it takes to foster transformative intellectual growth,” Rose said. “To my mind, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are vital to that goal. They are part and parcel of excellent education.” 

Rose’s appointment comes as Duke prepares to kick off its Centennial Celebration announcement, a time when she feels "a bit nostalgic and grateful" to be at Duke while it reflects on its past and looks towards it future.

Rose is learning how to navigate the many commitments that jockey for her time and attention. However, she noted that “it helps to have an additional perspective on what ‘busy’ means.” 

“I see how hard university leaders and my faculty colleagues work and am inspired by them every day,” Rose said.

Rose is already on week three of her Presidential Fellowship and will continue her work throughout the rest of the 2023-2024 academic term. Despite the new workload, Rose could not be more excited for this opportunity. 

“In some ways, I feel like I’m back in school. There’s a terrific energy that comes from having the good fortune of being engaged in something you are just so excited to learn about,” Rose said.

Jack Sabo profile
Jack Sabo

Jack Sabo is a Trinity first-year and a staff reporter for the news department.        


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