Continuing Kunshan

New start date, new leaders for China effort


Construction delays, partly caused by poor weather, have pushed the opening of Duke Kunshan University to spring 2013, President Richard H. Brodhead announced at a meeting of the Academic Council this fall.

DKU, a joint venture with the city of Kunshan and Wuhan University, was planned to open in the fall of 2012, but Provost Peter Lange reported that the venture remains on track despite the delay. "Generally, we have been making steady progress on all fronts, while encountering the kinds of glitches and issues one would expect in a project of this kind, working in a distant and culturally unfamiliar setting, working with new partners, on complex issues," Lange said.

DKU initially will offer a master's of management studies science program from the Fuqua School of Business and a master's of science program from the Duke Global Health Institute. Fuqua's faculty has voted its approval of the program, and other schools, including the law school and the Nicholas School of the Environment, also are interested in developing DKU ventures. A small undergraduate program will eventually follow.

Meanwhile, Duke has announced hires for three senior leadership positions related to DKU. Mingzheng Shi, the founding director of New York University in Shanghai, will serve as executive director of the DKU initiative. William C. Kirby, a professor of business administration at Harvard University and a leading scholar of modern China, joins Duke as a senior adviser for China programs. Nora Bynum, who managed the three-way agreement to form DKU, has been named associate vice provost for global strategy and programs and managing director for DKU and China initiatives.

Brodhead and Lange assured the faculty that Chinese officials have agreed to Duke's fundamental principles of academic freedom and quality. They also announced new leadership structures to promote faculty engagement and to aid Duke officials in negotiating with the Chinese bureaucracy.

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