Duke University Alumni Magazine


ormer President Jimmy Carter will deliver Duke's 1997 commencement address Sunday, May 18. "Both as president and as a private citizen," says Duke President Nannerl O. Keohane, "President Carter has made significant contributions to our discussions of ethics and morality in contemporary life." Carter's grandson, Trinity senior Jason Carter, will be among the graduates.

     Carter, who served as the nation's thirty-ninth president from 1977 to 1981, has long been a world leader in human rights, both during his years in the White House and afterwards. In 1982, he founded the nonprofit Carter Center in Atlanta to promote peace and human rights worldwide. Under his leadership, the center has initiated projects in more than sixty-five countries to resolve conflicts, prevent human-rights abuses, build democracy, improve health, and revitalize urban areas.

     A native of Plains, Georgia, where he and his wife Rosalynn still live, Carter graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1946. He embarked on a naval career as a nuclear engineer, but following the death of his father in 1953, he resigned from the Navy and returned home to take over the family farm and business.

     His public career began in 1955 when he was elected to the Sumter County, Georgia, school board; he became its chairman in 1960. In 1962, he was elected to the Georgia Senate and after two terms, ran for governor of Georgia in 1966, finishing third in the primary election. Four years later, he was elected. During his governorship, he appointed a record number of minorities and women to state boards and agencies, pushed for environmental improvements, and reorganized state government.

     Carter was not eligible for a second term as governor so he ran for president. Sensing the mood of the country following the Watergate scandal, he built his campaign on moderate positions and an anti-Washington theme. He scored early victories in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary in 1976 that shocked political pundits and led to a first-ballot selection at the Democratic national convention. In November, he defeated President Gerald Ford.

     As president, Carter established human rights as a tenet of American policy. Through the historic Camp David agreement signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1978, he helped bring amity between Egypt and Israel. That agreement set the stage for current efforts to resolve disputes in the Middle East. During his presidency, he also established full diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and completed negotiation of the SALT II nuclear weapons limitation treaty with the Soviet Union.

     But there were also serious setbacks during his presidency. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, causing the suspension of plans for ratifying SALT II. That invasion also resulted in an American boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow. However, it was the consequences of Iran holding Americans captive, together with double-digit inflation at home, that contributed to Carter's defeat in 1980, observers say. Even after losing the election, he continued the difficult hostage negotiations, and on the same day he left office, Iran finally released the fifty-two Americans.

     Since leaving the presidency, Carter has been a champion of volunteerism, particularly of Habitat for Humanity, contributing his own time to construction of homes across the country. He has also written nine books, including his latest, Living Faith, published in 1996.

     Elizabeth Hanford Dole '58 earlier had agreed to deliver the Duke commencement address but, because of a scheduling conflict in her duties as president of the American Red Cross, she notified the university in February that she could not meet the commitment. She has agreed to address the senior class on April 12, the final day of Duke Senior Week. The full text of Carter's commencement address is available online after May 20, 1997, at www.dukenews.duke.edu/.


rustees approved a 4.7 percent increase in the total cost of undergraduate education for 1997-98, the lowest increase in more than a decade. Total charges for an entering arts and sciences student next fall will be $29,096, including $21,550 for tuition, $6,853 for room and board, and $693 for health, recreation, student government, and registration fees. The total for the current school year was $27, 799.

     The cost for a continuing second-year student, who does not pay the one-time registration fees, will be $29,029--an increase of 4.4 percent over last year. Costs for continuing third- and fourth-year students in the 1997-98 school year will be $28,926--4.7 percent more than this year--because they do not pay the student-endorsed $100 recreation fee that is being phased in with the Class of 2000.

     The total costs for continuing students in the current school year were 4.9 percent higher than in 1995-96. Officials said next year's 4.7 percent increase is the lowest since at least 1985-86.

     Provost John Strohbehn, who presented the tuition proposal at the trustees' February meeting, said every effort was made to keep increases to a minimum while sustaining the academic quality of the university's undergraduate programs. He said the new fees will also allow Duke to continue its policy of admitting undergraduates without regard to their ability to pay, and then meeting all their demonstrated financial need. "We have been very deliberate in our attempts to ensure adequate funding for our academic programs," Strohbehn told the trustees. The growth in central administrative expenses for next year will be about 3.5 percent, he said, the lowest in recent years.

     Duke, like other research universities, faces expenses that normally rise faster than the rate of inflation, officials said. These include financial aid, deferred maintenance, laboratory and computer costs, and the costs of attracting and keeping high quality faculty.

     The university's arts and sciences tuition and mandatory fees for the current school year placed Duke at number ten among nineteen comparative national private universities. Strohbehn said that he did not expect Duke's position to change significantly for the 1997-98 academic year.

     Tuition, fees, and room and board for continuing engineering students next fall will be $29,886--also a 4.7 percent increase over last year's total.

     The arts and sciences tuition alone for students in 1997-98 represents a 5 percent increase over last year's tuition. The typical room charge of $3,553 for two semesters is 4.6 percent more than the current year, and next year's typical board cost will be $3,300, up 2.8 percent from this year.

     The following are tuition rates for graduate and professional schools in 1997-98:

    • Divinity--6.2 percent increase to $9,560;
    • Fuqua School of Business--4.1 percent increase to $24,100 for daytime M.B.A. students;
    • Graduate School--10 percent increase to $18,040;
    • Law--4.5 percent increase to $23,250;
    • Medicine--5.1 percent increase to $25,900;
    • Nicholas School of the Environment--4.8 percent increase to $17,300;
    • Nursing--4 percent increase to $19,098.


lthough nothing official has been signed yet, Duke is close to finalizing its role as the major coordinating partner in a project to establish a research-oriented American-style university in Thailand.

     The Asian International University (AIU), scheduled to be built on a hillside on Thailand's eastern seaboard about fifty miles from Bangkok, is designed to address all academic subjects--including arts and sciences, business, law, and the environment--from an interdisciplinary approach. Thai business and government leaders expect the new English-speaking university to enroll its first class of freshmen in 1999.

     William Ascher, a professor in public policy studies and political science at Duke who has been director of the Sanford Institute of Public Policy for the past two-and-a-half years, is working with Thai officials to get the university up and running. Ascher has resigned his director's position at Duke and is now recruiting faculty as well as overseeing a host of other details.

     "There are very few first-rate universities in East Asia, including Southeast Asia, for the demand of bright students who are coming up," says Ascher. "This is a region that has been the fastest growing of any in the world. In Thailand, the rate of growth in the past decade has been 9 to 10 percent a year, and the number of students who can afford to go to college and who have an adequate high school background has increased enormously."

     Thailand's economic growth has resulted in a need for well-educated managers, technical workers, and leaders. "When an economy is growing that fast, you get a bottleneck," says Ascher. "Right now, there are 20,000 to 30,000 American expatriates working in Thailand to fill jobs that Thais, if they were adequately trained, could fill."

     Duke was first contacted about the prospect of being involved with AIU nearly two years ago. Some of the prospective founders knew Ascher both personally and through his work at Duke's Center for International Development Research. The negotiations heated up in August, when Ascher and Peter Lange, then vice provost for academics and international affairs at Duke, visited Thailand. Since then, Duke officials have spoken with Duke faculty members, Asian specialists throughout the country, and others about the feasibility of establishing a first-rate university in Thailand. "We spent a lot of time looking at it," says Bruce Kuniholm A.M. '72, A.M. '77, Ph.D. '76, the current vice provost for academics and international affairs. "The question that underscored the process was the intellectual and academic value to Duke and benefit to the Thais."

     Another critical question was whether the prospective founders were committed to a costly project that may take years to reach a break-even financial position. "The founders are very distinguished people whose resources are substantial," says Kuniholm, "and it appears that they are prepared to sustain the enterprise."

     In December, after having been reviewed by a number of university committees, including the executive committee of the Academic Council, the proposal was favorably received by the Academic Affairs Committee of the Duke board of trustees. But no documents have been signed yet. It may be summer before a final agreement is reached, according to Provost John Strohbehn.

     Under the proposals being discussed, Duke would establish a committee made up of a chair and eight Duke faculty members to advise AIU on academic matters and other issues. Two Duke faculty members and/or administrators would serve on the equivalent of the board of trustees for AIU. Duke also would be involved in setting up a joint Institute for Asian Studies. In return for its efforts, Duke would receive funding for the research activities of the Institute of Asian Studies and for other academic activities at Duke, though the specific funding arrangements have to be worked out.


f you rely on newsletters for sound investment advice, you may want to rethink your strategy. That's the conclusion of a five-year study by professors at Duke's Fuqua School of Business and the University of Utah's Eccles School of Business. According to the study of 326 personal investment newsletters, conducted by Campbell Harvey, a professor of finance at Fuqua, and John Graham, a professor of finance at Eccles, an average of just 16.5 percent of the newsletters provided valuable investment advice.

     The newsletters were evaluated from 1991-1995 (long-term) and 1994-1995 (recent performance) and were compared to a passive portfolio of S&P; 500 futures and cash that had the same risk over the evaluation period. "Right now, the stock market is at record highs and the asset allocation decision--stocks versus bonds--is critical," says Harvey. "People need sound investment advice, and newsletters are not the way to go. They failed to provide valuable investment advice, and even some high-profile letters performed poorly."

     According to the study, an investment in the best performing newsletters' strategies in December 1990 would have produced an annual return of 12.6 percent in exactly five years. A passive strategy with the same volatility, however, would have delivered a 16 percent return over the same period. "What's more, of the 189 newsletters evaluated from 1991 to 1995, just thirty-two of them performed positively," Harvey says.

     The authors assigned a letter grade to each newsletter based on performance. The top 10 percent received a grade of "A" while the bottom 10 percent received a failing grade of "F." The best letters ("A+") produced annual returns 3.5 percent above a volatility-matched passive portfolio, while the worst letters ("F") produced annual returns 20.7 percent below the portfolio. "Although most newsletters performed poorly," Harvey says, "we did find that newsletters which have the hot hands are able to predict up and down movements in the market."

     The Kinsman "Spar" Portfolio and the Margo-Mutual Funds Portfolio were the only two newsletters to earn the "A+" grade for both long-term and short-term dividends.


hen the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented three years ago, it signified how important Canada and Mexico are to the United States as trading partners and neighbors. More importantly, NAFTA also pointed out relationships among the three countries that go well beyond economics.

     To study those relationships, Duke has established a North American Studies Center that focuses on Mexico, the United States, and Canada as a region. To inaugurate the center, Jaime Serra Puche, former Mexican minister of trade, and John Weekes, chief Canadian NAFTA negotiator, led a January discussion on "The Future of North America."

     Frederick Mayer, a professor of public policy studies and the new center's director, says Duke hopes to build a community of scholars interested in the broader issues raised by NAFTA. "The regionalization process will not be confined to the economy," he says, "but will have broader consequences for political institutions, patterns of migration, culture, and the environment. It's an opportunity for Duke to do something no one else is doing."

     "NAFTA is important, but not for the reason most people usually think," says Mayer, a former aide to recently-retired Senator Bill Bradley, who worked to get NAFTA passed in the United States. "The economic implications are far less significant than the establishment of a different relationship among Canada, Mexico, and the United States."

     John Thompson, director of the Canadian Studies Program at Duke and an associate director of the new center, says Canada and Mexico have long been vital trade partners of the United States--Canada is now the U.S.'s largest trade partner, while Mexico is in the top five. Yet the NAFTA fight was the first time that Canada and Mexico were viewed as important to the nation. "We could see that something was happening in North America that no one was prepared to study," he says.

     Gustavo Vega-Canovas, a professor at the Center for International Studies at El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City, will also serve as an associate director of the center. He says NAFTA has already been stimulating strong academic interest in assessing the immediate economic, employment, and environmental impacts of North American integration. "However, until now, no academic program has concentrated on studying the broader political, social, and cultural consequences of regionalization and looking deeper to situate contemporary phenomena within the long history of the interaction of Canada and Mexico with the United States," he says.

     Duke has devoted five faculty positions to North American Studies and offers seventy-seven courses related to North America. Six central areas of comparative study through the center will be migration, institutional change, sub-national implications of regional integration, the environment, communication and cultural production, and regional national identities.


n the most comprehensive study of its kind, Duke Medical Center cardiologists found that in a group of 12,000 patients, blacks were much less likely to receive heart by-pass surgery than whites, and the death rates of blacks were significantly higher.

     "This disparity in treatment exists nationwide, and we see the study results as a call to action to improve patient-physician interactions, which are crucial in arriving at the best course of treatment," says cardiologist Eric Peterson, who led the research team. "Both patients and physicians must be highly involved in making informed decisions about what makes the most sense for individual patients."

     Peterson and five fellow researchers at Duke's Clinical Research Institute used information from the Duke Databank for Cardiovascular Disease to perform the analysis. The databank is the largest single computerized repository of extensive treatment information on heart patients, containing data on more than 100,000 cardiac patients seen at Duke over the past twenty-eight years.

     For this study, the researchers examined in detail the clinical care given to a group of 12,402 patients, 10 percent of whom were black, treated at Duke between 1984 and 1992. The black patients were slightly younger than the white patients, and more of them were women. They were also more likely to have diabetes and hypertension.

     The researchers found that, all things being equal, blacks received slightly fewer artery-clearing angioplasties than whites, but blacks were 32 percent less likely to undergo heart by-pass surgery. Peterson further concluded that the greatest racial disparity in the use of by-pass surgery "was actually among the patients who stood to gain the most from it." Black patients had worse long-term outcomes; in fact, blacks were 18 percent more likely to die than whites during five years of follow-up study.

     But what isn't so clear cut, according to the researchers, is why the disparity in care exists. The Duke records are some of the most detailed available. However, they don't include information on what treatments physicians recommended to patients or whether the patients chose to follow those recommendations. The records also don't reflect whether a decision not to proceed to by-pass surgery was made upon examination of angiograms, which are diagnostic tests that show the extent of coronary disease. Patients with diffuse or distal heart disease are not prime candidates for surgery, Peterson says.

     The researchers, most of whom are physicians who see patients in clinic, believe that a major factor in the finding that blacks are not getting surgery is that many of these patients prefer a less invasive, less high-tech approach to disease treatment. "Our findings are consistent with other institutional reviews that found blacks were less likely than whites to opt for surgery," Peterson says. "I know that among my own patients, there is a considerable difference in preferences. That may be due to a combination of religious values, cultural mores, and/or one's trust in aggressive medical approaches, which often present high risks."

     "We have to look at ways to better inform all our patients as to the risks and benefits of various treatment options," Peterson says. "In doing so, better decisions for care for all patients can be achieved."


Crossing cultures: Fields, translator of Spanish biographies

hawn Fields says the first time she heard the name Eva Peron was from the lips of her mother, an Argentinian aristocrat, whose opinion of the controversial first wife of Argentina's dictator Juan Peron was summarized tersely in two words: "That woman!" Such an endorsement was enough to intrigue Fields, who recently translated the latest Eva Peron biography.

     With the book's growing success and the release of the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, Fields is spending time discussing the charismatic woman's life with reporters and on national talk radio shows. But, she maintains, her number one priority is her studies as a first-year M.B.A. student at Duke's Fuqua School of Business.

     While her family has supported her success as a translator, they have also been careful not to comment much on the book's subject, she says. "When my literary agent called and asked if I'd be interested in working on a book on Eva Peron, I said, definitely, yes. Because of my heritage and the myths about Eva Peron, I wanted to find out more about her."

     Eva Peron has received mostly positive reviews, Fields says. She attributes that to the research of author Alicia Dujovne-Ortiz, a well-known Argentinian journalist with access to some of those close to the notorious Perons. "I'd describe the book as substantive, historical, and well-researched," says Fields. "Eva's story is an amazing one in many ways. To see what power a woman had over a country, especially one so patriarchal, was amazing. She was actually able to move the masses to action. Also amazing were her ambition and her rise from illegitimacy in a poor rural town, to popularity as an actress in Buenos Aires, and then to a place of power as first lady of Argentina."

     The book is selling well--450,000 copies so far (most translations sell around 10,000). The paperback version will be available in November.

     Though Eva Peron is her second book--her first was the best-selling biography of the murdered Hispanic singer Selena--translations aren't the focus of Fields' career goals. Fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, and English and conversant in Japanese, she is pursuing a career in international business. Since graduation from Boston University, she has made good use of her global travel experience and talent for languages--working as assistant to the director of finance for Carnegie Hall, and then working three years for the National Basketball Association's international licensing and marketing department.

     "I grew up traveling from the States to South America, attended French school in New York, and then spent time in Italy during college, so there definitely has been this global theme in my life," she says.


en who monopolize conversations, interrupt others, and excessively compete for attention--a personality trait known as "social dominance"--have a higher rate of early death than men who have a more relaxed approach to communicating, according to Michael Babyak, a Duke Medical Center researcher.

     In a twenty-two-year study of 750 white, middle-class men, Babyak and his colleagues at three other institutions found that men who were identified as socially dominant were 60 percent more likely than other subjects to die of all causes during the study period. Babyak and the lead investigator, the late B. Kent Houston, conducted the study while at the University of Kansas, in conjunction with colleagues from the University of California at Berkeley and at San Francisco (UCSF).

     The researchers say theirs is the first study to calculate the long-term health risks of social dominance, a behavior distinctly different from one's being gregarious and outgoing. Until now, Type A behavior and hostility have been the major personality traits that science has strongly linked to adverse health, says Babyak, an assistant clinical professor of medical psychology at Duke.

     The new study suggests that social dominance by itself is as much of a risk factor as hostility. Conversely, men who spoke calmly and quietly had lower than normal rates of heart disease and early death compared to all other personality subgroups in the study. "We don't know why this effect exists, but we theorize that socially dominant men are more chronically aroused and stressed, so they release more of the damaging stress hormones," says Babyak. It could also be that the same gene or genes that influence socially dominant behavior--if such genes exist--also cause heart disease and other illnesses that lead to an early death, he says, but such a theory is still speculative.

     While social dominance and hostility are both traits of the Type A personality, Babyak says the two behaviors are different. Hostility is often a tool dominant people use to get their way, but dominant behavior can be an attempt to control without necessarily using hostility. "Interestingly, socially dominant women may be at less health risk than socially dominant men because dominance may mean something different for women," he says. "In men, dominance appears to involve getting ahead of other people strictly for the sake of getting ahead, and that seems to be a key aspect of its danger." In women, however, dominance generally means gathering more support for one's cause and collaborating instead of competing.

     Babyak says that social dominance is not the same thing as being excessively outgoing or achievement-oriented because dominance is driven by feelings of insecurity, whereas the latter traits are driven by self-confidence and the desire for personal fulfillment. Socially dominant people tend to be attention-seekers who are trying to get ahead at the expense of others and are struggling to prove their self-worth.

     To identify socially dominant men, the researchers conducted interviews with each subject, then scored them on twelve speech and behavior characteristics, including verbal competitiveness, exactingness, speaking rate, loudness, hostility, and self-aggrandizement. Subjects were grouped into six different categories based on how they responded during the structured interview. Researchers then calculated the relationship between each personality category and its overall health and survival rate over more than two decades.

     After controlling for health risks, such as smoking, blood pressure, and cholesterol, the researchers found that socially dominant people were still about 60 percent more likely than all the other subjects to die of any cause. Hostile people had roughly the same risk as socially dominant people, says Babyak. "Social dominance by itself is a moderate risk factor for early death, but it takes on even more significance when you combine it with other high-risk behaviors, such as smoking, a poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle," he says. "Clearly, if you have these personality characteristics, it wouldn't hurt to modify them."


  • Divinity School Dean Dennis M. Campbell '67, Ph.D. '73 was elected president of United Methodism's accrediting panel for schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries through the year 2000. An ordained United Methodist minister and co-director of the Lilly Foundation project on "United Methodism and American Culture," he will take a year-long sabbatical leave and return to a faculty post in the divinity school in 1998.

  • Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of law and divinity Stanley Hauerwas was named to the prestigious Gifford Lectureship at the University of St. Andrew's in Scotland for the 2000-2001 academic year. A theological ethicist and author, he will deliver a series of lectures illustrating the certainty of the existence of God. He has also received an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh.

  • Nicholas School of the Environment Dean Norm Christensen was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the national Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. One of seven people tapped for the posts, Christensen will address environmental and physical issues regarding the planned Yucca Mountain site in Nevada to the panel evaluating federal plans for disposal of spent nuclear waste.

  • Alison Lurie, past winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the American Book Award, and Edward Hower, author of a book of Indian folk tales he collected as a Fulbright fellow, have been named Blackburn Visiting Professors in the English department. Lurie, who has written several novels, children's books, and nonfiction works, is best known for The War Between the Tates (1974) and Foreign Affairs (1984), for which she won the ABA and the Pulitzer. In addition to many articles, reviews, and three novels, Hower has written The Pomegranate Princess, a book of folk tales gathered during his time in Jaipur, India. The two are both professors at Cornell University.

  • Takcus Nesbit '97, Duke Student Government president, was elected by DSG to the position of young trustee on the university's board of trustees. The public policy major, who plans to attend law school, will serve a three-year term as a voting member.

  • Mike Krzyzewski, men's basketball coach, was named 1997 National Coach of the Year by Basketball Times. This marks the fifth time he has been selected coach of the year by a major publication or organization, and the first time he has been chosen by this publication.

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