Kuniholm, Wright to Step Down

Kuniholm, Wright to Step DownDean transitions for Sanford, Grad School


New chapter

Transistions at the top: Kuniholm and Wright
Megan Morr

This fall, two deans announced plans to step down. Bruce Kuniholm A.M. '72, Ph.D. '76, M.P.P. '77, the founding dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy, will complete his term as dean at the end of this academic year. Meanwhile, Jo Rae Wright, dean of the Graduate School, announced that she would resign as dean immediately for health reasons.

Kuniholm has overseen Duke's public policy programs since 2005, when he was named director of what was then known as the Sanford Institute of Public Policy. As director, he led the provost-appointed task force that recommended transforming the institute, founded in 1971, into Duke's tenth school. That transition took place in 2009.

Kuniholm also guided the effort to raise $40 million in endowment funds for the new school and played a key role in negotiating the organizational and fiscal restructuring of public policy programs. He will continue to teach and conduct research in the fields of diplomatic history and U.S. foreign policy in the Near and Middle East.

Wright had served as dean of the Graduate School since July 2006. She has been battling breast cancer for several years and says her treatments have become less predictable and more tiring. A professor of cell biology, medicine, and pediatrics, she has returned full-time to faculty duties. As graduate school dean, she oversaw programs affecting more than 7,700 students pursuing graduate and professional degrees at Duke.

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