Search Committee Sets Presidential Criteria


Outstanding scholarship, moral leadership, managerial skill, and a deep commitment to the values of liberal education are among the characteristics Duke is seeking in its ninth president, according to new guidelines adopted by the board of trustees for its presidential search committee. The trustees’ Criteria and Qualifications Statement highlights the responsibilities of Duke’s next president and offers a list of desired personal characteristics, including the ability to think strategically, communicate effectively, and act decisively. The statement, which also notes the importance of topics ranging from athletics to fund-raising, concludes by calling for “a healthy sense of irony and humor” and “a keen sense of Duke’s history.”

“ For several weeks, we’ve been asking the Duke community to tell us what kind of person we should be seeking through this process,” says Robert K. Steel ’73, chair of the presidential search committee and vice chair of the trustee board. “We heard from more than 100 people, and were guided by their advice as we drafted this Criteria and Qualifications Statement, which we discussed with the board’s executive committee. The final document clearly outlines the main responsibilities of the president and the kind of person we think Duke needs to do the job effectively.”

The trustees formed the search committee in April following the March 1 announcement by Nannerl O. Keohane that she would step down as Duke’s eighth president in June 2004. The committee’s sixteen regular members include trustees, faculty members, administrators, students, and other members of the Duke community.

With these guidelines in place, the committee will now focus on evaluating possible candidates and narrowing its list to one or a few names for the full board to consider in time to elect Duke’s ninth president by February 2004.

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