University affairs (Leadership) Magazine Articles

Tallman Trask sitting in Baldwin Auditorium on Duke's campus

December 8, 2020

When, back in 1995, Tallman Trask III was emerging as the likely choice as Duke’s executive vice president, law professor James Cox was chairing the search committee. He did what search-committee chairs typically do: He called an administrator at the University of Washington, where Trask was then working, to check him out.

September 28, 2020

It was one of the lowest moments in my childhood. Our fifth-grade class had been marched down to the school nurse’s office for routine eye examinations, and I was standing in front of the wall chart with a hand over one eye. I could only make out a single, big E at the top—the rest of the letters were blurred into a whirl of grayish shadow below, and all I could do was string together random guesses as to what they might be.

Nobel winner Bill Kaelin, along Boston's Charles River

July 23, 2020


Scott Huler


Not a crossword, not a Sudoku. You won’t find Kaelin playing Words With Friends, and Board Game Night was never a staple in the Kaelin household. A puzzle demands concentration. It demands focus; it requires you to pay attention to one thing at a time.

Black Duke employees and white Duke employees, segregated at 1946 holiday party

July 22, 2020

I am writing two weeks after the murder of George Floyd, as protests against white supremacy take place across the country. Many Americans are reckoning with the impact of racism, especially as it relates to American history. I, too, am reckoning with the past, especially here at Duke. There are hard truths to accept in a place where many people feel warmly embraced—a place that many of us love.

Image of the Brodhead Center

November 19, 2019

A century ago, in the fall of 1919, America’s colleges and universities were on the cusp of their first great expansion. Prior to the First World War, fewer than 50,000 bachelor’s degrees and 1,000 doctorates were awarded annually in the U.S.; by 1930, those numbers would more than double. In 1919, the first postdoctoral fellowships in the sciences were established by the National Research Council with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation; these new programs would revolutionize research.

May 17, 2019

When I visited Durham’s Lakewood Elementary last month, the smart students in Ms. Ledwith’s first-grade class were having a spelling contest. Divided into teams of five, they raced each other to spell green, week, feet, and—perhaps for the benefit of their visitor—Duke.

Professor Abbas Benmanoun

May 17, 2019

How did you respond personally to the instantly notorious case, from earlier this semester, of a Duke faculty member seeming to challenge Chinese students around their speaking Chinese in a social space?