The Duke University Board of Trustees on Saturday approved the construction of a new 150-bed residence hall on West Campus that signals a move toward a new housing model for the university.
The trustees also approved a 3.9 percent increase in tuition, room and board for undergraduate students, the creation of a new master's program in engineering and the construction of a high-efficiency chilled-water plant to serve Duke Medical Center.
The new residence hall, nicknamed K4, will be part of Keohane Quad. It will be Duke's first new residence hall since opening its Bell Tower facility on East Campus in 2005. Work on the site is expected to begin in May and be completed by January 2012.
"K4 is more than a new building," said President Richard H. Brodhead. "It is an important reaffirmation of residential life at Duke."
Stephen Nowicki, vice provost and dean for undergraduate education, said the university "is developing a new housing model that seeks to instill throughout campus the positive values of Duke's first-year campus, in which all students live in communities of living and learning that enhance their overall experiences." K-4 will be constructed with such a model in mind.
"When the economic downturn slowed our plans to develop our New Campus, we began working on other, lower-cost strategies to maintain momentum in this important area of student life," Nowicki said. "This addition of K4 was part of the original New Campus plans and completes that quad, and will better connect Edens Quad with the rest of West Campus.
"Simultaneously, we have been taking steps to improve existing facilities on Central Campus and to revitalize living communities there through experimentation and innovation."
Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, is working with Nowicki on the housing plans. K4 will be built in such a way that it will contain two "houses," one with 90 beds and one with 60 beds, he said.
"Each house will be large enough to ensure diversity of backgrounds, yet small enough to engender a sense of camaraderie," Moneta said. "We want more upperclass students to live on West and we want to encourage more interaction among sophomores, juniors and seniors, which is why K4 will have a higher percentage of single rooms and suites than other residence halls.
"The fact that first-year students, sophomores and juniors are required to live on campus reinforces the need for a residential model that enhances students' social, intellectual and personal development. K4 provides a new opportunity to meet this goal," Moneta added.
Construction of K-4 will complement a range of other housing improvements at Duke, Nowicki said. These include new living groups on Central Campus, a new women's leadership theme house and additional substance-free housing on West Campus. Other improvements for Central Campus include a new campus eatery and store with a mill village theme, to open this spring.
In other business, the trustees set undergraduate tuition for students enrolled in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering during the 2010-11 academic year at $38,985, a 4 percent increase. About 82 percent of Duke undergraduates are enrolled in Trinity College; 18 percent matriculate in the Pratt School.
The total cost to attend Duke this coming school year, including room, board and fees, will be $51,865, a 3.9 percent increase over 2009-10.
The trustees also reaffirmed Duke's commitment to a need-blind admissions policy, under which the university accepts students without regard to their ability to pay for college and then meets 100 percent of their demonstrated financial need. Financial aid packages combine grants, loans and work-study opportunities after assessing what parents and students can reasonably contribute. More than 40 percent of students receive need-based financial aid, in addition to those who receive assistance through honors, athletics and other scholarship programs.
In recent years, Duke has taken additional steps to make education affordable to students across the economic spectrum. Between 1999 and 2009, Duke increased its annual spending on undergraduate financial aid from $34 million to $86.2 million, including a 27.5 percent increase over the past two years.
Duke also made significant enhancements to its financial aid program to benefit lower- and middle-income families (see http://news.duke.edu/2007/12/financialaid.html). In 2008, Duke completed a successful fund-raising effort that raised $308.5 million in new endowment for financial aid (see http://news.duke.edu/2009/01/fai.html).
The trustees also approved new tuition rates for Duke's graduate and professional schools in 2010-11:
-- Divinity School: $17,750, up 3.5 percent over the current year.
-- Fuqua School of Business: $47,960 (daytime MBA), up 4.6 percent.
-- Graduate School: $39,150 (Ph.D. programs), up 4 percent.
-- Law School: $46,926, up 5.5 percent.
-- Nicholas School of the Environment: $29,000, up 2.8 percent.
-- Pratt School of Engineering: $38,440 (MEM program), up 5.9 percent.
-- Sanford School of Public Policy: $35,360, up 4 percent.
-- School of Medicine: $44,482, up 4 percent.
-- School of Nursing: $42,660, up 5.8 percent.
In other business, the trustees approved a new 18-month Master of Engineering Degree that is designed to provide students with the skills to contribute effectively to the technical needs of a global organization immediately upon graduation. The program will launch in the fall.
While encompassing some of the same subject areas offered in a traditional M.S. program, the Duke M.Eng. will be a practice-oriented professional degree that includes the study of core business fundamentals and principles of leadership and management. Students will be expected to do an internship, project or equivalent undertaking that enhances their understanding of organizations. "We anticipate that most M.Eng. students will work in industry following graduation rather than continuing on for doctoral studies in science and engineering research," said Pratt Dean Thomas Katsouleas. "The new degree will position the Pratt School of Engineering as a leader in developing professional master's curricula that deliver state-of-the-art technical depth coupled with necessary business knowledge breadth to produce graduates who can truly impact their organizations."
Pratt developed the program partly in response to a 2008 National Research Council study (http://www7.nationalacademies.org/bhewmasters/index.html) that found an overwhelming need for master's level professional education, Katsouleas noted.
The trustees also approved the construction of a new chilled-water system to serve the Duke Medicine Pavilion and the new Cancer Center. The plant, an extension to the current facility located near the corner of Circuit Drive and LaSalle Street on West Campus, is expected to cost about $20 million.
The board also heard reports on a number of other issues, including international strategy, sustainability, the university's Haiti relief efforts and how Duke can best achieve its strategic goals during uncertain financial times.