Trustees Approve Master's Program in China

Fuqua master's program calls for students to split time between Durham and China

The Duke University Board of Trustees on Saturday approved a proposal to offer a Master of Management Studies program in Kunshan, China, which will be led by Duke's Fuqua School of Business.

The one-year, pre-experience business program will lead to a Duke degree. It is the first new program to gain Duke approval for operations at Duke Kunshan University (DKU), a joint venture with the City of Kunshan and Wuhan University to create a U.S.-modeled university in China. Long-term plans call for DKU to serve both as an educational center to offer degree programs and as a base of operations to support research and scholarship throughout the country.

On Thursday, the Academic Council, the university's faculty governance board, gave its approval to the Master of Management Studies program. The program design, which calls for students to split time between Duke's main campus and the DKU campus, has now completed its review by internal governance bodies, and Duke and its partners are working with the Chinese government to secure needed permissions. Information related to the program's format and timing will be announced once arrangements are finalized."We are pleased that our program design has been approved by the Board of Trustees and are looking forward to continuing to collaborate with our partners in China regarding our plans," said Fuqua dean Bill Boulding. "In order for business education to remain relevant, we must look through the lenses of different cultures and geographies. Today's approval marks an important step toward a presence in China."

During Saturday's meeting, the trustees were updated on the DKU project by William Kirby, Duke's senior adviser for China programs.

The trustees also heard about changes to Duke's residential life structure, including the opening of a new residence hall on West Campus in January.

"Students are very excited about this new residential space," Dean and Vice Provost Steve Nowicki said of what is being called "K4," the fourth residence hall in Keohane Quad. "It was designed with an emphasis on attracting seniors to campus and on establishing more of a mix of sophomores, juniors and seniors. It features a number of suites and attic lofts, with spaces for students and professors to gather."

K4, Duke's first new residence hall since 2005, will house about 150 Duke students and will help facilitate the transition to the new "Duke House" residential system, said Nowicki, who presented the trustees with a status report on the residential strategy he and Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta have developed with input from students over the past five years.

Starting in the fall of 2012, all students will join a Duke House and have the right to return to that same house in subsequent years. This will afford them the same level of stability that members of selective living groups currently enjoy. The plan was created to encourage a greater sense of community and to build on Duke's popular first-year campus experience and house system, Nowicki said.

Also discussed with the trustees were emerging plans for a comprehensive renovation of the West Union Building to create new student social space and dining opportunities.

"When completed, the West Union will be a destination full of meeting spaces, hangout spaces, dining options, social opportunities and more," said Moneta. "Students, faculty, staff, visitors, everyone will just naturally gravitate to this new hub of campus life."In other business, the trustees approved renovating the second and third floors of the Gross Chemistry Building, which are currently unused, to meet upcoming needs of the political science department and the Pratt School of Engineering.The political science department will be temporarily displaced from its home in Perkins Library in 2013 as a result of renovations to the library. The Pratt School of Engineering is experiencing growth in research and anticipates new hires that will facilitate the need for additional lab space beginning in summer 2012.The project calls for renovating approximately 100,000 gross square feet of Gross Chemistry at a cost of about $20 million. The long-term goal is to design open, flexible lab spaces that can be adapted to other science programs and other "swing space" for academic programs that get displaced by new facility construction or renovation elsewhere on campus.The board also reviewed future campus expansion plans, and discussed the future of Duke Medicine with Dr. Victor Dzau, head of the Duke University Health System.