Trustee Chair Address a First for Academic Council

Wagoner to take faculty questions at Thursday's meeting

Rick Wagoner
Trustee chair Richard Wagoner

For the first time in Academic Council history, a standing chair of the Board of Trustees will address the council at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in 0012 Westbrook in the Divinity School.

G. Richard Wagoner will address the council and then take questions from the faculty, said Susan Lozier, council chair and Ronie-Richele Garcia-Johnson Professor of Physical Oceanography. The meeting is open to the public.

Lozier said she hoped the appearance would aid in developing stronger ties between the board and the faculty.

"When he assumed the chairmanship of the board, Mr. Wagoner expressed an interest in establishing stronger communication channels between the board and the faculty," Lozier said. "Richard Riddell (University Secretary) suggested that Mr. Wagoner's participation in the November council meeting would work toward that goal as well as provide some perspective on the board's role in university governance during this year that we are focusing on faculty governance."

Lozier said the timing of the visit is particularly appropriate because the council is marking its 50th anniversary this year.  In the spring the council will hold a series of discussions related to the future of Duke and university governance, issues central to trustee-faculty relations.

According to council minutes, one previous board chair, Peter Nicholas, came to a council meeting in 2005 to thank Dr. Nancy Allen for her service as council chair, but Nicholas made no general comments.  Otherwise, there's no record of a trustee chair appearance before the full faculty council.  Trustees regularly meet with the council's executive committee.

In addition to Wagoner's discussion, Mary Brown-Bullock, executive vice-chancellor for Duke Kunshan University, will brief the council on developing plans for the China campus.