The Duke University Board of Trustees on Friday approved the creation of a Department of Neurology within the School of Medicine.
The board also approved upgrading the status of International Comparative Studies, as well as new tuition rates for 2013-14.
The current Division of Neurology, within the Department of Medicine, will be elevated to department status, effective July 1. Interim Division Chief Dr. Joel Morgenlander will serve as interim chair of the new department until a permanent chair is named.
Nancy Andrews, dean of the Duke University School of Medicine, said converting the division to a department will enhance the ability to recruit and retain faculty, residents and fellows.
"We have gone through a very comprehensive and thorough process in consideration of this new department, and are confident that this is the appropriate step and will be very positive for the school and the Medical Center and our patients," Andrews said. "Nearly all medical schools and all of our peer institutions have departments of neurology. Our neurology faculty are already highly respected, so this will create an even stronger presence for Duke Neurology nationally."
Duke Neurology and Neurosurgery are ranked 14th nationally by U.S. News & World Report. The Division of Neurology currently includes 50 faculty members involved in research, patient care and education/training focused on the most complex neurological disorders, including neuropathy, epilepsy, sleep, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, ALS, Alzheimer's, dementia, muscular dystrophy, stroke and tumors of the brain and spinal cord.
Duke's School of Medicine currently comprises seven basic science departments and 13 clinical departments.
The board also approved changing the status from major to program for International Comparative Studies (ICS).
The ICS major has been offered since 1973, and more than 1,500 Duke undergraduate student have chosen this educational path. It emphasizes analysis of global, international and transnational problems, and includes a foundational and capstone course, four transnational courses offered by faculty in different disciplines, four region courses offered in different disciplines, and advanced training in a related language.
Laurie Patton, dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, said the status change will stabilize the program by allowing ICS to hire and appoint regular-rank faculty directly, as opposed to relying on faculty from other departments and programs or visiting faculty appointments to deliver the core curriculum, student mentoring and leadership.
"Undergraduate students have long had the benefit of a Duke education in international comparative studies. Faculty research at Duke has increasingly been focused on an interdisciplinary, critical study of globalism -- what it means in our culture and other cultures, how global and transnational trends affect our political, economic, social and everyday lives," Patton said. "We are delighted to be able to consolidate student interest and faculty research into a program that can make its own appointments as well as welcome and train its own undergraduate majors."
In November 2012, the Arts & Sciences Council voted unanimously to approve the ICS status change.
The trustees also approved a 3.9 percent increase in the total cost of attendance (undergraduate tuition, room and board) at Duke for the 2013-14 academic year. Undergraduate tuition will be $44,020, a 4 percent increase, and the total cost for the next academic year, including tuition, room, board and fees, will be $58,278.
Duke has a longstanding 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. More than half of all Duke students receive some form of financial assistance from the university: 40 percent receive need-based financial aid, which includes grants, loans and work-study opportunities, and the remainder are beneficiaries of honors, athletics and other scholarship programs.
In the current year, Duke expects to spend about $127.9 million of institutional funds to support undergraduate financial aid, a 7 percent increase from the previous year, and a 28 percent increase since 2009-10. Estimates for next year's financial aid costs will not be finalized until later in the year when financial aid packages for new and returning students are completed.
New tuition rates for Duke's graduate and professional schools in 2013-14 have also been set:
-- Divinity School: $19,880 (Master's of Divinity), up 4 percent over the current year.
-- Fuqua School of Business: $55,300 (daytime MBA), up 4.5 percent.
-- Graduate School: $44,000 (Ph.D. programs), up 3.9 percent.
-- Law School: $52,620, up 3.7 percent.
-- Nicholas School of the Environment: $31,800, up 3.6 percent.
-- Pratt School of Engineering: $44,040 (MEM program), up 3.7 percent.
-- Sanford School of Public Policy: $38,658 (Master's of Public Policy), up 2 percent.
-- School of Medicine: $49,940, up 3.9 percent.
-- School of Nursing: $38,475, up 4.9 percent.
In other business, the trustees:
-- approved extensive renovations and infrastructure improvements to Gilbert-Addoms residence hall on East Campus. The improvements include making the residence hall accessible to disabled people and creating more common spaces.
-- were scheduled to hold a retreat Friday and Saturday to discuss such topics as the future of higher education, assessing the value and quality of a Duke undergraduate education, and the future of professional education in business and law, to be led by Fuqua School of Business Dean William Boulding and Law School Dean David Levi. The trustees also were to hear a presentation on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and their impact on higher education from Daphne Koller, the co-founder and co-CEO of Coursera. Coursera has partnered with Duke and other universities in the United States and abroad to provide courses, free of charge, to anyone who wants to try them out.