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Committee Selected to Lead Search for Nicholas School Dean

Dean Urban, professor of landscape ecology and chair of the Nicholas School's Division of Environmental Sciences & Policy, will head a committee to search for the new dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment.  Current Dean William Chameides announced in August that he will step down at the end of the academic year after leading the school since 2007. 

Duke Provost Peter Lange charged the committee to pursue a search for both external and internal candidates. The ideal candidate will be:

  • an intellectual leader among the faculty, who can be expected to have the highest aspirations in faculty hiring and retention,
  • an energetic and conscientious administrator broadly familiar with issues in higher education,
  • a strong advocate for the Nicholas School and its core teaching and research mission in the context of the university's strategic commitment to internationalization, interdisciplinarity, and knowledge in the service of society,
  • a strong proponent for a diverse faculty and student body,
  • an effective fund-raiser,
  • a collaborator with fellow deans, the president and provost in promoting university priorities,
  • both a consensus builder as well as a decision maker,
  • and a preeminent university citizen.

In addition to Urban, the other members of the committee are:

Lori Bennear, associate professor of environmental economics and policy, Nicholas School; Emily Bernhardt, associate professor of biology; Scottee Cantrell, associate dean of marketing, communications and strategic engagement, Nicholas School; Brian Murray, director for economic analysis, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions; Virginia Parker, T '80, Parker Global Strategies LLC;

Margaret (Meg) Perry, MEM, '14; Lincoln Pratson, Semans-Brown Professor and chair of earth & ocean sciences, Nicholas School; Jennifer Swenson, director of professional studies, MEM & MF degrees, and assistant professor of the practice, Nicholas School; Cindy Van Dover, Harvey Smith Professor of Biological Oceanography and director, Duke Marine Laboratory; and Mark Wiesner, James L. Meriam Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pratt School of Engineering

Ex officio

Kelly Brownell, dean, Sanford School of Public Policy; Benjamin Reese, vice president, Office for Institutional Equity; and Keith Whitfield, vice provost for academic affairs

Lange requested the committee submit recommendations to President Richard H. Brodhead and himself by April 1, 2014.

The committee is soliciting opinions, nominations and applications.  Additional information about the Nicholas School dean search, including the procedure for submitting nominations and applications, can be found at