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Duke Trustees Name Presidential Search Committee

Trustees begin the process that will lead to the selection of Duke’s 10th president

Presidential Search Committee Chair and Vice Chair Jack Bovender and Ellen Davis
Presidential Search Committee Chair and Vice Chair Jack Bovender and Ellen Davis

Duke University trustees have begun the process of selecting the university’s 10th president by announcing the membership of the search committee of trustees, faculty, students, alumni and administrators.

In a message to the Duke community, trustee Chair David Rubenstein said the 19-member committee will be led by current trustee Vice Chair Jack O. Bovender Jr., the retired chair and CEO of the Hospital Corporation of America.

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Ellen F. Davis, interim dean of the Divinity School and Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, will serve as the committee's vice chair. The board has also engaged the executive search firm of Isaacson, Miller to assist in this process.

"The committee’s initial task will be to listen and learn, first by connecting with our many stakeholders, and then by reviewing the opportunities and challenges that Duke, and higher education, will face in the future," said Rubenstein in the message. "This process will be an open and candid one in which input will be invited from all members of the Duke community about the most important attributes of the new president.  This will, in turn, inform the development of a position profile and the recruitment of candidates."

He said the committee’s goal is to undertake “an inclusive global search for an individual who can build on the strengths that have made Duke University one of the preeminent institutions of education, research, public service and patient care, and lead us to a new level of excellence.”

Current President Richard H. Brodhead will step down from the office in June 2017 after 13 years as president.

Advice and comments from the members of the Duke community will be an essential part of the search process. Duke alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends are encouraged to use the Presidential Search website to submit feedback about the opportunities and challenges facing the next university president and the attributes desired in the next president. Nomination of candidates may be submitted on the website.

The website will also provide the latest news about the search process as the committee conducts its work.

In addition to Bovender and Davis, the committee will include:

  • Valerie Sheares Ashby, Dean, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Tara Bansal T’17, President, Duke Student Government
  • Marcus Benning T’14, L’17, President, Duke Graduate & Professional Student Council
  • Jack W. Boyd T ‘85, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Product Development, Elastic Fabrics of America, President-elect, Duke Alumni Association
  • Guy-Uriel Charles, Charles S. Rhyne Professor of Law, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research, founding director of the Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics
  • Peter D. Feaver, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy
  • William A. Hawkins III E’76, Senior Advisor, TPG Capital and Corporate Director, Immucor, Inc., Trustee
  • Janet Hill, Principal, Hill Family Advisors, Trustee
  • Betsy D. Holden T’77, Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Company, Inc., Trustee
  • Nan Jokerst, J. A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Executive Director of the Duke Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility, Chair, Academic Council
  • Mary E. Klotman, MD, T’76, M’80, R. J. Reynolds Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine
  • Michael Marsicano T’77, G’78, G’82, President & CEO, Foundation For The Carolinas, Trustee
  • Carmichael S. Roberts, Jr. T’90, G’95, General Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners, Trustee 
  • Laurene Sperling T’78, President, Sperling Family Charitable Foundation, Trustee
  • Donald H. Taylor, Jr., Professor of Public Policy

University Secretary Richard Riddell will serve as executive vice chair of the committee and a non-voting member. Rubenstein will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee.