Trustees Approve Undergraduate Program for Duke Kunshan University

The proposal now moves to the Duke Kunshan board of trustees and various regulatory bodies for final approvals

Duke Kunshan University. Duke Trustees approved moving forward with a new undergraduate program at the institution.
Duke Kunshan University. Duke Trustees approved moving forward with a new undergraduate program at the institution.

The Duke University Board of Trustees on Saturday unanimously approved the establishment of a four-year undergraduate liberal arts degree program at Duke Kunshan University.

The proposal now moves to the Duke Kunshan board of trustees and various regulatory bodies for final approvals, including the starting date and tuition costs.

Students who graduate from Duke Kunshan will receive a Duke diploma -- equivalent to those awarded to undergraduates in Durham -- with a notation indicating it was conferred through Duke Kunshan.

Located in Kunshan, China, about 30 minutes from Shanghai, Duke Kunshan opened in 2014 as a partnership between Duke and Wuhan universities. It currently offers master’s degree programs in medical physics, global health and management studies and an undergraduate liberal arts “semester away” offering. A fourth master’s degree program in environmental policy will begin next year.  In addition, the university is now home to fast-growing research centers in global health and the environment.

Teams of Duke faculty and administrators have worked on curriculum, financial and facilities plans for more than two years. The university’s faculty approved the launching of the four-year undergraduate program at their Nov. 17 Academic Council meeting.

In other business, the Board of Trustees elected Vincent Price to be the tenth president of Duke University, succeeding President Richard H. Brodhead on July 1, 2017. 

The trustees also received updates on a range of topics, including:

-- the university’s forthcoming academic strategic plan. The board heard from Provost Sally Kornbluth, the university’s chief academic officer, and Susan Lozier, the Ronie-Richelle Garcia-Johnson Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences who chairs the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

-- the state of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. Speaking to the trustees about that was Dean Valerie Ashby.

-- ongoing plans for future student housing and residential life. Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, and Steve Nowicki, dean of undergraduate education, addressed that issue.

-- Duke athletics. That discussion was led by Kevin White, vice president and director of athletics.