Duke University has received a $4 million grant to hire faculty with global perspectives and expertise, Valerie Ashby, dean of the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, announced Wednesday.
The Duke Endowment, a private foundation based in Charlotte, awarded the funds for Trinity College to hire up to six junior-to senior-level faculty scholars with expertise in African, Asian-American and Latinx studies.
The expansion of knowledge in these areas reflects the changing demographics and cultures of the Duke student body and beyond, Ashby said. Approximately 80 percent of all Duke undergraduates are enrolled in Trinity College; the remainder are in the Pratt School of Engineering.
The need for faculty with diverse perspectives is driven, in part, by Duke students who are requesting robust learning opportunities in these areas, Ashby added.
“Our students observed that while there is much opportunity for the study of culture at Duke, some perspectives are largely absent or not presented in terms of their deep interconnectedness with other parts of the world,” Ashby said. “This generous gift from The Duke Endowment will accelerate the hiring of outstanding faculty to meet the demand for these disciplines.”
Hiring faculty members in these three fields will strengthen academic departments across Trinity College and create a new network of faculty working across disciplines, leading to exciting collaborative research and deeper curricular offerings, officials said.
“The Duke Endowment was eager to support this effort to cultivate diverse perspectives on campus and enhance the academic experience for students,” said Minor Shaw, chair of The Duke Endowment’s board.
Recruitment for these positions is expected to begin immediately, with new faculty appointments beginning as soon as fall 2020.