Executive Summaries of Trustee Strategic Task Force Reports Available

Task forces made recommendations on climate change and sustainability, celebrating the university’s centennial in 2024, and community engagement between Duke and Durham.

Three strategic task forces of the Duke University Board of Trustees have completed their work and posted executive summaries of their recommendations.

Each task force in 2020-21 brought together trustees, administrators, faculty, students, and in some cases community partners, to engage in strategic thinking about key priorities of the university. The task forces met throughout the year, and their work will inform and advise the president and senior leadership as they consider future action.

The task forces addressed the following topics:

Climate Change and Sustainability.  The strategic task force on Climate Change and Sustainability was charged with providing insight to the administration on current and future environmental initiatives. Urging Duke to become “The Climate University,” the task force recommended a focus on creating sustainable and equitable solutions to the climate crisis that will place society on the path to a resilient, flourishing, net-zero carbon world by 2050. In this pursuit, Duke should engage every part of the university’s mission—in education, research, operations and in its partner communities. 

Duke's Centennial Celebration.  As Duke looks ahead to the hundredth anniversary of its founding in 1924, this task force observed that the Centennial presents an opportunity for Duke to deepen understanding of its history, inspire pride in its first century, highlight its excellence and impact, and acknowledge its historic connection to The Duke Endowment. At the same time, the task force recommended that the celebration be balanced with an acknowledgment of challenges in Duke’s history and periods of discrimination. The focus should be on the people who have built the Duke community—the famous as well as previously overlooked legacies.

Duke and Durham Today and Tomorrow. This task force was charged with providing strategic insight to Duke’s efforts to broaden collaboration and partnership with the Durham community. Members endorsed the plan of the Office of Durham and Community Affairs to advance five focus areas and respective strategic priorities in housing – housing affordability and infrastructure; health – food security and nutrition; education – early childhood and school readiness; employment – college and career readiness; and community – nonprofit capacity.  The task force recommended enacting purposeful partnerships through meaningful engagement, coordinating community engagement activities across Duke, and tracking key indicators to monitor outcomes in collaboration with the broader community.

The executive summaries of the reports are available online here.