Duke Science and Technology is described as “Strategic Recruiting” initiative with investments of over $ 250 million. But what exactly does that mean?
DST, a faculty recruitment and retention initiative, “will provide the university with resources to build its core strengths in Duke’s research and expand to almost every corner of the university,” according to a November report Press release.
Efforts focus on three main themes: materials science, computers, and the resilience of the body and brain. By hiring professors in these three areas of specialization, Duke hopes to reshape the education of future science and technology leaders to make breakthroughs in global challenges.
“Science was the only area of Duke that was dramatically underinvested compared to other areas of Duke,” David Kennedy, vice president of alumni engagement and development, said in the press release. “And if we don’t do it soon, and we don’t do it strategically, it could have a huge negative impact on Duke. We’re one of the top 10 universities, but we’re lagging behind our colleagues. ”
George Truskey, R. Eugene, and Susie E. Goodson, eminent professor of biomedical engineering, shared what this initiative means for students and Duke’s STEM programs.
“By adding new subject areas, these faculties will likely want to teach courses in their field of interest at both undergraduate and graduate levels,” Truskey said.
Truskey sees the addition of new senior postdocs and assistant professors as a driving force for working with current professors. As part of the initiative, the current faculties can nominate people to bring them to Duke, which could bring “some synergy and research collaboration”. Research teams can also apply, which “gives them the opportunity to apply on proposals that someone as an individual might not be able to apply to”.
In the first round of recruitment, 11 high-level lecturers were hired. With the goal of recruiting a total of 75 to 100 new faculty and recruiting about 15 more people each round, Truskey estimates that the current funding will allow two to three more years of recruitment.
The Duke Endowment presented Duke with its largest ever award for supporting this initiative and recently completed the second phase of a $ 100 million grant.
Truskey noted that the initiative is also raising funds to further contribute to the investment. They hope to use this initial investment as a fundraising means to raise funds from other donors and expand the initiative.
In addition to two $ 50 million investments from the Duke Endowment, the $ 150 million donation donated to DST includes an anonymous donation for the Duke Discovery Fund and two gifts of trustees. The program also has received a donation of $ 5 million from the Charles LaFitte Foundation to create an internship program for undergraduate students and to facilitate collaboration between the Pratt School of Engineering and Duke’s Office for Research and Innovation.
By developing these new areas of excellence, DST hopes to foster new collaborations and opportunities for students.
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“The more alert people around you, the more exciting the environment and the more you want to learn,” said Truskey.