Duke University — Vice President for Durham Affairs

Duke University, one of the world’s finest research universities, has a long history of public service through research, discovery, and engagement with the Triangle region and the wider world. The Vice President for Durham Affairs reports to the President of Duke University and leads the work of strategically leveraging the many resources of the institution to the mutual benefit of the university and the Durham community.

History of Community Engagement

Duke University has a long history of community engagement dating back to the founding of the university. To further elevate the importance and sharpen the focus of the university’s engagement, the Office of Durham Affairs was established ten years ago under the leadership of Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr. who is retiring this spring. His charge was to build on the past history of community engagement, including the innovative Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, further develop efforts to partner in the revitalization of downtown Durham, and provide support to Durham youth by working with Durham Public Schools and nonprofits, economic development and renewal in the neighborhoods close to downtown. This work is highlighted in a report, “Our First 10 Years,” released by the Office of Durham Affairs last fall.

Future Focus

The next Vice President for Durham Affairs will have the opportunity to lead and coordinate Duke’s diverse and innovative community engagement efforts. This leader will be a key member of the President’s senior leadership, responsible for a vital area of Duke’s strategic framework.

Among the areas of focus for the Vice President will be leading Duke’s efforts to support continued economic development in Durham; coordinating initiatives in affordable housing, particularly in areas near the Duke campus and downtown; continuing education partnerships and initiatives, including programs in early childhood education; supporting the relationship between Duke and Durham Public Schools, Durham Technical Community College, and North Carolina Central University; generating support for community health through the Healthy Durham endeavor and other programs in Duke Health; and sustaining neighborhood and community relations, particularly in areas adjacent to the Duke campus.

The Vice President will also help connect Duke students and faculty with opportunities for community engagement and oversee the Doing Good in the Neighborhood employee giving campaign. The Vice President, leading a collaborative campus wide process, will create a strategic plan to better execute these responsibilities and to guide this work going forward.

The internal and external individuals and groups that the Vice President will interact with include Duke’s senior leadership, particularly the President, Chancellor for Health Affairs, Provost, Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President, Vice President for Administration, and Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations, who has overall responsibility for directing Duke’s government relations agenda; Associate Vice President for Real Estate; students; the Office of Student Affairs, faculty; city and county officials; K-12 and higher education officials in Durham; nonprofit agencies, foundations and neighborhood groups.

The Vice President for Durham Affairs is responsible for:

Strategic Planning: The Vice President is responsible to the President for creating a strategic plan that aligns with Duke’s Strategic Framework and includes:

  • Long-range vision, goals and strategies, and detailed administrative and fiscal provisions for the mutual benefit of Durham and Duke University,
  • Collaborations across Duke and with regional partners that elevate points of engagement with Durham,
  • Continue efforts to engage and partner with external constituencies at the local level to include creatively and collaboratively contributing to problem solving as issues evolve and change.

In exercising this planning leadership, the Vice President works closely with university officials at all levels.

External Relationships: The Vice President for Durham Affairs is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships throughout the community and connecting these external stakeholders with Duke leaders across the administration. Specifically, these activities include:

  • In coordination with the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations, ensuring that Duke University and Duke Health are represented with local government bodies, including the Durham City Council and Durham County Commission,
  • Representing Duke at community meetings, including PAC meetings, neighborhood associations, board, commissions, and ad hoc public and private-sector committees,
  • Regular meetings with leaders of Durham Public Schools, local nonprofits, public officials, and education leaders,
  • Working closely with university leaders in student affairs, police and security, communications and other areas to address issues of off-campus student conduct, public safety and related matters.

University Engagement: As a key convener and connector between Duke and the Durham Community, the Vice President works with the senior leadership, faculty, students and Duke administrators to identify and support opportunities for community learning and leadership opportunities.

Budgetary and Administrative Oversight: The Vice President is responsible to the President for budget and personnel management in the Office for Durham Affairs. In addition, the Vice President will need to develop resources from donors, foundations, grants and contracts to support university-based programs, as well as coordinate community-wide fundraising initiatives around strategic priorities like education and affordable housing. Future needs will inform these projects going forward and include collaborating with Duke leaders as well as external partners.

Management: The Vice President is responsible for the general management of the Office of Durham Affairs and its 12 staff members. The Vice President oversees recruitment, hiring, promotion, development and retention of staff and is expected to operate in a clear and transparent manner.

To succeed in these tasks, the Vice President must be:

  • An influential leader on campus and in the community, guided by a strong passion for the mission of Duke University and the promise of the Durham community.
  • An energetic, conscientious and ethical administrator broadly familiar with issues in higher education and with strong linkages to community engagement and development.
  • A consensus builder as well as a decision maker, and
  • An active University citizen.

An advanced degree, higher education experience and senior leadership experience are required.
Confidential applications and nominations for the Vice President search, as well as questions pertaining to the search process, should be sent to the confidential address: VicePresidentDuke@elinvar.com. Applications should include a cover letter and current CV; nominations should include contact information for the candidate, if known. Resumes will be reviewed as received. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible and no later than March 31, 2018.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.