To the Duke community,

As we enjoy the longer days of summer that mark the transition from one academic year to the next, I would like to offer my sincere thanks for the outstanding year we’ve just concluded, and for the unique expertise, ideas, and talents each of you brings to our campus and Health System.

Yet, as we celebrate the accomplishments of the past year, many of us are anticipating with apprehension potential changes in federal law, and noting shifts in the local landscape that could adversely affect our community.  

The U.S. Supreme Court will issue a decision this summer that addresses the legality of race-conscious admission policies at colleges and universities. Other public officials have questioned the value of programs that enhance and support diversity, and recent legislative actions have generated concerns among some members of our community regarding safety and belonging.

Duke is firmly committed to our values of respect, trust, inclusion, discovery, and excellence, and to continuing our work to be an equitable and inclusive environment for all.

Duke is an extraordinary community of faculty, staff, and students because of the wide range of backgrounds, lived experiences, and perspectives that you bring to your work and studies every day. That inclusive excellence is also what continues to propel us to greater strengths and positions of global leadership.

We will always work to foster an equitable and inclusive environment. I cannot promise we will immediately have answers to all of your questions or concerns in the coming days and weeks. However, I assure you that our work to advance racial and social equity—at Duke, in our local community, and beyond—will not be deterred. 

I urge you to learn more about the impactful work of Duke’s Racial Equity Advisory Council (REAC). And I also encourage you to reach out to the Office for Institutional Equity with questions, concerns, or to find additional resources for supporting inclusive excellence.

My thanks to you for everything you do to advance our mission and make Duke an institution in which we all can take pride.