Purpose: The President’s Strategy Team 2021 is charged with coordinating and synthesizing recommendations from multiple working groups for essential changes in Duke’s academic programs and other activities that will be necessary to maintain our core academic and research excellence in Fiscal Year 2020-21.
COVID-19 poses many unprecedented financial, logistical, and human-resource challenges that must be navigated carefully and creatively if we are to maintain these missions in the face of significant financial pressures and uncertainty.
Charge: To this end, the President’s Strategy Team 2021 will coordinate recommendations and liaise with multiple working groups, seeking to develop options for modifying our practices, procedures and personnel to meet the challenges associated with each of the following circumstances:
• Students, faculty and staff are able to return to campus for the fall semester, with modest changes of schedule and appropriate provisions for maintaining safety.
• A return to campus must be significantly delayed, resulting in the loss of half or more of the semester.
• Students, faculty and staff are able to return to campus for the fall semester, but changes in the safety environment again require subsequent dispersal and/or closure.
• Any return to campus for the fall semester is deemed untenable.
In developing responses, which should encompass the full academic-year calendar, the Strategy Team and working groups should be guided by the following assumptions and general principles:
• Recommendations should be financially feasible in an environment of severely constrained budgets, anticipating that operating budgets will be reduced by up to 25%.
• Recommendations should seek to mitigate potential adverse impacts on low-income students, and to optimize deployment of Duke’s regular-rank faculty.
• Recommendations should assume that, under any scenario, a majority of Duke’s international students will be unable to return campus owing to visa obstacles.
• Recommendations should wherever possible align with Duke’s overarching strategic framework, Toward our Second Century, and identify potentially permanent modifications that could be sustained or refined in the future.
Membership and Process: The Strategy Coordinating Team will be appointed by the President and include designated senior leaders who will serve as liaisons to the working groups convened by the Executive Vice President and Provost. The team will regularly consult with and provide updates to the President’s Cabinet, Deans Cabinet, University Priorities Committee, and Academic Programs Committee, and coordinate the recommendations of the multiple working groups (academic, research, finance, administrative and others to be determined) that will consult with a broad range of university stakeholders in conducting their work. The
Strategy Coordinating Team will synthesize and integrate recommendations from these various working groups into a single report.
Schedule: A preliminary report is due to the President on or before June 1, 2020 with a final report due on by August 31, 2020.