Duke University names new president

UPenn provost 'freestyles' his introduction of Hamilton star

New Duke president Vincent Price and then-UPenn provost "freestyles" his introduction of Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda at a Penn commencement.
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New Duke president Vincent Price and then-UPenn provost "freestyles" his introduction of Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda at a Penn commencement.

Duke University has chosen the University of Pennsylvania’s provost, Vincent Edward Price, as its 10th president.

Price, 59, was selected by Duke’s Board of Trustees on Friday morning.

Price, whose academic background is in communications and political science, will succeed Richard H. Brodhead on July 1. Brodhead announced in April that he planned to step down after 13 years as president.

“I could not be more pleased with this decision, for Vince Price has demonstrated throughout his distinguished academic career the type of strong, effective and enlightened leadership which will ensure that Duke has a worthy successor to Dick Brodhead,” David Rubenstein, the Duke trustees chairman, said in a statement.

When Brodhead steps down from his presidency next summer, he will conclude a 13-year presidency that has included a billion-dollar campus building boom and era of fundraising that capped off a rough beginning with the reputation-tarnishing lacrosse case.

Under Brodhead’s tenure, Duke doubled its undergraduate applications, becoming ever more selective and admitting only 8.7 percent of applicants this year. He also expanded Duke’s global footprint, first with a new medical school in Singapore. Then, he led the creation of a new campus in China called Duke Kunshan University, a joint venture with Wuhan University in China and the city of Kunshan.

In his speech to trustees Friday, Price said he is honored to join a university “dedicated to improving our world through research, service and education.”

“Dick Brodhead’s extraordinary leadership magnified these core values and brought Duke to the pinnacle of global universities,” Price told the trustees, according to a news release. “Now our collective challenge is to build upon and extend that work: to make Duke an ever more powerful voice for education and innovation, an ever more effective model for openness, diversity and inclusion, and an ever more engaged institution dedicated to identifying and solving the great challenges of society.”

Duke Trustee Jack O. Bovender and Ellen F. Davis, the Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, led the 19-member presidential search committee that narrowed 25 potential candidates to Price.

Price, who will be introduced to the Duke community at 2 p.m. Friday in Penn Pavilion on the West Campus, oversees the University of Pennsylvania’s 12 schools and colleges, its centers and institutes, student affairs, athletics and the arts, as the chief academic officer.

While at Penn, he has advocated for more faculty diversity and helped spearhead an effort that made Penn one of the first partners in Coursera, an online open learning platform. Price hired Penn’s first vice provost for global initiatives and was involved with the creation of the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing, which opened in 2015.

New Duke president Vincent Price and then-UPenn provost "freestyles" his introduction of Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda at a Penn commencement.

Amy Gutmann, president of Penn, and David L. Cohen, chairman of the Penn trustees, described the moment as one in which their happiness and pride for Price’s next step is “tinged with the sadness of our cherished colleague and friend departing.”

“To a person, every Penn trustee admires the leadership that Vince has brought in his role as provost at Penn,” Cohen said in a statement. “He has a passion for academic excellence, and a remarkable talent for building and leading highly effective teams in a large and complex environment. At Duke, he will be a president who will be accessible to deans, faculty, staff, students and alumni.”

Price, who has been in an administrative role for the past decade, is known for his research on public opinion, social influence and political communication. His research has explored the role of online discussion in shaping public knowledge and opinion.

Price earned his doctorate and master’s degrees in communication from Stanford University and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University Honors Program at Santa Clara University in 1979.

Before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998, he was chair and associate professor of communication studies and a faculty associate of the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan.

Anne Blythe: 919-836-4948, @AnneBlythe1

Duke University presidents

▪ William Preston Few, 1924-1940.

▪ Robert Lee Flowers, 1941-1948.

▪ Arthur Hollis Edens, 1949-1960.

▪ J. Deryl Hart, 1960-1963.

▪ Douglas Maitland Knight, 1963-1969.

▪ Terry Sanford, 1969-1985.

▪ H. Keith H. Brodie, 1985-1993.

▪ Nannerl Overholser Keohane, 1993-2004.

▪ Richard H. Brodhead, 2004-2017.

▪ Vincent Edward Price, starting in 2017.