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Regional Partnerships

Take a Leadership Role in Building Partnerships and Collaborations in the Research Triangle, the State, and Beyond

President Keohane and UNC-CH James Moeser ride the Robertson Scholars bus.
A premier example of a new regional partnership is The Robertson Scholars Program launched this year. Pictured are President Keohane and UNC-CH Chancellor James Moeser on a bus that links the two campuses daily through numerous round trips.

In an era characterized by rapid advances in science and use-inspired basic research, collaboration with external research institutions offers great advantages because of the efficiencies of scale, the expanded reach of our programs, and the increased impact of all that we do. Much of our institutional mission is shared with our sister institutions throughout the Research Triangle as well as the state of North Carolina. Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University are among the nation’s top 50 institutions in research expenditures. North Carolina Central University (NCCU) is one of the nation’s leading historically African-American institutions. Faculty in every school at Duke are engaged in collaborations with scholars at one or more of these campuses. The strategic importance of Duke intensifying its efforts to establish partnerships with neighboring universities, as well as with industries and government agencies in the Research Triangle, is a priority in our long-range plan.

The Pratt School of Engineering, the Nicholas School of the Environment, and the School of Medicine expect to expand their linkages with NC State. The Center for Child and Family Policy has developed collaborative programs with both UNC and NCCU around the issues of early childhood development and juvenile violence. In addition, the multi-disciplinary Institute for Care at the End of Life, housed in Duke’s Divinity School, brings together faculty from divinity, the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, NCCU, and the School of Social Work at UNC. We must be more systematic in strengthening these kinds of inter-institutional partnerships as we implement our academic plan.

The quality of life in this region is a strategic asset, and Duke should be a more active participant in public and private partnerships to address the region’s challenges and opportunities, from transportation and solid waste to water quality and health care. This strategic plan also reconfirms the unviersity's commitment to partnerships with Durham, most notably through programs in the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership Initiative. The initiative focuses on improving the quality of life of residents in the 12 neighborhoods near Duke's campus as well as the seven public schools which serve them. The NPI includes two of the major low-wealth communities of Durham. One of Duke's partnerships involving affordable housing and crime reduction in Walltown, the historically African-American neighborhood near East Campus, won a national gold medal this year from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Duke is a major asset for the region’s long term economic growth. The Research Triangle is well-positioned for national and international leadership in biomedical research, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and clinically-related innovations. The presence of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences offers significant potential linkages in scientific policy and related environmental issues. Our medical center has established strong links to many of the nation’s leading corporations and emerging high-tech, biomedical companies in the Research Triangle, and the Fuqua School of Business has a wide range of partnerships with Research Triangle corporations. State-funded institutions such as Microelectronics Center of North Carolina and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center are taking new steps to coordinate our efforts and to help us compete as a region, rather than individually.