New Pres, Who this?

Last year, President Richard H. Brodhead announced that he would be stepping down from his position as Duke’s ninth president. Later that same year, it was revealed that Vincent E. Price, then-provost of the University of Pennsylvania, had been selected as Duke’s tenth president. Although many were hesitant to welcome someone new after President Brodhead’s thirteen years of service, they were quick to warm up to him.

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President Price comes to us with a long and impressive resume. As the University of Pennsylvania’s provost (alternatively, chief academic officer), he oversaw various colleges and institutes, as well as the arts and athletics. As UPenn's provost, he also worked on increasing the presence of the arts of campus, diversifying the faculty, and making it possible to combine interdisciplinary research and teaching. He was also a Wistar Institute trustee, the founding chair for the Coursera University Advising Board, and a member of the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s executive planning group. Before his tenure at the UPenn, he was the University of Michigan’s Department of Communication Studies chair.

So far, pretty impressive, right? Well, President Price also had experience in leading a top-tier university past the borders of the United States. He was responsible for hiring the vice provost for global initiatives and led the foundation of the Penn Wharton China Center, located in Beijing. I wonder which other top-tier university is also making itself known globally and has a university location in China…

Besides being a pretty great provost, President Price is also a pretty great researcher, focusing on mass communication, the media, and political communication. His book Public Opinion is widely cited and has been translated into at least five languages. He’s been considered an expert in the field since it’s publication in 1992. He was also the editor-in-chief for Public Opinion Quarterly from 1997 to 2001, so he knows his stuff.

President Price formally took over during the summer, while most students weren’t on campus. In order to welcome him to the university, the University decided to host a large, multi-day event called Price Palooza. On October 4th, East Campus was transformed into a carnival, filled with a ferris wheel, classic carnival rides, and lots of food. Attendees were also given a commerative t-shirt with President Price’s Bitmoji face on the back. The formal inauguration was held the following day, with events geared towards alumni, administrators, students, and other University affiliates. All in all, plenty was done to make sure Price felt welcomed, and Duke felt comfortable welcoming him!

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Here’s hoping President Price and his Bitmoji face will be with us for years to come.