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School of Arts & Sciences

Executive Summary

We envision Arts & Sciences as a vibrant community of scholars engaged in research and education. Our school is characterized by a love of learning within this community, which extends from freshmen to graduate students to faculty and staff. We represent an international community diverse in cultural backgrounds and intellectual interests, and we provide gateways for discovery of both self and the world beyond.

Our mission emphasizes the advancement of knowledge and learning, rich not only in disciplinary depth, but also across disciplines and within newly emerging fields of knowledge. We create opportunities for members of our community to make a difference by promoting knowledge in the service of societies, with sensitivity both to the diversity of cultural expression and to the ethical dimensions of our enterprise.

Arts & Sciences will be known for, and distinguished by:

  • Creating and promoting interdisciplinary and international scholarship and education, while sustaining foundational disciplines
  • Defining and leading emerging disciplines and intellectual paradigms that create knowledge and promote the translation of that knowledge to the benefit of society. Among the approaches to translation, we specifically foster ethical awareness and civic engagement.
  • Developing new learning opportunities that build on these paradigms and create student engagement in the context of a community of scholars

Arts & Sciences serves as the hub of Duke and is among the most complex of its schools. Our centrality suggests that any strategic plan has to be mindful of connections with our sister schools, and our complexity has led us to seek a common understanding of emerging intellectual opportunities. With significant faculty input, we have organized the intellectual drivers of our plan along seven broad themes that cut across traditional boundaries of scholarship and institutional organization: Arts in Context; Brain, Mind, and Behavior; Global Health and Human Welfare; Individual and Collective Ethical Behavior; Integration across Scale in the Sciences; Transcultural Studies; and Visual Culture. These themes articulate developing research paradigms that offer associated learning opportunities for our students, from gateway courses through undergraduate mentored research. They reflect the changing nature of intellectual work and provide new templates for research and educational collaborations as well as new models for resource allocation.

The Strategic plan for Arts & Sciences is guided by three fundamental goals:

Goal 1: Develop Duke's Distinctiveness as A Nationally Recognized Leader in Emerging Fields and Disciplines

Goal 2: Enhance Duke's Distinctiveness As A Leader In Inquiry-Based, Interdisciplinary Education

Goal 3: Provide an Appropriate Infrastructure to Support the Development of Arts and Sciences

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