Search Committee Selected for New Nicholas School Dean

August 28, 2017
Grainger Hall Hero

DURHAM, N.C. – Emily Klein, professor of earth sciences, will chair a 14-person committee that will conduct a search for the new dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, President Vincent E. Price and Provost Sally Kornbluth have announced.

The new dean will succeed Alan Townsend, who announced his resignation this past November. Jeffrey Vincent, Clarence F. Korstian Professor of Forest Economics and Management, has been serving as interim dean since Townsend took a leave of absence for personal reasons this past August.

The president and provost charged the committee to conduct a national search looking both internally and externally to identify a diverse pool of candidates. The committee seeks an intellectual leader who maintains “the highest standards in faculty hiring and retention” and will be both a consensus builder as well as a decision maker.

Other qualities include:

  • An energetic, conscientious and ethical administrator broadly familiar with issues in higher education and with strong linkages to environmental and other relevant communities;
  • A strong advocate for the Nicholas School and its core teaching and research missions in the context of the university’s strategic commitment to internationalization, interdisciplinarity, and knowledge in the service of society;
  • A strong advocate for and commitment to enhancing the diversity and well-being of faculty, students and staff;
  • An effective fund-raiser;
  • A partner with fellow deans, the provost and the president in promoting university priorities; and
  • A respected university citizen.

In addition to Klein, the other search committee members include: Ana Barros, Pratt School of Engineering; Fred Boadu, Pratt School of Engineering; Martin Doyle, Nicholas School of the Environment; Deborah Gallagher, Nicholas School of the Environment; Claudia Gunsch, Pratt School of Engineering; and James Hench, Nicholas School of the Environment.

Also appointed to serve on the committee are: Joel Meyer, Nicholas School of the Environment; J. Curtis Moffatt, T'73, Nicholas School of the Environment Board of Visitors; Charlotte Nuñez-Wolff, Nicholas School of the Environment; Dalia Patino-Echeverri, Nicholas School of the Environment; Heather Stapleton, Nicholas School of the Environment; and Norman Wirzba, Duke Divinity School. 

Benjamin Reese, vice president for institutional equity, is an ex-officio member.

The goal is for the committee to present recommendations to the president and provost by Dec. 31.

The committee, which will be assisted by Spencer Stuart, a national executive search firm, is soliciting input, nominations and applications from members of the Duke community.

Applications and nominations for the Nicholas School dean search, as well as questions pertaining to the search process, should be sent to the confidential mailbox: Applications should include a current CV; nominations should include contact information for the candidate.

Additional information, including a full position description and the nomination/application procedure, is at