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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges, collegiate houses, and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. For more about residential colleges and collegiate universities please visit the main Collegiate Way page.

Yale’s Brodhead to be Duke University President

— Richard Brodhead, for many years Dean of Yale College, the undergraduate division of Yale University, has been appointed President of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. As Dean of Yale College, Brodhead oversaw the management of Yale’s residential college system, and he has long been a spokesman for the virtues of that system and an advocate for the importance of high-quality undergraduate education.

Duke, a private university with 6000 undergraduates, does not have a residential college system, but for many years it has been home to several faculty members who have been outspoken advocates for the creation of residential colleges at Duke, including William Willimon, author of The Abandoned Generation: Rethinking Higher Education, and Reynolds Price, whose vigorous editorial in the Duke Chronicle several years ago remains one of the strongest briefs for the collegiate way of living and against the anti-intellectual culture that prevails on all too many campuses.

With Brodhead’s background and Duke’s history, can a residential college system for Duke University be very far off? Predicting the future is hazardous business, but I wouldn’t be surprised if, ten years from now, a Duke residential college system is seen as the great legacy of Brodhead’s presidency.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2016