It has been an important year for civic and political engagement at Duke. The surprise outcome of the Presidential election has challenged all of us to think anew about the public purposes of higher education and how, amongst other American institutions, universities can work to defend democratic practices and principles that are under siege. This renewal of critical thinking about the civic issues of the day brings Duke’s long-standing commitment to the public good to the forefront. Examples of Duke’s continued support of civic engagement were highly visible this year. The emergence of POLIS at Duke provides a tangible institutional structure in which we are reengaging Duke students in the hard work of politics. The efforts of the DOCE in this year’s civic action planning process chart a course forward that recommits us — along with the broader University strategic plan — to practice civic engagement as well as we possibly can. And the new experiential certificate in Civic Engagement and Social Change promises a clear curricular route for Duke students who want to engage in the important issues of our time.
We are grateful to be part of a University where the public purpose of our work has never been in doubt, and where the future is bright for making a difference in the important work of democratic preservation. We welcome you to join us in our commitment to doing good work well.
Assistant Vice Provost for Civic Engagement
Peter Lange Executive Director of DukeEngage
Lecturer, Sanford School of Public Policy
To read more about the work of the Duke Office of Civic Engagement this past year, please see our Year in Review.
Photo by Bryan Roth/Kenan Institute for Ethics