Position Description: Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics

Duke University, March 2023

Application and nomination instructions at bottom
[The window for nominations and applications is now closed.]

Current Mission Statement: “The Kenan Institute for Ethics is a home for faculty, students, and staff dedicated to understanding the moral challenges of our time through the energetic and capacious pursuit of good.”

I. Overall Leadership Description for Any University-Wide Duke Institute

Carry out and periodically refresh the organizational mission statement, ensuring that it remains aligned with university priorities, which should inform UIC objectives.  Direct the overall activities of the UIC. Serve as a good steward of university resources. Bring an experimental mindset to programs and initiatives, looking to develop new ideas but also evaluate commitments and redirect resources where advisable.

In all activities, nurture a university community that is accessible, diverse, and committed to a culture of engagement; that welcomes talented scholars to our community that represent the full range and richness of human experience; and that recognizes inclusiveness as a critical element in achieving excellence.

Build Community

  • In conjunction with relevant deans, chairs, and key faculty members, develop and build consensus towards an overall vision, which should define achievable objectives for research, education, and engagement and further a whole greater than the sum of a UIC’s parts. Update the mission as appropriate.
  • Develop, promote and implement governance practices for the entity as a whole, as well as affiliated centers and programs.
  • Build strong relationships with relevant deans, other UIC directors, and the vice provost for interdisciplinary studies to facilitate sharing of ideas and experiences around interdisciplinary academic leadership. Identify arenas in which the entity possesses a comparative advantage over schools, whether in catalyzing innovative research, pedagogy/training, or engagement and interaction beyond campus.
  • Plan, direct, review, and/or otherwise foster new or major interdisciplinary research, pedagogy, and/or outreach initiatives, ensuring coordination with other disciplines and divisions, departments, administrators, and personnel throughout the University as appropriate. Where possible, prioritize engaging existing Duke faculty rather than hiring non-regular rank faculty in the UIC.
  • Regularly review projects and sunset commitments as appropriate, in order to free up resources to support new ideas and collaborations.
  • Work closely with faculty in the schools, as well as other UICs, to foster collaboration and information sharing.
  • Embed the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across programs, activities, and unit governance
  • Serve on other Duke committees and in other Duke roles as opportunities arise that help in the more effective management of the University and that inform the institute’s ongoing consideration of strategic priorities.
  • Communicate university priorities and policies to the unit’s key stakeholders.

External Engagement

  • Explore partnerships with appropriate foundations, NGOs, and government agencies.
  • Seek out avenues of external support for institute priorities, especially through federal and foundation grants. Direct and provide leadership in development and organizational advancement efforts; with University development offices, corporate relations, and foundation relations, foster new relationships with prospective funders; work with senior staff to prepare proposals, development stewardship, and reports to funders.
  • Where appropriate, develop capacity to assist faculty in pursuing interdisciplinary grant and fellowship applications.
  • Direct organizational communications and external relations efforts; direct the development of electronic/online and printed communications mechanisms intended to communicate the mission and programs of the Institute; cultivate relations with national and international communities to enhance the entity’s role as a leading international organization in its field.

Resource Management

  • Work with the Provost Academic Support team to continue to streamline overall administrative operations (communications, IT, administration, finance, HR) and ensure that the current structure and framework of resource allocation is appropriate given ongoing evolution of intellectual currents and university priorities.
  • Mentor and coach associate directors, as well as other staff, as appropriate; ensure that there are appropriate structures in place to facilitate equitable engagement with professional development for all staff.
  • Work closely with financial staff to develop an annual budget and monitor performance. Assess the overall portfolio of centers, services, and programs to right size/restructure and sunset as appropriate.
  • Direct various personnel functions including, but not limited to, hiring, performance appraisals, promotions, transfers and vacation schedules.

Faculty Mentorship

  • Provide guidance to center directors, primary faculty and senior staff around strategic direction, leadership development, and opportunities to integrate their activities with the UIC and University priorities.
  • Mentor and advocate for the next generation of leaders in the relevant intellectual domains. Identify and develop faculty for future leadership roles both in and outside of the unit with a particular attention to those who could be positioned to also serve in leadership roles.
  • Coordinate activities among affiliated and other relevant centers, research groups, and intellectual communities; facilitate connections across the university and develop and sustain mechanisms that promote collaboration and communication across the full spectrum of relevant disciplines.
  • Serve in a role analogous to a department chair for faculty with primary regular rank or non-regular rank faculty appointments in the institute. Oversee the appointment and promotion process for these faculty, ensuring that selection processes cultivate diverse applicant pools and assess candidates equitably, and that feedback from a meaningful and appropriately robust review process is shared with the faculty. Ensure these faculty have an intellectual home with opportunities for service and pathways to engage with the Duke faculty community writ large.

II. UIC-Specific: KIE

  • In overseeing the Kenan Institute for Ethics, understand and adhere to the mission of the Kenan Fund for Ethics as stated in the Memorandum of Understanding dated between Duke University and the William R. Kenan Jr. Kenan Fund for Ethics dated as of February 7, 2022.
  • Engage appropriately with the William R. Kenan Jr. Fund for Ethics, which has served as a key source of financial support from the creation of the institute, and explore opportunities to collaborate with the other three Kenan Institutes in North Carolina.
  • Provide leadership for the DukeEngage (DE) program, in collaboration with the DE Director and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, and look to deepen integration of DE with related programs, such as Bass Connections.
  • Ensure that KIE is a key, collaborative, supporting partner with senior and school leadership in enriching and supporting the full range of ethics-related scholarship at Duke, and in making ethics at Duke a signature feature of the university’s reputation and visibility.
  • Partner with school leadership to ensure alignment of priorities, cohesion and innovation in research and educational efforts related to ethics, broadly construed. Foster appropriate connections with the humanities and arts, law, policy, engineering, business, divinity, natural sciences, and applied and health sciences.
  • Oversee the cultivation of an environment and programming that is welcoming to a broad array of faculty and students who focus on ethical issues in research, education, and community engagement.
  • Develop a smaller number of more substantial investments in identified priority areas for faculty and student research.
  • Maintain a robust set of student-centered programs—including curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular undertakings—that complement and amplify school-based endeavors. Work closely with schools, and especially Arts & Sciences, in developing and sustaining ethics-related curricular programs. Partner as appropriate with the Office of Durham & Community Affairs around projects that involve community engagement.
  • Lead ongoing assessment within the institute, including governance, to maintain appropriate balance of engagement across Duke’s schools and divisions of knowledge, with graduate and undergraduate students, and between top-down thematic vision and activity that emerges from individual faculty efforts.

How to Apply

Applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent (about your interest and relevant experience) along with a current CV by March 17, 2023, followed by a one- to two-page vision statement for the next phase of the institute by March 27, 2023. Applications may be sent to the search committee by email to the committee at kie-director-search@duke.edu.

Nomination of prospective candidates may also be sent to the search committee by email to kie-director-search@duke.edu.