Executive Vice Chancellor's Welcome

Denis Simon.jpg

These are quite exciting times at Duke Kunshan University. After successfully hosting the Global Learning Semester for undergraduate students and steady growth in our graduate programs, we have now launched our four-year undergraduate degree program. An inaugural class of 260 students representing 27 countries has enrolled in a highly innovative, cutting-edge interdisciplinary liberal arts degree program. The Class of 2022 is being taught by a new group of high caliber DKU and Duke faculty who have been recruited specifically to deliver our new curriculum, which reflects the latest thinking and pedagogy regarding undergraduate education. In parallel with our degree programs, the campus also is home to a highly dynamic array of research activities that highlight the core competencies of the faculty in fields such as global health, environment studies, big data, innovation studies, and humanities.

On behalf of all the leadership team, faculty and staff at DKU, I warmly welcome you to use this website to take a deeper look at what is happening at DKU and even perhaps to make a trip to China to obtain a firsthand view. The website is the product of a collaborative enterprise between Duke and DKU. Every day, DKU is becoming more and more connected to various core components of the Duke campus in Durham; we anticipate that multiple opportunities will emerge for expanded faculty exchanges, student study abroad, joint research projects, summer programs, internships, and jointly sponsored conferences and seminars. You don't have to be a Chinese language or East Asian studies major to reap the many benefits derived from partaking in the rich menu of Duke Kunshan academic activities. The vast majority of Duke students and faculty who have had a serious experience at DKU have come back to Durham singing their praises about the new vistas that have been opened up to them.
 
Clearly, we merely are at the beginning of a long-term academic journey, one that has the potential to have not only a transformative impact on Chinese higher education, but also in terms of the internationalization of Duke University itself.  As the second largest economy in the world and one of the world’s fastest rising technological powers, China now is an integral part of the storyline of the 21st century; the US-China relationship is among the most strategically important bilateral relationships in the world. Duke is fortunate to have had visionary leaders who have seen the future and embraced it—the DKU campus in Kunshan, China is the manifestation of this global vision. I hope you will take the time to learn more about our campus and the wonderful people who work, teach, and study there. Please don't be shy—the future awaits you at Duke Kunshan University.

Denis Simon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice Chancellor
Duke Kunshan University