Board of Visitors Discusses Financial Aid and ECE

Thirty-nine members of the Pratt Board of Visitors attended its semi-annual meeting Nov. 1-2 and it was a busy and productive session.

Committee meetings opened the first day, followed by a report from April Brown on the plans of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. After a memorial service for Edmund Pratt
(http://www.egr.duke.edu/News/Stories/86.html), members received an update on undergraduate financial aid by Financial Aid Director Jim Belvin, a briefing on student affairs by Vice President
Larry Moneta, a report on the School’s communications plan by Al Rossiter Jr., and a presentation of a new "smart house" proposal by Mark Younger, E ’03; Wesley Page, E ’06; and Raymond Kozikowski, E ’06.

The board has expanded its committee structure and there are now seven committees – Student Affairs, Membership, Development, Building and Infrastructure, Graduate Education, Industry Relations and Research and Technology Commercialization. Each panel’s reports went to the full
board Nov. 2 and each committee left with an ambitious set of tasks to prepare for the next board meeting in April.

Provost Peter Lange also spoke Nov. 2, discussing major new facilities at the university and the role they will have in Duke’s strategic success in the years ahead. Among the most significant construction projects, Lange said, was the creation of the $97 million Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences. The 322,000 gross square foot building is scheduled to open Aug. 14, 2004

"The Pratt School of Engineering goal is to create a culture of interdisciplinary research that will result in breakthroughs for improving the human condition and environment," Lange said. "These include
collaborations with the Medical School and Physics as well as programs in PSE in Biomedical Engineering, Photonics/Communication and Nanoscience. The new space allows Duke to attract top faculty and students and elevate its current position as compared to other engineering schools in the US."