Duke’s Academic Council voted last week to give the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) authority to appoint regular rank non-tenure track faculty members.
Institute Director Michael Merson said the new positions would mostly be in the research or practice tracks. As an interdisciplinary institute, DGHI has a number of tenure-track faculty members whose primary appointments are in regular university departments.
Merson said the need for these additional positions was necessary to support the institute’s research, education, policy and service missions.
These positions are needed when a researcher’s scholarship “is far more relevant to DGHI’s interdisciplinary mission than to the disciplinary focus of any department,” Merson wrote in support of the proposal. “In such cases, it would be advantageous to DGHI and to Duke to be able to appoint regular rank, non-tenure track faculty directly into DGHI.”
Merson told the council that his goal would be that for each of these appointments, the scholar would have a secondary appointment in a regular department.
There is a recent precedent for this move: Earlier this year the council approved giving the Social Science Research Institute the same authority.