Power 100 Q&A: Vincent E. Price

 In Power 100 Q&A profiles

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Vincent Price

VINCENT E. PRICE

Blue devil boss

61, President, Duke University
Durham

Alma maters
Santa Clara University, B.A.
Stanford University, Master’s, Ph.D.

The former provost of the University of Pennsylvania became Duke’s 10th president in 2017, succeeding Richard Brodhead. Price leads one of the nation’s most selective schools — the class of 2022 had an 8.6% acceptance rate, and Duke is tied for No. 8 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of top U.S. universities. Duke has made significant investments in Durham’s downtown business district, where it has 4,000 employees. He also led last year’s launch of an undergraduate program in Kunshan, China.

What is North Carolina’s key challenge?
Economic empowerment. We are fortunate in North Carolina to have been among the leaders of the digital revolution, and cities like Durham are thriving. But we will have to work hard to ensure that the benefits of this success are felt by everyone who calls our state home.
Duke and other institutions of higher education have a responsibility and an opportunity to help improve the lives of our neighbors through research, health care and community engagement.
What has been your biggest surprise about the state since you moved here?
My wife, Annette, and I were told to expect incredible friendliness and a strong sense of community, and we’ve found both in great supply. We weren’t entirely prepared for the natural beauty of the state. We’ve loved exploring the mountains and the beaches, which are just a couple of hours from our front door in Durham. Few places have such a wealth of natural beauty within such ready reach.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I thought at one point I might pursue theater —– among my first loves were writing and acting.
Key 2018 accomplishment?
I’m very excited about what we’re doing to engage with our city. I’ve often said that Duke wouldn’t be Duke without Durham, and we are recognizing that this can be a truly reciprocal relationship. Through our community health initiatives, our redevelopment of the Chesterfield cigarette factory into a cancer-research center and our innovative collaborations with Durham Public Schools, Duke is striving to be an even more engaged citizen of the city.
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