One of the nation’s top jobs in private higher education – the presidency of Duke University – is going to an administrator at the University of Pennsylvania. The job has been accepted by Vincent Edward Price, 59, provost at Penn.
Price has a keen sense of humor that appeals to a broad array of groups. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton,” was given an honorary degree from Penn in May, and a video shows Price’s introduction was, if not of Broadway merit, pretty darned close.
Price is experienced, and his academic pedigree includes top degrees and teaching and research experience in communications.
Price will succeed Dick Brodhead, who will have 13 years in the job when he finishes next summer. Brodhead presided over superlative fund-raising campaigns, and weathered a traumatic crisis, the Duke lacrosse scandal and fallout. Brodhead was provost at Yale when he came to Durham.
As president, Price will also be expected to raise lots of money, but he’ll be supervising an ever-changing academic environment, and Duke has one of the world’s foremost medical complexes. Penn’s basketball and football programs are not at Duke’s level and some alums may be concerned that Price won’t support those programs enough, just as others will hope he keeps athletics in proper balance with academics. It is sometimes a delicate balance.
Still, it appears Duke’s trustees have made a sound choice to guide the university.