Dean Laurie Patton

Laurie L. Patton
Dean of Arts & Sciences (2011-2015)

Laurie Patton was the dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences from 2011-2015. Patton came to Duke in 2011 from Emory, where she was the Charles Howard Candler professor of religions and inaugural director of Emory’s Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in the office of the Provost. While at Emory, Patton served as chair of the religion department from 2000-07, founded and co-convened the Religions and the Human Spirit Strategic Plan, and received the Emory Williams Award—Emory’s most prestigious honor for teaching—in 2005.

In her first three years at Duke, with her Arts & Sciences team, Patton has developed Duke’s first university-wide course, sponsored the creation of the first and only global advising program in the country, and launched an initiative in public scholarship. She has also established a grant fund to encourage collaboration and course development by faculty, including on-line innovations, launched an initiative to further the work of women and minorities in the STEM fields, and co-convenes a committee to think through Liberal Arts in China, particularly focused on Duke’s educational programs at Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China.

A graduate of Harvard (BA) and the University of Chicago (Ph.D.), Patton is an accomplished scholar and the author or editor of nine books on South Asian history, culture, and religion. In addition, she has translated the classical Sanskrit text, The Bhagavad Gita, and has published two books of poetry. She has lectured widely on interfaith issues and religion and public life, and consulted with White House offices on faith-based initiatives as well as on civic engagement. In her capacity as a scholar of culture and society she has also worked as a consultant on branding and identity for several national and international corporations. In May 2014 she was named the Alumna of the Year for 2014-15 at the University of Chicago.

CV: Laurie Patton CV (pdf)

Patton in the News

Title Body
Address to Convocation of Advisors

Welcome to the Convocation of Advisors. The complexity and energy that goes into welcoming and guiding our students unfolds through the academic seasons like the diverse ecosystem that it is—in waves, in intricate relationships, sometimes visible and sometimes invisible, and always delicate, always restorative, as only forms of nature can be.

Graduation Address to the Program in Education

What is the nature of that influence? I think of you all as fellow tillers of the field, going into the same business that we all chose so many years ago—that of the care of intellectual souls. That is indeed the business of education—the care of intellectual souls.

Welcome to Blue Devil Days April 2013

We think Duke can provide the best possible environment for you to grow into the most magnificent, vibrant, and engaged person that you can possibly be.

Visiting with the Deceased: Customs Across Cultures - October 2012

Discussion of how different cultures remember and interact with their ancestors.

Inaugural Language Pedagogy Workshop - August 2012

Introduction to the language pedagogy workshop that focuses on using drama and performing arts techniques as a way to aid in foreign language acquisition.

Parents Welcome - Fall 2012

Welcome and orientation talk with parents of incoming freshmen.

Women in Philanthropy: Jewish Models and Stories to Inspire the Next Generation

Contextual discussion of different models of women's philanthropgy, given at the Annual Mosaic Women's Philanthropy Luncheon.

Blue Devil Days - April 2012

Welcome talk to students who have been accepted to Duke, and who are visiting the campus during Blue Devil Days.

Phi Beta Kappa Welcome - Spring 2012

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest fraternal society in the United States, founded in 1776 as a society of friends dedicated to freedom.

Conversation on Race and Difference - April 2012

Discussion about race and difference that include reflection and evaluation help us all consciously choose and become who we want to be at Duke University.

Higher Ed: Who Can Afford It and Who Benefits From It? April 2012

Panel discussion of Dean Laurie Patton, Andrew Rosen of Kaplan, Inc. and George Leef, Director of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education.

Learning Legacies - Tribute to Emeritus Faculty - March 2011

The best legacies are ones that emerge from fiery passions that must burn strong over a lifetime. These are the fiery passions that may, for a time, attach themselves to institutions like Duke and help make them excellent.

Title Body
Memo from the Dean - 6/23/2015 - Social Sciences

Summary of the accomplishments of the Social Sciences Division, including extensive public scholarship. Specific recognition for Meier, Moffitt, Caspi, Streib, Harris, Glymph, Bennett and Thomas. Highlighting the depth of faculty expertise in race, inequality, gender, sexuality and difference, with specific recognition for Neal, Darity, African & African American Studies, and Women's Studies. Overview of faculty hires during Patton's term, and hires with expertise in global asia. Recognition for the Service Learning program, and its impact on undergraduates.

Memo from the Dean - 6/9/2015 - Humanities

Summary of accomplishments of humanities departments and faculty, including Humanities Writ Large, language initiatives, signature courses, Forum for Scholars & Publics, improvements in student recruitment and advising in the humanities, and humanities programming options.

Memo from the Dean 4/20/2015 - Budget Update

Update on A&S budget for 2015/2016.

Memo from the Dean 4/16/2015 Natural Sciences

Recognition of STEM retention success through the HHMI grant, redesigned courses and flipped classroom experiments; outreach programs and student mentoring; improvements to faculty diversity, and our new planned research and science education building--to be built in partnership with the Pratt School of Engineering.

Memo from the Dean 4/9/2015

Ongoing conversations about race and difference at Duke, and how to become engaged.

Memo from the Dean 2/11/2015

Recognition for DeFrantz, Neal, Brown, Mackey, Seaman, Supko, Leighton, Partner, Balleisen, Deustch, Haynie, Khanna, Hartemink and Bennear.

Memo from the Dean 1/7/2015

Angela O'Rand to lead search committee for new dean of Arts & Sciences. Curriculum review and strategic planning will continue as scheduled.

Memo from the Dean 12/18/2014

Recognition for new books from Hubert Bray, William Chafe, Rey Chow, Steven Churchill, Craufurd Goodwin, Neil De Marchi, Jennifer Groh, Mohsen Kadivar, Helen Ladd, Michael Munger, and John Supko. Awards for Steffen Bass, Allison Book and Lee Willard. Highlight for Nathaniel Mackey. Focus on Race, Responsibility and Accountability event.

Memo from the Dean 11/25/2014

Highlighting Forum for Scholars & Publics, launch of Cultures & Languages Across the Curriculum. Recognition for Partner, DeBrigard, Sinnott-Armstrong, Gao, Reiter, Supko and Seaman.

Memo from the Dean 10/21/2014

Launch of Signature Courses. Recognition for Aldrich, Rohde, Benfey, Bruzelius, Flanagan, Ginsburg, Johnson, Kaiwar, Lee, Lieber, Meyers, Niou, Sieburth, Sinnott-Armstrong, Weintraub, Todd, Brothers, Troxler, Gilliam, Lindroth, Pritchard, Ku, Bagg, and Raimi for published scholarly works. Recognition for West for professional society awards. Recognition of O'Rand for significant new grant success. Welcome to new colleagues Derbyshire, Jiminez, Pierce, Jardina, mcIver, Safi and Serrato.

Memo from the Dean 9/25/2014 - Facilities Update

Update on Trinity College facilities renovations and upgrades. Link for campus-wide construction project information.

Memo from the Dean 9/5/2014 - Financial Update

Update on financial close of fiscal year 2013/2014 and discussion of budget and plans for 2014/2015.

Memo from the Dean 8/21/2014

Recognition for Jim Moody, Gary Gereffi, Linda Burton, Martin Reuf, Scott Lynch, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Anne Firor Scott, the Department of Music, Priscilla  Wald, Amanda Hargrove, Katherine Heller, and Sonke Johnsen.

Memo from the Dean 8/4/2014 - Powell as Dean of Humanities

Appointment of Richard J. Powell as Dean of the Humanities. Thank you to Srinivas Aravamudan.

Memo from the Dean 7/11/2014 - Faculty Accomplishments

Recognition for James Applewhite, Michael Ferejohn, Lisa Keister, Timur Kuran, Melissa Malouf, Nancy MacLean, Frederick Mayer, Neil McWilliam, Valentine Mudimbe, David Need, Jakob Norberg, Carl Nordgren, Wayne Norman, Henry Petroski, Naomi Quinn, Luis Rosa, John Staddon, Lucas Van Rompay, Jonathan Bagg, Scott Lindroth, Stephen Jaffe, Mathew McCubbins, Ashutosh Kotwal, Laura Edwards, Fred Nijhout, Thomas Mitchell-Olds, Alvin Crumbliss, Harris Cooper, Rebecca Stein, Kathy Frantz, Srinivas Aravamudan, Nathaniel Mackay, Robert Calderbank, Susan Rodger, Jim Siedow, Linda Burton and Peter Feaver.

Memo from the Dean 6/5/2014 - Campaign Update

Update on our proress in the fundraising campaign for Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. Recognition for Colleen Fitzpatrick, Anne Yoder, Charlie Becker, John Caccavale, Alex Pfaff, Emma Rasiel, Angel Harris, Staci Bilbo, Elizabeth Brannon, Avshalom Caspi, Tanya Chartrand, Lasana Harris, Scott Huettel, Terrie Moffitt, Tom Robisheaux, Inge Walther, Caroline Bruzelius, Brian Hare, Anne Pusey, Andrew Janiak, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, David Bell, Deborah Jenson, Anthony Kelley, Scott Lindroth and John Supko.

Memo from the Dean 5/19/2014

Staff thank you for support during graduation weekend. Recognition for Alberts, Humphreys, McClain, Reddy and Witt. FHI Humanities grant. Huffington Post Thesis Project.

Memo from the Dean 5/6/2014

Recognition for Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel, Rebecca Bach, James Roberts, Erdag Goknar, James Berkey, Denise Comer, Kelly Cottrell, Lewis Blake, Eileen Anderson, Joan Clifford, Rebecca Ewing, Bethzaida Fernandez, Lisa Merschel, Joan Munne, Liliana Parades, Maria Romero, Melissa Simmermeyer, Rosa Solorzano, Graciela Vidal and William Villalba.

Memo from the Dean 4/15/2014

Recognition for faculty and staff. Recognition for Aidoo, Andrews, Chafe, cooke, DeFrantz, Harris, Holloway, Jawad, Leighten, McClain, Neuschel, Ramaswamy, Ruderman, Stern, Thompson, Goodwin, Hodel, Loveland, Lin, Aravamudan, Gellen, Glymph, McClain, Beratan and Zanalda.

Memo from the Dean 2/21/2014

Recognition for Carol and Eric Meyers, Phil Stern, Warren Warren, Anne Allison, Julie Tetel Andresen, Mark Antliff, Carol Apollonio, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Martin Eisner, Anthony Elson, Laura Florand, Katherine Hayles, William Keech, Rob Mitchell, Diane Nelson, and Constance Walker. Forecasting need for engagement with SACS report.

Memo from the Dean 1/24/2014

Spring semester welcome, foreign travel recap, recognition of winter forum, thank you for departmental representatives in A&S Faculty Council.

Memo from the Dean 12/9/2013

Recognition for Goldstein, Craig, Lange, Scholberg, Kotwal, Huettel and Powell. Status of university course enrollment. Travel plans.

Memo from the Dean 11/15/2013

Update on the Trinity Board of Visitors Meeting; Forum for Scholars and Publics; AAAS Race in Space; Glymph in PBS series; Bennett commentary on trans fat legislation; Lyle chemistry education outreach; Davidson MOOC.

Memo from the Dean 10/21/2013

Announcement of LAMP communications gift. Recognition for Baker, Holmgren, Apollonio, Humphreys, Kachurin, McCarthy, Partner, Pfau, Rupprecht, Shatzmiller, Stiles, Trangenstein, Whitfield, Vogel and Gauthier.

Memo from the Dean 10/2/2013

Recap of Dean's fall address and themes for 2013/2014 academic year. Recognition for Wilson, Noor, Andrews, Beramendi, Brennan, Behringer and Craig.

Memo from the Dean 8/28/2013

Welcome to new faculty Patek, Sarver, Beardsley, Siegel, Malcolmson, Roizen, Hargrove, Panigrahi, Benson, Masten, Wang, Dix-Carneiro, Chappel, De Brigard, Barbeau, Streib, Rogers, Liu and Canelas. Welcome to new department chairs Noor, Knight, Rosa, Clyde, Martinez and Bagg. Welcome back Aravamudan, Kiehart and Latta. Overview of plans for faculty forum meetings, and chairs workshops.

Memo from the Dean 8/8/2013

Recognition for Clum, Leighten, McAuliffe, Malegam, Morgan, Mottahedeh, Mudimbe, O'Barr, Olcott, Rankin, Rojas, Swartzwelder, Thompson and Toniolo. Update on financial planning over the summer, summary of fiscal year end close, online learning and advising enhancement themes for upcoming year.

Memo from the Dean 5/24/2013 Reappointment of Dean Lee Baker

Reappointment of Lee Baker as Dean of Academic Affairs

Memo from the Dean 5/16/2013

Recognition for Glymph, Sosin, Mitroff, the ATLAS group, Plesser, Noor, Shaw, Litzinger, Yang, Roy, Edwards, Sloan and Wiegman; faculty governance and online learning planning.

Memo from the Dean 5/21/2013 - Staff Thank You

Thank you to the staff across Trinity College who made commencement yet another great milestone in the life of our community

Memo from the Dean 4/3/13

New academic tradition; recognition for Balleisen, Stern, Krylova, MacLean, Olcott, Ramaswamy, Yoder and Rupprecht; Creole/Tibetan partnership; raising the visibility of our books; startup challenge teams from Trinity

Memo from the Dean 3/19/2013 - Financial Update

Financial update on Trinity College of Arts & Sciences within the broader context of Duke.

Memo from the Dean 3/8/2013 - Leadership Transition

Calderbank to lead Duke Information Initiative; Kiehart to lead Natural Sciences Division

Memo from the Dean 2/18/2013

Recognition for Noor, Cooper and Hare; congratulations to the joint Ph.D. in the German Department; reminder about diversity

Memo from the Dean 1/16/2013

Dean's travel update; recognition for Hare, Wilbourn and Sattar Jawad; kudos to Office of Facilities; SSRI move to Gross Hall

Memo from the Dean 12/21/2012

Development travel update, campaign update

Memos from the Dean 12/6/2012

Recognition for Hoehn, Noor and Roth; American Mathematical Society Fellows: Beale, Bray, Calderbank, Daubechies, Durrett, Hain, Maggioni, Miller, Petters, Reed, Saper, Smith and Stern; Davidson as Educator of the Year from World Technology Network, George, and Physics Department outreach team of Plesser, Howell, Leadbetter and Callan.

Memo from the Dean 10/30/2012

Scholars and Publics initiative, recognition for John Forlines, graduate student Angela Mace, professor Pryer, faculty forum on development, update on development travel, TCA&S role in Duke Kunshan curriculum, link to fall faculty address

Memo from the Dean 9/21/2012

Recap of Dean's fall address to the faculty

Memo from the Dean 8/20/2012

Trinity student wins at the Olympics, launch of the DukeForward campaign, hires in Asia, recognition for Aldrich, sophomore Bryan Silverman wins College Entrepreneur of the Year competition

Memo from the Dean 7/13/2012 - Social Sciences

Recognition for Edwards, Aldrich, Huettel, Grieco, Munger, McClain, Nechyba and planned move of the SSRI and Political Science to Gross Hall

Memos from the Dean 7/11/2012 - Natural Sciences

Recognition for Higgs-Boson team, Jarvis, Peters, Nowicki and Dong

Memo from the Dean 6/20/2012 - Humanities

Recognition of Beckwith, Mitchell, Sosin, Janiak, Hassan, Adamson, Bassiri, B. Rogers, Vakarelov, Loney, Wilson, Williams, DeFrantz, Walters and Balleisen

Memo from the Dean 4/27/2012

Reunion recap, recognition of teaching award winners: Moses, Ferejohn, Noor, DuBois, Shah, Day, Armaleo; Daubechies wins 2012 Frederick Esser Nemmers Prize; Bruzelius elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; Jaffe inducted into American Academy of Arts; reminder of CIT showcase

Memo from the Dean 4/20/2012

Board of Visitors recap, campaign update, recognition for Aldrich, Hillygus and Rohde; spotlight on Humanities Writ Large project, recognition for Tung, reminder of President's Reception during graduation