Back to Class for Chafe

June 1, 2003

William H. Chafe, dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences and vice provost for undergraduate education, will leave his administrative posts on June 30, 2004. Chafe, who came to Duke as a professor in the history department in 1971, has been dean for nine years and vice provost for three years. He plans to continue teaching history at Duke.

Chafe earned a bachelor's degree in American history at Harvard University and a Ph.D. at Columbia University before joining the Duke faculty. In 1988, he was named Alice Mary Baldwin Distinguished Professor of History. He chaired the history department from 1990 to 1995.

During his tenure on the faculty, he has been involved in several initiatives related to his long-standing interest in issues of race and gender. He has been co-director of the Duke Oral History Program and its Center for the Study of Civil Rights and Race Relations; he is a founder and the former academic director of the Duke-UNC Center for Research on Women; and he is a founder of and senior research associate at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies.

In 1995, Chafe became dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences. From 1997 to 1999, he was dean of Trinity College, and he was appointed vice provost for undergraduate education in 1999. During his years as dean, he oversaw the creation of a new undergraduate curriculum, called Curriculum 2000; helped reconfigure residential patterns on West Campus to reflect the demographic diversity of the student body and move all sophomores to West; and shared in the creation of the John Hope Franklin Center. He also helped initiate major new programs in child and family policy, genomics, and brain science. During his time as dean, the number of African-American faculty members in arts and sciences more than doubled.

Chafe is the author of several books, including Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Black Struggle for Freedom (Oxford, 1980), which refocused civil-rights scholarship on social history and community studies and won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His book Never Stop Running: Allard Lowenstein and the Struggle to Save American Liberalism (Basic Books, 1993) won the Sidney Hillman Book Award.

His recent work includes co-editing Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South (New Press/

Lyndhurst Books, 2001), which won the Carey McWilliams Award from the American Political Science Association and a Lillian Smith Award from the Southern Regional Council.