Vice Presidential Changes

June 1, 2007

Allison Haltom '72, vice president and university secretary, will step down at the end of December. Haltom has been at Duke for almost forty years. After graduating from the Woman's College, she stayed on to work for the university, serving in the offices of undergraduate admissions and annual giving. She was the first woman to direct the Annual Fund. Haltom was named university secretary in 1986 by president H. Keith H. Brodie and, in 2001, was named vice president by president Nannerl O. Keohane.

As vice president and university secretary, she provides administrative support to the board of trustees, oversees the planning for commencement and other academic convocations (including presidential inaugurations), and coordinates all vice president-level searches.

Haltom has also served on the Women's Studies Council, the Steering Committee on the Status of Women, and the Residential Life Steering Committee, as well as on the Duke Alumni Association's board of directors.

With the impending retirement of one longtime senior administrator, the university announced a new vice presidency and the appointment of the first person to hold the position. Phail Wynn Jr., president of Durham Technical Community College, will be Duke's vice president for Durham and regional affairs.

A native of Oklahoma, Wynn earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma. He served as an Army Green Beret in the Vietnam War. He went on to earn a master's in educational psychology and an Ed.D. in adult and community college education from North Carolina State University and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He began work at Durham Tech in 1977 as assistant to the president. He was quickly promoted to vice president and became president in 1980. Wynn has also served on the boards of directors for many Triangle educational, business, government, and nonprofit organizations, and chaired the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.

As vice president for Durham and regional affairs at Duke, Wynn will work closely with John Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations. Wynn will be responsible for Duke's relations with Durham and the surrounding area, a focus that is in line with the current strategic plan's emphasis on reaching out to the surrounding community.

He will focus on traditional community-relations themes like economic development, improved health-care planning, and aid to the public schools—addressed through existing programs like the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership—but will also promote collaboration with local colleges and businesses and research institutions in Research Triangle Park.