In August, Alan Townsend announced that he will take a leave of absence as dean of the Nicholas School to attend to personal matters full-time. “Alan has done a tremendous job over the past two years and the School is in a good place to move forward,” Duke Provost Sally J. Kornbluth said. “President Brodhead and I are confident that Jeff, who has worked closely with Alan on many matters, will provide strong interim leadership that will allow the School to thrive.”


Interim Dean Jeff Vincent (second from left) takes a photo with Duke alums who attended the 2015 Timberland Investments for Professionals course.

Jeff Vincent, the Clarence F. Korstian Professor of Forest Economics and Management and a member of the Nicholas School faculty since 2007, has taken over as interim dean. In addition to his role as co-chair of the Master of Forestry program, Vincent and MF/MBA alumnus Chris Zinkhan ‘81  developed the Timberland Investments for Professionals (TIP) short course in 2014.  The 2017 TIP course will be held May 2-3 in London, England.


Also this summer, Andrew J. Read, the Stephen A. Toth Professor of Marine Biology at Duke, was named director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory and chair of the Nicholas School’s Division of Marine Science and Conservation. Read, who succeeds Cindy Van Dover (who will remain on the Nicholas faculty), is a perfect choice to lead the Marine Lab into its next chapter.

The expert on marine mammals, sea birds and sea turtles has been at the Nicholas School’s coastal campus since 1995. He has conducted field research all over the world, including his current work documenting the effects of human activities on marine species, and developing and applying new conservation tools to resolve such conflicts. As co-chair of the School’s Coastal Environmental Management concentration, he has taught and advised countless graduate and undergraduate students.

 Please join us in congratulating these two accomplished faculty members on their new leadership roles. The Nicholas School remains in good hands!