DC Daily – February 14, 2017


As we continue our coverage of the new administration’s first 100 days, Duke Government Relations is closely monitoring events on the ground and their impacts on the Duke community. As the pace of news coming from D.C. slows down, so will the pace of our newletters.  With the exception of breaking stories, future DC Digests will be sent on Tuesdays and Fridays. 

 In Today’s (Valentine’s Day) Issue:

  • What’s Ahead at Ed?
  • A Day on the Hill
  • Students Take Center Stage

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said today that “good, robust” conversations about what can be trimmed at the Education Department are ahead.

“I can guarantee that there are things that the department has been doing that are probably not necessary or important for a federal agency to do, and we’ll be looking at that,” DeVos told a Michigan radio host.

We don’t yet know what cuts might be proposed, but the Office of Government Relations will continue to monitor the situation and keep the Duke community informed. 

Thinning the Herd


Associate professor of history Edward Balleisen spent today meeting with leaders on Capitol Hill. Dividing his time between House and Senate sides, he shared his personal research, advocated for NEH funding, and conveyed the benefits of communication between the policy and academic worlds. Duke received $628,847 in NEH awards in FY16.

Through a partnership with the NEH’s Next Generation Program, Duke University created the Versatile Humanists Initiative, which provides PhD students in relevant disciplines with a suite of professional development opportunites outside of academia.  The NEH recognizes that skills which humanities PhDs possess — critical thinking, analysis of complex issues, creative problem-solving — are increasingly in demand beyond academia.


Every spring, undergraduates from the Sanford School trek to DC to gain professional experience and to study the policymaking process up-close. The program began in 2013 under the direction of Kristin Goss, associate professor of public policy and political science. It has a pre-professional tilt, connecting classroom study to experiential learning around policy innovation and public leadership.

“Being in this program, in an environment where we’re able to speak our minds, but in a way that’s done so respectfully, has been such a refreshing opportunity for us to learn from each other,” Alec Lintz, a sophomore public policy student said.

Reframing the Swamp


If there is a particular policy issue of concern to your department or staff, please feel free to convey those interests. We work hard to make sure issues of concern to the Duke Community are anticipated and closely watched in our DC Digest newsletter.  Reach out at dukegovernmentrelations@duke.edu