Duke Digest — March 3, 2015

In today’s issue:

  • Duke Created $5.8 Billion for 2012-2013 NC Economy
  • Universities Warn Congress that Pending Patent Bill Would Harm U.S. Innovation System
  • Duke Experts Brief Staffers on Terrorist Threats and Ed Reform
  • Former U.S. Diplomat Talks Middle East Challenges at Duke
  • Dukies on the Move

DUKE CREATED $5.8 BILLION FOR 2012-2013 NC ECONOMY
Duke University created $5.8 billion in economic value for the state economy in 2012-13, an amount equal to approximately 6.5 percent of the local area’s gross regional product, according to a study that analyzes the economic impact of higher education across North Carolina. The study says higher education is a key economic driver in North Carolina, with business and industry relying on the state’s education institutions to produce skilled employees and foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

Duke’s total includes its payroll, operations, construction and purchase of goods and services, together with the spending of its students, visitors, start-up companies and regional alumni. Clinical spending, campus operations and research activities account for the largest shares of the total. (See Information Sheet here for more details.) 

Read More:
Duke Created $5.8 Billion for 2012-2013 NC Economy (today.duke.edu)

UNIVERSITIES WARN CONGRESS THAT PENDING PATENT BILL WOULD HARM U.S. INNOVATION SYSTEM
A group of 144 universities, including Duke, sent a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on February 24 expressing concern about pending legislation to address abusive patent litigation practices.

The letter, which was copied to the full Congress, specifically addresses the Innovation Act ( H.R. 9), legislation introduced earlier this month by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), and expresses readiness to work on “targeted, measured, and carefully calibrated” legislation to address patent litigation abuses.

The universities warn that much of the patent legislation currently being discussed in Congress, including the Innovation Act, “goes well beyond what is needed to address the bad actions of a small number of patent holders, and would instead make it more difficult and expensive for patent holders to defend their rights in good faith.” They add, “The resulting uncertainty and increased financial risk surrounding university patents would discourage potential licensees and venture capitalists from investing in university discoveries, thus disrupting the nation’s innovation ecosystem.”

Read More:
University Letter on Patent Legislation (aau.edu)
Accompanying Press Release (aau.edu)

DUKE EXPERTS BRIEF STAFFERS ON TERRORIST THREATS AND EDUCATION REFORM
Duke in Washington hosted two rapid response policy conference calls last week, connecting Duke expertise to policymakers in DC.  On February 24, David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, and Jayne Huckerby, associate clinical professor of law, spoke to a group of staff and alumni about their respective research into preventing violent radicalization and the role women play in terrorism. The call took place on the heels of a White House summit on countering violent extremism, in which Huckerby participated.

On February 25, congressional education aides, agency representatives, and a handful of alums working in education policy gathered to hear about issues related to No Child Left Behind reform efforts that are making their way through the House and Senate. Professors Ken Dodge,, director of the Center for Child and Family Policy at Sanford, and Helen “Sunny” Ladd, professor of public policy and economics, contributed their knowledge of early childhood education, low-income schools, and testing to the conversation.

FORMER US DIPLOMAT TALKS MIDDLE EAST CHALLENGES AT DUKE
Thomas Pickering, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Israel and three other countries, spoke Monday at the Sanford School of Public Policy. In his speech titled “The Greater Middle East – Challenges and Opportunities,” Pickering provided commentary on the U.S.-Israeli relationship, the ongoing negotiations with Iran, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress.

Read More:
Former US diplomat: Netanyahu’s visit a political risk (with video) (WRAL)

DUKIES ON THE MOVE
Amanda Neely (L ’08)
is now oversight counsel on the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways & Means.

Are you or other Dukies you know making a move in DC?  Please send tips to Landy Elliott –landy.elliott@duke.edu.