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Duke commits to enhance Primate Center

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University officials have announced that the Duke University Primate Center has made sufficient progress toward improving its research and educational programs that the university will commit to maintaining and enhancing the center for the foreseeable future. The center is the world's only research and education center devoted to prosimians and comprises the world's largest collection of endangered primates.

Provost Peter Lange said that he and Vice Provost for Research James Siedow have agreed the university will invest more than $4 million during the next few years to continue sustaining the facility and improving its programs.

In 2001, following reviews of the Primate Center's programs that called for the center to strengthen its role in the university's teaching and research programs, Lange appointed as director William Hylander, professor of biological anthropology and anatomy, for a period of three years. Hylander -- whose own research involves the evolution of the primate face and chewing -- was charged with developing a long-term strategic plan to enhance the center's teaching and research contributions to the university's mission.

According to Lange, the university will recruit a leading primate researcher to permanently direct the center and enhance its research, education and conservation missions. The director will hold a faculty appointment in the Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy and will likely be a scientist with a particular interest in prosimian research, he said. Among the new director's responsibilities will be to lead a major fund-raising campaign to endow the center's programs and operations, said Lange.

The university currently supports about $800,000 a year of the center's annual $1.1 million operating budget, with the rest coming from the National Science Foundation.

"When we began our review in 2001 of the Primate Center's role at the university, we were concerne
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Contact: Dennis Meredith
dennis.meredith@duke.edu
919-681-8054
Duke University
23-Oct-2003


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