The latest from: Leaders. Innovators. Entrepreneurs. Philanthropists. Game changers.

Fuqua welcomes the inaugural MMS: DKU class of 2015 to campus. They will start the program here at Fuqua and finish at Duke Kunshan University in China.

One of the requirements of these students’ application process is our popular “25 Random Things” essay. Some of members of this new class are on campus this week, and we asked them to share some of their “Random Things” with us.

Melanie Goldman - Uraguay:  “I spent 6 months in Shanghai and feel nostalgic about going back.”


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You’ve noticed that ads for the Fuqua Annual Fund are everywhere online, so you’re probably wondering whether we bought the entire internet.

We didn’t. But we *are* following you.

Behavioral retargeting is a digital marketing tactic that enables us to share a message with ‘customers’ who have already visited Fuqua’s website. This month we launched a campaign targeting our alumni to solicit their support for the Fuqua Annual Fund. Our ads will “follow” targets wherever they surf on the web, running most aggressively in June to support the end-of-fiscal-year fundraising push and then tapering off for the long term.  Compared to direct mail, which carries printing and postage costs for nearly 19,000 alumni, or broad-based advertising that might only reach a small segment of our market, this is one of the most cost-effective ways we can deliver a message to our alumni.

Here’s how it works:

We assume that most of the visitors to our alumni website are members of Fuqua’s alumni community. When our team overhauled the alumni web presence last year, web developer Andy Whitfield added remarketing code that sent website users a “cookie” that would enable us to display ads later to those folks wherever else they go on the web.

This code can be set to any duration we want this cookie to live on a user’s computer. We chose the longest duration with no exclusions (e.g. all visitors to the alumni site rather than visitors to particular pages). We’ve been building our target list of any visitor to the Fuqua alumni pages over the last couple months, which at this point is a total potential remarketing audience of about 17,000 people.

We then developed six animated display ads, divided among two message/design concepts: “Faces” which highlights personal stories from our community, and “Infographic” featuring data points on development priorities.image

We are performing A/B testing on the concepts and iterating new content based on the best-performing message and size, so that the campaign will continue refreshing for the audience.

While we are optimizing these campaigns based on relative conversions in our workflow, and also reviewing website analytics to see how these visitors engage overall, at the end of the campaign we will measure performance based on any gifts associated with those who click through the ads to Fuqua’s online giving page.

We are very interested in feedback from alumni who encounter this campaign, so please send us a note at with your thoughts. If you would like to opt out from this campaign, just clear all cookies from your computer, and we will stop following you.

“Now, we realize that by tweaks to the rules of the game, governments can encourage private sector investment in a broad array of outcomes, from education and health to financial inclusion and energy efficient buildings.” - Cathy Clark, Adjunct Professor at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE)

CASE’s Cathy Clark was in D.C. this morning for the release of a report at the White House detailing policy recommendations to spur impact investing – investing for both financial gain and public good. The report was put together by the United States National Advisory Board on Impact Investing, of which Clark is a member.

Read Clark’s detailed break-down of the recommendations in this Q&A.

Looking for something to read this summer? Two 2014 MBA graduates (Mike Slattery and Jeff Candrian) asked Shane Dikolli, Associate Dean of Faculty Engagement, to help them collect summer reading recommendations from faculty. Their motivation was that faculty have incredibly good taste in the choices they make for class content.

We received 32 recommendations from 33 professors. You might be surprised to learn that two of our profs recommend John Steinbeck’s classic The Grapes of Wrath. And Steinbeck isn’t the only novelist on the list. See the full array of summer-reading suggestions below:

Dan Ariely: Professor of Behavioral Economics (twitter)


Recommendation: The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris

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At the recent “Coffee with a Cop” town hall meeting, faculty and staff joined Duke Chief of Police John Dailey for an informal chat about campus safety. Among other topics, Officer Dailey emphasized the importance of knowing how to use your smartphone, including the use of tracking apps. Most thefts on college campuses involve smartphones.

Officer Dailey assured attendees that Duke is an “incredibly safe” safe place, but like anywhere else, it’s important to stay aware of their surroundings. Check out the Duke Police web site for more information about campus safety.

In May, some of our students were in China for the Global Academic Travel Experience (GATE). And with the school year ending, others took the opportunity to see other parts of the world, near and far. These globetrotting Fuquans shared their dispatches using #FuquaTravels on Instagram and Twitter. Here are 84 highlights. (Mouse over photos for caption and location info).

Another school year is practically over. If you really want to see time fly, check out this video montage of some of our favorite Instagram posts of 2013/14. #TeamFuqua #FuquaMMS (at The Fuqua School of Business)

Imagine you walk into Chipotle. You want a burrito, but you’re watching your weight. So you consult the dietary guidelines. Here’s what you find.

Burrito = 410-1,185 calories

Researchers say the 410 calorie version of a burrito is just a tortilla with beans.

Professor Peter Ubel and his fellow researchers conducted experiments looking for a better way to judge calorie count. The results were conclusive: range is fine — but there needs to be information about what ingredients make up the most and least fattening burritos.

Something like this:


This is especially relevant now that the Affordable Care Act is mandating calorie guidelines – including calorie ranges — for restaurants.

The research is published in the latest issue of Public Health Nutrition:

‘How many calories are in my burrito?’ Improving consumers’ understanding of energy (calorie) range information

David Robinson has many titles:

And now, you can add “award winner” to that list.

Our Board of Visitors recently named him the winner of the Bank of America Faculty Award for 2013. This is a high faculty honor, given for outstanding contributions to the school in terms of teaching, research, leadership, and service. 

Please join us in congratulating Professor Robinson for achieving this honor.