DO: Okay Uzo, first question: Do you have any parting words for Dick Broadhead?
UA: Yes. I would say that in Dick’s time here, he’s done an excellent job of taking Duke from a place we were trying to be a top institution and now it is very clear Duke is a premiere institution and that he’s done a great job in that regard. Um, and I would tell him that he needs to tell the incoming president to look at a lot of the mistakes he made during his administration and use those as learning moments as we move forward.
DO: F*ck, marry, kill: Trask, the Blue Devil mascot, Tim Cook.
UA: How does that work?
DO: So you choose one to f*ck, one to marry, one to kill.
UA: So I would…Wow…Uh…I would marry Tim Cook–
DO: Gotta get the money, I understand.
UA: Yeah, that’s not too difficult. Yeah, I’d fuck the Blue Devil, and I’ll kill Trask.
DO: Yeah, fair, same. Favorite place to cry on West Campus?
UA: So I’m always on second floor West Union, there’s this place, I call it the Lounge, it’s right in the stairwell, most people don’t know about it, you can people watch and take good naps. Now people will know about it, but that’s my favorite place.
DO: Is it okay to punch a Nazi, yes or no?
DO: Who is your favorite member of the supergroup, Migos?
UA: Ayy… I actually don’t know any of the people individually, but I like Migos.
DO: That’s fair, the right answer was Offset, but it’s okay.
DO: Are you sure you can really represent the student body even though you are not from New Jersey and don’t have a debilitating Coke habit?
UA: [Pause] I absolutely can because the Duke student body is not one single [person]… No one will ever be able to frame it consistently, so I cannot say I can represent the entire Duke student body, but what I can say is people feel comfortable enough to tell me their experience, and I am empathetic enough to translate that in way that makes sense for the Duke student body.
DO: Ok, will you develop a Coke habit for the job?
DO: Where should Duke’s next poor execution of a creating a international university satellite be? Germany? Russia? Kansas?
UA: So the reason we chose China is because how the economy is moving forward. I don’t think we will be doing that anytime soon because we have to see how DKU works out.
DO: Not Kansas, are you sure?
DO: You mentioned in your Chronicle interview that Duke is “like the startup of elite, premiere educational institutions.” I get that both Silicon Valley startups and Duke admin are both overwhelmingly white, male, and have histories of not compensating employees well, but how else are they similar?
UA: Just Duke’s youth. Duke is, on average, almost 100 years younger than all its peer institutions. And then just the decisions Duke has made, in terms of Engage, even Kunshan itself, was very risky, and I can’t see any other institution in its ivory towers doing the same thing.
DO: So Duke is like the gambling addict every friend group has.
UA: Yeah, yeah, it’s innovative. It’s able to take those gambles that other schools won’t.
DO: Pineapple on pizza?
DO: Yes or no?
DO: Parlour or Locopops?
DO: America has always been great or America has never been great?
UA: Needs to get better.
DO: Kittens or teacup pigs?
UA: Teacup pigs.
DO: Mac or PC?