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U. vice president and secretary Bob Durkee ’69 set to retire at end of 2018–19 academic year

University vice president and secretary Bob Durkee ’69 announced his retirement for the end of the 2018–19 academic year. Hilary Parker ’01, current assistant vice president and chief of staff in the Office of the President, has been appointed to replace him, effective July 1, 2019.

The Board of Trustees approved the appointment in a meeting on Sept. 22, according to a University statement.


Durkee has been a long-standing presence at the University, serving in various roles nearly continuously since his graduation. He has served in his current role since 2004 but began working at the University in 1972 as an assistant to the president. In 1978, he assumed the role of vice president of public affairs, which he held until February 2018. He added the responsibilities of vice president and secretary in 2004.

“For my four years as an undergraduate and my 47 years in Nassau Hall, Princeton has given me almost daily opportunities to learn, to grow and to work with students, faculty, staff, alumni, presidents, trustees, neighbors and others to help shape and strengthen this university, in support of the values for which it stands. For this I am deeply grateful,” Durkee said in the statement.

Parker’s appointment marks a reorganization in the University that will merge the Office of the President and that of the Vice President and Secretary. In her new position, Parker will maintain some her responsibilities for the Office of the President, such as advancing University strategic priorities. As a result, her current position as assistant vice president and chief of staff in the Office of the President will be eliminated with the consolidation of the two offices.

Parker’s appointment was made on the recommendation of University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83.

Before assuming her current role in 2015, Parker previously served in the Office of the Executive Vice President, the Office of the Dean for Research, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, according to the statement.