Antepli Appointed to Lead Community-Engaged Research and Teaching at Duke

 June 13, 2023

Abdullah Antepli has been named Duke’s first associate vice president/associate vice provost for community-engaged research and teaching, Vice President for Durham and Community Affairs (DCA) Stelfanie Williams and Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies Edward Balleisen announced Monday. Antepli’s appointment is effective July 1.

Antepli is an associate professor of the practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy, with a secondary appointment at Duke Divinity School. A scholar, public intellectual and leader of cross-religious and cross-cultural dialogue in American higher education and the nonprofit world, Antepli has developed organizations and initiatives to facilitate religious and spiritual life across college campuses, and foster understanding between diverse religious and cultural groups. In 2023, he was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

In this new role reporting jointly to Williams and Balleisen, Antepli’s responsibilities will include  advancing community-engaged scholarship, civic engagement and integration of academic activities with the university’s wide-ranging community engagement initiatives.

He will lead DCA’s civic engagement and educational partnership teams, guiding DCA’s educational efforts and advancing collaborations with public schools and other nonprofit partners to address issues prioritized by the Durham and NC communities. This includes school and college readiness, nonprofit capacity building and others.

Antepli will also continue to serve as a faculty member of the Sanford School of Public Policy and Duke Divinity School.

“We are delighted to welcome Abdullah to this pivotal new role,” said Williams. “I look forward to working with him to advance purposeful partnerships between the university and surrounding communities in a collaborative manner that responds to local needs and priorities and melds the university’s teaching and research mission with our deep commitment to service.”

Antepli will lead a new center dedicated to strengthening community partnerships, facilitating coordination of community involvement across the university. The center will launch early next year.

“Abdullah’s deep commitment to understanding others’ perspectives complements his extensive experience building meaningful interpersonal connections across divides,” said Balleisen.  We could not hope for a more thoughtful leader to serve as a connecting point for community organizations, faculty and students seeking opportunities to work together to address local and regional needs.”

Antepli previously served as Duke’s first Muslim chaplain and director of Center for Muslim Life from July 2008 to 2014, and then as the school’s chief representative for Muslim affairs from July 2014 to 2019. He is a senior fellow on Jewish-Muslim Relations at Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem since 2012, Antepli earned his master of divinity at Hartford Seminary and completed his undergraduate studies at Ondokuz Mayıs University in his native Turkey.