Duke University

  www.duke.edu
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Duke University Reviews

Updated Jul 17, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.9 273 reviews

85% Approve of the CEO

Duke University President and Trustee Dick Brodhead

Dick Brodhead

(131 ratings)

85% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great work-life balance and a ton of flexibility in terms of scheduling (in 15 reviews)

  • Great benefits, wonderful co-workers (in most jobs) (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • If you do want to work hard, opportunities for advancement are not easy to come by (in 8 reviews)

  • long hours, office space, management (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights
51 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

     

    overall a good place to work for

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosfriendly environment, laid back, intelligent people

    Conspay does not reflect experience

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Tangerines vs Oranges

    Clinical Research Coordinator (Former Employee) Durham, NC

    ProsBenefits, friendly work environment, job duties clearly defined. Each department or division operates differently!!!!! It really hard to compare.

    ConsYou have to know someone to get hired on the University side, little room for growth, no incentive for excelling - everyone gets the same 3% raise. When the grant is over - you are on your own. HR does not help keep great employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSupport front line workers more: job security and career growth not just upper managers and Tenured faculty

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great benefits, poor pay, big egos - work environment varies widely

    Manager-level Staff (Current Employee) Durham, NC

    ProsThe benefits (403(b), medical coverage, business discounts and tuition help, to name a few) are outstanding. The campus is beautiful and convenient to commuters. Job security appears to be good.

    ConsPay is poor for non-faculty - it looks good on paper if you factor in benefits, but is lousy if you need liquidity. Work-life balance, office environment and many other factors are highly dependent on which unit you're in and who you work for. Egos are out of control - faculty "stars" are put in charge of staff with little guidance on management and no motivation to gain any, and grudges between higher-level faculty/staff can really hamstring others. Academic/meeting-heavy culture means it can take forever to get things done. Promises at hiring of potential movement/promotion within the university have not been kept (for me or others).

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire managers to manage programs, not "superstar" academics with no managerial experience (or MAKE them work cooperatively with managing directors). Increase staff salaries or offer the option of a more traditional 403(b) match for employees who need cash now. Develop clearer career paths and opportunities for those who want to move within the university. Encourage efficiency and bottom-up contributions to unit management.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Great Benefits!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Durham, NC

    ProsDuke has pretty good medical benefits and if you are ever laid off they will help you find another position within the Duke system but it kind of depends on your department. Duke also promotes having a work/home life balance and they try hard to be flexible but again depends mainly on your department and Supervisor.

    ConsHard to move up to higher positions with higher compensation and high-cost of parking is also a downer.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo more team-building exercises to keep morale up amongst employees.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Good reputation, but HR policies don't treat postdocs well

    Postdoctoral Research Associate (Current Employee) Durham, NC

    ProsHighly respected academic research institution. Great research facilities available (metabolomics, mass spec, RNAseq, Mircroarray, etc). In general, the people at Duke all seem very nice. As with any postdoc position, your mentor has the most control over whether you are happy and satisfied.

    ConsHR policies for postdocs at Duke are some of the worst I've seen. Duke won't pay for a postdoc's health insurance for the first month, so the postdoc must pay the full premium on their own. They only benefit is the fact that you are then covered for an additional month after you end employment.

    Postdocs have to go to the Duke new employee orientation, which is pointless because 99% of the information they go over does not apply to a postdoc. Postdocs aren't "real" employees at Duke, and thus, do not get most of the benefits they offer to employees. Postdocs do not get retirement benefits and cannot take advantage of the dependent care reimbursement account. I'm sure there are a lot of other HR benefits that postdocs are not eligible for as well.

    If you get your own funding to support your research and salary, you are completely cut off from benefits. While you can still buy into the health insurance plan, you have to pay the FULL premium out of your grant, and thus you are paying taxes on that full amount. Additionally, since grant money isn't considered earned income, you can't contribute to any retirement plan on your own, and like I mentioned, Duke doesn't offer retirement to postdocs anyway. Combined with the low pay of a postdoc, it makes for a pretty awful financial situation, especially if one has a family.

    As with any postdoc position, there is little room for upward mobility within the same institution.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHR policies need reformed. They need to start treating postdocs better. Give them the benefits they deserve.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Good place to work at if you know what you want

    Postdoctoral Fellow (Current Employee) Durham, NC

    ProsExcellent medical center, Good colloquial environment

    ConsIf you don't agree with your mentor's view of things...

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Good reputation, bad institutional climate

    Postdoctoral Associate (Former Employee) Durham, NC

    ProsThe academic reputation of the institution is excellent. The research support services are above average. The campus is physically a nice place to work.

    ConsThe culture is very arrogant and uncollegial. Anyone not on the tenure track is given little support and treated badly.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDuke isn't quite good enough to retain faculty without going to some effort to make them feel supported.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    The good ol' boy system, just like most corporate companies.

    Data Manager (Current Employee) Durham, NC

    ProsIt is family friendly. But it seems like there is someone taking off every other month for maternity or paternity leave. Generous sick leave, but some people take advantage just like in Corporate.

    ConsWorking in academia they always expect you to learn something quickly, use it, then present it. They always want you to present on everything.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhen you get someone who does a good job, you should promote them without them having to search online. You should just tell them there is an opening and we want you to apply.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    nice place but poorly managed

    Program Coordinator (Current Employee) Durham, NC

    ProsGood benefits, smart people, nice campus. Durham has a lot to offer for a relatively small city -- night life, restaurants, concerts, entertainment, good nearby parks and recreational opportunities. Duke is a stable employer.

    ConsAlmost no opportunity for advancement within a department. You have to move out in order to move up. Parking is inconvenient and expensive. Many managers have no managerial training whatsoever. Micromanagement is common. Application of policies and procedures can be inconsistent, with rules arbitrarily enforced on some people and not others. There is very little diversity at the higher levels -- it's almost entirely old, white men. Staff are treated with disdain by some members of the faculty and senior management. Raises are the same for everyone whether your performance is good, bad or mediocre. Raises do not keep pace with inflation. Female employees at all levels are treated like a servant class. Workload can increase dramatically while staffing remains flat. Office spaces are overloaded with too many employees in spaces that are too small. Employees' needs are disregarded.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive all managers (including faculty who are managers) some basic management training. Hire more women and minorities in upper management. Provide more opportunities for advancement within departments. Listen to employees and make a sincere effort to address their concerns. Hire good people and give them the freedom to do their jobs without micromanaging them. Reward those who are loyal and work hard. Keep your commitments. Provide free parking for all employees. Provide adequate work space and tools for employees to do their jobs. If the workload increases substantially, hire more people rather than overworking current staff. Require upper level management and faculty to treat all employees with basic courtesy, decency and respect. Encourage managers to allow flexible work schedules and telecommuting options.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Duke is a great place to work!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Durham, NC

    ProsDuke has great people, good benefits, good professional growth opportunities, and a great work/life balance. Overall, it's a great place to work.

    ConsCompensation is the main thing that comes to mind, but I'm sure that it has a lot to do with it being a university, however, it would seem that there would be more wiggle room since it's a private university.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWould want management to consider rethinking compensation as it relates to many of the admin jobs that are throughout the university.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

Worked for Duke University? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.