Duke University Reviews

Updated October 10, 2014
Updated October 10, 2014
312 Reviews
4.1
312 Reviews
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Duke University President and Trustee Dick Brodhead
Dick Brodhead
145 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • A lot of sports events so you have a very good work/life balance (in 20 reviews)

  • Great benefits, wonderful co-workers (in most jobs) (in 20 reviews)


Cons
  • If you do want to work hard, opportunities for advancement are not easy to come by (in 9 reviews)

  • Sometimes long hours in the lab (in 10 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Department of Community and Family Medicine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Durham, NC

    I worked at Duke University

    Pros

    Tuition assistance. Benefits are good

    Cons

    Poorly managed department. Managers have favorites.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to manage people properly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Last one out shut off the lights...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst II in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst II in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Duke University

    Pros

    Great benefits and work/life balance.

    Cons

    No raise for 2nd year in a row. No room for promotion. No room for growth. Management have no respect for their staff. Unless you have your MD or PH.D. you are treated like you are nobody.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to change and start having more respect for their employees. Some managers should be fired for their incompentants although that is highly unlikely.

    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work ... if you like academic politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Seniro IT Analyst in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Seniro IT Analyst in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Duke University

    Pros

    The benefits are good and, depending on the department you work in, the work can be more stable than the private sector.

    Cons

    Duke is decentralized, so there's no consistency in accountability and management. Central HR and administrators more or less let different units and departmental heads and managers "do their own thing", so often getting ahead depends more on who you know that what you've accomplished. Units and departments don't talk to each other and often compete for attention and funding. It's a rather negative and confrontational atmosphere with no accountability for senior management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'm not sure much could really improve the culture except for significant changes in management and leadership that would significantly take the university out of the fifty-year old internal politics it's mired in.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    It's who you know, not what you can do...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Duke University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are pretty good. Tuition reimbursement is good too.

    Cons

    There are a lot of cliques in this place and a lot of special treatment. It doesn't matter how good you are at your job you only move up if you know someone or are in one of these cliques. There is also a lot of prejudice going on. Oh and this place is only family friendly to the people in these cliques and the higher ups.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There needs to be a lot more management training. Also, the schools themselves need to care about their staff not just the faculty. They like to triple your workload without giving you a raise. But for faculty, they do anything for them. It's the Staff who need the pay increases not the faculty. They just always say there's no money but give them huge raises.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Sub-par

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Associate in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Associate in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Duke University full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Taught me to work more independently and rely on myself.

    Cons

    Terrible administration. They made life very difficult. Ranomly will lose your insurance, or not get paid one month, or lose an opportunity because someone failed to compltete a form on time. I wish it was an irregular occurrance, but it's not. It happens to everyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire detail-oriented people. Educate them on how to do their job properly, and have consequences for them if they fail. This university has a name to uphold, and it will lose that standing if it doesn't start cari g for its employees through better administation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great if you're a researcher/professor; very different as a staff person!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Manager in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Administrative Manager in Durham, NC

    I worked at Duke University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits and health care

    Cons

    Salary was very bad when I started and only became reasonable just before I left. The politics became awful. Worked insane number of hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You should value your staff as much as the professors, researchers and senior management. Do not make prejudgements about people and situations, or allow managers to make them political pawns; you lose good staff that way.

    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Don't Believe the Hype

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst, IT in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Analyst, IT in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Duke University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent place to learn new skill set

    Cons

    Poor Salary and small opportunities for advancement

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to become better manager

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Difficult

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Coordinator in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Coordinator in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Duke University full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Recognizable name brand in the industry

    Cons

    Unstructured training/orientation, management, and oversight.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Accountability for training and oversight

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    At first it was cool, but now not so much.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Duke University

    Pros

    1. Child Tuition Assistance (for those who work in the University, not the Medical Center).
    2. Excellent retirement plan.
    3. Stability - Duke isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

    Cons

    1. Salaries are lower than market.
    2. Outside of the Child Tuition Assistance and retirement match, the benefits are the same as any other company.
    3. Moving from University to Medical will eliminate Child Tuition Assistance.
    4. Horrible managers are allowed to wreck havoc and get rid of competent, hard workers.
    5. It's hard to move around once you reach a certain level. Many employees are as high as they can go, but lack the experience to move to another department. There is no training that will bridge the gap.
    6. Minorities occupy the low-level jobs, but aren't seen in very many management positions.
    7. There is no succession plan for employees.
    8. Out of touch with the current workforce.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Do a real salary study and bring everyone up to market. That will enable you to get and retain quality employees.
    2. Clean house with the managers. They aren't doing the work, the people they're berating and getting rid of are. It only makes sense to get rid of the problem managers who have high turnover.
    3. Allow people who move from University to Medical to retain the Child Tuition Assistance. Since they won't get a huge pay increase, and will actually be low-balled, they really need that benefit to follow them.
    4. Create bridge training, so people can move from department to department seamlessly.
    4. Get more minorities in management positions. Why is this even an issue in 2012?
    5. Create a succession plan, so people will know how far they can go in their department.
    6. Actually listen to the reasons people turn down positions. If salary reasons are prevalent, then your salaries are too low. Fix them!

    Your name isn't enough to carry you. People aren't loyal to just one company anymore, so the days of someone staying at below-market wages for 20 or 30 years are gone. You need to adapt, or you'll be left with a lot of gaping holes as the older workforce retires and the younger workforce moves on. Every time someone leaves, you lose valuable knowledge that can't be transferred to the replacement. No one ever uses every benefit available, so playing them up isn't enough to retain people. Cost of living increases mean people need to get pay increases. No one will stay with Duke if it means they can't pay their bills.

    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    The promotion of individuals solely on the basis of the fact that they possess a PhD is a form of inbreeding.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst III in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst III in Durham, NC

    I have been working at Duke University

    Pros

    *Educational Benefit, both for employees and children of employees is great, but you sacrifice annual bonuses for this benefit
    *Retirement Plan is one of the better benefits
    *Health Insurance Benefit Package is good

    Cons

    **Lack of advancement opportunities
    **Low salary levels compared to comparable corporate entities
    **No annual bonus
    **Having to pay for the right to park your car

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote based on capability--not on the number of initials following your name;
    Stop making employees pay to park;
    Make salary levels comparable to private industry

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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