Duke University Reviews

Updated August 25, 2014
Updated August 25, 2014
282 Reviews

4.0
282 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Duke University President and Trustee Dick Brodhead
Dick Brodhead
135 Ratings

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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Duke University full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The benefits are great, especially the 403B plan. If you're salaried you can contribute as little as 3% and they will contribute more than 8%.

    Job stability here is better than a lot of for-profit companies.

    Cons

    The trade off for the benefits and stability is lower than average salaries, small raises, and no bonuses. You also have to pay for parking!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great time as a teacher's assistant

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

    I have been working at Duke University part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    As a student you get the chance to earn an extra bit of money, besides what your parents provide, while at the same time re-learning material from a past class and helping students within your age range.

    Cons

    The work load of grading papers, attending classes without getting credits, and hosting office hours in place of the professor can take a toll on studies and social life, but otherwise it was a great experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Professors that take on TAs: Make it clear exactly what you'd like them to do. Us as students want to make as much money a week as possible. It helps to know what we should do during our paid hours.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great Resources

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

    I worked at Duke University as an intern for more than a year

    Pros

    You get to cross any lines necessary to research leading information.

    Cons

    There are none to speak of.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Coworkers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Residential Counsellor, DUKE TIP East  in  Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Residential Counsellor, DUKE TIP East in Durham, NC

    I worked at Duke University as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Friendly atmosphere, while not forgetting about the work. All hardworking staff.

    Cons

    Short contract period. Perhaps a bit under-paid?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep Doing What You're Doing

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Awesome Cutting Edge Research

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

    I have been working at Duke University full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    At DHVI you will be able to work with world class scientists on projects that are cutting edge. Your work can have a huge impact on human health and will give you a lot of job satisfaction. The professors are world class and each and everyone is easy to work with, no big egos here.

    Cons

    No room to grow. If you are not a Professor you are temporary. This company is a great place to get trained but promotions are slow or non-existent. Many people just come here for the recommendation letters and training then are gone in a couple of years. If you are here after 3 years then you have no ambition. Raises are pathetic and do not even keep up with inflation. There is no reason to give you a good raise because they are not expecting to retain your services. You need to fill the donut hole. There are other people besides Professor and Tech IIs. The real work gets done by the people in the middle who are highly competent and driven. These people should be rewarded not sacrificed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop a career path for people. Constantly training new people slows down the work and wastes resources. Keeping solid productive people makes sense and will improve the overall production level.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

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

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

    I have been working at Duke University full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    Pay 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 ManagementAdvice

    Hire 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great Benefits!

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

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

    Pros

    Duke 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.

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do more team-building exercises to keep morale up amongst employees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

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

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

    I have been working at Duke University full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Highly 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.

    Cons

    HR 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 ManagementAdvice

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

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

    Good place to work at if you know what you want

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

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

    Pros

    Excellent medical center, Good colloquial environment

    Cons

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Good reputation, bad institutional climate

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

    I worked at Duke University full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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