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

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stable, low-pressure, on the way to paying for your kids' college and retirement; hell if you're ambitious and talented

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

    I have been working at Duke University

    Pros

    benefits, benefits, benefits (very good health and awesome retirement contribution)
    low-stress since it's not run like a business
    Durham, NC and Triangle are great places to live

    Cons

    Since it's not run like a business, talented people are not rewarded; lazy, aging employees will get the same rewards as everyone else
    Low salaries. Ridiculously low salaries.
    Not the most high-caliber employees. The prestige of Duke pertains to their academics, research, and health system. Most staff would fail miserably at a top-notch RTP company.
    Little hope for career challenge or advancement

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your staff. You don't crack the Top 5 of national lists partially because you have slack, unmotivated, mediocre employees.

    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Clinical researcher

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

    I have been working at Duke University

    Pros

    Generally a laid back environment where ideas are shared freely. Very intelligent people, but so much red tape, not much gets done.

    Cons

    Salaries are generally lower than industry standards. Lots of disjointed offices who are suppose to work together, but have very poor communication

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create positions to look at the inefficiencies and poor communication between separate offices. Discuss new SOPs with the people who actually have to use them before implementing them

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Job security but that's because the department is understaffed and overworked.

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

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

    Pros

    It's practically impossible to get fired once you're hired. And if you're in any real trouble, you could probably find another department to take you. You'll work with people and wonder how it's possible that someone that incompetent could somehow stay in the same position for decades.

    Benefits. Contributions to retired. The much vaunted tuition reimbursement benefit.

    Cons

    You work with some of the craziest and most diva personalities ever. Lots of lip service to being part of the "Duke family," but really, you're just trapped with a bunch of step-siblings that may like you one minute and despise you the next.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Richard Brodhead, I know it's fun to appear on TV shows like "Colbert Report," but there are those of us working like crazy here at Duke, and we don't get your acknowledgement. Can you bring back the annual holiday ornament for the employees? My collection stopped several years ago, and I feel incomplete.

    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    overall a good place to work for

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Duke University

    Pros

    friendly environment, laid back, intelligent people

    Cons

    pay does not reflect experience

  6.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Duke University

    Pros

    office culture is good, manager friendly, many opportunities for growth. Talent SPECIFIC.

    Cons

    Not many opps for personal growth, not many choices for career progression to another place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    create options and opportunities for growth and motivate workforce to perform based on bonus.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Tangerines vs Oranges

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    You 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 ManagementAdvice

    Support front line workers more: job security and career growth not just upper managers and Tenured faculty

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    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
  9.  

    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
  10.  

    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
  11.  

    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

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