Duke University

  www.duke.edu
  www.duke.edu

Duke University Reviews

Updated December 19, 2014
Updated December 19, 2014
331 Reviews
4.1
331 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Duke University President and Trustee Dick Brodhead
Dick Brodhead
150 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

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  1.  

    Eh

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

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

    Pros

    This place has an intensive methodological training and strong academic reputation. You will likely have a good shot at a Poli sci job coming from the Duke University department of political science. I think I have said enough.

    Cons

    The focus tends to be very narrow in terms of research focus, emphasizing primarily methods and stats and formal models. There is a strong sense of dissonance between faculty and graduate students, and within the faculty themselves.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (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
  3.  

    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

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    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
  6.  

    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 (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
  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 (more than an 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 (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 (more than an 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 (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 (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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