Duke University Reviews | Glassdoor

Duke University Reviews

Updated March 9, 2017
31 reviews

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2.0
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Richard Brodhead
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31 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work/life balance is pretty imbalanced, but that's normal for programming and research (in 11 reviews)

  • There were long hours and it could be stressful at times due to the nature of the work (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great colleagues, ethical team members, bad dudes at the top"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent research, dedicated scientists, responsible and hardworking colleagues

    Cons

    Top leadership that is power hungry, unethical, two-faced, liars, and generally bad dudes. Want to build their empire and a name for themselves rather than collaborate and mentor.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your people. Value them. Respect them.


  2. "Research Assistant (Associate in Research)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Duke University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The networking, the seemingly unlimited resources to tap into in order to conduct research - Vicki Christian, Ellen DeGaffenreid are great.

    Cons

    The Margolis Center is a hastily established center with no SOP for feedback and evaluations. Even after a year of working a culture hasn't been established between its offices.

    Advice to Management

    open channels for multidirectional feedback and evaluation, remove incentives for favoritism and nepotism, encourage professional development, open pathways for promotion and grown for junior staff.


  3. "Rock Bottom Rate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Give me a bit of time to try to come up with something

    Cons

    Always stressed about expenses, preoccupied to point of distraction. Should have never agreed to the low ball rate deal

    Advice to Management

    You can't find enough talent locally to do Epic and don't want to pay market rate to bring anyone in. Hope the turn-over blows up your budget


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  5. "Primate Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Primate Technician in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Primate Technician in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Unique experience working with endangered lemurs, good coworkers.

    Cons

    Horrid management, low pay, no room for growth, poor work/life balance. I quit because management treats employees like subhumans.

    Advice to Management

    Get new management.


  6. "Research Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Duke University (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good name on the resume; relatively casual dress; beautiful campus; mostly good funding for projects and if you're lucky you'll work with smart people.

    Cons

    Culture (and your experience in general) is entirely dependent on your immediate team/center. Because the organization is so vast, there is little practical emphasis on culture/values in the aggregate, as you would see in the private sector. The result in my experience was a poorly managed, very isolating and unproductive environment run by toxic leaders. They have already spent a significant percentage of allotted time & money for their grant-funded project, and have not produced any research at all. I could not wait to get out of there, but it was clearly not Duke's fault. Some professors/researchers just are terrible managers who should NOT be supervising others, and are not at all incentivized to improve in that area.

    While my brain recognizes that this extremely negative microcosm was not representative of Duke as a whole, I do think it says something about the structure/norms of academia. That was enough to give me pause about pursuing an academic career. I left to work at a startup, which has the exact opposite approach. My ratings below are STRICTLY about the center at which I worked; I have no doubt that others have had stellar experiences in other areas of the university.

    If they are concerned, I would advise future applicants to ask questions about culture and leadership to see how thoughtful their hiring managers are about those topics. Do not assume that the university name guarantees intellectual rigor, honesty, or even competence. On the other hand, you can survive anything if you simply want to stay for a year before grad school.

    Advice to Management

    Perhaps think more critically about Professors-as-Managers, and give them tools/training as you would in any other industry. Simply being good at publishing academic papers does not make a person adept at collaborating, leading, or managing a budget.


  7. "Great for retirees"

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

    I have been working at Duke University (More than a year)

    Pros

    Benefits are good.
    Have good work life balance.

    Cons

    Must be willing to be paid less than market rate.
    Not a good place to elevate your skills or build your resume.
    HR is worthless. All HR is handled by managers and process is very slow.
    Celebrate longevity instead of accomplishments.


  8. "Great university, inflated egos, some bad professionals"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Researcher in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Researcher in Durham, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Duke University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good place to work and live . Nice facilities. Good academic environment . Campus well taken care . Good Benefit and health insurance plans.

    Cons

    Unethical professionals . Poor people management . Politicized environment at some departments . Lack of support. Lots of leg pulling

    Advice to Management

    Improve ethics selection criteria for hiring better professionals .


  9. "Easy work study job made largely intolerable by new mgmt"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Duke University part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Nothing too demanding
    -Decent starting pay for a work study job
    -You set your own hours, though they do ask you to work one night a week and one weekend per month

    Cons

    -New management forbade doing homework or even using a computer at the service desk. On slow days this means you sit there and stare into space for the 90% of the time that there is nobody in the store. Excruciatingly boring.
    -Management is in general pretty disconnected from students, and pretty much all of the lower employees hate their jobs which makes working there somewhat miserable.

    Advice to Management

    Hire somebody young who can actually connect to students and manage them in a reasonable way.


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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Staff Assistant in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  11. "Sub-par"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Associate in Durham, NC
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Associate in Durham, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.



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