Duke University Reviews | Glassdoor

Duke University Reviews

Updated September 18, 2017
871 reviews

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871 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great benefits and work-life balance; particularly excellent vacation time (in 40 reviews)

  • company provides great benefits to all employees, not just faculty (in 58 reviews)

Cons
  • Work/life balance is pretty imbalanced, but that's normal for programming and research (in 12 reviews)

  • low morale, not much room for growth (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great for retirees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  2. "Visiting Assistant Professor"

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

    I worked at Duke University full-time

    Pros

    Beautiful campus, really smart people doing great research.

    Cons

    Had a bad adviser, didn't get paid well for the number of hours I put in. This is fairly typical to advance your academic career.

    Advice to Management

    none

  3. "Best Part is the Historical Reputation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    There are some famous people here and the University has high name recognition.

    Cons

    No discernible interest in fixing major HR-related issues, such as sexual harassment, or research fraud, such as willful negligence of animal handling protocols, presentation of fraudulent data, and misleading analytical methods. Dysfunctional HR and payroll systems, so you will have to fight for basic things early on, like getting your paychecks and tax information correct and on-time.

    Advice to Management

    Develop sincere means of dealing with research fraud and HR-related incidents by developing meaningful reporting mechanisms and then holding individuals accountable for those actions.


  4. "Research Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. "Still the plantation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Duke University full-time

    Pros

    Great colleagues, students, and resources.

    Cons

    Although they are supposed to be an institute of higher learning and research (not necessarily in that order), at the end of the day Duke is still all about the money.

    Advice to Management

    Learn basic management skills. Treat your hires like people, not commodities.


  6. "Primate Technician"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. "Rock Bottom Rate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

  8. "DUKE Review"

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

    I have been working at Duke University full-time

    Pros

    Great benefits, many resources, great co-workers. Duke brings a lot of prestige and is a great place to work.

    Cons

    Poor management, image focused, too focused on pleasing parents and students. The location in the North Carolina causes many racial and diversity issues on campus and donors.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to become managers, learn how to grow a spine and do the right thing. Duke has so much potential but is not utilized.


  9. "Lots of prestige, not a lot of employee/student support"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Duke name carries weight on the outside

    Cons

    Graduate students have little to no representation within the Duke community. There is a council of graduate students, but they are mostly focused on social events. No Human Resources for graduate students, no place for them to lodge complaints about work environment, sexual harassment, etc. As with all other large academic medical centers, Duke is weighted down by politics and red tape, etc.


  10. "OIT was not much fun"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    People, job security, spacious office space, but not too much of anything more.

    Cons

    low morale, not much room for growth. no free parking (!), no communication from the management.


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