Duke University & Diversity

Read our Employer Profile Diversity serves as one of Duke’s Guiding Principles and Core Values. Whether it’s a department hosting a diversity workshop or an individual taking steps to learn more about unconscious bias, areas across Duke are continuing to foster open, proactive dialogue to create a more inclusive campus culture.

Fostering an Inclusive EnvironmentWorking at Duke

We live, learn, and work in a world that is increasingly diverse, and it’s our diversity that adds depth, richness and excitement to the experience of being a part of the Duke community. 

As the demographic landscape continues to shift and expand on both a national and global level, so too the opportunities to expand our individual and collective knowledge, understanding and skills for working effectively with people who may have different world views, perspectives, backgrounds, values and experiences than our own. Creating a climate where everyone feels valued, respected and included is more important than ever.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Blind SpotTo achieve our mission and meet the needs of a rapidly changing world, Duke strives to create a climate of collaboration, creativity, and innovation within and across disciplines.  Our success depends upon the robust exchange of ideas – an exchange that flourishes best when the rich diversity of human knowledge, perspectives, and experiences is heard.  We nonetheless acknowledge that our policies and practices have often failed to ensure equality of participation within our community.  Our renewed commitment and responsibility to one another is articulated in the following statement.

Duke University Community Commitment

Because diversity is essential to fulfilling the university’s mission, Duke is committed to building an inclusive and diverse university community.  Every student, faculty, and staff member —whatever their race, gender, age, ethnicity, cultural heritage or nationality; religious or political beliefs; sexual orientation or gender identity; or socioeconomic, veteran or ability status—has the right to inclusion, respect, agency and voice in the Duke community.  Further, all members of the University community have a responsibility to uphold these values and actively foster full participation in university life.

    Diversity Party

Excellence, Diversity and Inclusion: a statement by the faculty, Provost, and President

Duke has ongoing efforts to strengthen and deepen the university’s ability to foster and support a diverse and inclusive community. A comprehensive list of these activities will be featured soon at this site, but current examples include:

Faculty Diversity Task Force

In 2014 the Academic Council appointed a Diversity Task Force (DTF) that completed its work in 2015 with a report and recommendations for the next decade of Duke’s efforts related to faculty diversity.  To act upon the DTF recommendation, in 2015 the Provost created the Faculty Diversity Task Force Implementation Committee.  Links to both reports are below.

Community Standard

Duke has a longstanding community standard, which all students sign and Duke Diversitypledge to keep.  Duke University is a community dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service and to the principles of honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability.

Programs and Centers

  • Office of Student Affairs
    Duke’s Office of Student Affairs serves all students — undergraduate, graduate and professional — enhancing Duke’s academic excellence with a broad set of experiences and services designed to help all students succeed at Duke, and in life.
  • Bias Response Advisory Committee
    Duke Student Affairs established a Bias Response Advisory Committee to advise the Vice President for Student Affairs on allegations of bias-related incidents that may impact the Duke community.
  • Center for Jewish Life at Duke
    The Freeman Center for Jewish Life serves as a home away from home for all those seeking to engage with the Jewish community while at Duke.
  • Center for Muslim Life at Duke
    Muslim Life at Duke is committed to enriching the lives of Muslim students and the whole campus through events and activities that cater to the spiritual, social and intellectual needs of Duke students.
  • Center for Multicultural Affairs
    The Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) empowers students and their organizations to create a vibrant and inclusive multicultural student community.
  • Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
    In his remarks at the Center’s opening in 2013, President Brodhead said that the university regrets a past history of acts of intolerance.
  • Duke University International House
    The International House provides educational services and advocacy to the international population at Duke as well as outreach to the Durham community, offering extensive cross-cultural programming and information to enhance the global mission of the university.
  • Duke Women’s Center
    The Duke University Women’s Center is dedicated to educating and empowering women at Duke to be active and engaged citizens of the world, welcoming men and women alike who are committed to gender equity and social change. The Women’s Center offers a wide range of programs and activities ranging from entrepreneurship and networking to confidential crisis support for people of all genders who are survivors of gender violence.
  • Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture
    The Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture strives to promote racial understanding, build community, and foster an appreciation for and increase knowledge of Black people, Black history, Black culture, and the vast contributions of people of the African Diaspora. The Center provides programs and services which contribute to the successful academic and personal development of Black students at Duke University and positively impact the lives of all those whom they encounter.
  • Office of Institutional Equity
    The Office for Institutional Equity provides institutional leadership in enhancing respectful, diverse and inclusive work and learning environments for the Duke Community.
  • Office of Outreach and Access
    This new office will lead programs targeting first-generation and low-income students.
  • The Washington Duke Scholars Program
    This program will improve the support for first generation and students of diverse backgrounds to take full advantage and thrive at Duke.

Training and Education

Orientation for New Students and Parents

For incoming students and their parents, orientation programs were added in order to deepen the discussion of multicultural issues.

Training for Community Members

Commemoration & Recognition Programs

  • Queering Duke History: Understanding the LGBTQ Experience at Duke and Beyond.
  • This exhibition of LGBTQ history at Duke was a part of a semester-long commemoration that included other exhibits and events.
  • Celebrating the Past, Charting the Future: Commemorating 50 years of Black Students at Duke
    This nine-month, university-wide commemoration highlighted the school’s 50th anniversary of integration.
  • Diversity Award: The Diversity Award recognizes a staff or faculty member who has demonstrated, through his or her positive interactions with others, a respect and value for differing backgrounds and points of view within the University community.

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