Overall Rating Reporter - expired
Overall Score
Liaison Tavey Capps
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Duke University
PA-5: Assessing Diversity and Equity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Tavey Capps
Environmental Sustainability Director
Office of the Executive Vice President
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Has the institution assessed diversity and equity in terms of campus climate?:

A brief description of the campus climate assessment(s) :

Several recent initiatives have sought to assess campus attitudes towards diversity, culture and equity and utilize results to guide policy at Duke. Examples of these include:

Campus Culture Initiative - A diverse, inclusive and engaged community that affirms difference: That’s the environment necessary for the transformative educational experience that Duke intends to provide, according to a report from the Campus Culture Initiative Steering Committee. The 24-member panel, which included faculty, administrators, undergraduate students, a graduate student and alumni, issued a report in 2007 outlining a series of actions intended to “engage difference more deeply and directly.” According to the report, “We are proud of the increased diversity that Duke has achieved. An academic community must, however, consistently and constructively engage difference in order to reap its full benefits.” From April 2006 through February 2007, the Committee was engaged in a thoughtful and comprehensive consideration of Duke’s Campus Culture and ways to improve it. They examined issues, analyzed data and engaged in multiple conversations with individuals and groups across campus.

Women’s Initiative - Toward the end of her remarkable tour of duty as President of Duke, Nannerl O. Keohane commissioned a study known as the Women's Initiative. When the report was published in fall 2003, the Women's Initiative received extensive national attention both within universities and beyond, as it deserved to. A generation after the most overt forms of gender discrimination were brought up for critique and revision in this country, subtler forces persist, impeding full equality of opportunity for women. Under President Keohane's leadership Duke undertook to assess the place we have come to in gender equality with unusual courage and candor.

The comprehensiveness of the Women's Initiative report remains its most striking feature. Rather than studying a single segment of the university community, a team of task forces considered the full set of women's experiences within the university: the lives of women faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduates, and alumnae as well. Through this breadth of focus, the report was able to highlight issues that link the experience of women across categories, such as the critical role of mentorship. At the same time, the study noted that the most salient issues for women in the university are often specific to their position, so that a women's agenda needs to have many different parts. The relation of the tenure clock to family responsibilities is an issue for untenured women faculty members, but not for the tenured. Childcare is an issue for younger faculty, staff and some graduate students but not, with rare exceptions, for undergraduates. And the pressures on undergraduate women have their own character, which the report is careful to detail.

Has the institution assessed student diversity and educational equity?:

A brief description of the student diversity and educational equity assessment(s):

Duke aims to increase underrepresented minority student science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree completion by 8 percent. To achieve this commitment, Duke will partner with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to create a Collaboratory On Mentoring, Persistence, Assessment, and Student Success (COMPASS).

The focus for COMPASS at Duke is to replace a one-size-fits-all approach with a suite of different teaching methods that were chosen based on evidence that they are effective in reaching different groups of students. Duke’s commitment to this goal will engage students and faculty, span multiple departments and create a community of STEM learners and research practitioners.

“We applaud the President and First Lady's initiatives to increase opportunities for all high school students to access higher education,” Baker said. “Duke has been and we will continue to focus on recruiting and supporting highly meritorious students from diverse backgrounds.”

To date, Duke has launched several initiatives to reach underserved young students and improve their access to college. A partnership with the College Advising Corps has Duke students serving as college advisers to high school students in rural North Carolina communities. Duke also runs a pre-orientation program for first-generation students each fall to ease their transition into college.

In addition, Duke continues to have a need-blind admissions policy, which means that all qualified U.S. applicants are accepted regardless of their ability to pay for college. Duke guarantees it will meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need.


Has the institution assessed employee diversity and employment equity?:

A brief description of the employee diversity and employment equity assessment(s):

Faculty Diversity Standing Committee

This Faculty Diversity Standing Committee was formed in fall 2003 to aid in the implementation of the Faculty Diversity Initiative, especially related to historically underrepresented groups — faculty of color; women in the sciences, mathematics and engineering. Comprised of faculty and relevant deans/administrators, the Committee reviews relevant data and programs, including faculty recruitment, hiring and retention efforts, exit and climate surveys, work-life balance and mentoring initiatives. The Committee provides feedback to the Provost on progress toward an inclusive faculty work force and areas that deserve attention. Term: three years.

Duke University prohibits discrimination and harassment, and provides equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, age, or genetic information. Duke is committed to recruiting, hiring, and promoting qualified minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.

Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Duke prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any of its educational programs or activities.

Has the institution assessed diversity and equity in terms of governance and public engagement?:

A brief description of the governance and public engagement assessment(s):

The website URL where information about the assessment(s) is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.