Duke Named A Great College to Work For

For sixth time, Chronicle of Higher Education ranks Duke as top employer

Christine Vucinich, training coordinator for Duke’s Office of Information Technology, looks over the lynda.com website with Alonzo Felder, an IT analyst at Duke. The self-learning website is one of many ways Duke offers professional development to facu

For the sixth consecutive year, Duke has been recognized as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Chronicle released its annual report on academic workplaces, naming Duke among the 2013 "Great Colleges to Work For" across the country. This year's list highlighted 97 institutions out of 300 participants. Results were determined by nearly 45,000 surveys completed by administrators, faculty and staff.

Duke earned its highest remarks in two workplace categories:

  • Facilities, workspaces and security (Facilities adequately meet needs, appearance of campus is pleasing and the institution takes steps to provide a secure environment).
  • Job Satisfaction and Support (Provides insight into the satisfaction with job fit, autonomy, and resources).

"Duke continues to be one of the most outstanding environments across the nation to work within," said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration. "The recognition by the Chronicle of Higher Education is directly correlated by the daily commitment of our faculty and staff, to sustaining a world class institution."

Richard Boyer, principal and managing partner of ModernThink LLC, the firm that administered the survey, said Duke was recognized as a great college after scoring highly in questions regarding satisfaction with job placement and ability to grow.

Those are things that Carla Sturdivant holds in high regard after working at Duke for 10 years. While she started as a staff assistant at the Fuqua School of Business, she now works as a grants and contract administrator in the Pratt School of Engineering.

"Duke has allowed me to develop through training in Learning and Organization Development classes," Sturdivant said. "As employees, we're lucky to have the opportunity for Duke to support our growth. I couldn't ask for anything better from an employer."

Sturdivant also highlighted her appreciation of the diverse workforce at Duke, which has allowed her to interact with people of different cultures and backgrounds.

In the Chronicle survey, Duke also performed well in regard to facilities and workplace safety, which Boyer noted are historically areas of strength for Duke. It's the fourth straight year Duke has been recognized in the category.

Boyer said that two statements from the survey showed strong, positive results from Duke employees: that classrooms, offices, labs and other workspaces meet the needs and requirements of employees and faculty and staff believe there's a "safe and secure environment" on campus.

Duke holds biannual tests of its outdoor warning system and maintains the DukeALERT website, which provides real-time information during emergencies. As of this spring, Duke had slightly more than  29,000 students and employees signed up to receive text messages through the DukeALERT system.

"The benefits of Duke's emergency communication efforts include both the actual security and weather alerts and the fact that I know Duke is committed to transparency regarding crime and safety on campus," said Kurt Meletzke, program coordinator with the Duke Center for International Development. "Since I don't always have my computer in front of me, and live close to campus, I appreciate the text messages that I get from DukeALERT to keep me updated."

Duke's listing from the "Great Colleges" survey is among other recognitions it's received for its commitment to employees. Duke has consistently earned high marks for workplace satisfaction from Carolina Parent, AARP, Modern Healthcare and even the National Center for Transit Research as a "Best Workplace for Commuters."

"The 'formula for success' continues to evolve, yet there are certain common features among institutions that achieve significant levels of worker satisfaction," said Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. "The Great Colleges to Work For program allows our readers to learn about the colleges that seem to be getting it right. Great Colleges is more than a `marketing' opportunity for colleges it is an authentic example of accomplishment.'