Commitment to Diversity

Commitment to Diversity

Diversity-Diversity sign

Duke University values diversity in all of its many facets and meanings and is an equal-opportunity/affirmative action employer. We strive to diversify our faculty within and across schools, in keeping with changes in our society and the world and with respect for a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. These efforts strengthen our research and educational programs as well as our community. The excellence of our faculty and students must reflect our commitment to diversity, along with other key themes we live by: interdisciplinarity, globalization and knowledge in the service of society.

A number of broad programs have supported our efforts related to faculty diversity in recent decades: the Black Faculty Strategic Initiative 1993-2003, then-President Nannerl Keohane’s Women’s Initiative 2003, and then-Provost Peter Lange’s 2003 Faculty Diversity Initiative. The latter resulted in a ten-point plan, with a major commitment of resources toward hiring of faculty of color and women in fields where they are underrepresented. The Provost and Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Faculty Development have provided biannual reports to the Academic Council on our progress related to the FDI points.


Other ongoing diversity projects and programs supported by the Provost’s office include: standing committees on diversity; faculty climate surveys in 2005, 2010 and every 5 years thereafter; exit interviews of departing faculty; grassroots organizations such as the Faculty Women’s Network, the Black Faculty Caucus; and the Provost’s Postdoctoral Program.

President Richard Brodhead announced his President’s Diversity Initiative in 2012. Annually he requests that each senior administrator (deans, institute directors, vice provosts, vice presidents) set 3 goals at the beginning of the academic year and report back in the spring on progress toward those goals.

In 2014 the Academic Council appointed a Diversity Task Force that completed its work in May 2015 with a report and recommendations for Duke’s efforts related to diversity.