Office of the Vice President

Office of the Vice President


The Division of Student Affairs is critically engaged in all aspects of students’ lives and collaborates with students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and many others in the delivery of key services and support to students and all whom the Division serves.

Student Affairs provides programs and services that support the optimal growth of Duke students, enhance their intellectual, social, cultural and physical development, and complement Duke’s academic excellence by providing opportunities for students to experience education and explore interests beyond the classroom.

Duke Student Affairs helps students dream what might be … and enjoy what is and what will be. Our vision is that students will:

  • Graduate with integrity and purpose, focused on near term goals and capable of adjusting to both opportunity and adversity;
  • Care about themselves and others; and
  • Develop the skills and judgment to navigate their journeys, both individually and collectively.

Further, our vision for excellence extends to the greater Duke community, which is enhanced by the variety of outstanding services and operations provided by Student Affairs to students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and guests of the University.

The mission of Duke Student Affairs is to inspire students to make meaning in their lives through community engagement, experiential learning, and reflection.

Our Meaning: Working together towards a common goal while sharing decision-making, resources, and expertise to achieve outcomes with impact beyond what individuals can accomplish alone.
Our Commitment: Actively seek opportunities for collaboration that result in new approaches or quality improvements while promoting collegial engagement with internal and external partners. Recognize collaborative achievements.

Cultural Competency
Our Meaning: Valuing diversity, managing the dynamics of difference, and institutionalizing cultural knowledge. Systemically involving constituencies in policy making, assessment of practice, and service delivery.
Our Commitment: Demonstrate culturally competent behaviors and attitudes by working respectfully and effectively across diverse cultures, languages, socioeconomic status, race, ethnic background, religion, gender, sexual orientation and abilities.

Creative Thinking
Our Meaning: Thinking beyond the obvious and predictable and approach issues or problems from new and different perspectives to identify innovative alternatives and approaches that are both useful and meaningful.
Our Commitment: Work collaboratively to maximize creative thinking. Recognize and encourage different perspectives to problem solving. Be open to change in order to implement new and innovative solutions.

Caring for Others and Ourselves
Our Meaning: Committing to personal and professional investment in the well being of students, colleagues and ourselves including physical, mental, and spiritual health and intellectual vitality.
Our Commitment: Exercise an integrated approach to issues of student health and well being including physical, mental, spiritual and intellectual health with risk reduction and high safety standards as hallmarks of our work. Achieve healthy work-life integration among staff resulting in increased professional and personal satisfaction.

Respectful and Responsive Service
Our Meaning: Maintaining a helpful and respectful attitude, responding positively and in a timely manner. Being willingly accountable.
Our Commitment: Treat each other and all constituencies with respect and dignity. Communicate in a clear and timely manner. Be responsive in ways that are consistent and appropriate to the tasks at hand. Be responsible and accountable for our actions

The Student Affairs strategic planning document was announced in February 2013. The plan's goals and objectives are intended to be implemented within two years. Keep track of our progress with the latest updates and announcements posted to the strategic planning site.

Goal 1. Students will demonstrate personal and social responsibility and acquire the skills and experiences needed to succeed at Duke and in life. Desired student competencies include:

  • A strong work ethic as demonstrated by personal accountability and striving for excellence in all endeavors; 1
  • Personal and academic integrity as demonstrated by acting with honor and honesty in personal relationships and academic life; 2
  • Community engagement as demonstrated by active and responsible involvement in the Duke community and wider society; 3
  • Valuing the perspectives of others as demonstrated by engaging diverse and competing perspectives in learning, citizenship, and work. 4
  • Using ethical and moral reasoning and action as demonstrated in learning and in life; 5
  • Developing awareness of and positive approaches to personal health and wellness.


  1. Guide the development of residential communities that feature healthy social and intellectual engagement, self-governance, community persistence, and community identity.
  2. Promote student growth and development through exposure to and promotion of skills and experiences in:
    • Leadership Development
    • Cultural Competency
    • Health and Wellness
    • Post-graduation planning
  3. Provide and maintain facilities that support planned and informal gatherings, community development, recreation and services, and feature best practices associated with student residences, unions, and centers. 6
  4. Develop and implement a plan for distinctly serving the graduate and professional student populations.


Goal 2. Become the highest performing organization possible by ensuring optimal alignment of staff and resources with Division values and priorities.


  1. Establish and monitor standards of excellence and performance measures for each department.
  2. Establish divisional competencies and standards of performance for exempt employees that are reflected in job descriptions and performance reviews. Divisional competencies include: 7
    • Advising and Helping: Skills related to providing support, direction, feedback, critique, and guidance to individuals and groups;
    • Assessment, Evaluation and Research: Skills related to the design, implementation, and critique of assessment, evaluation, and research methods, including quantitative and qualitative techniques;
    • Ethics: Understanding and applying ethical standards;
    • Leadership, Management and Administration: Skills related to the management and development of human, fiscal, technological and physical resources; organizational development and leadership; strategic planning;
    • Pluralism and Inclusion: Skills related to multicultural competence and developing a pluralistic campus;
    • Student Learning and Development: Knowledge and understanding of concepts and principles of student development theory and ability to apply theory to inform practice.
  3. Enhance employee satisfaction as evidenced by enjoyment of work, feeling valued and treated with respect, engagement in continuous learning, healthy work/life integration, and development of job-related resiliency.
  4. Increase awareness and understanding of issues, decisions, and accomplishments through informative and intentional communications to internal and external audiences, as measured by audience feedback.
  5. Implement and monitor a comprehensive plan of assessment, incorporating existing institutional data as well as other pertinent data and evaluation tools to measure progress on goals, objectives and outcomes.

1 AACU Core Commitments
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 Role of the College Union
7 ACPA and NASPA Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Practitioner

Duke Student Affairs Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will develop clarity and awareness of their values and will behave in ways that are both ethical and consistent with those values. (Value Coherence)

2. Students will formulate and integrate academic, personal, and career goals, and develop the skills and ability to achieve and adjust to both opportunity and adversity. (Goals and Skills)

3. Students will develop consciousness of their own identities, cultures, biases and privileges and will actively work to foster an equitable and welcoming community. (Cultural Competency and Social Responsibility)

4. Students will develop meaningful and supportive relationships with others. (Relationships)

5. Students will actively and intentionally work to maintain and improve their health and wellness. (Wellness)