Duke University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic is focused on the safety of staff, faculty, students, health care providers, and the public we serve. The Office for Institutional Equity will follow Duke COVID-19 guidelines for all in-person meetings, workshops, and events. Out of an abundance of caution, the Office for Institutional Equity will hold all OIE investigations, meetings, and workshops remotely via Zoom unless otherwise indicated. Please visit the Duke Coronavirus Response webpage for more information.


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What Is Discrimination?

Discrimination refers to the unfair or unequal treatment of a person or group based on factors like age or race.

What is Duke’s Policy on Discrimination?

Duke University is committed to ensuring an environment free of prohibited discrimination, and our policies encourage an inclusive community that respects and values all of its members.

In accordance with federal laws, Duke University does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. We expand these protections further by also prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression.

Learn more:

What Are Some Examples of Discrimination?

Generally, discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently or poorly based on one of the factors above. Examples could include:

  • Refusing to hire an applicant or to promote an employee because of their race
  • Refusing to provide an employee with reasonable accommodations for the employee’s religious beliefs
  • Giving an employee a poor performance evaluation based on his or her veteran status
  • Persistent verbal harassment of an employee based on the employee’s national origin (covered by the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct)
  • Assigning a student a low grade based on the student’s religion
  • Conditioning a passing grade on a student’s submission to sexual advances
  • Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations to a student with a disability

What’s Not Considered Discrimination?

  • Disagreements about supervisory techniques and management styles
  • Perceptions of unfair treatment generally; for example, disagreements about the assessment of the quality of work or educational performance not based on race, sex, national origin, etc.

Need Help?

Individuals are encouraged to report allegations of harassment to OIE. Someone from OIE will contact the complainant to offer supportive measures, and to identify the appropriate action to respond to the report. Learn about the process below or download a helpful infographic.

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Confidential Resources

Confidential resources will not share information about a report without the individual’s express written permission unless there is a continuing threat of serious harm to the Complainant or to others or there is a legal obligation to reveal such information (e.g., suspected abuse or neglect of a minor). These individuals can also help an individual make a report to the University.

Non-Confidential Reporting Options

If you report concerns to a Non-Confidential Reporting Option, someone will reach out to you to provide information regarding resources, support, and how to file a complaint. You are not required to respond. You do not need to file a complaint to receive support.

Reporting an Incident

Use the confidential online Incident Reporting tool to provide OIE with preliminary information concerning incidents of protected status harassment, discrimination and related misconduct involving students, faculty, or staff. OIE will respond to all submissions regardless of the nature of the report, and will forward it to the office responsible for addressing it, as appropriate. Though the form may be submitted anonymously, Duke University cannot provide supportive measures (such as academic accommodations, no-contact orders, safe housing options, changes of work schedules) with anonymous submissions. In addition, anonymous reports may also impact the University's ability to investigate and/or take disciplinary action

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Contact Us

Phone: 919-684-8222
Complaints Email: oie-help@duke.edu
Report an Incident