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. Out of an abundance of caution, the Office for Institutional Equity will hold all OIE investigations, meetings, and workshops remotely via Zoom.



Report an Incident

Image of gothic windows with sun shining in.
© Duke University, all rights reserved. www.duke.edu

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?

If you feel you’ve been subjected to prohibited discrimination or you have questions about Duke’s discrimination policy, please contact the Office for Institutional Equity at 919-684-8222.

You may also get help from any of the following resources:


Confidential assistance is available for employees through the Personal Assistance Service at 919-416-1727 (Duke Raleigh employees should call 919-872-4786).


Confidential assistance for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students is available through:

Applicants, Visitors, and Patients

If you are a Duke applicant for employment or admissions or a visitor or patient, there are resources to assist you with your concern or question involving discrimination. You may contact either:

  • The office or department with which you directly interacted
  • OIE at 919-684-8222

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

Report an Incident

Contact Us

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

Glossary Term


Any unlawful distinction, preference, or detriment to an individual as compared to others that is based on an individual’s protected status. The prejudicial/distinguishing treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category (e.g. race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender, religion, etc.) in a negative way or restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on illogical or irrational decision making.