OUE's Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism

The Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) actively promotes Duke’s commitment to the educational value of diversity across schools and units. Duke recruits a richly diverse student body reflecting a broad spectrum of national origins, races, ethnicities, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, physical abilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. We believe that diversity fosters innovation, creativity, and excellence, and that it prepares our students to become leaders. 

OUE works with our partners across campus to cultivate an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful learning and living environment so that students can explore and examine their identities and values inside the classroom and beyond. We also encourage students to interact with those whose identities and world views are not their own, as it is through respectful and open dialogue that our students will grow in their understanding of themselves as citizens of our nation and the world.

OUE also believes that promoting diversity and inclusion alone is not enough. We recognize the dignity and humanity of all people and the injustice of systems that oppress BIPOC communities. We must therefore also commit to being actively anti-racist in our work.   

As such, the Office of Undergraduate Education: 

  1. Acknowledges that racism is a system of social and institutional power combined with prejudice that allows one group to carry out systematic discrimination through the major institutions of society.  We also acknowledge that structural racism is different from racial prejudice, interpersonal hatred, or discrimination.
  2. Condemns the systematic and individual racism and continued injustices against people of color.
  3. Affirms our identity as an anti-racist unit at Duke University.  As we continue to learn about racism and ethnic oppression, as individuals and as an organization, we will explore and examine systemic advantage and implicit bias in ways that will be reflected in the work and culture of OUE.
  4. Pledges tangible actions to:
    •  Recognize and address bias and hate in proactive and continuous ways;
    •  Adopt anti-racist policies and practices that will positively impact our staff and our students.

As we carry out our mission of providing a transformative education for all undergraduates, we also commit to the ongoing work of dismantling systems of injustice and inequity at Duke.  OUE’s departments are united towards this goal, and you can learn more about our efforts below.

OUE's Internal Commitments and Actions

The Office of Undergraduate Education is committed to upholding Duke’s values of racial justice, equity, and meaningful inclusion in our work.  To equitably achieve our mission of providing a transformative undergraduate experience to all students, we must necessarily foster racial equity among our teams and be knowledgeable about and fight against the reproduction of structural racism in our offices and activities. Furthermore, to fully experience the benefits of a diverse workforce, we must foster an environment that allows all staff to thrive in their roles, regardless of the identities they carry. The Office of Undergraduate Education therefore is committed to anti-racist learning and action within our organization.

OUE Anti-Racism Working group

The mission of the OUE Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG) is to affirm, develop, and strengthen racial equity in OUE by continuously challenging our existing systems and implementing new policies and practices that provide our BIPOC community with the infrastructure to thrive at Duke. Special thanks to our colleagues Morgan Barlow, Kim Bethea (co-chair), Sachelle Ford (co-chair), Bibi Gnagno, Peggy James, and Shawn Lenker for leading this important work for OUE.

Recommendations and Progress

During the 20-21 academic year, the ARWG performed an examination of and developed recommendations for three main focus areas for OUE anti-racist efforts: Staff Development, Recruitment and Hiring, and Communications and Engagement. Goals and progress are shared below.

Staff Development Report & Recommendations

The Staff Development subcommittee was charged with examining the existing anti-racist education efforts within OUE and to make recommendations for policies and practices that will foster racial equity among teams, inform staff members’ interactions, and support managers in their efforts to develop anti-racism plans for their teams and units.


Recommendations Initiated In-progress Implemented 6-month Review
Mar '22)
12-month Review
(Sep '22)
Each OUE unit to develop stand-alone anti-racism plan X X      
Hire external consultants to provide training to staff X X ongoing    
Invest in anti-racism training for all OUE staff X X ongoing    


Recruitment and Hiring Report & Recommendations

The Recruitment and Hiring sub-committee was charged with examining OUE’s recruitment and hiring processes and making recommendations for how OUE can adopt anti-racist practices in these areas to uphold Duke’s values of racial justice, equity and meaningful inclusion. 

Colleagues from across OUE have been involved in carrying forward various recommendations included in the report.



Recommendation Initiated In-progress Implemented 6-month Review
12-month Review
(Aug '22)
Develop anti-racism recruitment and hiring processes X X X    
Implement and refine pilot processes X X X    
Train OUE staff on new hiring processes X X X    


Communications and Engagement Report and Recommendations

The goal of the Communications and Engagement Report is to provide OUE senior leaders and staff with communications and engagement expectations and best practices that support anti-racism efforts. 

To build on this report, a group of colleagues from across OUE divisions were tapped to implement the report’s recommendations. 

Recommendation Initiated In-progress Implemented 6-month Review
(Feb '22)
12-month Review
(Aug '22)

Create Anti-Racist Communications Guide for OUE staff

X X      
Promote internal staff engagement through an anti-racist lens X X ongoing    
Create structures for ongoing anti-racist communications and engagement X X      


Commitments and Actions Beyond OUE

While OUE has embarked on its own internal anti-racist journey, we are of course also members of the broader Duke community. As such, we have also committed to efforts beyond our organization in the form of administrative leadership and support of key university initiatives.

Campus Climate Committee
This committee identifies ways to ensure that the undergraduate experience is welcoming, inclusive, and intellectually expansive.

UNIV101: The University Course on Race
This university course will provide foundational knowledge about and explore the origins and meanings of the concept of race.

Anti-Racism at Duke
This website highlights Duke's commitment to addressing systemic racism on our campus and setting an example for our nation and the world.