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About Student Affairs

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

Dream what might be. Enjoy what is. Create what will be.

At Duke Student Affairs, 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 principles that guide us. 

Meaningful Inclusion: Moving Toward Equity

  • Actively support all student identities
  • Recognize and address barriers experienced by underrepresented students and colleagues
  • Find deliberate ways to build inclusion and equity in our staff and student experience

Strategic Collaboration

  • Make it our norm that Student Affairs departments are aligning efforts and working towards shared goals with one another and with campus partners to improve the student experience at Duke

Health, Wellness & Safety

  • Prioritize the health, wellness and safety of the student community through decision-making processes and collaboration
  • Employ data assessment and research to inform our efforts
  • Proactively invest in a healthy community

Continuous Growth & Skill Development

  • Create a culture where our teams share learning and support ongoing skill development
  • Provide constructive feedback to each other to encourage growth

Professionalism, Mutual Respect and Trust

  • Model respect and professionalism through our actions
  • Constructively disagree and then come together once decisions are made


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

  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)