Duke Policies

Policy Administration

Duke Policies apply to the entire Duke enterprise (including Duke University Health System), although individual Duke Policies may be directly-relevant to only certain segments of the organization. Duke Policies reside online at duke.edu/policies.

Duke Policy will be officially designated as such and distinguished from other statements and regulations promulgated as policy within schools, departments or other specific areas of the Duke enterprise. Duke Policies must be approved by each of the following officers of Duke University: the President, Provost, Executive Vice President and Chancellor for Health Affairs.  In addition, approval by Duke University’s Board of Trustees may be necessary depending on the subject matter. 

Who has the authority to designate Duke Policy?
The Restated Charter of Duke University, Section 5, grants to the Board of Trustees the power "to make such rules, regulations and bylaws and to take such other action not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States and the State of North Carolina as may be necessary or appropriate for the good government of the corporation and its various operations and management of the property and funds of the same, and to exercise all powers granted to nonprofit corporations under the laws of the State of North Carolina."  Because some University policies are matters of administration rather than governance, certain Duke Policies are approved by each of the following officers of Duke University: the President, Provost, Executive Vice President and Chancellor for Health Affairs.

Individual management centers, schools, departments, and/or officials generate, communicate, maintain and enforce policies applicable to their specific segment of authority, as long as those policies are not in conflict with Duke Policy. Policies and policy modifications will not be designated as Duke Policy and incorporated on the Duke Policy website unless approved by each of the officers of Duke University listed above.  Duke Policy supersedes any and all policies created within specific areas of the Duke enterprise.

How are Duke Policies created, changed and/or approved?
Under the structure for the administration of Duke Policy (pdf), any proposed Duke Policies or changes in existing Duke Policy must be reviewed and approved by the officers of Duke University listed above. New policies or changes are typically drafted and reviewed through existing faculty or administrative groups or committees (e.g. the Research Policy Committee, Academic Council, etc.) before being advanced for consideration by the officers listed above. Such groups often serve in an advisory role to this process, at the discretion of the officers involved in the approval process.

Definition of a Duke Policy:
A Duke Policy is an official directive that states Duke’s position on a particular issue. A Duke Policy must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Has broad application throughout Duke. It is not limited to a single office, department, division or management center.
  • Supports compliance with any applicable laws and regulations, promotes operational efficiencies, enhances Duke’s missions, or reduces institutional risk.
  • Mandates certain actions or constraints, references specific procedures for compliance, and articulates desired outcomes.
  • Requires review and approval by the officers of Duke University listed above prior to policy issuance and/or changes.

Principles relevant to Duke Policy:

  • Should be timeless, clear, and concise.
  • Apply to all faculty and staff (including employees of Duke University Health System).
  • Must be regularly maintained and readily available to all members of the Duke community to promote accountability.
  • Must be at least as stringent as federal, state and legal requirements.