Category: Uncategorized

Faculty and Staff Parking Fees Suspended through June

This email was sent to all faculty and staff

While many of our faculty and staff are now working remotely, others are continuing to report and serve our students, patients, and vital research operations. Each day we are confronted with new challenges, which our faculty and staff continue to rise and meet. We are also seeking ways to help support you during this time to make life slightly less challenging.

To that end, Duke will suspend all faculty and staff parking permit fee deductions from paychecks issued April through June.

Existing permits will remain active and valid for access to assigned lots and parking facilities. Permits requirements and parking facility restrictions will continue unchanged during this period.

We hope this measure provides some financial flexibility for individuals who have had to make accommodations to address personal or childcare needs to continue to support our vital work at Duke or those who have had to make adjustments to work remotely.

Thank you for your continued support, dedication and perseverance in support of Duke’s missions during this unique and challenging time.

Kyle J. Cavanaugh,
Vice President, Administration
Emergency Coordinator

North Carolina Stay At Home Order

March 27, 2020

TO:      All Duke Students, Faculty and Staff

On Friday afternoon, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order for residents statewide to stay at home beginning Monday, March 30, at 5:00 pm through April 29, 2020. 

The order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others. Essential activities such as health care, human services such as child and elder care, and food production, among others, are excluded. 

Durham, Orange and Wake counties have already issued stay-at-home orders, but the Governor’s action expands the restriction to residents of all 100 counties in the state.

As a reminder, anyone at Duke who is currently supporting critical operations should continue to report to your designated work location as scheduled.  As needs evolve, there are some that may be redeployed to roles that also require you to report to campus.  Individuals who are maintaining critical research laboratory functions may continue to do so provided they observe safety guidelines.  

Students who are currently living in Duke residence halls must remain on campus in their assigned residence hall and assigned room as much as possible and observe the guidelines that have been circulated by Student Affairs.  

Social distancing remains our best hope of limiting the impact of the outbreak and protecting our health care providers, their patients and the community.   We’re in this together, which is why we need you to keep your distance.


Kyle J. Cavanaugh,
Vice President for Administration and Emergency Coordinator

Message to off-campus students about Mayor’s stay-at-home order

This message was sent to all students who live off-campus in Durham

Dear off-campus students,
We are writing to follow up on Mayor Schewel’s announcement that the City of Durham will enact a “stay at home” order effective Thursday, March 26 at 6 p.m.

All Duke students who are living in Durham must abide by this order, just as we expect Duke students to follow local and state laws.

 We understand that many of you have already left the Durham area—please continue to take care and stay safe where you are!

For those of you who are still in Durham: during the stay-at-home period, students living off-campus may not come to campus or enter any Duke buildings. (Limited numbers of graduate students may have obtained prior approval to perform their duties in research labs with an essential function.) Failure to abide by these expectations will result in disciplinary action through the Office of Student Conduct. This is in addition to any action that the city and law enforcement agencies may take.

If you have questions, please contact
Join Mayor Schewel’s call for young people to act responsibly for the sake of yourselves and other community members. As he said in this morning’s press conference, “We have to offer another kind of kindness now—the kindness of distance.”Thank you for your attention to this information and for all that you are already doing to maintain social distancing, wash hands, and look out for yourselves and others. We are here to support you in the days ahead and appreciate that this is not easy for anyone.
Sincerely yours,
Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs
Gary Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

The Importance of Inclusion

Dear Colleagues,

I have been deeply disturbed by recent reports of bias incidents targeting Chinese, Chinese-American, and Asian individuals throughout the United States.  Meeting the global challenge of COVID-19 calls perhaps as never before on our common humanity and regard for others; it cannot be allowed to become a cause for scapegoating, bias, or hatred.

Duke has benefitted from a vibrant relationship with China since well before we became a university. Our very first international student, Han Jiaozhun, or Charlie Soong, came to what was then Trinity College in 1880 from Hainan province.  And we take pride in Duke Kunshan University, our innovative joint venture in Jiangsu province. Over the decades, thousands of Chinese and Chinese-American students, faculty, staff, and visitors have come to our campus to study, work, conduct research, and treat patients. These colleagues, classmates, friends, and neighbors are a vitally important part of our university community.

The recent spate of bias incidents across America not only reflects the most misguided, distorted, and base biases about the coronavirus, it is also thwarting the public health response to the virus’s spread. I want to be quite clear: Duke resoundingly condemns any discrimination or bias against our Asian or Asian-American neighbors, and we pledge to continue advocating for our shared values of inclusion, mutual trust, and respect.

To that end, Duke is prepared to provide assistance to students, staff, and faculty who may need it. If you believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment based upon your race, national origin or other protected identity, please contact the Office for Institutional Equity for assistance at 919-684-8222 or You may also consider other Reporting Resources to address additional concerns.

In these unsettling times, I encourage every person associated with Duke University to join me in supporting those among us who might need a kind word or some assistance—and to remember to take care of ourselves and one another as we meet the challenges ahead.

Vincent E. Price

Looking Ahead to Tomorrow

To the Duke Community,

Tomorrow morning, we will begin in earnest what may be the greatest experiment in our university’s history: the beginning of virtual classes for all of our Duke students.
For our faculty, the recent weeks have been a crash course in alternative course delivery for more than 6,000 classes. It has been inspiring to see our outstanding and dedicated teachers learn how to extend their excellence in the classroom into Zoom presentations, conference calls, or newly designed independent learning activities.

We didn’t ask for this, but we are rising to the charge. And as we do so, I am very grateful to our students, faculty, and staff for your flexibility as we transition to new models of teaching, enabled by technology and accelerated by necessity.

The coming weeks won’t be easy, and there will of course be growing pains. But we are committed to doing our very best to make our students’ learning experience exceptional.

And if we do this right—and I believe we will—we will give our students the tools they need to complete their programs and keep learning, and growing as scholars, despite the unprecedented challenges to our region and the world.

I’m inspired by this community’s compassion and concern for one another. And whether we are far from campus, or nearby, Duke’s bonds have never been stronger than they are in the face of these great challenges.

I have never been prouder to be a part of the Duke community.
Very best wishes to all of you.

Vincent E. Price
Duke University

COVID-19 Update at Duke

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to advise you that several members of the Duke community have recently tested positive for the coronavirus.

We have now confirmed that three Duke graduate students who have been traveling overseas as part of a group have tested positive for the coronavirus. They are receiving treatment outside of the United States and will remain overseas until they have recovered.  Duke physicians have been in touch with the students and they are all in good condition.  Other students who were part of that group have returned to Durham and will remain in self-isolation off-campus for at least 14 days under medical supervision.  Any individuals who have experienced symptoms compatible with coronavirus (i.e. fever, cough) underwent testing and are awaiting the results. Durham Public Health and Duke Health are engaged in this effort.

We are optimistic for the full recovery of these individuals and remain grateful to health care providers around the world for their courage and commitment.  This is also a reminder to all of us to observe the guidelines on travel, exposure to large crowds and other restrictions designed to stop the spread of coronavirus — not only for your own well-being, but for the health of the vulnerable populations in our community. 

Please be sure to check for updates on information and policies that impact Duke.With all best wishes,  

Kyle J. Cavanaugh
Vice President for Administration and Emergency Coordinator

Guidance on Graduate Lab Access – out of date

Note: this page is out of date — please see for the most current information

The following is information for our graduate students who participate in lab-based research.  Please note that this guidance is based on our current assessment as of March 13, 2020, and is subject to change given the rapidly evolving situation.

At present, Duke labs remain open but with restrictions for access.  Ph.D. and master’s students, as well as postdoctoral researchers and other lab staff, are permitted on campus to perform laboratory-based research. Students doing non-laboratory-based research must work remotely unless aspects of your work involve your presence on campus.

While we are working to maintain our research activities, our first priority is your health and well-being. Toward that end, we will follow these guidelines:

  • Faculty mentors must be flexible with lab members, especially those who may be at higher risk or have special concerns.
  • We encourage the use of online communications tools so that students are able to work remotely for all or part of their time.
  • If students absolutely need to be in the lab, lab teams should discuss ways to promote good lab hygiene and enable social distancing through options such as taking shifts. Duke has provided specific guidance for “Laboratory Operations Changes.”
  • While current policy permits meetings with fewer than 50 Duke faculty, staff or students, labs should consider using Zoom for lab meetings if this is more comfortable for the team under the current circumstances.
  • Students and other lab members who have been traveling should follow Duke’s guidelines for returning to any campus lab. Labs can add additional requirements, even if the student was not in a level 2 or 3 country, and help arrange for students to work remotely during this period.
  • For students who would typically present a poster for their research, we are planning to do the poster sessions remotely. Faculty can review work, then provide feedback. Alternatively, groups might consider Zoom-based poster presentations, if scheduling allows.

We encourage open communication to ensure agreement about procedures for returning doctoral or master’s student researchers in each lab.  We have asked all faculty to work with students to accommodate their particular situations while helping each student continue their research path under the current circumstances.  If there are disagreements, students are encouraged to speak to the department DGS or DMS, whose role is to advocate for students.

If you have questions, please contact your DGS or DMS or any department/school leader. We appreciate your flexibility and patience as we all work together to ensure a healthy and productive remainder of the semester.

This information is posted on the Graduate School website and

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