Strategic Goal 6: Raising The Graduate School’s Profile

Continue efforts to make The Graduate School a leader among its peers and on the Duke campus in discussions concerning graduate education


The Graduate School has received significant positive attention in media sources, the broader academic community, and within our own university. We are proud of this recognition and have developed a broad set of initiatives to further our distinctions at multiple levels. Through these, The Graduate School is furthering its commitment to remain an industry leader in the areas of graduate education and leadership. Doing so will help the recruitment of students, improve our graduates’ competitiveness on the job market, and give Duke a larger role in national discussions on transforming graduate education.

Outside of Duke, we plan to pursue a set of strategies to put forth our initiatives and programs as a model of leadership. This includes targeting publications which highlight the development of our programs and advance these as models to be utilized by other graduate schools. We also plan to maintain a strong presence at national working group meetings and conferences, engaging with leaders in many fields to not only share our own achievements but also to learn about and apply new practices to make our own work better.

On our own campus, we plan to expand our role as an active participant in issues that affect the broader university community. We are very proud that in 2015 The Graduate School became the first unit at Duke to be recognized with the Outstanding Department Award from the Duke Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity. The commitments that earned us this distinction will remain a focus for us as we look to engage in campus conversations on remaining a leader in these and other areas. Furthermore, we plan to more effectively communicate the accomplishments, initiatives, and programs of The Graduate School to the Duke community in a number of ways. These will not only be for the benefit of our current students, but will also help us to expand our reach to alumni and other entities at the university.

Objective 6.1: Sustain and enhance The Graduate School’s external profile


A. Share information about The Graduate School’s programs and best practices in media sources commonly used by our peer institutions, such as the “Elements of a Model” series that the school developed for the Council of Graduate Schools.

B. Develop tools and processes to better document and assess the school’s programs and initiatives, such as a registration and participation-tracking tool for professional development (see Objective 1.2, Strategy A).

C. Launch Duke OPTIONS, an online tool intended to provide an online professional development experience for doctoral students that will be the first of its kind in the U.S.

D. Use Duke OPTIONS to collect data to help investigate how Duke OPTIONS and, more broadly, professional development affect recruitment, admissions, diversity, persistence, and completion rates.

E. Analyze and employ assessment and tracking models used by other institutions.

F. Be an active participant in national working groups and conferences on issues in graduate education, such as recruitment, professional development, and English language support.

G. Monitor funding opportunities (such as the CGS/ETS grant that funded the development of Duke OPTIONS) and participate in initiatives with campus and institutional partners to support Graduate School efforts.

Key Performance Indicators

A. Media placement of stories and information about The Graduate School’s programs and practices

B. Creation of tools and processes to help document TGS work and assess the effectiveness of initiatives and programs

C. Implementation of Duke OPTIONS

D. Data collected through Duke OPTIONS and the research based on that data

E. Improvement in the assessment of existing and new programs

F. Improvement in the quality of career outcomes data on alumni

G. Instances of other schools modeling their programs after TGS’s

Objective 6.2: Raise the school’s profile within Duke


A. Continue to lead or participate in campus conversations on key issues. Some of the school’s recent efforts on this front have included organizing student and faculty workshops on diversity and inclusion in the sciences, leading conversations about working with non-native English speakers, and launching the Certificate in College Teaching program to provide enhanced graduate student teacher training.

B. Produce an annual report on The Graduate School’s programs and accomplishments and disseminate it to students, alumni, and campus departments and programs.

C. Develop ways to allow departments to easily include in their recruitment process The Graduate School’s value-added for the graduate student experience (see Objective 2.1, Strategy E).

D. Continue to collaborate with campus student organizations to organize professional and social events.

Key Performance Indicators

A. Participation in campus conversations relevant to graduate education

B. Production and dissemination of annual report

C. Inclusion of TGS programs, services, and resources in departmental communication to prospective and current students

D. Student participation in TGS events and utilization of TGS programs, services, and resource

E. Recognition of The Graduate School’s achievements, honors, initiatives, and programs on university communication channels, such as Duke Today.


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