Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


The Department of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics recognizes that the diversity of its community – including faculty, trainees, staff, and students – is an essential component of our mission to improve biomedical research and human health through the application of quantitative science and the incorporation of innovative technologies. With leadership from the Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), we are committed to proactively fostering an inclusive environment in which diverse perspectives and backgrounds are welcome and thrive. Specifically, we recognize and embrace our shared humanity, strive to see each of us live up to our full potential as scientists, as educators, as trainees, as managers, as administrators, as members of society and our community. We celebrate each other's successes, strengthen each other in adversity, and recognize our independent as well as shared ambitions.

In our effort to support equity, diversity and inclusion, we recognize that the ongoing injustice of implicit and structural racism, particularly against Black and Indigenous people of color, must be proactively addressed. In addition, Latinx, Asian and Asian-American colleagues and students have also faced bias and discrimination. We are committed to taking action to dismantle racism in all forms. Our faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to speak openly, honestly, and without retribution about experience with racism and necessary improvements. We will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, nationality, language, sexual orientation, disability, or religion. 

  • Conduct open searches for faculty and staff. 
  • Annually review and strengthen the statement of support for equity, diversity and inclusion within all job postings.
  • Have a diverse set of speakers for events and speaker series hosted by the department with nominations accepted by all members of the department.
  • Provide implicit bias and anti-racism training for the department.
  • Maintain and disseminate resources for self-education on structural racism and anti-racism.
  • Provide transparency through our Departmental Faculty Handbook regarding the process of hiring, mentoring and promotion.
  • Provide formal mentoring to all junior faculty through a committee with 3 mentors.
  • Maintain funding (10% effort) for the role of Associate Chair for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Engage with faculty, staff and students directly and through the Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to identify new areas for progress.
  • Help underrepresented students in the department find communities to support them across Duke. 
  • Create a safe, inclusive environment for all our faculty, trainees, staff, and students.
  • Recognize and reinforce ethical behavior and science.
  • Recognize and reward contributions that enrich each other, our department, our institution, our communities.
  • Reaffirm our common humanity and celebrate our differences.

Our Chair Dr. David Page and the leadership team consisting of Warren Kibbe, Laine Thomas, Huiman Barnhart, Steven Grambow, Andrew Allen and Susan Halabi are committed to the preceding statements and to facilitating an equitable, diverse and inclusive culture thorough out the department and in their own actions. 

Dr. Laine Thomas was named Associate Chair for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in September 2019. Dr. Thomas leads the departmental Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and serves as a liaison to the School of Medicine Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Role and Responsibilities of Associate Chair for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Qualifications: Duke Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Faculty Member and appointed by Chair

Term: 3 years

Salary support: 10% effort

Position Description: The Associate Chair for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will serve at the discretion of the Departmental Chair to pro-actively foster an inclusive environment in which diverse perspectives and backgrounds are welcome within the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics for faculty, staff and leaners. In support of this work, this individual will serve as a liaison to the School of Medicine Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.  Specific responsibilities are described below and will be conducted in collaboration with the departmental Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

General Expectations


  • Be visible to faculty, staff and learners as an advocate for EDI
  • Speak annually at student orientation
  • Speak annually (or more) at departmental meetings regarding EDI role/progress
  • Collate, understand and disseminate EDI resources at Duke
  • Collaborate with the departmental EDI committee to identify opportunities for learning and training, and to coordinate activities


  • Attend Departmental Executive leadership meetings
  • Attend School of Medicine Office of EDI monthly meetings
  • Attend School of Medicine EDI Annual Symposium
  • Participate in departmental EDI quarterly meetings
  • Establish interactions with other departments that have dedicated EDI roles to share best practices and collaborate
  • Disseminate information regarding broader School of Medicine initiatives on EDI
  • Participate in creation of annual School of Medicine EDI metric report
  • Lead the department Committee on EDI made up of multiple stakeholders


  • Disseminate School of Medicine resources when appropriate in areas related to EDI, including but not limited to cultural/structural competency, bias, racism, sexism, gender inequality, and LGBTQ

Data Collection 

  • Collaborate with the Chair and the Committee on EDI to
    • Understand the available data regarding Departmental demographics related to “race”, ethnicity, gender, rank and tenure for faculty, trainees, and staff
    • Identify gaps in the available data for answering important strategy questions
  • Identify alternative sources of information (i.e. qualitative, case study, focus group) to address gaps in existing data
    • When appropriate, conduct focus groups to capture perceptions of inclusion


  • Engage leadership when appropriate regarding best practices for recruitment and retention as well as assist in creation of search committees and search committee processes
  • At the discretion of the Chair, perform exit interviews of faculty, staff or trainees to identify workplace factors that may have contributed to attrition/turnover


  • Listen and respond appropriately to feedback from faculty, staff and students regarding EDI concerns and/or opportunities for growth
  • Update department guidelines on EDI to reflect changing feedback and engagement from the department
  • Evaluate role to ensure it is responsive to the needs of the department  

Specific Goals

Short and medium term

  • Speak to the faculty, staff and students at meetings and events
    • Speak to students at orientation 
    • Presentation and discussion with the Faculty Search Committee on implicit bias 
    • Presentation to department on micro-aggression 
  • Engage the Departmental Committee on EDI
    • Meetings regarding Durham Outreach 

Long term

  • Learn about the Departmental EDI plan/strategy that the Chair prepares for the School of Medicine
  • Enhance diversity in recruitment. Learn from published documents, other departments, EDI leaders, and our Committee to evaluate how we engage and recruit. Develop a strategy for diverse recruitment.  


The following initiatives were prioritized by a process of engagement with all members of the Committee, first to brainstorm initiatives of potential interest and then an anonymous survey gauged level of interest and willingness to lead and/or participate. 

  • Student sub-committee: work with students to address student needs. 
  • Work with Education Program to develop strategies to recruit and support students from diverse backgrounds. 
  • Community Outreach Working Group: provide exposure and experience to Durham High School students.
  • Survey/Focus groups: how to better support the department.
  • Enhance recruitment of diverse candidates for employment.

Committee Chair: Laine Thomas

Ama Aidoo Steven Grambow Andrzej Kosinski Alejandro Ochoa Jessie Tenenbaum
Hussein Al-Khalidi Joshua Granek Roland Matsouaka David Page Ying Sun
Shannon Clarke Susan Halabi Janice McCarthy Alyssa Platt Congwen Zhao
Ben Goldstein James Herndon II Liz Nichols Frank W. Rockhold Yunji Zhou


Duke University has a rich variety of groups and communities of support. 

  • Campus Groups - Students are invited to explore over 400 campus groups available through student affairs. 
  • Duke International Student Center - Provides educational programs, services and advocacy to Duke global community, offering extensive cross-cultural information and training to enhance the mission of the university.
  • DukeF1RSTS - First Generation Graduate School Network
  • Duke Disability Alliance - The mission of Duke Disability Alliance (DDA) is to promote advocacy and awareness of issues concerning students with disabilities, physical or otherwise.
  • IDEALS Office - Contributes to the diverse scientific climate within the Biomedical Graduate Programs in the School of Medicine.
  • Student Affairs -  Provides programs and services that support the growth of Duke students, enhance their intellectual, social, cultural and physical development, and complement Duke’s academic excellence. 

Visit the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for other resources and Campus Partners

Visit the School of Medicine Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for a wide variety of resources.