Cost Saving Tips

Best Practices Offered by Duke Community:

  • Turned off lights in the bathroom of the Sociology/Psychology building. Use reusable bottles instead of disposables in the perkins library cafe.
  • Turn off lights. Adjust temperature.
  • We took advantage of the free "Skype" internet service to conduct interviews with students this year instead of having them travel to Duke for their interviews. The only expense we incurred was the purchase of a $35 webcam. Our expenses for recruitment related to the interviewing process were cut in half.
  • Limiting travel. Reducing consumption of daily "business" materials (consumables). Encouraging electronic (versus paper) communications. More conscious use of supplies and electricity.
  • Actively looking for lower prices from vendors for lab supplies.

Web Conferencing — Web conferencing offers a way for staff and faculty to collaborate with faraway colleagues or attend conferences without incurring travel expenses. Staff at the Nicholas School's Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, for example, have used Adobe Connect – one affordable Web conferencing solution supported by OIT – for research and administrative meetings, seminars and conferences with participants across the country. Other departments have used the software to interview external candidates for Duke job openings.

Online Technology Training — To promote professional development even with limited resources, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) offers free online technology training courses for Duke staff and faculty as part of a pilot program with Lynda.com. Duke participants can enroll for a two-week trial account that allows them access to more than 30,000 online training courses available anytime, anywhere.

Wireless Phone Service — OIT also renegotiates contracts each year for faculty and staff cellular service. This year, that meant Duke departments paid about 9 percent less for service with Duke's preferred vendors, AT&T, Alltel and Verizon, which translates to an average savings of $450,000 per year compared to market rates.