Students at Duke seem to have found the academic experience pretty satisfying on the whole, thanks in large part to the teachers. This is not to say that everything about Duke academics is perfect; some of the math and science professors certainly sound like they could liven up a little, and some English and history professors can lose touch with modern reality and campus life. There is also the age-old problem of distinguished faculty who are there for the research facilities more than the students. However, researching professors can be a remarkable asset if they choose to keep students involved—which many do. Even lecture classes are not exclusively impersonal, weed-out programs; many lecturers are thrilled to get to know students after class or during open office hours and appreciate the time students put into getting extra help. Most large classes will also have smaller lab, recitation, or discussion groups with TAs to help clarify the information from the lecture.
All Duke professors are well educated and established in their field, and most do their best to relay their expertise in a simple yet challenging manner. Faculty members are excited about their fields and strive to pass that excitement onto their students. Students subsequently appreciate that professors are hands-on and that they regularly emphasize the practical, real-world applications of their subject matter. Duke’s professors play a vital role in the quality and success of the University's academics.