Joe Van Gogh Cuts All Ties With Duke University

May 11, 2018

A screengrab of a story in Indy Week that reported that a Duke University administrator complained about a rap song being played in the coffee shop on campus. It eventually led to two Joe Van Gogh employees being fired. On Friday, May 11, 2018, the coffee company announced it had cut all ties with the university.

The Hillsborough-based coffee shop Joe Van Gogh has cut all ties with Duke University.

In a statement, owner Robbie Roberts said he believes “it’s the right thing to do to preserve Joe Van Gogh’s brand independence without conditions."

“I have extended jobs to our entire team at our Duke on-campus store, either at one of our off-campus locations or at our production offices,” Roberts said in the statement. “And, I have reached out to our two baristas who were provided severance so that they may either re-join Joe Van Gogh or secure employment elsewhere if they like.”

Earlier this week, Indy Week reported that a Duke University administrator complained about a rap song being played in the coffee shop on campus. It eventually led to two Joe Van Gogh employees being fired.

Duke University officials did not immediately respond to the latest development.