Photo of Rhetaugh DumasRhetaugh Dumas was an esteemed leader with vision, insight, and wise counsel who had a major impact in the advancement of nursing, healthcare, and academic programs at U-M. Vice Provost Dumas was only the second African-American to hold the position of a Dean at the University of Michigan when she was appointed in 1981, and the first African-American to be named a Dean. She was reappointed Dean of Nursing in 1986 and 1991 to second and third terms. Prior to that appointment, she was the first woman and first nurse to serve as a deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Dumas was Deputy Director, Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (1979-1981) and before that Chief, Psychiatric Nursing Education Branch of the Division of Manpower and Training Programs (1972-1976). She was also a founding member, a Charter Fellow, and a former president of the American Academy of Nursing. Dumas served the University of Michigan for over 20 years with vision and a commitment to excellence.

The rationale for the Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award is that achievement of a diverse faculty requires an institutional commitment to change that transcends the impact of individual actors. The full professor rank presents the zenith of faculty career ranks. Having concurrent ethnic/racial and gender diversity in the faculty holding the rank of full and associate professors, tenured and non-tenured, provides an emblematic statement about the institutional commitment of that unit to implementing a climate of inclusion. Thus, the Academic Women’s Caucus seek nominations of units that have demonstrated the vision, commitment, and dedication to achieve a truly diverse faculty.


Nominations for 2021-2022 are closed. Nominations must include:

  • A simple chart, enumerating the number of full and associate professors, tenured and non-tenured faculty by diversity group in the academic unit for the academic year
  • A brief narrative statement no longer than 1,000 words indicating “best practices” developed and implemented over the last 5 years to promote diversity, successful recruitment, retention and promotion strategies, faculty development and mentoring practices. Please specify how progress in concurrent ethnic/racial and gender diversifying serves to enhance the mission of your academic unit.

Questions? Contact Tiffany Marra at tmarra@umich.edu, Pat Colemans Burns at pcb@umich.edu, or Marilee Benore at marilee@umich.edu.


Selection for the Rhetaugh G. Dumas award will be based on:

  • The University of Michigan academic unit’s progress in establishing and maintaining a concurrent ethnic/racial and gender diversity at the full professor and associate professor rank, tenured and non-tenured
  • Evidence of concurrent ethnic/racial and gender diversifying in junior ranks
  • Availability of academic unit head to attend the Award Ceremony on February 1, 2022.

Past Award Recipients


U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering
U-M School of Kinesiology


U-M School of Information


U-M Women’s Studies Department


U-M School of Nursing


UM-Dearborn’s College of Engineering and Computer Science


U-M Department of Communication Studies, LSA


Department of Health Behavior and Health Education in the School of Public Health


Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Division of General Pediatrics


The American Culture Department of College of Literature, Science and the Arts


Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts