Photo of Rhetaugh Dumas

Rhetaugh Dumas was an esteemed leader with vision, insight, and wise counsel who had a major impact in the advancement of nursing, health care, and academic programs at U-M. Vice Provost Emerita Dumas was the first African-American woman to hold the position of a Dean at the University of Michigan when she was appointed in 1981. She remained Dean of Nursing until 1994, when she was named the inaugural vice provost for health affairs and the Lucille Cole Professor of Nursing. Prior to those appointments, 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 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 seeks nominations of units that have demonstrated the vision, commitment and dedication to achieve a truly diverse faculty.


Academic Women’s Caucus is pleased to accept nominations for the Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying award.  Selection 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 that will happen in Winter Term 2023 on February 7, 2023

Self-nominations from academic units for 2022-2023 are due October 21, 2022. Nominations from all three University of Michigan campuses- Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn, are encouraged.

Questions? Contact Dr. Tiffany Marra at tmarra@umich.edu; Dr. Patricia Coleman-Burns at pcb@umich.edu or Dr. Marilee Benore at marilee@umich.edu.

Past Award Recipients


The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


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