Department Enhancement Program


Jessica Ward

Amy Andreotti and Dipali Sashital

Shannon Coleman


The Department Enhancement Program (DEP), originally referred to as Collaborative Transformation (CT), began in 2006. Initially funded through the National Science Foundation, Department Enhancement Program is a part of ADVANCE, which helps to transform university structures, cultures, and practices to recruit, retain, and promote a diverse, highly-qualified, and cohesive faculty. Department Enhancement Program is now an institutionalized part of Iowa State University. An innovative action-oriented program suited to improve departmental climates, Department Enhancement Program features a systematic method for collecting and analyzing data from chairs and faculty about the department climate. Department Enhancement Program is useful as departmental leaders and faculty prepare for external program reviews, re-configure departmental structures in response to program development and implementation, develop a greater understanding of their strengths and opportunities for growth and support, and pursue other long-range planning.

Department chairs can request Department Enhancement Program for their units. A trained Department Enhancement Program facilitator conducts separate, confidential 90-minute interviews or focus groups with: 

  • Department chairs 
  • Faculty by rank across term, tenure-track and tenure classifications

In exploring the department’s structures, processes, and climate, interviews cover: 

  • recruitment and retention of diverse faculty
  • responsibilities in research, teaching, extension, outreach, and service
  • advancement and evaluation
  • mentoring and leadership development
  • resource distribution
  • faculty relations, collegiality, and networking
  • faculty satisfaction
  • career flexibility
  • work-life integration
  • programming and future initiatives
  • facilities, administrative support, and technical support
  • governance and policies


Promotional Materials:


Department Enhancement Program logo

Key achievements 

  • More than 30 departments have participated in DEP since 2006
  • 76.9% of action items were implemented


DEP Facilitators


List of Participating Departments

Department Enhancement Program (DEP):


    • Sociology
    • Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management
    • Materials Science and Engineering


    • Food Science and Human Nutrition
    • English
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
    • Animal Science


    • Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
    • Economics
    • Marketing
    • Agronomy


    • University Library
    • Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Horticulture
    • Geological and Atmospheric Sciences


    • Computer Science
    • Human Development and Family Studies
    • Supply Chain Management and Information Systems
    • Statistics


    • Political Science
    • Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
    • Music and Theatre


    • Mathematics
    • Natural Resource Ecology and Management


    • History
    • Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management
    Collaborative Transformation (CT):


    • Chemical and Biological Engineering
    • Physics and Astronomy
    • Plant Pathology and Microbiology


    • Animal Science
    • Chemistry
    • Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering


    • Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
    • Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology
    • Materials Science and Engineering